Sailing season for Minnehaha steamboat canceled

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A summer fixture on Lake Minnetonka over the past two decades won't be there this year.

The Museum of Lake Minnetonka Board of Directors on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the 2020 sailing season for the steamboat Minnehaha. This summer would've been the steamboat's 25th anniversary season, but the board said they no longer have access to the only boat launch ramp on the lake that can accommodate the unique requirements of the steamboat.

The launch requirements for Minnehaha given its length, weight, and the fact that it's wood, which requires up to 24 hours to stabilize once launched, make it arguably the most challenging boat on Lake Minnetonka to launch," said MLM President Jeff Schott. "There is only one boat ramp on the lake that meets our launch requirements and we've been fortunate to have use of that ramp for the past 24 years. The property is being sold and the launch site will not be available in 2020 and beyond. Given the prohibitive logistics of modifying another ramp and transporting the boat to it, there are unfortunately no viable options to get the boat in the water this year."

The board members said they're hopeful the steamboat's time on Lake Minnetonka isn't done, as they're working to find a new permanent home for the boat and are assessing multiple options. The board added that the summer will also allow for extra long-term maintenance to be done so the steamboat will be in the best condition it's been in when it launches next.

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