1OPTIMIST, Belmar, NJ – 1952 Captain Charlie Dodd's "OPTIMIST" from Belmar, NJ circa 1952. She was built in 1941 at Stamford, CT as the World War II Bomb Target Boat "USN C-2217". After being refitted for fishing, she joined the Belmar fleet in 1952, first from Belmar Basin and later from Dodd's Marine Basin on the Shark River at Neptune, NJ. Captain Norm Mordaunt worked for Charlie Dodd and ran the "OPTIMIST" for bottom fishing for several years. In 1965, she was sold to Captain Jack Huntsinger (another Optimist Fleet Captain), who continued to operate her from Belmar, NJ. She was later relocated to Maryland. Photo courtesy of Ray Dodd.
2PARAMOUNT, Brielle, NJ – 1952 The "PARAMOUNT" from Brielle, NJ was on its way for a day of Porgy fishing when this photo was taken in mid-July 1951. The boat was built in 1943 at Brooklyn, NY as the 83-foot US Coast Guard Cutter "CG-83474". The Bogan family purchased her in 1950 and converted the vessel for party boat fishing. She was sold in 1955 and became Captain Bill Rutka's "WEE WILLIE" from Point Pleasant, NJ. She then became Captain Annillo 'Neil' Perillo's "TAMBO" from Brooklyn, NY and later ended her party boat career while operated by Captain Ed Clair under that name. Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
3RANGER, Brooklyn, NY – 1952 Captain Mike Scarpati's original party boat "RANGER" at Pier 6, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1952. The boat was built in 1940 as a U.S. Army Bomb Target Boat, a vessel that towed targets used for open water bombing practice. After the wae ended, the boat was sold as surplus and converted to a party fishing boat. In 1959, Captain Scarpati had the 'RANGER II" built at the Scott McBurney boatyard and sold the original boat to Captain Jack Endean, who moved her to Point Pleasant, NJ. After that, the boat briefly sailed as Captain Norman Mordaunt's "FURY" from Belmar, NJ and lastly as Captain Charles Shirley's BLACK HAWK from Belmar, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
4SEA QUEEN III, New York, NY – 1952 Captain Fred Schmahl's "SEA QUEEN III" from Manhattan's 23rd Street pier circa 1952. Built in 1917 by the Gibbs Gas Engine Company at Jacksonville, FL as a US Navy WWI Subchaser, she was later converted to a party fishing boat and sailed as the "USONA" from the Bronx, NY. After her name changed to the "SEA QUEEN III", she initially sailed from City Island, Bronx, NY, before relocating to Manhattan.
5SEA QUEEN III, New York, NY – 1952 The "SEA QUEEN III" was one of the last remaining converted World War I Subchasers to operate as a party fishing boat in our local waters.
6WHITBY III, Brooklyn – 1952 Captain 'Herbie' Hammer's "WHITBY III" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn circa 1952. The Elco Boat Works, Bayonne, NJ built her in 1917 as the US Navy Subchaser "SC-101". She was sold as surplus after the end of World War I and converted to a party fishing boat. She first sailed as Captain Steve Wischerth's "FIDUS" from the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY and then as Captain Edward Baletti's "PALACE II" from Hoboken, NJ before becoming the "WHITBY III" in 1948. The "WHITBY III" was the last converted World War I Subchaser to sail from Sheepshead Bay.
7CHIEF, Belmar,NJ – 1953 Captain Ralph Mertineit's "CHIEF" from Belmar, NJ circa 1953. Built in 1930 at Essex, CT, she originally sailed as the "RUBY". Captain Ralph specialized in Jersey shore fluke fishing. Photo courtesy of Hank Wurzburger.
8EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 A bird's eye view of the "EFFORT" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1953. She was built in 1942 at Wickford, RI as the World War II Subchaser "SC–1300". The "EFFORT" was owned and operated by Captain Fred Wrege until he passed away in 1961 and his son-in-law, Charles VanDerVoort took over the operation. She was dismantled in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort families.
9ELAINE B.,Brooklyn, NY – 1953 The "ELAINE B" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1953. Captain Izzie Bauman's "ELAINE B" was built by Ernest Fiedler in 1940 at Brooklyn, NY. She was later owned by Captain Mike Scarpati Jr. and was later sold to Captain Stan Zagleski Sr. who continued to operate her from Highlands, NJ. She last sailed from Elizabeth, New Jersey as the "SUSAN" and has since been dismantled.
10DOLLSON, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 Captain Adam Doll's "DOLLSON" is shown here as she heads out of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY for a day of fishing circa 1953. Built in 1943 at Honolulu, HI as the US Navy Launch 19485, she was named the "HELEN CATHERINE" before becoming the "DOLLSON".
11DOROTHY B, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 Captain Frank Bradshaw's "DOROTHY B" is shown departing Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY for a day of deep sea fishing circa 1953. She was built in 1912 at Brooklyn, NY, and originally sailed from Sheepshead Bay as Captain Anton 'Tony' Lundy's "R.C. LUNDY".
