The season-long saga of the Seanote may be nearing its end.
The 58-foot yacht has been unceremoniously moored in a Hennepin County-owned boat launch since late December, racking up parking tickets and nuisance violations from the nearby Water Patrol. Its unpermitted presence prompted the county to file a lawsuit, arguing the 45-ton boat (currently filled with 200 gallons of fuel) is precipitously perched and a potential danger — and ordering the watercraft's owners to move it elsewhere.
Weeks later, there may finally be a solution.
The attorneys for the Seanote's owners, in a court filing Thursday, said the City of Spring Park will allow the yacht to be stored in a properly zoned lot at 4444 Shoreline Drive. The lot belongs to U.S. Boats, which itself is owned by one of Seanote's owners, Paul Berquist, who is a defendant in the civil case. The property is tucked between a boat repair shop, storage units and a real estate business.
Attached with the filing is a copy of a message from Spring Park Interim Administrator James Brimeyer, saying the city is "amenable" to the Seanote being relocated to that spot. There are a few prerequisites however: The boat can't block any parking spots, it must be kept inaccessible to the public, and the owners have to notify the city at least 24 hours before the relocation will take place.
Bring Me The News has reached out to Brimeyer for more information.
The actual moving of the Seanote is still something of a question mark.
The defendants indicated in court filings that a local towing company is willing to do it, but the business wants an OK from various parties (including Hennepin County, the State Patrol and city officials who would be involved) beforehand. The county has indicated the trailer the yacht is currently on is insufficient, and suggested the boat be lifted via crane to a different trailer before being transported, according to court filings.
In the March 3 letter, the defendants called the county's plan "unnecessary and dangerous," and asked it to "identify the legal authorities it claims prevent the Seanote from being moved on its current trailer."
So it may be a bit longer before the Seanote is moved to its next aground home.
The Seanote became something of a Lake Minnetonka sensation as winter hit and the lake iced over. Its plodding journey to land attracted dozens of onlookers, inspired a YouTube stream and sparked constant online chatter.
The boat, and the safety barriers surrounding it, block all but one parking spot in the county boat launch lot. Berquist, to the Business Journal, previously accused the county of being more interested in punishment than helping to find a solution.