Betsy Ann Riverboat to Move to St. Andrews Marina - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Betsy Ann Riverboat to Move to St. Andrews Marina

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"Well, it's just unique," said Rick Ackerman.

Ackerman is the Captain of the Betsy Ann. For seven years, he's set sail out of the Sun Harbor Marina.

As a rare river boat stemming from Montgomery, Alabama this type of boat is hard to come by floating around St. Andrews Bay.

"Those pictures behind you are of the original Betsy Ann," said Ackerman. "They are a tribute to the old vessel.

"There's very few actual stern wheel paddle boats left in existence anymore and this just happens to be one of them."

But, come this time next week the view from the deck will change.

"We are about to make a big move down to St. Andrews," said Ackerman.

Ackerman is moving the boat to the historic downtown, where he thinks it better serves the surrounding community.

"The biggest thing with St. Andrews is that it fits into the community because of the historical aspects of St. Andrews," said Ackerman. "And we feel like we can add to what they're trying to do in St. Andrews."

The idea came from a simple conversation with a close friend, Bill Lloyd. He is the Director of Marinas for Panama City.

"I've known Bill for years," said Ackerman. "We were just kind of chatting one day about it and I was kind of like, 'Well, that sounds like a good idea! Lets do this.'"

"I think the whole community is excited," said Lloyd. "It's going to be a real good strong addition to St. Andrews.

"He's just another step in St. Andrew's revitalization."

The Betsy Ann Riverboat will begin docking at St. Andrews Marina as early as next week.