1AL FOSTER Steamboat Company Poster, New York, NY – 1892 Welcome to the fifteenth Holiday Edition of Mike's Maritime Memorabilia! Over the last fifteen years we have posted more than 1,700 vintage photos for all to enjoy and our 2018 Holiday Edition includes 25 exceptional photographs of party fishing boats and the men behind them dating from 1898 through 2018. The photo captions illustrate some of the rich and interesting history that surrounds them and simply put, this is our fishing heritage – enjoy and celebrate it!
Thank you for taking the time to view our fishing trip down memory lane and accept our heartfelt wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season. It's our Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes all rolled into one joyous and resounding roar! God Bless America!
This 1892 poster advertises the newly constructed deep sea fishing steamer "AL FOSTER" and the deep sea fishing side-wheeler "ANGLER". The two vessels comprised the "Al Foster Steamboat Company", the only steamboat company at the time to exclusively offer deep sea fishing excursions. The iron and steel "AL FOSTER" was built at Wilmington, Delaware by Harlan & Hollingsworth. At 215 feet in length, a beam of 40 feet, a hull depth of 15 feet and three fishing decks, she was the largest vessel ever built exclusively for party boat fishing. The photo is courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
2Hurricane Deck of the AL FOSTER, New York, NY – 1898 A view of the anglers on the hurricane (promenade) deck of the "AL FOSTER" circa 1898. The photo was taken from the wheelhouse and looked back to the stern. If you had a fishing rod and reel, the top deck was the place to be. Otherwise, you would be fishing with a hand line on the two decks below this one.
3Preparing bait aboard the AL FOSTER, New York, NY – 1898 Mates didn't put bait cups filled with neatly cut clams at your feet back in 1898. They simply dumped clams into a trough and let anglers make do for themselves. Some folks knew how to open clams while others smashed the shells.
4Fishing aboard the AL FOSTER, New York, NY – 1898 In 1892, fishing from the hurricane deck on the "AL FOSTER" allowed you to cast away from the boat. The tackle of the day for bottom fishing included a stout, one-piece wooden rod, a wooden sidewinder reel, linen fishing line and homemade sinkers. The reels were single action and had no drag other than the palm of your hand and were affectionately called 'knucklebusters'.
5Crestdale House Dock, Brielle, NJ – 1907 The Crestdale House was an early resort hotel on the banks of the Manasquan River in Brielle, NJ. The original railroad swing bridge connecting Brielle to Point Pleasant can be seen in the background. Along with fishing and boating adventures for the gents, the Crestdale House offered impromptu dances, merry games, music and song for the ladies. The pace of life was very different back in 1907… "On Tuesday evening a large party spent the hours from four to ten on the beach. They built a fire and swung the gypsey pot. The result was a savory compound called cassambo, and peculiar to the Indian nation." In other words, they used a cast iron kettle hung over a fire from a tripod to cook a highly spiced stew made from local meats such as muskrat, rabbit and squirrel along with fish. Could this have been a precursor to the clambake?
6GEORGIE M., Wreck Lead, NY – 1910 Captain Martin Murray's "GEORGIE M" is seen here in 1910 returning after a day of party boat fishing. She was built in 1906 at Patchogue, NY and sailed from Murray's Dock located at Wreck Lead, NY. She would later sail as Captain Carl Forsberg's "ALERT II" from Freeport, NY before being sold in 1946 and relocating to City Island, NY.
7ANGLER, Brooklyn, NY – 1933 Captain Frederick Plage's "ANGLER" is seen here steaming back into Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY in July of 1933. Built as the "ELREBA" in 1898 by the Crescent Shipyard at Elizabeth, NJ for Pittsburg businessman Henry Darlington, she was a 125-foot steel hulled steam yacht. Powered by "two water-tube boilers and engines of the four-cylinder expansion type", she could cruise at 12 knots. The "ELREBA" was later sold to Captain Plage who renamed her as the "ANGLER" and converted her for party boat fishing. She originally sailed from the Battery in Manhattan before relocating to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
8Wreck of the MORRO CASTLE, Asbury Perk, NJ – 1934 This photo shows a dramatic and rarely seen bow view of the infamous passenger liner "MORRO CASTLE" aground at Asbury Park, NJ in 1934. Notice the U.S. flag flying at half-staff on top of Convention Hall - more than 130 passengers and crew died in the tragedy.
9COMANCHE, Brooklyn, NY – 1935 Captain Lou Dodge's COMANCHE from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY is seen here at her pier in August of 1935. Built in 1914 at Bellmore, NY, she first sailed from the Brooklyn Piers for one season before relocating to Canarsie, Brooklyn.
Captain Joe Moravoc purchased the "COMANCHE" in 1922 and relocated her to Sheepshead Bay. When he built the "COMANCHE II" in 1931, Captain Moravoc sold the "COMANCHE" to Captain Lou Dodge, who continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay until the end of World War II. Afterwards, she became the commercial fishing boat "ELIZABETH III". The boat was dismantled in 1946.
10VIKING Dock, Freeport, NY – 1952 This 1952 photo depicts Captain Carl Forsberg's Viking Fleet from Freeport, NY. Seen left to right are the "VIKING II", "VIKING III", Captain Tracey Sterling's "MOCCASIN" (not a Viking Fleet vessel), the "VIKING V", "VIKING VII" and the "VIKING". Captain Forsberg relocated the fleet to Montauk, NY the following year with the exception of the "VIKING VII", which remained in Freeport under the command of Captain Al Lindroth.
