CAPT. ERIC, Captree, NY – 1955  Captain Eric Westerlind's "CAPT. ERIC" as she returned to the dock in 1955.  Mt. Desert Marine built the 46–foot "CAPT. ERIC" in 1954 at Somesville, ME.   She sailed daily from Captree State Park and was one of the original vessels to sail from that port.   The Mates hated the bar stool seats along the rails because they made it hard to swab the deck, but the customers simply loved them.   Captain Eric Westerlind operated her until the early 1970's.   Photo courtesy of Lee Westerlind.  CHIEF, Brooklyn, NY – 1955  The partners, Captains Phil Wright and Sid Wilsey, bought this converted 110–foot World War II Sub Chaser to Sheepshead Bay in 1948.   Built in 1942 at Stamford, CT as the "SC-1355", she sailed as the "CHIEF" every day at 10:00 AM from Pier 6.   Later sold to the partners of Harold Wrege (Captain) and John and Joe Ecock (Mates), this vessel catered to customers who arrived at Sheepshead Bay by subway.   Sold again in 1981, she is currently sailing from Baltimore, MD as the tour boat "MOUNT INDEPENDENCE".   Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.  CLAIRE II, Bronx New York – 1955  Captain Howie and Captain Edwin Berlin's "CLAIRE II" from the Bronx, New York.   She was built in 1944 at Miami, Florida as the US Navy Air Sea Rescue Vessel "AVR-C-26246".   In 1949, she became Captain George Sinn's "MAROLYN" from Wildwood, NJ and was then sold to the Berlin brothers in 1955.   She was remodeled in 1964 and had a deckhouse and topside wheelhouse added.   She remained in the Claire Fleet sailing from the Bronx until she was condemned in 1982.  LENNY, Belmar, NJ – 1955  The "LENNY" from Belmar Marine Basin, Belmar, NJ circa 1955.   She was built in 1944 at Miami, FL as the US Navy Air-Sea Rescue boat "C-36256".   Captain Henry Leonard Sr. purchased her in 1952 and converted her for party boat fishing.   She was sold in 1970 and sailed as the "KING NEPTUNE II" from Massachusetts.  LUCKY STAR, Atlantic City, NJ – 1955  Captain Elwood Starn's "LUCKY STAR" sailing from Starn's Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey.   Built in 1954 at Bena, VA, she was sold in 1956 to Captain Charles Coney and became his "BIG DAY", which also sailed from Atlantic City, NJ.   She later sailed as Captain Tony Garbacki's "BIG CHAMP" until 1962 when she sank off Harvey Cedars, NJ while on the way to an Atlantic City boatyard.   Photo courtesy of Don Nyce. 
MAJESTIC I, Brooklyn, NY – 1955  The "MAJESTIC" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1955.   Captain Joe Majestic owned and operated this sturdy 45 footer.   His brother, John Majestic built her in 1946 at Brooklyn, NY.   Like many of the Brooklyn-based party boats, she was a member of the Sheepshead Bay Boat Owners Association as indicated by the "S.B.B.O.A." placard on her wheelhouse.   Captain Marty Haines Jr. purchased her in 1967 and he sailed her from Perth Amboy, NJ until 1972.   She was then sold and relocated to Key Largo, FL where she continued to operate as a party boat and is currently sailing from Florida as the commercial hook-and-line fishing vessel "PIRATES LADY".   Photo courtesy of John Cairns.  MARGARET, Atlantic Beach, NY – 1955  The "MARGARET" was built in 1935 by Ernest Fiedler at the Bergen Beach Boatworks in Brooklyn, New York.   She was owned and operated by Captain Christian Specht who sailed her from the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY before relocating her to Atlantic Beach, NY.   Captain Christian's son Walter Specht Sr. later took over her helm.   Captain Walter Sr. passed away in 1972 and she was sold in 1973 and became the "SEA LION".   Her present fate is unknown.   Photo courtesy of Christian Specht.  MISS BELMAR, Belmar, NJ – 1955  Captain Dave Shinn's original party boat "MISS BELMAR" from Shark River, NJ circa 1955.   She was built in 1943 at Bayonne, NJ as the World War II PT boat "PT–577".   Formerly, she was the sightseeing boat "BIG FLAMINGO" from Wildwood, NJ.   After her stint as the "MISS BELMAR", she was sold and sailed as Captain Gene DeVito's "CAPT. LOUIE" from Highlands, NJ.  OPTIMIST II, Shark River, NJ – 1955  The "OPTIMIST II" from Shark River, NJ circa 1955.   She was built in 1950 at Brooklyn, NY and while Captain Charlie Dodd owned the "OPTIMIST II", she was operated by Captain Jack Huntsinger.  PENNSY, Brielle, NJ – 1955  An overhead view of the "PENNSY" from Brielle, NJ circa 1955.   Owned by the Bogan family, she was operated by Captain Roy Skillman at the time.   She was one of two converted World War II PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats owned by the Bogan family at the time (the "JERSEY" was the second.)   Higgins Industries built the boat in 1944 at New Orleans, LA as the US Navy "PT-457".  When she was converted for use as a party boat, US Coast Guard regulations of the day required vessels longer than 65 feet to have an on-board engineer (along with a captain.)   Since she was originally 78 feet in length, the Bogan family shortened her to 64-feet 11-inches to circumvent the requirement.   Regardless of their length, these Higgins PT Boats had a beautiful shape.  The entire below decks section from the pilothouse forward was a giant room for passengers.  In 1957, Captain Dave Bogan Sr. took over the helm of the "PENNSY" and it was one of his favorites… "I loved that boat!"   The Bogan family later sold her and she became Captain Al Wirth's "FALCON" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.   She was later stored at a Staten Island, NY boatyard for a few years and was finally dismantled in 1991.   Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr. 
