Your Neighbors Folly Beach: 'The Boat' - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Your Neighbors Folly Beach: 'The Boat'

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Photo courtesy Eric Draper Photo courtesy Eric Draper

By Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Drivers come and go, but the boat is always there.

"It's become an unofficial ambassador to Folly Beach," said Eric Draper, founder of follyboat.com.

Legend has it a man rode out Hurricane Hugo in the boat and landed on the side of Folly Road. The boat hasn't moved since. Instead, it's constantly getting a new look.

"Driving by and seeing people paint it, when I stop to take photos you see the smile on their face and the pride in what they've painted, even if they're not artists," Draper said.

The boat was there for Charleston in times of need -- to remember the Charleston 9 and 9/11. It also was there for happier times -- birthdays, anniversaries and historic elections.

Through it all, Draper documented the memories on his website, Follyboat.com. He and his friends started it so every layer would be preserved as news ones are made.

Draper said he thought of the boat as a landmark.

"You can change it from a painting standpoint to meet your mind's eye, your vision. That's probably the only one in the area you can change and no one will be upset about it," he said.

Since anyone can paint the boat, we at ABCNews4 decided to add our special touch and paint it in honor of our "Your Neighbors" segment.

It took hours of hard work -- staying in the lines and getting our letters right. But we did it. And we're happy to be a part of the Folly Beach tradition.

Draper said he and his partners hoped to turn the website in to a book some day. They wanted it to tell the personal stories of everyone who once painted the boat.


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