Boat grounded by Oct. accident celebrates relaunch


The plan by the Neptune's operators is to return to business. The boat has been through three months of repairs and got a few updates along the way.

About a third of the Neptune's rear hull had to be taken apart and rebuilt. The boat was originally constructed in 1958, so a newer rudder and motor assembly was installed as part of the repairs. They also redesigned the bar in the main cabin.

For Saturday's relaunch, a couple dozen customers went aboard for a 90 minute wine tasting cruise around the Bay.

Being shut down for three months because of the crash in October was tough for the operators. But in the end, the timing seemed to work out. That's because the Neptune was scheduled for an intense inspection by the Coast Guard this May, which would have shut them down at the height of tourist season.

"The Coast Guard did all of that inspection work while the repairs were being done," Neptune operator Melissa McDowell said. "Theys kind enough to change our inspection date from May to December, which was really helpful for us in the long run, and it helped them as well."

In October, about 30 guests were aboard for a bachelor party when the Neptune struck a shoal near Alcatraz Island.

No one on board was injured and everyone on board quickly put on their life vests.

The Coast Guard responded within a few minutes and collected all the passengers from the Neptune.

The captain who was piloting that night is no longer part of the Neptune's crew.

Saturday night's relaunch departed Pier 39 without incident.

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