Ship boat

Pirate ship builder goes viral for latest houseboat creation

This retired Virginian is passionate about building boats.

A former firefighter has become a new kind of captain in his post-work years: one who sails the high seas and equips others to do the same – or at least allows them to have a houseboat from which to reside.

“When I retired from the fire service I moved to the Chesapeake Bay – we have a lot of old, neglected boats here. I try to keep these things out of the landfill, resuscitate them into useful things — I repurpose them into pirate ships,” Capt. Daniel Corder, 63, told the Post.

While Captain Dan is used to sparking joy with his lovingly salvaged ships, his most recent creation has sent shivers through the internet woods like never before.

“I’ve built 33 of these boats. Two others have gone viral, but not like this one. This one has gone crazy,” he said.

This one is his biggest and most expensive to date: a refitted 44-foot-long craft with a new engine, a fresh paint job, a full kitchen and bathroom, and — at least in the photos of the roster – a skeleton crew of bony companions and mermaids, not to mention a few cannons. Corder is asking $49,000 for the renovated 1993 Holiday Mansion, which he bought from an area marina.

Since posting the boat in a Facebook group for boating enthusiasts earlier this month, he has been inundated with offers from people as far away as Australia. But he’s not ready to take anyone’s money.

“It hasn’t sold because I haven’t found the right person yet,” he said. “A lot of people wanted to buy it without seeing it, which I would never do.”

He spends so much time and energy saving ships that he always makes sure they go to loving homes when they’re finished.

“Boats in general are hulls in the water that people throw money at. A lot of people want something cool like this, but they don’t understand what it takes to keep it going,” he said. he said, “I’m really, really careful who gets them so they don’t die a second time.”

Former pirate ships went to owners along the East Coast, with several currently serving as Florida tour boats, one offering trips along the Pittsburgh waterfront, one moored at a restaurant in New Jersey and a floating bartender in an Alabama man’s backyard. “He sent someone, got [the boat], took him home and put him in his pool with a crane,” Corder said. Of the 33, Corder kept one for himself.

Unlike the current ship, Corder sells the most for around $10,000. He builds one or two a year from everything from pontoon boats to sailboats to jet skis, “pretty much every floating platform you can imagine.”

Although many brands, the pirate ships both have two things in common: “They were all junks and they all have the same name: The Intruder,” Corder said, explaining that there’s really no explanation to that – he just “I thought that would be an appropriate name.

The virality of his newest ship has only heightened his passion and commitment to rescuing derelict ships and turning them into marauder-worthy loot.

“My wife passed away a few years ago, so it’s a hobby that keeps me busy,” Corder said. “I’m honored that people love this quirky hobby that I have. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and makes people happy – when I’m browsing these things at dusk, with the lights all on, my neighbors are thrilled to to see him.