Colorful Okoboji area marina operator Butch Parks has bought one of the boats at the center of a 2005 Minnesota Vikings sex scandal and will offer cruises on the family friendly Iowa Great Lakes.

The fully restored boat will offer drinks, dinner, and great views, but none of the racy activities some of the Vikings were accused of while cruising on Lake Minnetonka. There were strippers and toys involved, reports indicated.

Still, Parks couldn’t resist having a bit of fun when he discovered that the 1994 Skipperliner had bit of a colorful past. He thought about naming the 63-foot vessel “Love Tank” or “Mischievous” but settled on this idea from one of his staff members:“Scandalous.”

The boat is about seven feet shorter than the Queen II, the lakes’ most famous excursion boat, run by a different party.

Parks points out that he isn’t above being a little edgy, especially with so many fraternities and sororities members around. One of Parks’ eight cruise boats, the Jezebel, has a brass pole. We think it’s for dancing. Or something.

Parks got a call from the Skipperliner factory in LaCrosse, Wis., which had obtained “Scandalous” in a trade. They thought he might be interested in the craft. He was, and the boat will be offered for convention, wedding, group parties, reunion and other cruises.

He wouldn’t say what he paid, but models of that vintage in good condition are advertised on websites in the $100,000 range.

The bottom of the boat is enclosed, and there is a deck above. Dinners can be served. It will seat carry about 100 passengers.

As he talked about the boat’s attributes, the seller told him about the Vikings’ alleged fun.“I didn’t know the story,” Parks said.

He does now. And he plans to plant a Vikings jersey on the boat as a reminder.
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