1John Bogan Jr., Point Pleasant, NJ – 1965 Fishermen are well known for their exaggerations (and even those that become party boat Captains are not immune to this phenomenon.) During the summer of 1965, a certain young 'dock rat' happened upon a large Bluefin tuna at the local fish co-op in Point Pleasant, NJ. Like all good anglers everywhere, he took advantage of the opportunity. Though not yet the Captain of the "SHAMROCK", young 'Shammy' John Bogan Jr. would have us believe he caught this 364-pound Bluefin tuna. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
2TEAL Tuna Trip, Staten Island, NY – 1966 The results of a 'Mud Hole' tuna fishing trip aboard the "TEAL" in 1966. At the left of the bait box and holding a couple of tuna, is Captain 'Freddie' Moore of the "TEAL". At the right of the bait box and wearing a white t-shirt, is "TEAL" First Mate Ken Ekberg. Wearing a striped shirt and baseball cap is a very young Captain Marty Haines Jr. of the "MAJESTIC" and "SEA PIGEON" from Perth Amboy, NJ. Photo courtesy of Ken Ekberg.
3Captain Howard Bogan Sr., Brielle, NJ – 1967 This photo of Captain Howard Bogan Sr. appeared in a 1967 Saltwater Sportsman magazine article along with the rest of the Bogan clan. Captain Howard Bogan Sr. was one of the pioneers of offshore party boat fishing off the New Jersey coast. In the late 1950s, only a few boatmen were willing to head offshore to locate wrecks that would produce great catches of Cod and Pollock and Captain Bogan was the only one to 'go all out' by building the first of many party boats designed for fishing 50 to 75 miles offshore. In 1961, the all steel "JAMAICA" was built and brothers Howard and Dave Bogan spent many days and nights at sea with their side-scanner ASDIC searching for wrecks to fish. This wreck fishing was so productive that one sportswriter dubbed them as trips to "Bogan's Mountain". In 1963, they discovered and fished a far offshore wreck that was finally identified in the mid-1990s as the wreck of the World War II German submarine "U-869". Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
4Captains Ed Keefe Sr. and Jr., MISS TAMBO, Brielle, NJ – 1967 Captains Ed Keefe Sr. and Jr. aboard the "MISS TAMBO", Brielle, NJ circa 1967. Captain Ed was the operator of the charter boat "TAMBO V" from Brielle, NJ and took over the helm of the "TAMBO III" from his Dad, John 'Candy' Keefe in 1956. In 1962, the Gillikin-built "MISS TAMBO" replaced the "TAMBO III" and the family business continued for another generation. Ed Keefe Jr. worked the deck of the "MISS TAMBO" along with his Dad until entering the US Navy. In 1984, Captain Ed retired, sold the "MISS TAMBO" and moved to Florida where he continues to enjoy the warm climate and the good life. Photo courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
5Captain Bill Van Wetering, Belmar, NJ – 1970 Captain Bill Van Wetering is seen here in 1970 at the helm of the "CAPTAIN BILL VAN". Captain Bill operated his self-named party boats from Belmar, New Jersey for over four decades. Photo courtesy of Shawn Kahn.
6Captain Joe Galluccio, SEA KING, Belmar, NJ – 1971 Captain Joe Galluccio at the dock in Belmar, NJ circa 1971. He began his love of boats at age 12 (his first after-school job was scrubbing the returning party boats at Belmar basin for a whopping 50 cents per boat.) Within a few years, he was mating on charter boats during the summer months and in 1957, at the age of 19, he earned his captain’s license. His first job as a party boat captain was in 1961 running Captain Pete Saro’s brand new "SPRAY III" night bluefishing, and he later was the night captain on Dave Shinn’s "MISS BELMAR".
Captain Joe purchased his first party boat in 1964 (Captain Ralph Pennel’s "COCK ROBIN" for $6,500); he renamed her the "HURRICANE" and sailed from Neptune, NJ. The following summer, he purchased the "SEA RANGER" and in 1970, he began sailing the "SEA KING" from Belmar, NJ. In 1988, he sold the "SEA KING" and relocated to Florida. In 1990, he purchased the dinner cruise vessel "ISLAND PRINCESS" and sailed her until his retirement in 2002. Captain Joe still resides in Florida.
