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Jeni Bull 03-23-2008 11:28 AM

Looking for a Passenger Sternwheel Riverboat to buy
We are looking for a 65' or longer riverboat to operate as a charter vessel. We would like to find a vessel that is current on its COI. I am also looking for a boat that ran out of St. Augustine under the name of Sara Grace and was operated by Ancient City Riverboats. I believe it was called the Anastasia before that. It was sold sometime in 2004-2005. The boat was originally called the Betsy Ann. It is not the same Anastasia that is in Alton IL. My 94 year old father built the boat and I would really like for him be able to see the boat again.

You can see a picture of the boat at [url][/url]

Any help would be appreciated.

Bob Reynolds 03-23-2008 03:39 PM


I would suggest you start by looking in "Boats & Harbors", a classified sale newspaper that caters to this sort of thing.

Bill Judd 03-23-2008 07:13 PM

Welcome to the board, Jeni Bull. Capt. Reynolds is right with Boats and Harbors, two other places to check is Pinnacle Marine and Coastal Marine. Both specialize in excursion boats. I do a lot of work with excursion vessel operators and will keep my ears open for any leads. Now as to the second part of your thread, I would assume your Dad is Art Bull. Glad to know he's still navigating. Reynolds and some of the old timers on here will be glad to know that the owner of such fine vessels as the LOTTA BULL, BULL DURHAM
BULL HEAD and the FERN is still with us. If my memory serves me right the BETSY ANN was built out of a Simpson Co.boat, the BLUE SEAL. I stopped to see her under construction at Joliet, in I think 1974. On completion she was one heck of a fine boat, big in length and had split sternwheels. I'll check with my Passenger Association friends to see if we can find her.

Bob Reynolds 03-23-2008 07:34 PM

Thank you, Capt. Bill for jarring my memory....I never made the "Bull" connection! Last time I saw the BETSY ANN was up at Joliet, maybe 20 years ago....

inactive user 02 03-24-2008 06:57 AM


Having worked aboard the JEAN MARY for Jeannie and George Douglas when they owned her, I would love to hear what became of her as well. The Douglas' sold her to Ancient City and this is when she fell off my radar.

The ANASTASIA you are mentioning was a former towboat from the Ohio River dating to the 1920's. I do not have my reference library with me as I am aboard the Str. AMERICAN QUEEN at the moment. This I do know about these boats...when they were sold to Ancient City they disappeared from the Inland River Record, which is the listing of all commercial vessels operating on the inland waters.

It is my belief the JEAN MARY never had a COI, as she was a houseboat for all intents and purposes. The only SARA GRACE I can find in the USCG lists is this vessel which is way too small to be the boat you are alooking for... [url][/url]

A good place to start looking for a riverboat is either Boats and harbors magazine or online at Pinnacle Marine.... [url][/url]

Good luck in your search!


Carmen 03-24-2008 06:58 AM


Look at this website


It´s saying that this Betsy Ann has been purchased from John and Ed Bull in May 2005.

It´s located in Panama City Beach, FL, running on the Choctawhatchee River.

And here´s a link to a thread in our old message board when the Sara Grace was listed at ebay in 2004


You will also find a posting by Julie Lemke (you´ll see the email address going over the name with your mouse) describing the boats Sara Grace and Jean Mary. You may email Roy and Julie Lemke for further questions.

But comparing the photos the Sara Grace and the Betsy Ann are different boats.


Bear 03-24-2008 07:14 AM

As Carmen noted, a riverboat called "Betsy Ann" which may be the one you are looking for is moored here in Panama City, in the panhandle of Florida.
It is a nice little boat but is very dependent on the weather. They tend to cancel cruises if there is much wind. It started operations several years ago with a very ambitious cruise schedule. Now, it offers dockside comedy club type entertainment and I don't see it on the bay very often. Although it is advertised as a riverboat it operates on a bay that is effectively salt water.


Jeni Bull 03-24-2008 09:36 AM

Thank You for your post

Thanks for your reply. Actually Art is my uncle, my father-n-law is Ed Bull. They are both in their 90's and doing well. Art is in Bradenton, FL and Ed lives in Alabama with us. They are both characters with tons of river and boat stories. I have seen pictures of all of the boats that you mentioned and have heard many stories about them. I do appreciate your help.

Jeni Bull 03-24-2008 09:47 AM

Different Betsy Ann

I am very familiar with that Betsy Ann, my father-n-law designed it and we operated it for 15 years. I am looking for a different Betsy Ann but I do appreciate your help. I tried to reach the Lemke’s and found out that Mr. Lemke died last year and Julie was not really sure what happened to the boat.


Jeni Bull 03-24-2008 11:32 AM

Cotton Blossom & Magnolia Belle
Thanks for your help, I have tried Pinnacle and Boat & Harbor with no luck. I have been told of a couple of boats the Cotton Blossom and the Magnolia Belle. From the pictures that I have seen they are beautiful boats but are not current on their COI’s. Would you know anything about these boats?

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