Panama City- Dozens of locals gathered at the docks at Smith Basin to welcome back the Governor Stone, early Saturday afternoon.
"After 8 months working in the boatyard in all sorts of condition, boiling heat, freezing cold, dry and rain. The team who restored the Governor's Stone deserved a perfect day and got it," said Bill Hamilton, captain of Governor Stone.
The United States Department of the Interior designated the Governor Stone a national historic landmark in 1991.
The vessel was built in 1877 and sunk three times in the past.
"We kind of rescued it from Apalachicola in 1985," Greg Brudnicki, Panama City mayor, said. "It has rehabbed this past couple times. This past rehab got new power. It's going to get brand new sails and the whole interior and exterior was done. And it’s in beautiful shape,"
The vessel is owned and maintained by volunteers of the non-profit group friends of the Governor Stone.
"We are sponsors. The Bay County Boat Yard was our major contributor. They put us up for 238 days including the use of their equipment, their cranes. Eastern Ship Building fabricated metal parts for the boat some vela fabrics donated 10-thousand dollars and the material from making new sails were having made next,” said Hamilton.
Residents are taking in the historic moment.
"Our goal is to share her history, make everyone else as happy and proud of what we have here in St. Andrews in Panama City as we are," said Kay Cherry from Friends of Governor Stone.