Historic Yacht Donated to Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation
Pensacola, FL: It’s a well-known and historic vessel that will live on as an underwater tribute to her former owner. The historic 128-foot concrete ship Tenneco, originally built in St. Marks, Florida for the Tenneco Oil Company, is slated to become part of the artificial reef system off the coast of Alabama.
The Tenneco was originally built to entertain clients of the company and has been reported to have been used in her early days as a “party” vessel to entertain state politicians beyond the three-mile limit. Later use was for community meetings and civic groups. After Capt. Shirley J. Brown purchased it from the Tenneco Oil Company, his use was much more benign than her early days and included birthday parties, community breakfasts and industry trade forums. It was docked at Brown’s Marina, which later became known as Pelican’s Perch Marina and Boatyard in Pensacola, FL. Capt. Brown was very active in the local marine industry for many decades. Pelican’s Perch Marina has been under the same family ownership now for more than 55 years and is currently managed by Coastal Marina Management, based in Orange Beach, AL.
After Capt. Brown’s passing, the Tenneco fell into a state of disrepair. Those familiar with the history of the ship and her owner went to work in order to find a suitable alternative for her future. Scott Burt of Coastal Marina Management says, “We’re very proud that our company has reached an agreement with the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef Restoration Foundation for the family to donate the vessel to the Foundation as a memorial reef in the name of Capt. Shirley J. Brown, the family patriarch.”
Ted Brown says, “My father was very proud of his concrete ship and we all have many fond memories of the ‘tugboat breakfasts’ which he hosted once or twice a month aboard her. There are many political and business leaders that miss getting together for that experience. We believe that it’s very fitting his beloved Tenneco will live on as a new artificial reef in his memory.”
“We are very happy to be working with partners like this who are invested in our region and share our goals,” says Vince Lucido on behalf of the Foundation.” Since the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation’s inception, we’ve focused on creating new underwater recreational opportunities and habitat enhancements. We are thrilled to be able to add this project to Alabama’s amazing artificial reef system and provide another great diving experience here.”