The St. Vitus Dance is a sailing yacht and home of James "Sonny" Crockett. Moored in Miami's luxurious Miamarina (now known as Bayside Marketplace), the sailboat rarely seemed to leave its berth, acting more as a floating apartment than a means of transport or recreation. Such an apparently wasteful means of living was very befitting of Crockett's wealthy, drug-dealing undercover personality, although the yacht also provided a convenient means of escaping the city to the relative safety of the open ocean if necessary.
Living on a yacht in a Miami marina helped Crockett to keep his lives as an undercover detective and drug dealing middleman Sonny Burnett separate. The lack of a fixed address also helped him to stay "off the radar" and made him harder to find, even when the St. Vitus was docked at its usual berth, and Crockett's watch-gator Elvis helped ensure anyone who did find his home was given a hostile welcome. The yacht provided Crockett with an unorthodox residence for entertaining his (usually female) guests, as seen frequently in the series; both Gina and Theresa Lyons regularly stayed on the yacht, and associates from his undercover work, such as Jake Pierson, would often visit him there to discuss business.
Occasionally, Crockett's yacht played a more active role in his assignments, such as when he used it to "vanish" witnesses Al Lombard in "Lombard" or Keith Mollis in "Line of Fire", taking them out to sea on the St. Vitus where it would be more difficult for potential hitmen to find and get close to them. In the latter operation, the sailboat was badly shot up by gunmen from the Cantero organisation when they discovered its location due to a departmental leak, firing on the yacht from a helicopter. The vessel was apparently repaired soon after, as Crockett continued to use it as his residence for the remainder of the series, finally saying goodbye when he quit the Metro-Dade police force at the end of "Freefall". The St. Vitus Dance is also used as a base for the surveillance of gun runner Tony Amato in "No Exit", where it is anchored across from Amato's waterfront property.
The St. Vitus was portrayed by three different yachts during the course of the show's five seasons. In the pilot episode, Crockett lived on a Cabo Rico 38 sailboat, which changed to an Endeavour 40 once the show was picked up as a series. At the start of season 2, the boat changed to a larger Endeavour 42, although some footage of the Endeavour 40 was still used in some episodes (likely stock footage filmed during season 1). By season 3, the Endeavour 42 was the only boat seen, and would remain so for the rest of the series. It was never stated on the show if these boats were supposed to be the same yacht, or whether they were supposed to be three different vessels each christened the St. Vitus Dance -- however, the use of both the 40 and the 42 during season 2 implies the former.
In January 1987, my wife and I attended the Miami Boat Show and boarded the "St. Vitus Dance". The Endeavour salesman assured us this was the 42 used in the show. After the show ended, the boat was sold to a customer, and then resold and neglected and recently was fully restored and available for charter in the Florida Keys in 2020. The Port-of-Call on the transom now reads Key West, not Miami. More photos here. https://keywestsailingadventure.com/gallery_SVD.html
- Crockett's yacht appears as the "Marquis" sailboat in the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, both of which were heavily inspired by Miami Vice and can be seen as homages to the show.