1Captain Harry Phillips, PILOT II – 1947 Captain Harry Phillips is shown at the helm of his "PILOT II" while returning to Sheepshead Bay from a day of bottom fishing in October of 1947. Captain Phillips was a 'Master' inshore party boat captain who specialized in bottom and wreck fishing.
This photo contains a wealth of details... A burlap bag of fish is tied to the rail near the stern, fishing rods are put away in their canvas bags, a spray curtain is hanging by the wheelhouse, the decks are scrubbed and still wet, a couple of bottles of beer still remain unopened, and the angler at the bottom is taking a quick snooze. Each of the chevrons painted on the wheelhouse denotes a year of coastal patrol service by the boat during World War II. Also notice the neat radiotelephone handset in the wheelhouse.
2Bogan Fleet Captains, Brielle, NJ – 1948 The Captains of the Bogan Fleet, Brielle, NJ circa 1948. In this magnificent photograph, each Captain is pointing to the vessel they operated. Standing from left to right are James Bogan Sr. (the "COLUMBIA"), Stanley Williams (the "ESCORT"), John Bogan Jr. (the "PARAMOUNT III"), Jack Bogan (the "AMERICAN"), Harry Fairbanks (the "PARAMOUNT II") and Lou Nyhammer (the "PARAMOUNT"). Kneeling in the front are Joe Burns (the "DIXIE") and John Bogan Sr. (night trips). Picture courtesy of Captain Jack Bogan.
3Captain's Dinner, Brooklyn, NY – 1948 A 1948 photo of the annual Sheepshead Bay Boat Owners Association (SBBOA) Spring Dinner. On the left, from front to back are Charles VanDerVoort of the "EFFORT III" and Captain Gus Rau of the "ELMAR III". On the right, from front to back are Captain Joe Ecock of the "MIRAMAR", Captain Jacob 'Chubby' Martin of the "GLORY", Captain Fred Wrege of the "EFFORT III" and Captain Alex Hansen of the "HELEN H". Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.
4Captain Bob Zeigler, Brielle, NJ – 1948 Captain Bob Zeigler discovers a 'stowaway' aboard his party boat "DIANA" in 1948. Captain Bob built the "DIANA" himself in 1930 and sailed her from Brielle, New Jersey for over 30 years. He is best known for his Fluke fishing expertise and the meticulous appearance and condition he maintained aboard the "DIANA", which is still referred to by a few the old timers as "The cleanest party boat I have ever been aboard."
Captain Bob Ziegler and the "DIANA" participated in the rescue effort after the liner "MORROW CASTLE" caught fire on a stormy September 8, 1934 and recovered twelve bodies from the water. Photo courtesy of Captain Rich Johnson.
5Belmar, NJ Fleet Captains – 1949 The Captains of the Belmar, NJ fleet circa 1949. Standing from left to right in this outstanding photograph are John Brogan (the "OPTIMIST II"), Charlie Dodd (the "OPTIMIST I"), John Kosick (the "RANGER"), Henry Leonard (the "LENNY"), Dave Shinn (the "BOBBY") and Higo Harms (the "GERTRUDE H"). Kneeling in the front are Roger Hall (the "OPTIMIST III"), John Ziegler (the "SKIPPER") and Frank Narghan (the "JACE"). Courtesy of Captain Fred Kern.
6Captains Frank Rau and Fred Wrege, Brooklyn, NY – 1949 Captains Frank Rau and Fred Wrege are shown standing on the pier alongside the newly converted "ELMAR" at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY in this 1949 photo. The Wrege and Rau families had a lot in common during their long tenure in the Sheepshead Bay party boat business. For over 45 years, the "EFFORT" and "ELMAR" boats were sister ships. Both families owned very similar boats during the early 1920s, and the "ELMAR II" and "EFFORT II" were both built in 1923 at Nyack, NY. The "ELMAR III" and "EFFORT III" were both converted World War I subchasers, and the last "ELMAR" and "EFFORT" boats were converted World War II subchasers (both made their maiden voyages from Sheepshead Bay on July 3, 1949.) Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.
7Hammer Family, WHITBY III, Brooklyn, NY – 1950 Captain Herbie Hammer and family enjoying a day aboard the "WHITBY III", Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1950. From left to right are Captain Hammer's daughter Maude (age 9), his wife Rena, his sons Herb Jr. (age 14) and Raymond (age 4), and a smiling Captain Herbie. Photo courtesy of the Hammer Family.
8Captain Dave and Helen Martin – 1950 Captain Dave Martin and his wife Helen are shown in this 1950 photo shortly after Captain Dave retired from party boat fishing, settled in Stuart, Florida and became a citrus farmer (his specialty was oranges.) Notice the name board from the his party boat "GIRALDA" is incorporated into their home. Photo Courtesy of Bryant Martin.
