1STROLLER Advertising Card, Wildwood Crest, NJ – 1934 This 1934 advertising sign for Captain Robert Pierpont's fishing yacht "STROLLER" from Wildwood Crest, NJ touted her as the "Most Comfortable of the Party Boat Fleet". The "STROLLER" was built in 1906 at Patchogue, NY. In 1956, she was sold to Captain John Hall and continued to sail from Wildwood Crest until she was dismantled in 1962.
2SHEEPSHEAD BAY BOATSMEN'S ASSOCIATION, Brooklyn, NY – 1933 This 1933 membership roster lists many of the famous boats that sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The Association, comprised of party boat owners and Captains, created a list of bylaws for conducting business in an orderly fashion along the piers of Sheepshead Bay. They also recognized the damage that unfettered commercial fishing activities were doing to the environment and to the fish stocks, and encouraged a ban on commercial fishing at certain inshore areas.
3Edward T. Shinn’s Captains License – 1934 The original operators license issued to Captain Edward T. Shinn (Captain Dave Shinn's uncle) in 1934. In those days, the Steamboat Inspection Service division of the US Department of Commerce issued the license. Courtesy of the Shinn Family.
4SACHEM Advertising Sign, Brooklyn, NY – 1934 Framed advertising signs like this one for Captain 'Jake' Martin's party fishing boat "SACHEM" promoted the "Queen of the Fleet" at sporting goods stores and other local businesses in Brooklyn, NY circa 1934.
5AU REVOIR Advertising Card, Brooklyn, NY – 1935 This advertising card depicts Captain Bill Stephens' "AU REVOIR" from Pier 7 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1935. The "AU REVOIR" was the largest vessel to sail from Sheepshead Bay at the time. She sailed from Sheepshead Bay until 1937.
6AU REVIOR Advertising Card (Reverse), Brooklyn, NY – 1935 The "AU REVIOR" was built in 1893 at Wilmington, DE for William du Pont Sr. as his luxury steam yacht. She was later purchased by Commodore Charles A. Gould who renamed her as the "NEAERA". Captain Bill Stephens purchased her from Mr. Gould in 1926 and converted her for party boat fishing, and he returned her to her original name, "AU REVOIR".
7GIRALDA Sinker, Brooklyn, NY – 1935 A 10-ounce fishing sinker from the "GIRALDA", Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Veteran diver Captain Paul Hepler recovered this 1935 slab sinker from an undisclosed shipwreck off the New Jersey coast. During the 1920s and 1930s, it was popular for boatmen to personalize their fishing sinkers. Many inscribed their sinker molds with the name of the vessel, its captain or sometimes both. The slab style sinker was the preferred sinker shape for New York based party boats of this era. Sinker courtesy of Captain Paul Hepler of the dive vessel "VENTURE III".
8GLORY Miami Fishing Brochure – 1935 A 1935 brochure for the party boat "GLORY". Captain Jacob 'Chubby' Martin’s "GLORY" was a Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY based party boat that sailed from Miami, Florida during the winter season. As the cover states, the "GLORY" fished the Gulf Stream, the Florida Keys and local patch reefs. Brochure courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
9PALACE Fishing Sinker, Hoboken, NJ – 1935 A fishing sinker from Captain Edward Baletti's "PALACE", Hoboken, NJ. This sinker dates from 1935, when the Baletti Family operated the converted steam yacht "PALACE" from Hoboken, NJ. Photograph courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
10SBBOA Fishing Guide, Brooklyn, NY – 1935 The cover and first page for the 1935 edition of the Sheepshead Bay Boat Owners Association (SBBOA) Fishing Guide. Designed to promote the fishing fleet at Sheepshead Bay, booklets like this one were available aboard the Sheepshead Bay party boats and at local shops. The first page shows a vintage photo of the fleet and a list of "vessel members". The booklet also provided directions to the fleet, a chart of the local fishing grounds, recipes to prepare your catch, boat advertisements, and a personal log section to record your catches for the year.
