Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

A couple years ago, I started running a 45 foot pontoon boat out of Palatka, Florida. She is United States Coast Guard approved to carry 49 passengers and a captain and one crew. Powered by twin 200 hp Yamahas mounted on jack plates, she cruises comfortably around 10 knots when fully loaded.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Public and Private Charters

So far, the boat has been used for public and private charters. Some of the public events during which it carried passengers are the Blue Crab Festival and the Bartram Frolic Festival in Palatka.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Bartram Frolic Festival Tours

For the Bartram Frolic, the Pride of Palatka travels up the St. Johns River to Bartram Trail sites like number seven, Rollestown, or Charlotia.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka
Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Early Settlers

The Palatka Waterfront features displays of early settler life along the St. Johns River during the Bartram Festival. My favorite part is when the character actors come sail on the boat with us!

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka
Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Bartram Trail Markers

From the boat, passengers can see the Bartram Trail Markers. Local historian Sam Carr comes along on the tours to narrate from Bartram’s book “Travels” and tell stories of Bartram’s 1765 voyage with his father along the river.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Photography Opportunities

Many of the passengers bring binoculars and cameras. We like to cruise quietly past osprey nests, being careful to not disturb the families with their chicks.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

St. Johns Riverkeeper

Lisa Rinamen from the St. Johns Riverkeeper also comes along on some cruises to tell passengers statistical information about the St. Johns River, it’s flow rate, and how to protect and restore the river’s health.

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is an advocacy group with the mission of keeping the river clean and healthy and available for everyone to enjoy. They defend and protect the river’s ecosystems by patrolling, investigating pollution, educating and advocating.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Crewing on the Pride of Palatka

The boat was fairly new when I started crewing aboard, so it was a lot of fun determining fuel consumption and practicing docking maneuvers.

Every day when I am operating the boat, first my crew and I inspect all the safety equipment. Then we wipe down all the seats, check fluids and prepare to cast off to go pick up passengers.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka
Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Vessel Specs

The Pride of Palatka is an aluminum pontoon boat built by Trident in Tavares, Florida. It is powered by two 200-horsepower Yamaha engines mounted on jack plates. She displaces five tons. Pride is US Coast Guard approved to carry 49 passengers and one captain and one crew, provided they have an average weight of 185.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

What to Read Next

St. Johns River // Bartram Frolic // Riverboat Tour in Palatka, Florida

Come Boating With Me // Pride of Palatka Florida Riverboat Tours // Deep Water Happy

Pride of Palatka // Bartram Frolic // Deep Water Happy

Bartram Trail Cruise on the St. Johns River

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Sunscreen and Reef-Safe Toiletries

When you sail, don’t forget to bring a small backpack or bag for carrying a few items to the boat with you. A dry bag gives you even more flexibility and security.

My Stream2Sea dry bag is the perfect size for all my sunscreen, bathing suit or foundation garments, sunglasses case, a book, and a few other items for excursions to the boat or yacht club. My discount code “DeepWH” gets you 10% off everything.  

Stream2Sea have hand sanitizer, reef-safe sunscreen, leave-in conditioner, lip balm, shampoo, body wash, and even mask defog! Using my link won’t increase you price, and I might receive a small incentive for introducing you to reef-safe sunscreens and more.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

Great Training Resource

My First Aid and CPR annual course simply did not have enough depth and breadth for the possibilities of a boat event. So, I highly recommend the Tactical Casualty Care online course from Crisis Medicine.

In fact, I learned so much from the training, that I have been writing a lot about the topics and the training, hoping anyone active outdoors will take responsibility and seek out bleeding control training..

For courses through Crisis Medicine, I’m able to offer you a 20% discount; just use my code, “DeepWH” at checkout for the TC2 course.

Passenger Pontoon Boat, Pride of Palatka II // 49′ Passenger Pontoon Boat // St. Johns River // City of Palatka

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