9Captains William Egerter Sr., James Bogan Sr. & John Bogan Jr. – 1952 The three Captains that ran the Bogan party boat operation (along with patriarch and founding father, Captain John Bogan, Sr.). Pictured in this 1952 photo taken at Brielle, NJ are from left to right:
Captain William Egerter Sr. – Affectionately referred to as 'Uncle Willie'; he did most of the carpentry work on the surplus boats they converted for party boat fishing and was the maintenance boss of the fleet. His son and grandson now own and operate the "DAUNTLESS" at Point Pleasant, NJ.
Captain James Bogan Sr. – One of the bosses at Bogan's Basin who operated every Bogan boat at one time or another.
Captain John Bogan Jr. – Known as 'The Business Man' of the Bogan operation.
Picture courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
10Captain John Kocsik, RANGER, Belmar, NJ – 1952 The chores of running a party boat are never ending and necessary for a good day's fishing and often, the task is mundane. In this 1952 photo, Captain John Kocsik reloads the soda box aboard his "RANGER" from Belmar Marine Basin, Belmar, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
11Harold Wrege, EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1952 Harold Wrege is shown clearing salt ice from deck of the "EFFORT" at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY after returning from a day of Cod fishing during the winter of 1952. Harold Wrege was the cousin of Captain Fred Wrege and worked the deck of the "EFFORT" at the time. Later, he would be the captain and part owner of the "ELMAR" and a few years after that, he also operated the "CHIEF"; both boats sailed from Sheepshead Bay. Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.
12Captain John Boshler, Bay Shore, NY – 1953 Captain John 'Chicken' Boshler at the helm of his boat "DORIS", of Bay Shore, Long Island, NY circa 1953. At the time, he was the Secretary of the National Party Boat Owners Alliance and was also one of its founders in 1952.
Rumor has it that he would send messages ashore via carrier pigeon. Now that was a novel, if not ancient, means of communication! Obviously, it did not catch on with the rest of the fleet and the radiotelephone won out. Photograph by Cecil Clovelly.
13Captain Jack Endean, DAUNTLESS, Brielle, NJ – 1955 A young and smiling Captain Jack Endean (in his trademark plaid woolen coat) poses with a fine catch of cod made aboard the "DAUNTLESS", Brielle, NJ in December 1955. The renowned Captain Jack owned and operated many party boats during his career including the "FRISCO", the "DAUNTLESS", the "MISS PPOINT PLEASANT", the "MISS POINT PLEASANT II", the "RANGER" and the "HOLIDAY" to name just a few. He was the first party boat captain to locate and fish the wreck of the "LILLIAN". In 1962, he had his first "HOLIDAY" built, and went on to own and operate that line of like named vessels until 1984. Photo courtesy of the Endean Family.
14MOHAWK, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1956 Captain Joe Burns was hosting a little 'dock party' among friends aboard his "MOHAWK" in 1956. Shown standing from left to right is Captain George 'Blacky' Walsh, Captain Joe Burns, Captain Harold 'Smitty' Smith, Mike Duncan and Captain John Chapman. The man sitting is an unknown regular customer. The "MOHAWK" was built in 1929 at Brooklyn, NY and originally sailed as the "HELEN H". She later became the "FIDUS" from that same port, and she was briefly named the "ELLEN S" before making her way to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. She was later sold and relocated to Wildwood, NJ. Photo courtesy of Cathy and 'Blacky' Walsh.
15CAPTAIN PETE SARO SR., Belmar, NJ – 1957 Captain Pete Saro Sr. is seen here at the helm of his "SPRAY II" at Belmar, New Jersey. Captain Pete originally was from northern New Jersey and was a regular customer aboard the "PALACE" from Hoboken, New Jersey. He left his job in the textile industry and purchased a small vessel named the "SPRAY" and relocated to Belmar where he broke into the party boat business. He later purchased the "AMERICA" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and named her the "SPRAY II". In 1961, he had the 65-foot "SPRAY III" built by Stowman Shipyards and sold the "SPRAY II" to Captain Fred Kern.
16Captain John Bogan Sr., Brielle, NJ – 1958 Looking every bit the striking seafarer is Captain John Bogan Sr., the patriarch and founding father of the Bogan fishing fleet from Brielle, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
17Captain Bill Tuveri, TRAVELER, Brooklyn, NY – 1959 An exceptional picture of Captain Bill Tuveri at the helm of the "TRAVELER" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1959. In 1963, he purchased Captain Mike Scarpati’s "RANGER II" and renamed her the "TRAVELER II". Captain Bill moved to Florida in the early 1970’s and skippered the "CAPT. JOSEPH V" for the Joseph family from Clearwater, FL. Photo courtesy of Captain Andrew Nazzaruolo.
18Captains Clarence "Skeetz" Apel and Clarence Starn, Atlantic City, NJ – 1960 Captain "Skeetz" Apel is shown on the left with his Uncle, Captain Clarence Starn. Captain Apel worked at Captain Starn's Fishing Fleet for over 40 years and at one point or another operated every one of the boats in the fleet. Captain Apel eventually became Dockmaster and after that, became the President of Starn's Fishing Fleet and Restaurant when Captain Clarence Starn passed away in 1969.