11SYLPH Advertising Sign, Brooklyn, NY – 1935 The "SYLPH" was built in 1898 as the official Presidential Yacht. She served in this capacity for Presidents McKinley (1898-1901), Roosevelt (1901-1909), Taft (1909-1913) and Wilson (1913-1921). In 1921, the Navy re-designated her as Patrol Yacht PY-5 and she sailed on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. In 1925, she was permanently moored at the Washington Navy Yard, where she remained until her decommissioning in April 1929.
The "SYLPH" joined the Sheepshead Bay party boat fleet in the spring of 1930 when she was purchased from the US Navy by Frank Clair and his partner Captain John Nugent and converted for party boat fishing. In 1935 Captain Jeremiah 'Jerry' Driscoll purchased a 50% share of the "SYLPH" from Frank Clair and with Captain John Nugent continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay until 1939 when she joined the ferry service taking passengers from Sea Gate, Brooklyn to Manhattan.
12TAMBO II Sinker, Brooklyn, New York – 1935 Personalized fishing sinkers such as this were very common aboard party boats during the 1920s and 1930s. Local divers indicate that these 'old style' sinkers are only found on inshore wrecks and rock structures, which agrees with the facts that boatmen of the era relied on visual shore ranges to locate their wrecks, and that the abundance of fish at the time made it unnecessary to go far offshore. Sadly, divers collected these types of sinkers from the ocean floor for years and sold them as scrap metal, and very few have survived. We consider ourselves very lucky to have this sinker from Captain Bill Cronan’s "TAMBO II" that sailed from the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY and others like it on display. Sinker courtesy of Captain and diver Stan Zagleski III of the "ELAINE-B II" from Highlands, NJ.
13PEERLESS II Advertising Card, Sheepshead Bay, NY – 1936 A 1936 advertising card for Captain Paul Haesler's "PEERLESS II" sailing from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The "PEERLESS II" was built 1921 at Astoria, NY.
14PARAMOUNT II Invoice – 1937 This is the original invoice that Ernest Fiedler of Bergen Beach Boat Works, Brooklyn, NY prepared for the Bogan Family shortly after completing construction of the "PARAMOUNT II" in 1937. The cost of the brand new 45-footer was $3,293 and she is shown in the inset. Courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
15A.R. MYERS Advertising Poster, Atlantic City, NJ – 1938 A 1938 14" x 22" adverting poster for Captain Arthur Myers' deep sea fishing yacht "A. R. MYERS" from Atlantic City, NJ. Built in 1928 at Chincoteague, VA, the vessel later relocated to Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.
16BERGEN BEACH BOAT WORKS Advertisement – 1938 Bergen Beach Boat Works was the benchmark builder of 45-foot 'flush deck' and 'skipjack' style party boats. Its proprietor, Ernest Fiedler was a party boat captain in his earlier years and truly understood what it took to create a great party boat. His vessels were the paradigm for several other boat yards that produced similar vessels. This 1938 advertisement displays the names of Fiedler-built boats that were sailing from Brielle, New Jersey at the time.
17BOGAN FISHING FLEET Advertising Poster, Brielle, NJ – 1938 This 1938 poster depicted the vessels in the Bogan family's fishing fleet from Brielle, NJ. Shown on the poster are the "PARAMOUNT" (a seized 'rumrunner'), the "PARAMOUNT II", the "DIXIE", and the "ESCORT". All of these boats were built at Brooklyn, NY (and boatbuilder Ernest Fiedler constructed three of them.)
18GIRALDA Advertising Sign, Brooklyn, NY – 1938 This advertising sign for the "GIRALDA" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY is dated 1938 and was produced by Brooklyn photographer Ernest Tanare. Signs like this one were very a very popular form of advertising for the party boats and were posted in local shops and businesses. Like many pieces of memorabilia from this era, very few have survived.
19SACHEM Advertising Poster, Brooklyn, NY – 1938 A 1938 advertising poster for Captain Jake Martin's "SACHEM" announcing their famous Atlantic City Sea Bass and Porgy trips and daily fishing trips.
It is interesting to note that even in 1939, some of the larger boats were expanding their offerings with moonlight sails, Coney Island fireworks trips, a full line of fishing tackle and better food (the ad touts the boat's galley as a modern restaurant.)