11PASTIME, Brooklyn, NY – 1957 Captain Frank Henning and Captain Joe Polniak's "PASTIME" is seen here departing Tamaqua Fishing Station located at Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, NY in August of 1957. She was built in 1933 at Morehead City, NC.
12JO-ANN II, Brooklyn, NY – 1959 The "JO-ANN II" is seen here Porgy fishing on the Tin Can Grounds in July of 1959. She was built in 1949 by Peterson Boatyard at Great Kills, Staten Island, NY. She sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY under the command of Captain Joseph DePaul.
13EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1962 Captain Charles VanDerVoort's "EFFORT" is shown here alongside Pier 8 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1962. The "EFFORT" was a converted World War II US Navy Subchaser built in 1942 at Wickford, RI as the "SC-1300". She was dismantled in 1970.
14SEA PIGEON II, Brooklyn, NY – 1962 The "SEA PIGEON II" was built in 1934 by the Scott McBurney Boat Yard at Brooklyn, NY for her original captain, Steven Onody. In 1945, Captain Onody sold the "SEA PIGEON II" to Captain 'Willy' Sutherland, who later sold the boat to Captain 'Heckey' Sakstein. In 1967 Captain Sakstein sold her to Captain Irving Moss who renamed her "DIXIE" and continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
15ELMAR Sign, Brooklyn, NY – 1967 Back in 1967, this "ELMAR" advertising sign proclaimed she was proficient in returning more fish to her Sheepshead Bay port than her New Jersey party boat counterparts. The boat was built 1943 at Dorchester, MA as the World War II Sub-Chaser "SC-1329".
16THE ANGLER, Ocean City, MD – 1970 "THE ANGLER" was built in 1969 by the Machine & Supply Co. at Beaufort, NC. She later sailed from Hyannis, MA as the "SEA QUEEN II" and then sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY as the "NAVIGATOR". The boat was last seen in 2014 tied to a pier along the Raritan River in Perth Amboy, NJ. Her present fate is unknown.
17JANET C., Highlands, NJ – 1970 This 1970 advertising card depicts Captain Freddie Coles Sr.'s charter boat "JANET C." from Highlands, NJ. This 32-foot lapstrake sportfisherman was built in 1959 by the Luhrs Boatyard at Keyport, NJ. Captain Coles and his son Freddie Coles Jr. would later go on to own and operate the party boat "FREDDIE-C" from Leonardo, NJ. The photo is courtesy of Captain Steve Marengo.
18CAPT. BILL, Barnegat Light, NJ – 1973 The "CAPT. BILL" from Barnegat Light, NJ circa 1973. She was built 1964 at Barnegat, NJ as the "OLE BARNEY". The photo is courtesy of Skip Tonks.
19RENDOVA ISLAND, Captree, NY – 1977 The "RENDOVA ISLAND" is seen her returning to Captree State Park Marina in 1977. This vessel was built in 1930 at Brooklyn, NY as Captain Mattie Best's "MISCHIEF" from Babylon, NY. The photo is courtesy of Joan Richards.
20LYDIA YACHTS Zippo Lighter, Stewart, FL – 1979 This custom advertising Zippo lighter from 1979 promoted the Lydia Yachts boatyard located in Stuart, FL. Lydia Yachts constructed over 48 party boats between 1974 and 1995.
21GRENADIER, Brooklyn, NY – 1986 The "GRENADIER" is seen here at Mill Basin, Brooklyn, NY in 1986. She was built in 1943 by Higgins Industries at New Orleans, LA as the US Navy Patrol Torpedo boat "PT-451". After World War II ended the "PT-451" was sold as surplus and became the commercial fishing boat "MARY K". She was later converted to a party fishing boat by Captain Harry Tonks on the banks of the Raritan River at Keasbey, NJ. She later became the "SEA PIGEON III" from Sheepshead Bay and then sailed as the "SEA FOX" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ. She later sailed from Belmar, NJ as the "MARIE-S TOO" and lastly from Brooklyn, NY as the "GRENADIER". Her final fate is unknown.
22SEA PIGEON IV Pen, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1988 This advertising ballpoint pen from Captain Marty Haines' "SEA PIGEON IV" dates from 1988 - and it still works.
23LAURA LEE, Captree, NY – 2015 Captain Neil Delanoy's meticulously maintained "LAURA LEE" from Captree, NY is seen here hauled out in April 2015. The boat was built in 1970 by James Gillikin's Machine & Supply Co. at Beaufort, NC as Captain Bert Blum's "JIB V" and sailed from Captree, NY. She then operated from Montauk, NY as the whale watch boat "FINBACK I" before returning to Captree, NY as the "LAURA LEE". The photo is courtesy of Captain James Peterson.
24ANGLER, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 2018 Captain Jeff Gutman's "ANGLER" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ is seen here hauled out in late September 2018. This aluminum vessel was built in 1973 by Depend-A-Craft at Pierre Part, LA as Captain Donald Hager's "SEA FOX" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ. She was purchased in 2009 by Captain Gutman who renamed her as the "ANGLER". The photo is courtesy of Captain Rob Andresen.
25VIKING STARSHIP, Montauk, NY – 2018 The "VIKING STARSHIP" fishing for Sea Bass off Block Island in November 2018. The 140 foot steel "VIKING STARSHIP" was built in 1977 by Blount Marine at Warren, RI during the heyday of super cruisers. She is the largest east coast party fishing boat currently in operation. The photo is courtesy of Captain Jeff Gutman.