Captain Clarence Starn was the original owner and operator of Captain Starn's until he passed away in 1969. His namesake restaurant and fleet of fishing and excursion boats was a seaside staple at Atlantic City for decades. Photo courtesy of Ann Apel Eble.
19Captain Jacob 'Chubby’ Martin Jr., GLORY, Brooklyn, NY – 1960 Jacob 'Chubby' Martin Jr. standing in the bow of the "GLORY", Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Captain 'Chubby' Martin took over the helm of the "GLORY" from his father, Jacob 'Jake' Martin Sr. in 1932 when they purchased the steam yacht "SACHEM". Photo Courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
20Captain Wayne Westerlind, Captree Boat Basin, Captree, NY – 1961 Captain Wayne Westerlind looks over the fishing fleet at Captree, NY. His "CAPT. WAYNE" was one of thirty-nine party and charter fishing boats operating at Captree at the time. This fabulous picture was taken on April 20, 1961 and at the time, Captain Wayne's father, Captain Eric Westerlind, his brother, Captain Rod Westerlind and his cousin, Captain Richie Westerlind were also sailing boats from Captree. Visible in the background are the "SEA STAR", the "CAPT. WAYNE", the "CAPT. GILLEN" and the "CAPTREE QUEEN". Photo courtesy of Lee Westerlind.
21Captains Everett 'Eve' and Fred Moore, MISS MOORE, Great Kills, NY – 1963 Captain Everett 'Eve' Moore and Captain Freddie Moore at the helm of the brand new "MISS MOORE" circa 1963. The Moore brothers were the founders of the "TEAL / MISS MOORE" fleet at Great Kills, Staten Island, NY. The "MISS MOORE" was built in 1963 by Gillikin Boat Works, Harkers Island, NC and later became the "SEA WOLF" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of Ken Ekberg.
22Captains Carl and 'Butch' Rafi, ZEPHYR, Bayonne, NJ – 1963 The father and son team of Captain Carl Rafi, Jr. and his son Carl 'Butch' Rafi III during a relaxing moment aboard the "ZEPHYR" circa 1963. Captain Carl Rafi Jr. began the family’s party boat business in 1955 when he sold his 38-foot sport fisherman and had the party boat "ZEPHYR" built by Butler Boatyard, Reedville, VA. His son, 'Butch' joined him as his mate and together they sailed daily from the Bayonne City Dock, Bayonne, NJ. Captain Carl and his partner, Captain Herman Grothues also operated the "ZEPHYR II" from Bayonne during the 1960’s. In 1966, Captain Carl passed away and Captain 'Butch' took over the helm of the "ZEPHYR" and continued the business. In 1974, the "ZEPHYR II" sank and Captain Grothues went down with the vessel.
Captain 'Butch' moved the operation to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY in 1975, when he purchased the "LADY ROSE" from Captain Joe Pontillo and named her the "ZEPHYR". Soon after, he sold the Butler-built "ZEPHYR" and renamed the "LADY ROSE" as the (third) "ZEPHYR". Captain 'Butch' went on to purchase the "BLUE SEA II" and renamed her the (fourth) "ZEPHYR". In 1987, he had the aluminum "ZEPHYR V" built for him by Breaux Bros. in Loreauville, LA and sailed her from Pier 1 in Sheepshead Bay. Captain 'Butch' continued to sail from Sheepshead Bay until retiring in 1996. Photo courtesy of Captain 'Butch' Rafi.
23Captain Charles VanDerVoort, EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1963 Captain Charles VanDerVoort is shown here at the helm of the "EFFORT" in 1963. Captain VanDerVoort was the son-in-law of Captain Fred Wrege and took over the helm of the "EFFORT" when Captain Fred passed away in 1961.
Captain VanDerVoort was a World War II veteran and served as a Staff Sergeant in 'E' Company of the elite 5th Ranger Battalion. He saw action on D-Day at Omaha Beach in Normandy and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Captain VanDerVoort passed away in 1965 marking the end of the "EFFORT" party boats that were a fixture at Sheepshead Bay for over 50 years. Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.
24Captain Fred Kern, SPRAY II, Belmar, NJ – 1964 Captain Fred Kern is shown with one of his customers and a pool winning 'Jersey Fluke' aboard the "SPRAY II" circa 1964. Captain Fred retired from being a party boat owner in 1993 and now works the deck on the "MISS BELMAR" and often fishes with his son, Captain Mike Kern. By the way, Captain Fred still loves to catch those 'Jersey Fluke'. Photo courtesy of the Kern Family.
25Christening of the CAPTAIN STARN V, Atlantic City, NJ – 1964 The "CAPTAIN STARN V" was built by A.C. Boat & Engine Works at Atlantic City, NJ for the Captain Starn Fleet. At the bow, Mrs. Clarence Starn christens the "CAPTAIN STARN V" with a bottle of bubbly on May 26, 1964. Standing to her right is Captain Burt Whitaker and Captain Clarence Starn. Photo courtesy of Ann Apel Eble.