PARTY TIME - Destin’s new party boat, Vera Marie has a trip for every budget

The Vera Marie, with Capt. Steve Allen at the helm, came in last week from a fishing trip with a variety of white snapper, mingo and triggerfish. They had 71 anglers aboard the boat on that particular day.

There's a new lady in the harbor — Vera Marie.

The 75-foot party boat is the newest addition to the Pelican Adventures fleet, located a half mile on the southeast side of the Destin bridge.

Although she's Coast Guard approved for 137, they fish 82 passengers, said Vera Dewberry, the namesake behind the boat as well as co-owner along with her husband Capt. David Dewberry.

"We wanted something to fit everybody's budget," Vera said.

Cost for a fishing trip aboard the Vera Maria runs anywhere from $49 to $79.

Right now they are running a six-hour special for $49.

In the summer they have plans to run a five-hour trip for $49 and a seven-hour for $59 as well as a 10-hour trip on Sunday for $69.

"I just love it," said David. "The boat was built in Key West, and we totally remodeled the inside of the boat."

The boat has a galley and sports bar inside with multiple TVs.

"We have Direct TV so they can get their games," she said. "Plus we have a snack bar with all kind of food items."

The Vera Marie also sports a sun deck on top and a large air-conditioned salon below. She also comes complete with restrooms and showers plus overnight accommodations.

All that is needed for a trip aboard the Vera Marie is "a camera, sunscreen, hand towel, cash for the bar and tip for the mates ... we take care of everything else," she said.

There is also no "fish cleaning charge" aboard the Vera Marie.

The deckhands clean the fish when they arrive back at the docks, but tips are appreciated.

Anglers fishing aboard the Vera Marie can anticipate pulling in a variety of snapper, triggerfish and lesser amberjack on the short trips. However, on the all-day adventures you can add grouper and amberjack to the list.

The Vera Marie is the eighth boat for the Dewberrys.

"David and his Grandma Frakes came up with the name," she said. Vera said David's grandma had told him if they ever got another boat they should call it the Vera Marie.

"It's very flattering and all," Vera said, but she admits she gets a little embarrassed.

"I don't even wear my name tag anymore.”

The Dewberrys first boat was a 25-footer named the Salt Shaker, however, it's no longer in the fleet, David said.

Not all the boats in the Pelican Adventure fleet are fishing boats.

Blessed Adventure, Anticipation and Good Times are all Gulf fishing boats, while the Just Right is a 21-foot inshore and bay boat. The other two boats in the fleet are Smile High II (for parasailing) and the snorkel boat Harbor Lady.

The Vera Marie "opens the door for families — family fun fishing," Vera said.

In addition to fishing, the boat is good for corporate parties, holiday events, family reunions, weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties.

"We pray that it's as fruitful as the other boats, and we're thankful for the support from the community," she said. "And I'm thankful for my wonderful crew."

To book a trip or to find out when the next trip aboard the Vera Marie is leaving call 650-3825.