Lake Minnetonka yacht the Seanote's saga nears an end

A half-mile move overnight brings an end to a three-month saga of a 58-foot boat named Seanote, which had sat on a trailer in the public parking lot of the Hennepin County Sheriff Water Patrol in Spring Park.

In mid-December, the Seanote first grabbed public attention because it was still anchored in a bay of Lake Minnetonka as the water began to freeze.   Its owners frantically got it to the water patrol’s public boat landing and onto a makeshift trailer, quickly modified to handle such a large boat.

Since then, it remained in the water patrol’s parking lot.  While the county wanted the boat moved, it was also concerned that its trailer was not safe to tow the Seanote down Lakeshore Drive to the storage lot at US Boat and Recreation. That led to a stand-still and ultimately took the issue to court.

The Seanote had been a charter boat on Lake Minnetonka since 1995, but was sold last spring to a man in Texas, who had hoped to sail it down the Mississippi River.  But after he failed to get needed permissions to tow the boat to the river, he sold it again this past summer to Benjamin Field Wilson and Paul Berquist, who owns US Boat and Recreation in Spring Park.

But the marina that had stored the boat each winter could no longer take it, so the Seanote lingered in the lake until December while its new owners scrambled to get the needed parts to make a trailer that could handle it.

It then stayed parked in the public boat landing while the owners and the county argued about how it could be safely moved.

The Seanote (FOX 9)

On March 21, a Hennepin County judge gave the owners ten days to move the boat. He noted the county’s concerns that the boat’s weight would damage the road and that the county wanted the boat moved by crane into a new trailer, at an estimated cost of $700,000 that the boat’s owners did not want to pay.

He also took issue with the Seanote’s owners, who "left a large, potentially unstable object on public property without claim of right to do so."  But he ruled that how it got moved was not his concern, only that it happen.   He ended his order with four words: "Get the boat moved."

So, overnight, the Seanote made its way a half mile down the road, still on the trailer the county worried wouldn’t hold it.  It did.  But it’s not the end.  Berquist hopes, after fixing it up, to tow it to Lake Superior.