Ripley’s Wooden Replica of the Ferrari F50 Gets In The Water for the First Time in 12 years

One of the world’s strangest boats just made a big splash in San Diego: A replica of a Ferrari F50 made completely out of pine. The Ferrari was built in 2001 by Livio De Marchi, an artist living in the canal-covered city of Venice Italy. Terry Brennan, curator of the San Diego Air & Space Museum, said, “[De Marchi] always wanted a Ferrari and this was the only way he could have one and still get around Venice,”

The boat has been owned by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! since 2009, but has been housed at the Museum for nearly two years as part of a traveling exhibition. Ripley’s decided to get it in the water for the first time since Carnaval was held in Venice in 2002 as part of the San Diego Bayfair, held this past weekend.

Getting the boat ready after 12 years out of the briny blue wasn’t easy, according to Brennan. “It had dried up quite a bit over the period of time it was out of the water,” he said. “We thought we’d be able to season the hull like you would any wooden boat, but we found some cracks that were as much as half-an-inch wide. We had to recaulk a lot of the bottom..”

The maiden voyage took place early Saturday morning with HuffPost Weird News staff writer David Moye as the first passenger. Ripley’s Vice President Patrick Hartle admitted earlier he wasn’t sure how that ride would be. “I hope it goes better than the 3-hour tour on ‘Gilligan’s Isle,'” he said.

Here’s the bottom line: There are few things cooler than getting into a boat that looks like a sportscar and there are few things slower. “Yeah, it doesn’t match the performance of a real Ferrari,” Hartle admitted.

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