For year’s Destin has been tagged the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village, but how many boat names have withstood the test of time from the early days that helped to put Destin on the map?
Some were named after family and friends, some just for fun and others had a fishing theme.
One such boat name that was not forgotten and has made a comeback is Striker.
Capt. Harold Staples, 67, who runs the Al-Lin, had the original Striker, a 32-footer.
Today, Capt. Caleb Brown owns a 38-footer Ensign that he has tagged Striker.
“(Staples) basically taught me everything I know,” Brown said.
Brown worked as a deckhand for Staples for about 10 years.
“He’s told me stories from back in the day when he started out,” Brown said.
As a matter of fact, Staples has a hand-painted picture of his old Striker hanging on the wall in the bathroom of the Al-Lin.
“I already knew what I was going to name it before I ever thought about getting a boat,” Brown said.
Brown was able to buy his first boat a couple of years ago and asked permission from Staples to name it Striker.
“He got teary eyed, gave me a hug, kissed me on the cheek and said he’d be honored,” Brown said.
The name Shamrock has also withstood the test of time on the harbor.
Capt. Louis Dykes and his father, Bill, put the first Shamrock on the water in 1967, it was a 40-foot wooden Chris Craft.
“Dad just thought it was a lucky name,” said Capt. Eddie Dykes, who runs the Shamrock II, a 47-footer docked at East Pass Marina.
The Shamrock II was put on the water in 1976 and for four years, the two boats pulled in many fish.
“Dad ran the Shamrock II and I ran the Shamrock,” Eddie said.
As for the continuing of the name, “We just wanted to keep it going,” Eddie said.
Capt. Steve Regan has a couple of boats in the harbor, the Cutting Edge and Wahoo.
The Cutting Edge was already named when he purchased the boat and decided not to change it.
But Wahoo is a throwback of sorts to his early days of fishing in Destin.
Capt. Bruce Marler, who is deceased, had a boat named the Wahoo. Marler sold the boat to Capt. Matt Ankney and Regan worked along side Ankney for about 10 years.
“I thought it was fitting. I wanted to bring back a legendary name,” Regan said.
Both of his boats can be found at HarborWalk Marina.
The 100 Proof, which also docks at HarborWalk Marina, isn’t a new name to the Destin harbor either.
As a youngster, Capt. Allen Staples said the name 100 Proof on the back of a 31-foot G&S boat captained by Tommy Norred caught his eye.
“I thought it was the coolest name ever,” Staples said. “I can remember thinking if I ever had a boat I’d name it that.”
The old 100 Proof docked behind Harbor Docks.
Staples has managed to put the name 100 Proof on a couple of his boats in the last decade.
A few years ago, he had a 31-footer that he tagged 100 Proof. That particular boat is now called Stelluna and is docked at Fishing Fleet Marina.
Staples’ new 100 Proof is a 52-foot G&S docked at HarborWalk.
The New Florida Girl, which is one of Destin’s oldest party boat fishing vessels, is still afloat and moored on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster House.
The New Florida Girl is the second in a line of boats named by Capt. Dave Marler Sr.
The original Florida Girl was put in the water in 1952 and in February of 1971, Capt. Dave put the New Florida Girl in the water.
“The two ran side by side for about three years,” said Capt. Jim Westbrook, who is the current captain/owner of the New Florida Girl.
Westbrook said the original boat was sold to someone in Panama City and it was used for a number of years to run trips out to Shell Island.
As for the New Florida Girl, it was ran by Delbert Marler until about 1986, then Capt. Billy Lawson had it for about three years.
In February of 1991, Westbrook took over as captain and has been at the helm of the vessel ever since.
“And I never even thought about changing the name,” Westbrook said.