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North Star yacht arrives on Gull Lake

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Destiny Cruises' North Star yacht hit the waters of Gull Lake Tuesday afternoon, settling into its summer home.

The motor yacht begins public cruises Sunday.


Tuesday people gathered, filling the parking spaces at the Gull Lake landing off County Highway 77, and put adjacent docks to the test as they lined up to see the boat launch.

The installation crew communicated by handheld radios and maneuvered the 65-foot-long vessel into the lake. The vessel, 22-feet wide at the beam, was enough to pop two tires on its trailer as it went over a curb on its way down to the landing.

The $1.8 million double-deck boat is large enough to accommodate 120 passengers. It will be docked at Ernie's on Gull through October. Constructed in La Crosse, Wis., by SkipperLiner this winter, Destiny Cruises reports the yacht is the first Coast Guard-certified vessel to have underwater lighting. It is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics, the cruise company reported. It has a minimum crew of three with captain, senior deckhand and deckhand. The glass-enclosed main deck handles 70 guess for a seated dinner. The upper deck patio can seat 36. The cruise company reports there are three flat screen TVs and a projector with screen to watch sporting events and presentations.

Prices for a typical two-hour cruise with meal start at $24.95. The yacht includes an observation deck, indoor dining salon, two bars, top-deck open barbecue, full galley and a gift shop.

Owners are Jerry Johnson, Liz Diedrich and Reid Porter.

"We have studied the market for over a year and selected Gull Lake due to its proximity and readiness," Diedrich, owner of Twin Cities-based research and marketing firm Diedrich RPM, stated on the company's website. "We have already begun hiring local talent and anticipate that 85 percent of the operating expenditures will be focused in the Brainerd lakes area. Since we intend to be an attraction in Brainerd, we are already becoming involved in the community's activities and programs to establish our residency in the area."

Early response has been good as the cruises from Sunday through Wednesday were listed as sold out on the Destiny Cruise calendar. Weekend events include morning, lunch, dinner and moonlight cruises.

For Dispatch video of the launch, go to: