‘Spirit of Lake Murray’ yacht purchased, will return to service

Posted 11/23/22

The popular charter yacht of that name, which hosted celebrations and weddings and other festivities on the lake for more than a decade before being put up for sale, has new owners.

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‘Spirit of Lake Murray’ yacht purchased, will return to service

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The Spirit of Lake Murray endures.

The popular charter yacht of that name, which hosted celebrations and weddings and other festivities on the lake for more than a decade before being put up for sale, has new owners who plan to return it to service in the spring of 2023, according to a release posted to the boat’s Facebook page.

“The Spirit was purchased by Lake Murray Tour Partners in October and sailed from Hollow Creek Marina to her new home near Agnew Lake Service in Ballentine, where she has been placed in dry dock for a major overhaul,” the release states.

The 80-foot Skipperliner Yacht had been up for sale for nearly a year. As of December 2021, previous owner Ken Colton was asking for $349,000 for the yacht, which ceased hosting large groups in 2019 due to inspection requirements that would require removing the boat from the water.

The Nov. 10 release notes that Lake Murray Tour Partners, the team purchasing the Spirit, plans to give it a “a full facelift inside, renovations to the full-service bar, addition of a private ‘Admirals Room’ on the upper deck, and a complete paint job, in addition to exterior work to the vessel.”

The upgrades the yacht is receiving will also help it “meet and exceed the U.S. Coast Guard standards for an ‘inspected vessel,’” the release notes, which will make it legally eligible to carry more than the six paying guests allowed for non-inspected craft. According to the release, this will make it the only vessel on Lake Murray allowed to carry more than six charter passengers.

In its previous incarnation, the boat’s capacity was 134 passengers.

Per the release, Lake Murray Tour Partners, LLC consists of Norm Agnew and Rick Crout, both long-time lake residents. The Spirit team will also include Tyler Ryan, a former cruise director for Carnival Cruise who will serve as cruise/entertainment director. All three are licensed master boat captains, the release states.

“This is an exciting time,” Agnew is quoted. “There are so many people who have great memories on The Spirit of Lake Murray, from great events, to weddings, and breathtaking sunsets … it will be a walk through memory lane — but all new!”

“There is a lot of work to do over the next several months,” Crout is quoted. “We are basically re-doing nearly every aspect of the boat, inside and out — in fact, some people who have been on her in the past may not recognize her.”

According to the release, new offerings provided by the boat will include sporting events, shag nights and fundraisers, among others.

“We are in the process of creating awesome new experience options for guests that have never been offered on the Spirit or anywhere on the lake,” Ryan is quoted.  “And because we all have significant ties to the lake and the community, we truly want to be community partners, offering nonprofit organizations large discounts for events, and each quarter offering a free trip to deserving local charity.”

According to the release, new offerings provided by the boat will include sporting events, shag nights and fundraisers, among others.

“We are in the process of creating awesome new experience options for guests that have never been offered on the Spirit or anywhere on the lake,” Ryan is quoted.  “And because we all have significant ties to the lake and the community, we truly want to be community partners, offering nonprofit organizations large discounts for events, and each quarter offering a free trip to deserving local charity.”

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