PILOT II, Brooklyn, NY – 1955  Captain Harry Phillips' "PILOT II" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1955.  Harry Phillips was a 'Master' inshore party boat captain who specialized in bottom and wreck fishing, and he did not need to go very fast or very far to fill angler's buckets on the deck of the "PILOT II" with blackfish, sea bass and porgies.   Ernest Fiedler of Bergen Beach Boatworks built the "PILOT II" in 1937.   (The yard was located at Mill Basin, Brooklyn, NY.)   Notice the chevrons painted on the wheelhouse of the "PILOT II".   The government appropriated many local party boats during World War II for service as costal patrol boats and each chevron represents a year of military service.   Additionally, the "PILOT II" was a member of the Sheepshead Bay Boat Owners Association as indicated by the "S.B.B.O.A." painted on her overhang.   Photo courtesy of John Cairns.  SHAMROCK, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1955  Captain 'Jack' Bogan's "SHAMROCK" from Point Pleasant, NJ circa 1955.   The Van Sant Boat Yard, Atlantic City, NJ, built her in 1953 and she was the first party boat ever built with a flush deck, that is, her cabins and heads were located on the main deck.   In 1971, Captain 'Jack' sold the boat to his mate, Bob Pennington and she became his first "SEA DEVIL".   Photo Courtesy of Captain 'Jack' Bogan Sr.  VAMP II, Wildwood, NJ – 1955  The "VAMP II" was built in 1952 by Deagle Boat Works of Deltaville, Virginia for Captain Jim Wilkinson.   She replaced his original "VAMP" and sailed from Wildwood, New Jersey.   The "VAMP II" was sold in 1959 to Captain Russell Lloyd who continued sailing her from Wildwood, New Jersey.   She was again sold in 1976 to Captain George Davidson who relocated her to Delaware.  She last sailed as the "ISLAND PRINCESS" on Lake Michigan before being condemned and dismantled in 1997.  WHITESTONE, Brooklyn, NY – 1955  Captain Phillip Basco's "WHITESTONE" from Canarsie, Brooklyn, NY circa 1955.   She was built in 1931 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.   Originally sailing from Canarsie, Brooklyn, she later relocated to Sheepshead Bay and sailed from Pier 3.  ALBATROSS II, Barnegat Light, NJ – 1956  The "ALBATROSS II" was built for Captain Harry Livingston in 1955 by Price Boat Yard at Deltaville, Virginia.   (The "ALBATROSS II" and the following photo of the "MISS BARNEGAT LIGHT" are among the earliest of many 55-foot party boats built by Price.)  In 1960, she was sold to Captain Ted Weeks who continued to sail her from Barnegat Light as his "THUMPER".   In 1966, she was sold again and relocated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and continued to sail under the "THUMPER" name until the mid-1980s.   She last sailed as the "VICTORIA" from Malabar, FL and her present fate is uncertain.   Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr. 
BETTY W, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  Captain Kenny Wright's original "BETTY W" at her Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, NY mooring circa 1956.  She was built 1938 at Brooklyn, NY as the yacht "ALCHAR".   In 1959, she was replaced with the 65-foot party boat "BETTY W II".   Photo courtesy of Tom Mitchell.  EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  Captain Fred Wrege's "EFFORT" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY is shown hauled out at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Company at Staten Island, NY circa 1956.   She was a converted World War II US Navy subchaser built in 1942 at Wickford, RI as the "SC–1300".   Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.  EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  "Big wheel keep on turning, Proud Mary keep on burning.   Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river."  --  Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969  The Proud Mary wasn't the only one turning big wheels!   This 1956 stern view of the "EFFORT" hauled out at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Company at Staten Island, NY shows the impressive 52-inch, five-blade propellers and stern gear of this vessel.   Captain Fred Wrege's "EFFORT" sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY and was a converted World War II Subchaser built in 1942 at Wickford, RI as the "SC–1300".   Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort Families.  MISS POINT PLEASANT, Point Pleasant, NJ – 1956  The original "MISS POINT PLEASANT" from Point Pleasant, NJ circa 1956.   Captain Jack Endean was at the helm.   She was built in 1946 at Brooklyn, NY as Captain Henry Hillmann's "DOLPHIN II" from Brielle, NJ.   Later, Captain Endean sold her to Captain Jack Kennell and she was renamed the "NORMA-K";  Afterwards, she became the "CATHERINE" from Belmar, NJ and finally, the "MS. HIGHLANDS".   Photo courtesy of Captain Jack Endean.  NANCY JUNE, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  The "NANCY JUNE" was built in 1926 at New York, NY as a gasoline powered motor yacht named "UTILITIE".   She was sold and converted to a passenger carrying vessel in 1946.   In 1948, Captain John Johnsen purchased the boat, named her the "NANCY JUNE" and began to sail her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.   She was later owned by Stilluf Stillufsen and then by Captain Joseph Peplowski and after that by his son Raymond.   She was dropped from documentation in 1986 and her fate is unknown. 
