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Southern Tier

Keuka Maid could set sail in Hammondsport

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Keuka Maid could set sail in Hammondsport
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A popular summer attraction that ran for more than 20 years on Keuka Lake could be sailing back to port. The new owner of the Keuka Maid is rebuilding the boat that sat vacant for six years in Hammondsport. YNN's Katie Husband tells us the project is running smoothly, but there are still some hurdles to clear before it returns to the Town of Urbana.

HAMMONDSPORT, N.Y. -- The Keuka Maid looked like a sitting duck late last year before it was auctioned off to Jeremy Fields of Field Construction. Now that it's in his hands and has been removed from the pier, he wants to rebuild it into something new.

"Our idea is to add smoke stacks to it also make it look more of a vintage steamboat-era kind of vessel," said Fields.

But before it gets back to that 'memory-maker' stage, the Town of Urbana board must sign off on a lease agreement. Three years ago, the board tried to have the boat evicted because of issues with the previous owner. This time around, the hope is that new ownership will bring that positive attention back into the area.

"There are a lot of people that have very fond memories of the Keuka Maid and the things that it did for them while they were there and there still seems to be pretty wide-spread support for number one, a tour boat for the community and secondly, even for a tour boat if the Keuka Maid came back," said John Webster, Town of Urbana supervisor.

Even though the Keuka Maid boat has been out of service for roughly a handful of years, Webster says they still get visitors asking about the tour boat.

"Some of the business people have said to me they still get inquiries every summer about the Keuka Maid and, 'can I get a ride on it?' So obviously, there is an opportunity missed in that point in time," said Webster.

But until the town and Fields reach an agreement, when the boat is rebuilt, it will stay in Canandaigua.

"Unless we can reach an agreement that's both economically feasible for both of us, you know, it benefits both the town and us as the operation," said Fields.

And that decision won't come until Fields returns the board meeting in March where both parties will exchange plans for the boat and pier.

Fields plans on having the boat in the water by April and completing construction in May or June.

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