Discussion in 'Vintage & Classic Yachts' started by Manusel, Mar 28, 2016.
Former Yacht SARAMAR III
Former Yacht WILD DUCK
Former HMCS HUSKY S06 / Z13 / Z28
and lastly, Yacht GOOD NEIGHBOR
The ship was 153 feet long, 24.5 feet wide and had a draft of nine and a half feet. It was designed in 1929 by New York naval architect John H. Wells and was built by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Mich., for Charles Fisher – one of seven brothers who owned a motor parts company. “Body by Fisher” was a proud boast of General Motors cars and eventually the automaker purchased the Fisher firm.
Fisher paid approximately $750,000 for the yacht in 1930 and he named it the Saramar III.
In ‘34, Fisher sold it to Charles T. Levey who renamed it the Wild Duck. In ‘40, Levey sold it again, this time to a Canadian – G. H. Duggan – who turned it over to the Canadian government, where it was christened the HMCS Husky. The Husky, equipped with depth charges, saw wartime service patrolling the Atlantic seaboard.
The City of New Orleans, (Dock Board) purchased the yacht in December of 1945 for $25,000 from a broker, W.N. Macdonald, who had just purchased it from the Canadian government.
The yacht was New Orleans' international meeting place, and host for dignitaries – King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, King Hussein of Jordan and even Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz spent time on board while visiting the city. General Charles de Gaulle demanded that he be allowed to bring his personal label (case) of champagne on board for his visits.
By 1966, the expense of running a yacht could no longer be borne by the Dock Board. The ship was sold and then changed hands several times – at one point being used as a scuba diving boat in Honduras. Finally, under ownership of attorney Samuel Exnicios, it was berthed in Morgan City, La. when vandals set it on fire. It burned and sank.
In 1977, Russell Cuoco purchased the boat and began restoration. Cuoco added a bar and outfitted the yacht to serve as a floating restaurant, planning to seat 150 in two dining rooms with seating for another 150 in the observation deck. The Good Neighbor opened in 1979 as a restaurant berthed on the lakefront near the Orleans Marina.
In 1985, Cuoco sold the Good Neighbor to two partners from Ocean Springs, Miss.: Danny Cross and Randy Bos, and it was been moved to Pitt Slip in Pensacola, Florida again as a floating restaurant.
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 counter-sued 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 was evicted from Pitt Slip for failing to pay several months' rent.
Amazingly, the Good Neighbor survived Hurricane Katrina. Berthed in the Escatawpa River at Moss Point, Miss.
She was last photographed there in February 2007. By 2008 she had disappeared.
Well, I think I answered my own question. The Yacht pictured at a Houston restaurant, was originally Nirvana IV, a 100 footer built in 1929 by New York Yacht, Launch, & Engine Co.She was later named Nedeva, Wild Duck, and Northwind.
Here she is as Northwind by Joe Selby
Here's an ad showing her with two masts.
I am looking for more information of this yacht. I visited her in Moss Point in 2010. I actually was able to salvage a menu from the interior.
The comments and pictures regarding Saramar III/Good Neighbor above are complete and true. However I heard recently that she was still in Moss Point. Could you post a scan of the menu?
I will scan tomorrow but will take a pic and try to send it...can I post it here or email
That would be real cool.
Anything else you can remember to post?
there are a couple of more pages of menu items and it's in excellent condition!
In the spring of 2010 she was still moored at the same marina. David Hicks was holding her there for owners but to my knowledge they never claimed her
msylady, we are talking about two distinct yachts on this thread. The Yacht Houston was originally Nirvana IV. So you are saying she was still moored in Houston in 2010? If so, that's amazing! I thought that vessel had been long ago scrapped. Or are you talking about the Saramar III/Good Neighbor which may well gave survived to 2010. If you could scan the menu page showing the history and send to me at [email address deleted, use PM for contacts] I would be most grateful.
Affrayedknot, I see you seem to share with me an appreciation for the finer points of yacht history. Please contact me at the e-mail in the comment above if you would care to correspond on this general topic. I have a huge database of images collected on power yachts from the pre-WWII period and would like to share it with interested parties.
I recently purchased an engine called "Twentieth Century" manufactured by New York Yacht, Launch and Engine Co.
If you have any further information please email me, I live on the gulf coast.
[email address deleted, use PM for contacts]
John, the old issues of Motorboating are all online. You can find oodles of photos, ads, and articles about all the old marine engines in those issues from the 19-teens through the 1930's. You find them via Google Books. I'll post a link here:
Click on the decade, and all issues will come up.