12FLASH KING, Highlands, NJ – 1953 The "FLASH KING" from Johnny's Landing, Highlands, NJ circa 1953. Built in 1949 by Peterson Boatyard at Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, she was originally named the "SUNBEAM III". The fare for a six-hour trip in 1953 cost $2.50. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
13NAUTILUS II, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 The "NAUTILUS II" is shown here returning to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1953. She sailed from Pier 7 under the command of Captain Frank Stefano. The "NAUTILUS II" was built in 1929 at Gerritsen Beach, NY. She sailed under the command of Captain Joe Stefano until he died in 1933 and his son Frank took over the helm. Later, she was sold to Captain Tom De Fina who continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay. In 1969, she was sold to Captain Franklin Hammer Jr. who renamed her as the "WHITBY". Subsequently, she would be the last vessel to sail under the "WHITBY" name from Sheepshead Bay.
14RAINBOW, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 Captain Jim Stamos' "RAINBOW" heads out of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY for a day of fishing circa 1953. The vessel was built in 1942 at Miami, FL as the World War II Air Sea Rescue (ASR) vessel "AVR-C-9442". In 1952, she was purchased by her night Captain Tony Franklin, who continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay. In 1979, Captain Fred Ardolino purchased the "RAINBOW" and also sailed her from Sheepshead Bay.
15SEA FOAM III, Atlantic City, NJ – 1953 Captain Archie Brown's "SEA FOAM III" from Atlantic City, NJ. She was built in 1952 at Bena, VA. In 1963, she was sold to Captain Tony Garbacki who relocated her to Barnegat Light, NJ as his "SEA QUEEN". She would later sail as the "CAPT. BOB FISCHER" and last sailed as the "SONNIE W" from Portland, ME. She was dropped from documentation in 1987 and her present fate is unknown.
16SHAMROCK, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1953 The Bogan family celebrates the hull launch of their new "SHAMROCK" at the Van Sant Boat Yard, Atlantic City, NJ in 1953. Pictured from right to left are Captain Jack Bogan, his wife, Elsie, his sister Mildred Birdsall and her husband James, son Bob Bogan Sr., nephew John Grady Sr. and James Goodwin, a good customer. Captain Jack sailed the "SHAMROCK" from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and in 1971, Captain Bob Pennington bought the boat and she became his first "SEA DEVIL". Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
17SPRAY II, Belmar, NJ – 1953 The "SPRAY II" from Belmar, NJ circa 1953. Captain Pete Saro Sr. operated the "SPRAY II" when this picture was taken. She was built in 1914 at Brooklyn, NY as Captain John Michaels' "AMERICA" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. In 1948, Captain Pete Saro Sr. purchased her and moved her to Belmar, NJ. In 1961, Captain Fred Kern purchased the "SPRAY II" and continued to sail her from Belmar, NJ under the same name.
Many Belmar, NJ party fishing boats had neon advertising signs in the 1950’s up until the late 1960’s including the "SPRAY II" (it’s above the pilothouse in the picture), the "CHIEF II", the "BOBBY II", the "GERTRUDE H", the "LENNY", the "MISS BELMAR", the "OPTIMIST" and the "SEA JET". The docks at Belmar must have been a remarkable sight at night back then. Photo courtesy of Captain Fred Kern.
18TAMPA II, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 The "TAMPA II" was built in 1929 at Gerrittsen Beach, Brooklyn, NY as Captain Jack Weidner's "PIONEER II" and sailed from Canarsie, Brooklyn. The vessel to the stern of the "TAMPA II" is the "ELAINE" (she later become the original "JET" from Sheepshead Bay.) Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
19TAMPA II, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 This 1953 photo of the stern section of the "TAMPA II" nicely depicts the party boats of the era by displaying the round stern, dry exhaust, the doors leading to the below decks cabin, and the aft deck layout. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
20WHITBY, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 Captain Franklin Hammer's "WHITBY" from Pier 8, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1953. Built in 1946 by Captain Sid Wilsey at Brooklyn, NY she was one of the few 45-foot party boats built with a steel hull. Photo courtesy of John Cairns.
21YANK, Point Pleasant, NJ – 1953 The "YANK" was built in 1942 at Mantis Yacht Co. in Camden, NJ as the World War II US Navy Sub Chaser "SC-635". She was later sold as surplus and became Captain Harry Tonk's "YANK" from Point Pleasant, NJ. She was sold in 1959 to Captain Henry Williams who sailed her as the "BRONX QUEEN" from (You guessed it!) the Bronx, NY. While named the "BRONX QUEEN", her owners changed several times during the next two decades. On December 20, 1989, she encountered rough seas while Whiting fishing near the entrance to Ambrose Channel. She lost a plank in her bow causing her to sink in less than twenty minutes. Photo courtesy of Rich Johnson.
