Keuka Maid is being dismantled

Mary Perham
The Keuka Maid, docked at the southern end of Keuka Lake, is being dismantled.

She was once the pride of the lake on which she sailed for dinner cruises and wedding receptions. Now, the Keuka Maid is being dismantled and removed from her home at the head of the lake in Hammondsport.

Town of Urbana Supervisor John Webster said tour boat owner Jeremy Fields notified him last week the boat will be carefully dismantled and moved to Fields' business in Canandaigua.

Where she goes from there is unknown.

Fields will update the Town Board further on the boat's future at Wednesday's meeting, Webster said.

Board members had a lot of questions at last week's meeting, and complained they had not heard from Fields, who was behind on a $1,000 payment for leasing space for the boat.

Webster said the town now has received the money and was reassured on other matters, too.

Fields, CEO of Fields Construction in Canandaigua, paid $26,000 for the once-popular tour boat during an auction last October. By the terms of the sale, he was given a week to pull the boat on to shore or move her.

But Fields told the board an inspection of the three-story pontoon boat by his marine construction firm showed it was in surprisingly good shape, and asked for an extension until Jan. 31 to allow for a more detailed look at the hull.

He also agreed to pay $500 per month in rent.

Once a popular summer attraction, the Keuka Maid's exterior has deteriorated since 2006, when then-owner Robert Pfuntner was unable to have the boat inspected for potential safety issues. Those issues led to years of court battles, and a civil jury last August said the boat had to be moved. At the same time, the Keuka Maid, along with other Pfuntner property, was seized.

Pfuntner then put the boat up for auction, with Fields making the only bid.

Webster said officials were satisfied with their recent discussion with Fields, and hope more information will be available Wednesday.

"At this point I can't say any more about the future, because we really don't know what that is," Webster said.