Several people have been asking about the restoration progress on the Keuka Maid which is located at Hammondsport, NY, so Jeanette and I took another trip to see for ourselves. We have taken a lunch cruise on the Keuka Maid probably about 10 years ago and the old boat apparently holds some fond memories to folks who were married, partied, or had lunch or dinner on the Maid.
The walkway out to the Keuka Maid is closed to the public due to all of the construction activity which has been going on. The interior of the boat has been completely gutted and the top of the boat removed. One of the shop keepers in Hammondsport told us that the engines have been removed.
If one looks at the boat’s water line today, you can see that it sits much higher in the water due to all of the weight loss and she might serve as the basis for a weight loss commercial – especially at this time of the year! The boat looks to sit a good foot or more above the old water line. From the front of the boat, it appears that the Keuka Maid is resting on three hulls.
We stopped by the Village of Hammondsport offices to inquire about the Keuka Maid, but were told that she is under the jurisdiction of the Town of Urbana whose offices are down route 54 on Pleasant Valley Road. Again we inquired about the status of the boat and we were told that Jeremy Fields of Fields Construction Company, Inc. of Canandaigua, NY will be giving the town of Urbana officials an update this Tuesday on January 22 at their board meeting. So the fate of the Keuka Maid is still in question as its hull must be federally inspected and deemed safe for public transportation. But I am betting that Jeremy’s thinking is way ahead of what he is saying. I’m betting that the engines are already undergoing an overhaul and that his architects know what the new Keuka Maid will look like when the restoration is complete!
The “Keuka Scenic Cruises” sign probably causes some speculation/confusion, but is not pertenant to the Keuka Maid operations being carried on by the Fields company. KSC is a separate tour-boat company that used the pier for docking and maintenance only, and the small building for ticket sales, telephone/internet, mailing address and supplies-storage. Due to the poor condition of the pier, KSC did not board or discharge passengers at this location, but was ever-hopeful of doing so “in the near future”. The boat, a 44 foot-long, 49-passenger open-sided cruiser, boarded and discharged its passengers at “Depot Park”, at water’s edge in the village of Hamondsport. KSC operated during the summers of 2010 and 2011 but suspended 2012 cruises, and is now uncertain of its future. The boat is in storage as we consider our options.
Keuka Scenic Cruises is hopeful that Mr. Fields will be able to restore the Keuka Maid and return her to public service; then to refurbish the pier, making it safe for public-access and commercial use. We are hopeful, too, that our business will be able to resume oerations at this location, and to that end we stand ready to assist in every way. Our boat, “SSM Narvick”, offered (and hopes to offer again) regular one-hour cruises (weather permitting) plus charters for all occasions. Our policy was, and will be, BYO snacks and beverages.
We hope this information is helpful.
Keuka Scenic Cruises
Bob, thank you for setting me straight. I was unaware of any passenger boat service operating out of Hammondsport, NY during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Hopefully, Keuka Scenic Cruises will be able to reopen it’s operation this summer. There is a lot of boating history associated with the Finger Lakes and we have enjoyed the narrated boat tours on Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, and Skaneateles Lake in the past.
You’re welcome, jr. And thanks for the good wishes.