This is the time of year to prepare your boats if you enjoy being on the water as much as Linda and I do. Get those boats serviced so they run like a top all summer long, and make sure you have all of the Coast Guard-certified gear on board. If this is the time to buy your first boat or upgrade to a newer craft, Dan Green is a good man to know. 

Dan is a licensed yacht and boat broker. He has been a commercial and residential real estate appraiser and broker for his entire career, and a licensed yacht broker for almost 30 years. He has decided retirement from his valuation career is where he wants to be, and he wants to be on the water more. I visited with Dan at his office in Gulf Breeze and I am envious of the interesting life that he has led. 

Dan has lived many of Jimmy Buffett’s song lyrics. Before we get into the boat brokerage side of Dan’s story, a little background is in order. Dan grew up in Gulf Breeze. His dad, a mechanical engineer, worked at Monsanto in Pensacola, spent summers in Point Clear with his adopted family, the Muscat clan, and understood why people from Mobile would choose to summer there. 

The western waterfront exposure of the Eastern Shore gave Dan’s father an appreciation for the orientation of the cottage facing the west winds coming across the water in the summer afternoons, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. This was an important lesson for anyone living along the Gulf Coast.

Dan tells me his great-aunt, Flossie, was the personal secretary for J. Altmeyer, a well-known businessman in Mobile, and owned a cottage in Lillian is where one of the scenes from Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara was filmed in 1957. 

Dan was exposed to the “Big Water” as he termed the Perdido Bay property, and learned to sail there. The property abutted that of Paul Shreck, a sailmaker and sailing icon, whose dock on any given spring or summer weekend was loaded with Lightnings and Windmills ready to race on the open waters of Perdido Bay. 

When it came time to purchase property to build his home for his family, Dan’s father found the perfect spot at the west end of Gulf Breeze with a west-facing position. This is where Dan grew up; fishing, surfing, skiing, and living an idyllic life doing the things he loved. 

Dan tells me he was a commercial fisherman in high school until he realized how destructive gill nets are. “They are non-discriminating in what they kill.” When it came time to attend college in 1979, he chose the University of Florida and earned his business administration degree in Real Estate and Urban Land Studies. He developed a partnership with two other appraisers before going out on his own, forming G. Daniel Green & Associates in 1988.

Having grown up on the water, Dan optimized the coastal lifestyle. Throughout his career, he received constant referred calls from people asking about waterfront properties and boat purchases. “My dad and my wife Gail would listen to these calls and see how much time I spent discussing beach property and boats without much reward. They forced me to get my yacht broker's license!.”

Dan also spent a reported “inordinate amount of time” planning, executing, and hosting tropical destination fishing trips throughout Central America and the Bahamas for groups. His dad, Jack, used to comment that it appeared as though Dan was actually living his retirement “on the front end!’ 

He became friends with some pretty famous outdoors people including Lefty Kreh, considered the preeminent fly fisherman of his time. Dan has fly-fished with the likes of Chico Fernandez, Nick Curcione, and Jose Wejebe, who had a popular fishing show called The Spanish Fly

During and after the Gulf Coast Oil Spill of 2010, Dan participated in the filming of an episode of ESPN “Spanish Fly” with his son Daniel. Jose called Dan and said he wanted to spend a day with Dan and Daniel filming a Red Snapper fly-fishing show around Pensacola. 

When Deep Water Horizon happened and the Gulf waters were closed, the plan changed to filming oil spill clean-up operations inshore on Pensacola Bay in Dan’s Maverick flats boat. “Bull Reds in the Bay in December,” was the subject of the follow-up show. 

Dan was very active in the local fly-fishing club in the early ’80s. He contributed to and participated in the Federation of Fly Fishers Conclave at Pensacola Beach, which hosted some of the most notable in the sport, including Lefty Kreh and Chico Fernandez. 

In the mid-80s, he was active in local and offshore sailboat racing and was on the winning crew for Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race Week, sponsored by Yachting Magazine and Mount Gay Rum. He tells me that he and Gail raised two kids on a very special barrier island. “I never wanted them to take where they grew up for granted.” Gail, also a native of Pensacola, had her own ski boat when they met. “She was very familiar with the coastal lifestyle and as our kids grew up, was an exceptional supporter.” 

