The Yacht Restaurant
The ship was built in 1930 as a private luxury vessel. It was bought by the Royal Canadian Navy a decade later, and after six years was converted to a hospitality ship for the City of New Orleans.
The ship was brought to Pensacola's Pitt Slip in 1986. It was converted to the floating restaurant that helped popularize the marina. Retired Marine Corps Colonel Danny Cross purchased the Yacht in 1989.
In 1993 the City of Pensacola passed an ordinance banning floating signs in Pensacola Bay, including a billboard for the restaurant placed near the three-mile bridge. Cross refused to remove the sign and was sued by the City. He countersued and eventually lost four years later.
In February 1995 about 200 diners had to be evacuated when the ship, overloaded by passengers on one side, began to sink.
The Yacht closed in 1999, when Cross decided to renovate the ship "as a sideline." He claimed the legal battles related to the sign, along with rising rent and lack of parking, led to his decision to leave the Pensacola area (Cross failed to make rent for several months before being evicted not by his decision to leave). "I enjoyed it as a restaurant. It was a hobby, and I might want to get back into that someday. But I'm tired of the battle and I hope to take it where it will be appreciated."
- "Ship scheduled to be restored in Mississippi." Pensacola News Journal, May 9, 1999.