7Captain Richie Kessinger, Freeport, NY –1971 Captain Richie Kessinger is seen here aboard the "STARSTREAM" of Freeport, NY circa 1971. Captain Richie was one of the pioneers of long island offshore wreck fishing. He began his career as a party boat captain working for the VIKING Fleet at Freeport, New York. After that, he worked for Harry Berkowitz and Captain Jack Levins of the CAPT. JACK Fleet, also from Freeport, NY. He soon took the helm of the "STARSTEAM" and later become the skipper and owner of the "STARSTREAM II". Captain Richie retired from the helm in 1993 and left behind a party boat legacy that will never be matched. Photo courtesy of Stephen Kessinger.
8Captains 'Rocky' and 'Charlie' Becker, Brooklyn, NY – 1973 From 1948 until 1986 the Becker family owned and operated the long list of "TAMPA" named party fishing boats from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. Captains Rocco 'Rocky' Becker and Captain Charles 'Charlie' Becker are seen in this 1970 photo aboard the top deck of the "TAMPA IV".
9Three Captains Keefe, MISS TAMBO, Brielle, NJ – 1971 Three generations of Keefe family Captains. Standing aboard the "MISS TAMBO", Brielle, NJ circa 1971 are, from left to right, Captains Ed Keefe Jr., Ed Keefe Sr. and John ‘Candy’ Keefe. Captain ‘Candy’ Keefe was a legend in the party boat industry and he got his nickname in 1904 (at the age of 14) when he began working as a candy vendor aboard the triple-decker steamer "TAURUS". He went on to own and operate the "ADA L" from Sheepshead Bay and in 1923, began sailing the original "TAMBO" from Sheepshead Bay. In 1930, he had the "TAMBO III" built, and in 1936, he relocated the family business to Brielle, NJ.
His son, Ed Keefe Sr. was the skipper of the charter boat "TAMBO V" from Brielle, NJ and took over the helm of the "TAMBO III" from his Dad in 1956. In 1962, the Gillikin built "MISS TAMBO" replaced the "TAMBO III".
Ed Keefe Jr. mated aboard the "MISS TAMBO" until entering the US Navy. Soon after completing his military service, Ed Jr. continued the family tradition and earned his captains license. Ed Keefe Jr. is still passionate about the party boat industry and he is authoring a book dedicated to its first 100 years. His book should be published this later year and we’ll keep you posted about its progress and availability.
10Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato and Captain Dan Kenny, Brooklyn, NY – 1974 Business partners Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato and Captain Dan Kenny shake hands aboard the "CAPTAIN STARN III" shortly after purchasing her in 1974. They relocated the boat to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY and renamed her as the "BIG MOHAWK II". In 1981, Captain Gary Fagan purchased the boat and relocated her to Belmar, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato.
11Captain Frank Dorio, TAMPA IV, Brooklyn, NY – 1974 Captain Frank Dorio (on the right) and a lucky angler are shown with a nice Blue shark they captured while night Bluefishing aboard the "TAMPA IV". Captain Dorio was the night Captain aboard the "TAMPA IV" and "TAMPA V" during the 1970s; he continues to be active in party boat fishing and is currently the night Captain aboard the "FISHERMEN" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain Frank Dorio.
12Captain Ron Santee Sr., Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1974 Captain Ron Santee Sr. at the helm of the "FISHERMEN" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ circa 1974. Captain Ron's fishing career started in 1955 when he passed his Coast Guard exam at the age of 19. The following year he started operating an old 45-footer named the "FISHER BOY" from the Sandy Hook Bay marina. He then sailed from the Highlands Marina for several years before renaming the boat "FISHERMEN" and moving the business to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. His second "FISHERMEN" was a converted Air Sea Rescue boat and his third "FISHERMEN" was a Stevenson built boat. In 1985, a new "FISHERMEN" boat arrived from Lydia Yachts at Stuart, FL and it is still sailing today.
After a successful career, Captain Ron retired in 2001 and Captain Ron Jr. took over the family business. Captain Ron Sr. is still a daily fixture on the boat and hasn't lost his passion for fishing.
13Christening of the CAPT. STARN VI, Atlantic City, NJ – 1975 The "CAPT. STARN VI" christening in March 1975 at Atlantic City, NJ. Standing in the bow with the white captain's hat is Captain Clarence "Skeetz" Apel, to his right, his wife Barbara. Further to the right are Starn's Manager, George Crook and Captain Burt Whitaker. Photo courtesy of Ann Apel Eble.
