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Hurricane Michael Relief - Museum Donations


October 2018, Hurricane Michael made land fall onto the Floridian Panhandle. Hurricane Michael was rated a CAT 5 and has been noted as the 3rd most intense hurricane to touch American soil since 1935. Hurricane Michael was estimated at destroying over 25.1 billion dollars in property.

The Apalachicola Maritime Museum resides directly on the Apalachicola River and took on 10 ft. storms surges. The gift shop held approximately 6 feet of water for multiple days, destroying all inventory and administrative property. The museum's exhibits did fairly well. Through the mud and dishevelment, 70% of all exhibits survived the storm. The museum's infrastructure will need extensive repairs such as, roof replacement, exterior/interior wall construction, flooring and plumbing configurations.

The M/V Starfish Enterprise, that you may remember having taken a tour upon, was moved up to Scipio Creek where it was nestled into safe harbor. Due to winds reaching 162 mph, we have total canvas replacement and minor outboard repairs. The Starfish Enterprise is currently in Tallahassee receiving its canvas transformation.

The S/V Heritage came out of the storm unscathed. Our crew’s main hurricane preparations were focused on our flagship vessel and took an additional 12 lines to hunker her down. And due to those preparations, we will be able to continue our Educational Sailing cruises.

The S/V Golden Ball was a total loss. The Golden Ball was located on Water St. under a large tented structure and was patiently waiting funding to be refurbished and to one day join our fleet. The Golden Ball was resting on stilts and those stilts had punctured 1-2 feet diameter holes into her wooden hull. With professional council we were advised that it be best to lay her to rest.

The concrete dock located behind the museum received a few damages as well. The concrete dock itself performed remarkably, however; the aluminum walkways used to board vessels were torn away. Extensive welding duties and electrical work will need to be performed before we can fully operate any tours. 

Lastly, the wooden boat school work shop was a total loss. All tools were destroyed by flood water, which keep in mind is salt water. Band saws, table saws, joiner, wood planer and all hand tools were drenched in salt water leaving them rusted and unusable. It being a wood working shop does not require fancy flooring and trim. Though it is quite costly to replenish the essential tools needed to execute the build and refurbishing out wooden boats.

As we focus on returning to normal operations, we have to keep in mind about future storms. Just this last week we endured Tropical Storm Nestor, leaving the gift shop again under 2 ft of water. The Apalachicola Maritime Museum and its board of directors are currently preparing a secure infrastructure plan that will shield us from further damages.

Through great support which grants us the hope and courage to carry on the mission of delivering Apalachicola’s maritime heritage through exposure and education. We want to say, Thank you!

 If any questions please contact Chelsey Venrick, Operations Manager at


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Start Point: AMM Visitor Ctr

Apalachicola Maritime Museum Visitor Center

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: Longitude:

End Point: AMM Visitor Ctr

Apalachicola Maritime Museum Visitor Center

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: Longitude:

Meeting Point: Apalachicola Maritime Museum

The primary site of the Apalachicola Maritime Museum located at the waterfront in downtown Apalachicola behind the Franklin County courthouse with docks on the Apalachicola River.

Phone: 850-653-2500

103 Water StreetApalachicola, FL 32320

Driving Directions:

Look to the right as you pass over the bridge heading west into Apalachicola. You will see the concrete docks on the right. Take your first right after the bridge and then the second right past the courthouse onto Water Street. Go 100 yards to 103 Water Street.

Linked Map: Click here to view a map of this location.

Boat tours, eco and historical tours, barrier island excurions, kayak and canoe trips.