His daughter, Savannah, wanted to go into musical theater and won several thespian awards in the IB program at Pensacola High School. In college, her interest in theater waned and she recently passed the Florida Bar and has moved back to Pensacola, to practice law with Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis, and Overholtz. 

“We live here surrounded by the water, blessed by it, and 95% of the kids living here have no one to show them the practical aspects of growing up on the water.” He tells me his son Daniel is a “great waterman, hunter, tremendously talented chef, and everyone’s best friend.”. 

Dan thought Daniel should have a strong community service component on his college application, so Daniel, with a couple of similarly skilled buddies, formed a club called Gulf Breeze High School Coastal Mentoring Club. “He and four or five of his buddies went to the middle school and recruited younger kids to join the club.”

It was a huge success and it has grown dramatically.  Once a month, the club met with their small group of mentored students to share programs. Subjects like understanding the FWCC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) boating safety, line tying, bait catching for targeted species, throwing a bait net, and rigging a rod were shared with participants. 

One day, Daniel got a call from a woman about a competitive grant for a fishing club. The grant was supposed to go to a club in South Florida, but Daniel filled out the application, and the club was awarded the grant. “The overall effort probably had a lot to do with Daniel being admitted to the University of Florida,” says Dan. “Giving Back” is a theme that Dan used to encourage his kids.

Dan tells me he has had three passionate campaigns in his life. The first was the Florida Gill Net Ban in the late 90s. The second was improving the water quality of Little Sabine Bay. “In 1999, Escambia County declared Little Sabine Bay un-swimmable. Bacteria counts were off the charts. We formed a group to bring the water quality back up with a 10-point plan. It was a three-year, extremely ‘contentious’ campaign.” 

He says there is still work to do regarding stormwater runoff, but overall the water quality is much improved. “Little Sabine Bay is shallow but people love it for water skiing because it is always calm. A big part of the problem was that the seagrass and shoreline grasses were being destroyed by props cutting through the roots and wakes were eroding the shoreline.” 

Seagrass and bordering shore grasses are essential to clean water. It was not a popular decision for many area residents, but as part of the 10-point plan to bring water quality back water skiing and high-speed boating have been curtailed due to the no-wake requirement. Now, some 25 years later, the water quality is better, and the seagrasses and bordering grasses are flourishing. The sea life has benefitted and the paddle boarders, kayakers, and swimmers all have a unique saltwater lagoon to share safely. 

Dan's third “impassioned” campaign was in 2000 when Escambia County closed the only school on Pensacola Beach. “We would have had two bridges to cross twice to get the kids to and from school in Pensacola. A group of us got together to see what our options were.” The result was the Pensacola Beach Elementary Charter School

“I was a member of the founding board and President for seven years. Our Governing Board consists of some of the most talented and successful people in the area. It has been the number one K-5 public school in Escambia County since we opened in 2000 and has won more than one of the federal “Blue Ribbon” awards for excellence in education by public schools.”

With such a passion for fishing, I asked Dan why he never became a fishing guide. “I never wanted to turn my hobby into a job. I have light-tackled and fly-fished all my life. I’ve owned and operated all kinds of power and sailboats. We have traveled as a family to the Bahamas for over 40 years and I’ve hosted numerous group fishing excursions to Central America, Louisiana, and the Bahamas. My boating knowledge comes from a broad spectrum of places and characters I’ve engaged with over the years.” 

As we conclude our conversation, Dan tells me he is blessed to have spent his whole life in and on the waters of the Gulf Coast. “It’s given me a unique perspective on boats and waterfront property. The coastal homes I’ve built, appraised, and witnessed the destruction of in various hurricanes, as well as all the toys that made it enjoyable have enriched mine and my family’s life beyond measure.”

“There is a parallel between boats and property here. I’ve built a big knowledge base regarding appropriate home design and boats to own over a lifetime. It’s been very fulfilling to share that accumulated knowledge with others so they might benefit.”

Dan recommends the book, The Gulf, The Making of an American Sea, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, by Jack E. Davis for a thorough appreciation of the originations and history of the magnificent body of water over the eons for better and for worse. 

I so enjoyed my visit with Dan. We promised to get together again soon so I can hear more “Jimmy Buffett” lifestyle stories.  He is the Salt of the Earth, he’s lived it all his life. If you are in the market to buy or sell your boat, contact Dan at He is a good man to know!

Apr 24, 2024
Water Side of Scenic 98

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