14Captain Robert "Bobby" Bogan Sr., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1976 Captain Bobby Bogan Sr. at the helm of the "GAMBLER" in 1976. Captain Bobby operated the first two "GAMBLER" named vessels from Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey and his son, Captain Bobby Bogan Jr. continues in his dad's footsteps with the third and current "GAMBLER". Captain Bobby Sr. is the son of Captain Jack Bogan and the brother of Captain John Bogan Jr. of the "SHAMROCK".
15Captain Fred Kern, SUPER SPRAY II, Belmar, NJ – 1977 Captain Fred Kern loved catching Fluke and he learned his trade from some of the best specialists from Belmar, NJ (Captains Pete Saro Sr., Pete Saro Jr. and Hugo Harms.) In 1968, Captain Kern Purchased the "SPRAY II" from his mentor Pete Saro Sr. and continued to operate her from Belmar, NJ during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In 1974, he owned and operated the aluminum "SUPER SPRAY II" from Belmar, NJ. (Back then people thought you were crazy building an aluminum boat especially when it cost around $182,000.)
In 1979, Captain Kern sold the "SUPER SPRAY II" and concentrated his efforts at his bar, "Capt. Kern's" in Belmar. When his son, Mike got his captains license in 1986, they built the aluminum party boat "CAPT. KERN". Captain Mike usually ran the boat, but Captain Fred was on board every day and enjoyed mixing with the people. Captain Fred retired in 1993 and sold the "CAPT. KERN"; he now works on the "MISS BELMAR" and fishes with his son, Captain Mike Kern. Captain Fred, now 76 years young, still goes fishing on most days. Photo courtesy of the Kern Family.
16Captains Gerry Nappi and Al Coley, Brooklyn, NY – 1978 Captain Gerry Nappi of the "TRAVELER" is shown with Captain Al Coley aboard his "BETTY W II" at Sheepshead Bay after a snowfall during the winter of 1978. Captain Nappi continues to be active in the Sheepshead Bay party boat scene and Captain Coley moved on from fishing to work aboard the Staten Island Ferry Service and has since retired to sunny Florida. Photo courtesy of Captain Gerry Nappi.
17CAPTAIN MIKE SCARPATI JR., Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY – 1979 In October of 1979, Captain Mike Scarpati Jr. landed the largest Bluefin tuna to ever hit the piers at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The beast tipped the scales at 896 pounds.
18Captain Dave Bogan Sr., PARAMOUNT, Brielle, NJ – 1981 Captain Dave Bogan Sr. at the helm of the "PARAMOUNT" circa 1981. Captain Dave operated many of the Bogan family boats at one time or another; he also operated the bait and clam boat "CLAUDIA JO". He is one of the few captains that successfully mastered the gamut of party boat fishing, clamming and commercial bait fishing. Captain Dave now lives in Florida, but alas, his favorite pipe is nowhere to be found. Picture courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
19Captain John Bogan Jr., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1985 Captain John Bogan Jr. donned a captain's hat for this 1985 photo taken on the dock of his "SHAMROCK" at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.
Father Knows Best… Captain John's father, Jack Bogan, was a firm believer that a Captain should always wear a captain's hat and be "the guy in charge". He steadfastly said, "Your customers should not have to guess who the Captain is".
20Captain Ray Ettel, Barnegat Light, NJ – 1985 Capitan Ray Ettel is shown at the helm of his "WHITE STAR III" from Barnegat Light, NJ in this 1985 photo. Captain Ettel was the owner and operator of the "WHITE STAR" vessels that specialized in party boat fishing and recreational diving charters. His "WHITE STAR" vessels concluded with the "WHITE STAR IV" that was sold in 2000 when Captain Ettel retired from the party boat business. Photo courtesy of Captain Ray Ettel.
21Harry Ostrow, Brooklyn, NY – 1989 Harry Ostrow was not a party boat captain, but he was a well-known fixture along the piers of Sheepshead Bay, snapping photos of the party boat fleet for much of the 1970s and 1980s. Almost everyone who worked aboard or owned a party boat during this era has a few of Harry's wonderful photos, many of which are displayed on this site. Photo courtesy of John Cairns.