PENNSY, Brielle, NJ – 1956  The "PENNSY" from Brielle, NJ circa 1956.   She was owned by the Bogan family and operated by Captain Roy Skillman.   The "PENNSY" was a converted World War II PT Boat, "PT-457" built in 1944 by Higgins Industries Inc. New Orleans, LA.  US Coast Guard regulations at the time she was converted to party boat fishing required vessels longer than 65-feet to have an on-board engineer (along with a captain.)   Since she was originally 78 feet in length, the Bogan family shortened her to 64-feet 11-inches to circumvent the requirement.  In 1957, Captain Dave Bogan Sr. took over the helm of the "PENNSY".   The Bogan family later sold her and she became Captain Al Wirth's "FALCON" from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.   She was later stored at a Staten Island, NY boat yard for a few years and was finally dismantled in 1991.   Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.  TONE B., Brooklyn, NY – 1956  The "TONE B" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1956.   The "TONE B" was built for Captain Anthony Blanken in 1946 by Peterson Boatyard at Great Kills, NY.   Later, Captain Charlie Locurto purchased her, but she was sold again to Captain Mike Buonacquista and relocated to Highlands, NJ.   She was dismantled in 1992.  TUNA II, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  Captain Emil Eifert and Captain Elie Cantor's "TUNA II" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn circa 1956.   She was built in 1931 at Brooklyn, NY and originally sailed as the "CATHERINE M".    She was later owned by Captain Carmine Matteria and was one of the last 'old time' charter boats to sail from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.   The "TUNA II" was dismantled in 1995.  RANGER, Belmar, NJ –1956  Captain John Kocsik’s "RANGER" from Belmar Marine Basin, Belmar, NJ circa 1956.   The "RANGER" was built in 1938 at Brooklyn, NY and she originally sailed from Perth Amboy, NJ before Captain Kocsik relocated her to Belmar, NJ.  Sister Ships RANGER and RAMBLER – 1956 / 1996  The photos of these two sister ships were taken forty years apart.   Both boats were built side-by-side in 1950 at Bordentown, NJ and the only significant difference in the boats is the number of portholes on the forward trunk cabin.   At the time the photos were taken, Captain Frank Cline's "RAMBLER" sailed from Belmar, NJ and Captain Jack Sweeney's "RANGER" sailed from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.    (The "RANGER" was originally built as Captain Artie Kaser's "CAVALIER" from Perth Amboy, NJ.) 
SPORTSMAN, Brooklyn, NY – 1956  The "SPORTSMAN" sailed from King's Plaza in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, NY and was the last vessel owned and operated by Captain Steve Wischerth.   She was built in 1915 as a US Coast Guard cutter and was later converted for party boat fishing.   She first fished from Montauk, NY before relocating to Flatbush.  VAMP, Wildwood, NJ – 1956  Captain Oscar Wilson's "VAMP" from Wildwood, NJ circa 1956.   The "VAMP" was built in 1940 at Amburg, VA.  CALVIN B II, Brooklyn, NY – 1957  Captain Frank LaGrassa's "CALVIN B II" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1950.   She was built in 1947 at Brooklyn, NY for Captain John Bogart who sailed her for one season and then sold her to Captain LaGrassa.   She sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn until 1960 when she was lost in a fire.  FLYING D II, Brooklyn, NY – 1957  Captain Frank 'Lupo' Knuth's "FLYING D II" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1957.   She was built in 1934 by Ernest Fiedler of Bergen Beach Boat Works at Brooklyn, NY.   She sailed from Sheepshead Bay under the command of Captain Knuth until she was sold in 1975 to Captain Gary Fagan who relocated her to Belmar, New Jersey as his "BLUEFIN".   She was later owned by Captain Brian Cade and after that was converted to a commercial lobster boat.   She was dismantled in 1988.  MISS BARNEGAT LIGHT, Barnegat Light, NJ – 1957  Captain John Larson's "MISS BARNEGAT LIGHT" from Barnegat Light, New Jersey circa 1957.   Built in 1954 by Price Boat Yard at Deltaville, VA, she sailed from Barnegat Light until 1967 when she was sold and became the "LADY MARCIA ANNE" from Portsmouth, NH.    She then returned to New Jersey in 1986 and became Captain Gary Bouchard's "MISTY MORN" from South Amboy, NJ.   She last sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY as the "HOLIDAY" before being dropped from documentation in 2003.