Our Favorite Fugitive Docks Trawler in Mexico, Lists the Master Stateroom on AirBnB
By PETER SWANSON
The last time Jan Kanafoski was known to be in Mexico he sailed away on someone else’s boat, and the owners never got her back. Now "Capt. John," as he likes to call himself, has returned to Mexican waters, having docked a different boat belonging to someone else at Isla Mujeres. And, though wanted in Florida, he has gone into the hospitality business.
This we know because Kanafoski tells us so. For a fugitive, he is very fond of social media.
(For a summary of this ex-convict’s history on the waterways, read my original post.)
One of the things that first post got wrong was the make and model of the boat. Based on Kanafoski’s own statements, it was suggested he might have been on a Defever 44. The actual vessel is actually a popular 62-foot Bruce Roberts design. Scorcey was built of steel for her first owner by Keith Marine of Palatka, Florida, in 2003.
The current owner is Scorcey LLC of Key West, which was incorporated March 12, 2019 by Philip D. Sykes, 63. Phillip Dean Sykes, also has a Key West address and had been listed as the owner of jewelry stores in North Carolina. It appears that Scorcey LLC is Scorcey’s third owner.
Scorcey at anchor with coils of line hung strategically.
After Dorian, according to Facebook posts, Kanafoski and Scorcey participated in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas. Sporting a full beard, Kanafoski posed in front of the boat with a hand lettered sign saying “Captain John, Scorcey.” Kanafoski’s LinkedIn page lists him as a volunteer for four separate relief groups participating in the Dorian recovery. (It also says he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Berkley in 2011, which seems unlikely.)
In December, the Monroe County prosecutor handling the current felony charges against Kanafoski suggested that Kanafoski, a Polish citizen who grew up in Georgia, had been denied re-entry into the U.S. from the Bahamas.
“The only information I currently have available is a motion to set aside the bond forfeiture and discharge the bondsman due to Kanafoski's failure to appear at the October pretrial conference,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Flanagan said. “In that motion, the bondsman asserts the defendant is in the Bahamas and is being denied re-entry to the United States. I have no confirmation as to whether the bondsman's assertion is true or not.”
Last month, a Scorcey crew member posted on Facebook that Scorcey was scheduled to arrive at Isla Mujeres around Feb. 15. Isla Mujeres is an island off Cancun with marine facilities and which happens to be a popular tourist destination in its own right. After Scorcey’s arrival, a listing appeared on the AirBnB website, under the name John (languages: English and Polski), offering accommodations in the boat’s aft-cabin master for $136 a night. Here's the pitch:
Enjoy all Isla Mujeres has to offer from a small yacht at a dock at isla Mujeres' premier bar. The boat is minutes away from all the beaches. Enjoy swimming in the tropical waters. Snorkel dive or fish. Go see the sights of the islands or just sit on the boat and watch the world go by. Peaceful relaxation at its best in the warm tropical turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Stay up all night and look at the stars from the roof or go to bed and enjoy being rocked to sleep by the ocean.
Yup, on a boat whose fugitive captain, police say, “has a history of violence.”