Captain Joe Fox doesn't take himself too seriously. This is how he describes the quality of the champagne he serves his limousine clients: "Not much better than gasoline."
He is not selling a luxury ride, evidenced by the plastic chairs and worn loveseat. However, does offer an only-in-the-Keys experience: a cruise on the beautiful bay waters off Islamorada in a boat that looks like a 1983 pink Cadillac stretch limousine.
"I thought I had one too many margaritas when I saw it," said Melissa Underwood, of Detroit, one of about 20 people at the Lorelei Cabana Bar who recently whipped out digital cameras and cell phones to capture the unusual sight.
Captain Joe drove past the crowd, waving. "People go bananas when he goes around the bar," said Richard Lattimer, dock master for the Islamorada Yacht Basin at mile marker 82 of U.S. 1, where Fox keeps the NautiLimo.
It took two years for Fox, a retired electrical engineer who used to work on high-tech devices that tracked submarines during the Cold War, to build the NautiLimo.
Since then, he has built a runabout, two sailboats and the NautiCar, which was created using the plastic body of a 1986 Pontiac Fiero on a Boston Whaler.
Vanessa Arellano Doctor