22YANKEE SKIPPER, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY – 1953 Captain Charlie Smallman's soon-to-be "YANKEE SKIPPER" is shown hauled out and in the process of being converted for party boat fishing in this 1953 photo. She was built in 1942 at Brooklyn, NY as the 83-foot US Coast Guard Cutter "CG-83373". Captain Smallman acquired her as surplus in 1953. In 1968, she moved to Freeport, NY and became Captain Jack Leven's "STARSTREAM". And in 1973, she became Captain Edwin Berlin's "CLAIRE III" from the Bronx, NY.
23YANKEE SKIPPER & SILVER STAR, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY – 1953 This rare view depicts Captain Charles Smallman's recently converted "YANKEE SKIPPER" and Captain Dave "Laddie" Martin's newly acquired "SILVER STAR" tied up at the Flatbush piers in Brooklyn, NY shortly before joining the Sheepshead Bay fishing fleet. The "SILVER STAR" was built in 1942 as the 104-foot US Navy Air-Sea Rescue Boat "P-106" and was converted for party boat fishing after the end of World War II. She was named the "SILVER STAR" when purchased by Captain Martin and became his famous "ROCKET II".
24ANGLER, Captree, NY – 1954 Decorated with bunting, Captain John Gutman's "ANGLER" sits in her new slip at the recently opened Captree State Park Marina. Built in 1947 at Brooklyn, New York, the "ANGLER" was one of two known 45-foot party boats ever built with a steel hull. Her sister ship, the "WHITBY", sailed from Sheepshead Bay. Captain Gutman and his "ANGLER" relocated to Captree from Babylon, New York and she was one of the first party boats to secure a slip at the new Captree State Park Marina. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
25ANNA M, Captree, NY – 1954 Captain George P. Mahr's original "ANNA M" from Captree, NY circa 1954. Built in 1942 at New Bedford, MA as the 38' World War II US Coast Guard picket boat CG-38640, Captains George Mahr Sr. and Jr. purchased the boat as surplus and rebuilt it for the party boat business. The father and son team did the conversion work using hand tools over a two-year period while both worked full time jobs. When Captree opened on June 12, 1954, the first three party boats to sail from there were the "TREBLA", skippered by Captain Al Rollman, the "CAPT. ERIC", operated by Eric Westerlind, and the "ANNA M". Photo Courtesy of George Mahr III.
26IDEAL I, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1954 Captain Doug Macintosh’s "IDEAL I" from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ circa 1954. Her specialty was fishing for "Big Jersey Fluke", and plenty of them were boated aboard her throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She was built in 1946 at Brooklyn, NY as Captain Charlie Dodd's "OPTIMIST I" and was later purchased by Captain Macintosh. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
27JERSEY, Brielle, NJ – 1954 The "JERSEY" from Brielle, NJ circa 1954. When this picture was taken, Captain Thomas Bogan was at the helm. Built in 1943, she originally was a World War II Higgins-built Patrol Torpedo Boat, the "PT-305". She was originally 78 feet in length, and US Coast Guard regulations at the time required vessels over 65 feet to sail with a captain and an engineer. In 1953, the Bogan family purchased the boat and shortened her to 64 feet 11 inches to circumvent the costly regulation. In 1963, she sailed for one season as Captain Bill Egerter 's "DAUNTLESS" from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and in 1964 she was sold to Captain Joe Burns and became his "MAN O' WAR" from Point Pleasant, NJ. She is currently undergoing a full restoration at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA under her original name, "PT–305". Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
28RIP, Wildwood, NJ – 1954 The "RIP" from Wildwoord, NJ circa 1954. She was built in 1939 at Camden, NJ as the "NAMANI". She sailed half-day fishing trips from Wildwood, NJ and was operated by Captain George Shober. She has since been dismantled.
29VIKING VII, Freeport, New York – 1954 Captain Carl Forseberg's "VIKING VII" is seen here on Woodcleft Canal, Freeport, New York in December of 1954. She was built 1946 at Deltaville, Virginia. At the time Carl Forsberg had relocated the Viking Fleet to Montauk, New York, but the "VIKING VII" remained in Freeport under the command of Captain Al Lindroth. It was aboard this vessel that the famous "Cow Country" cod fishing grounds were fished on a daily basis during the winter seasons. Captain Lindroth skippered the "VIKING VII" until 1963 when he purchased his first party boat, the "CAPTAIN AL".
30WILDWOOD II , Wildwood, NJ – 1954 Captain 'Jack' Blake's "WILDWOOD II" circa 1954. The "WILDWOOD II" was built in 1952 by Stowman Shipyards at Dorchester, NJ. She continued to sail from Wildwood, NJ until she was sold in 1983 and became the "CAPTAIN GARY II" and after that, she sailed as the "LAZY BONES II". She was dropped from documentation in 1995 and her present fate is unknown.