22Captain Joe Miller, Hyannis, MA – 1995 Captain Joe Miller at the helm of his Gulf Craft boat, the "WHALE WATCHER" from Hyannis, MA. Captain Joe was also the long time owner and operator of the "ATOMIC" party boats that sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY during the 1960s through the early 1980s. Captain Joe later relocated to Cape Cod and entered into a successful whale watching and commuter boat business. Photo courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
23Captain Bob Pennington, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1997 Captain Bob Pennington (know by most as 'BP') in the parking lot at "Dead End Dock", the home for his party boat "SEA DEVIL" at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Captain Bob began his party boat career as a mate aboard Captain Joe Burns' "MAN O' WAR" and later worked for Captain 'Jack' Bogan aboard his "SHAMROCK". Captain Bob would go on to purchase the original "SHAMROCK" from his mentor and renamed her as his first "SEA DEVIL".
Interestingly, Captain Bob never wears a Captain's cap, but he is sporting one in this photo. Rumor has it that Captain Jack visited Bob in 1997, gave him the cap and told him that every Captain should wear one. Captain Bob donned the cap for this photo, and while he still has it, he has not worn it since.
Captain Bob is now operating the fourth vessel to wear the "SEA DEVIL" name and continues to sail from Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Cindy and Captain Bob Pennington.
24CAPTAIN GARY BOUCHARD, South Amboy, NJ – 1999 Captain Gary Bouchard in the wheelhouse of the "MISTY MORN" circa 1999. Captain Gary's specialty was fishing for Fluke and Bluefish in the western end of Raritan Bay in New Jersey. He started in the party boat fishing business in the early 1980s and operated the 32-foot "WACKY". In 1986, he upgraded the boat to the Price-built 55-foot "MISTY MORN" and in 1993, purchased the present "MISTY MORN", a 65-foot boat built by Arro Yachts at Biddeford, ME.
You would always be greeted by Captain Gary's contagious smile when you made your trip down Old Spye Road in South Amboy, NJ to the "MISTY MORN". Whether there was a large gathering or just a few anglers, he always knew how to make you feel comfortable and welcome.
25Captain Frank Dorio, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 2006 Captain Frank D'Orio enjoys a quiet moment outside the wheelhouse of Captain Ron Santee's "FISHERMEN" at Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Captain Frank has been a party boat captain for over thirty years, operating vessels sailing from both New York and New Jersey. Captain Frank has served as the night captain of the "TAMPA V", "TAMPA VI", "MI-JO II", and most recently, at the helm of the "FISHERMEN".
26Captains Norman Mordaunt and Mike Scarpati, Sea Bright, NJ – 2006 Veteran Captains Norman Mordaunt and Mike Scarpati chat after enjoying dinner with several captains, mates and friends of the New York and New Jersey party boat fleet in November 2006. Captain Scarpati was the owner and operator of the "RANGER" party boats that sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY from the mid-1950s through the 1990s and is now retired. Captain Mordaunt operated the "TAMPA III", the "FURY", the "OPTIMIST" and the "AMERICAN EAGLE" among others.
27Captain 'Freddie' Moore and Ken Ekberg, Staten Island, NY – 2007 Captain 'Freddie' Moore and his long-time First Mate Ken Ekberg reminisce about the 'good ole days' during a recent get together. Captain Moore was the owner and operator of the "TEAL" that sailed from Great Kills, Staten Island, NY. Ken Ekberg later joined the New York City Fire Department after his stint on the "TEAL". Ken is now retired and sadly, Captain "Freddie' passed away in March 2008.
28Captains Richie Kessinger and Al Lindroth – 2008 Two pioneers of Long Island party boat wreck fishing, Captain Richie Kessinger of the "STARSTREAM II" and Captain Al Lindroth of the "CAPTAIN AL". They both began their careers as party boat captains working for the Viking Fleet at Freeport, New York. After purchasing their own vessels, these two captains maintained a spirited rivalry between themselves and the fishing grounds they coveted for decades to follow. This 2008 photo taken at Tarpon Springs, Florida of these two great captains standing shoulder to shoulder demonstrates their rivalry is water under the hull that they left behind at Jones Inlet, New York. Photo courtesy of Stephen Kessinger.