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This 1928 yacht is now likely the oldest boat on Lake Lanier
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Forsyth County residents Katie and Taylor Grimsley welcomed Miracle, their new 30-foot Vic Franck Sea Queen, a yacht built in 1928, to Lake Lanier on Wednesday, where they are expecting it to become a common sight on the water. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

A Miracle arrived in Forsyth County this week.

After months of waiting, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, Katie and Taylor Grimsley welcomed Miracle, their new 30-foot Vic Franck Sea Queen, a yacht built in 1928, to Lake Lanier and put the boat in at Port Royale Marina off Browns Bridge Road. 

It took a cross-country trip from the boat’s original home in the Seattle area to reach Lake Lanier, a process Taylor said took six months “and I didn’t even see the boat,” instead finding the boat online and handling the sale remotely. 

“I fell in love … didn’t have any of the information about it when I bought it,” he said. “I made two offers before I knew really anything about it. It was all contingent on if it passes the survey, so I wasn’t throwing money out not knowing.”

Since he was already paying to have the boat surveyed, Taylor said it wasn’t worth the trouble of flying across the country to take a look at it.

After negotiating a deal and getting the boat across the country, including through snow in Montana, Katie broke a bottle of champagne on Wednesday to christen the boat at its new home and Taylor and a few friends took it out for its first freshwater ride.

“It’s a little slow, [but] I didn’t expect it to be quick,” he said. “Oh, it’s nice.”

The Grimsleys are members of a group of owners of classic boats that meet at marinas around the lake to show off their vessels to each other and the community. The Sea Queen is a few years older than the current record-holder, Katie said.  

“It’s the craftsmanship,” she said previously. “They don’t make [boats] like that anymore, and you don’t see them anymore, so whoever restored it, it’s nice to stay that way and make sure it doesn’t wind up in a boatyard again.” 

The couple has lived in Forsyth County for more than 20 years and has owned boats ranging from cruisers to runabouts to houseboats. They were looking to downsize when they found the Sea Queen. 

According to a 2011 article from The Seattle Times, the boat was meticulously repaired by Bob Irving, who originally purchased the then-derelict cruiser as a restoration project. There was no engine, there was rainwater in the hull and rotted wood. 

Irving purchased the boat in 1993 but the project went on for 18 years, before being completed in 2011. 

Miracle was one of only six to eight of the boats made on Lake Union in Washington by Vic Franck’s Boat Co. The exact number of boats was lost when company records were destroyed in a fire in 1938.

While there is a lot of history to the boat, its 3,000-mile journey will be the first time it has left the Pacific Northwest and will be its first time being on freshwater full-time.