Dozens of people boarded the old Keuka Maid in the Town of Urbana on Monday, but only two made a play to become the new owners. Our Bill Mich was on hand as the ship was auctioned off and has more on what lies ahead in its future.
TOWN OF URBANA, N.Y. -- "Does anybody want to bid more on the boat lock, stock and barrel? Just the way you see it. Anybody want to bid more?"
The answer to that question was no. After a starting bid of $25,000, the Keuka Maid was sold for $26,000 to Fields Construction based out of Canandaigua. Along with purchasing the ship, the new owners must now work closely with the Town of Urbana on what comes next.
"He has to remove it from the dock and out of the service area that the dock would cover so that the town has its dock and its dock usage back again," said Town of Urbana Supervisor, John Webster.
The ship has been out of commission for quite some time and has been at the dock for years. In 2010, the town tried to have the ship evicted and it was just last month that it was ruled a squatter in court. But it will soon be moved away by the new owners who say they aren't quite sure what they are going to do with it yet.
"Part of the evaluation process is to determine if there is a value for us as a marine vessel or if it is simply scrap. Whatever is most economical," said Jeremy Fields of Fields Construction.
That evaluation process will take place over the next few days. The ship has certainly seen its better days but a return to glory was not ruled out.
"I believe that the boat needs some work and things like sounding the hull and determining the thickness of the metal, that's really what makes it safe or not safe. I'm not sold that it's not safe. I just think it needs to be evaluated and anything can be fixed," said Fields.
If it becomes too costly to repair and the ship's fate becomes scrap metal, the new owners say they plan to sell off all of the contents inside.