20FAIRBANKS MORSE CO. Advertisement – 1939 This 1939 advertisement for the Fairbanks Morse Diesel Engine Company lists all the New York and New Jersey Party Boats powered by their engines. Since the company's inception in the 1870s, Fairbanks Morse has produced a wide variety of products, including the Eclipse Windmill, the Train Master locomotive, and the first commercially successful gasoline engine in 1893. As you can see from this advertisement, Fairbanks Morse diesel engines were very popular with local boatmen.
21GLORY Advertisement, Brooklyn, NY – 1939 A 1939 newspaper advertisement for Captain Jacob 'Chubby' Martin's "GLORY" sailing from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.
22VIKING FLEET Advertisement, Freeport, NY – 1939 A 1939 newspaper advertisement for the VIKING FLEET sailing from Freeport, NY. The Forsberg family started their fishing business in Freeport, NY and later relocated to Montauk, NY where they continue to operate the VIKING FLEET.
23FISHERMAN'S SPECIAL TRAIN – 1940 Take the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Line's 'FISHERMAN'S SPECIAL' from Philadelphia, PA to the boat and back. In 1940, it only cost a buck thirty-five for a round trip. Party and charter boats in Cape May and Wildwood, NJ eagerly awaited the trainload of anglers during the summer months. It was popular for both captain and angler alike.
24OPTIMIST MODEL A FORD, Belmar, NJ – 1940 Captain Charlie Dodd used to drive around with this Model A Ford with the fish on top as a neat way to advertise his boat, the "OPTIMIST", from Belmar, NJ. The photo was taken in 1940 when Captain Dodd operated only one boat; he added the "OPTIMIST II" in 1941 and the "OPTIMIST III" in 1942. Photo Courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
25PARAMOUNT II Advertising Postcard, Brielle, NJ – 1940 A 1940 advertising postcard for the "PARAMOUNT II" sailing from Manasquan River Yacht Basin, Brielle, NJ. Captain Jack Bogan started out as a mate aboard this boat and he was later was promoted to the pilothouse and took over the helm. As you can see, Captain Jack offered his summer patrons a nice variety on his daily trips.
26SYLPH BROCHURE, Brooklyn, NY – 1940 This 1940 brochure advertises the "SYLPH" as a sightseeing vessel, shortly after her party fishing boat career ended in 1939. Purchased by the US Navy in June 1898 from her builder, John Roach & Co., Chester, PA, the then coal-fired steamer was commissioned as a presidential yacht on August 18, 1898 at the Norfolk Navy Yard. She served in this capacity for Presidents McKinley (1898–1901), Roosevelt (1901–1909), Taft (1909–1913) and Wilson (1913–1921). In 1921, the Navy re–designated her as "PATROL YACHT PY–5" and she sailed on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. In 1925, the Navy permanently moored her at the Washington Navy Yard, where she remained until her decommissioning in April 1929.
Frank B. Clair of Brooklyn, NY purchased her in November 1929 (Mr. Clair was reportedly an ex–bootlegger.) Mr. Clair and his partner Captain John Nugent converted her into a party fishing boat and operated her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY during the 1930s.
27AMERICAN Advertising Postcard, Brielle, NJ – 1941 A 1941 advertising postcard for the "AMERICAN", sailing from Manasquan River Yacht Basin, Brielle, New Jersey. Captain Jack Bogan operated her at the time. Eventually, he began his own business and purchased the "AMERICAN" from his cousins, and relocated to Broadway Basin at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Photograph courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
28WILDWOOD BY THE SEA, NJ postcard – 1944 A fishing postcard from Wildwood by the Sea, NJ circa 1944. Plenty of Bluefin, Skipjack, Bonita and Bluefish to go around.
29PALACE Sinker, Hoboken, New Jersey – 1945 This "PALACE" sinker dates from the post-World War II era. At the time, the "PALACE II" and "PALACE III" were operating and this sinker could have been used on either boat. Sinker courtesy of Captain and diver Stan Zagleski III of the "ELAINE-B II" from Highlands, NJ.
30CAPTAIN DAVE MARTIN Business Card, Brooklyn, NY – 1946 Captain Dave Martin used this business card around 1946 when he was 'semi-retired' from the party fishing business. Photograph courtesy of Bryant Martin.