Earlier this year, the MLM received notice that Minnehaha will no longer be granted access to the privately-owned launch site at 600 West Lake Street, Shorewood after December 31, 2019. The launch site is only used twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, for the sole purpose of launching and hauling Minnehaha in and out of the water. Since this is a critical component of Minnehaha’s operation, a new launch site is needed.
Minnehaha is typically launched in the water in May and hauled out in October. While in the water, she is stored at a leased dock slip on Excelsior Bay (687 Excelsior Boulevard, Excelsior). The MLM is guaranteed to keep this slip through 2023.
During the winter months, Minnehaha needs to be stored indoors so that she can be properly preserved and rehabilitated. Minnehaha is currently stored in a large pole barn structure at 140 George Street, Excelsior. This structure is owned by the MLM but sits on land owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
Minnehaha is 70 feet long, nearly 15 feet wide, and approximately 26 feet tall when placed on her custom-built trailer. She draws a draft of 6 feet when in the water. A new launch site will need to be capable of accommodating a vessel of this size and draft. Furthermore, a new maintenance facility may need to be constructed near or at the new launch site because Minnehaha cannot travel far over land. Once a preferred site is selected, a capital campaign may be launched to raise funds for said facility. (General donations are graciously accepted at all times.)
The MLM Board of Directors is actively pursuing solutions for launching and storing Minnehaha in 2020 and years beyond. The Board has looked at sites on both the Upper and Lower Lake and has specifically looked at sites in Excelsior, Wayzata, Mound, Spring Park, and Minnetrista. Minnehaha may continue to be homeported in Excelsior while in the water even if a new winter maintenance facility is located elsewhere.
As stated above, the MLM Board of Directors is actively pursuing solutions for 2020 and years beyond. We are in a stronger position than ever to solve this issue and are very hopeful for a bright, yellow future. We’ll keep everyone updated as further news develops.
– Team MLM