1WHITBY, 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.
2YANK, 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.
3YANKEE 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.
4YANKEE 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".
5ANGLER, 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.
6ANNA 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.
7IDEAL 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.
8JERSEY, 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.
9RIP, 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.
10VIKING 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".
11WILDWOOD 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.
12CAPT. 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.
13CHIEF, 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.
14CLAIRE 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.
15LADY JESS, Babylon, NY – 1955 An advertising postcard for Captain George Benson's "LADY JESS" from Babylon, NY circa 1955. She was built in 1951 at Bay Shore, NY and in 1956, was sold to Captain Joe Cicco. She later became the commercial fishing vessel "HOLIDAY". Her present fate is unknown.
16LENNY, Belmar, NJ – 1955 The "LENNY" from Belmar Marine Basin, Belmar, NJ circa 1955. She was built in 1944 by the Miami Shipbuilding Corp. 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.
17LUCKY 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.
18MAJESTIC 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.
19MARGARET, 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.
20MISS 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.
21OPTIMIST II, Shark River, NJ – 1955 The "OPTIMIST II" from Shark River, NJ circa 1955. She was built in 1940 by Ernest Fiedler at Bergen Beach Boatworks in Brooklyn, NY and while Captain Charlie Dodd owned the "OPTIMIST II", she was operated by Captain Jack Huntsinger.
22PENNSY, 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.
23PILOT 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.
24SHAMROCK, 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.
25VAMP 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.
26WHITESTONE, 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.
27ALBATROSS 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.
28BETTY 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.
29EFFORT, 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.
30EFFORT, 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.