1ANGLER, Brooklyn, NY – 1928 Captain Frederick Plage's "ANGLER" from Pier 11, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1928. 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. At the time, she was one of the many beautiful steam yachts to daily sail to the local fishing grounds. She even had a bronze eagle sculpture on top of the pilothouse.
2GASOON, Far Rockaway, NY – 1928 A 1928 postcard for Captain Frank Henning’s 'Unsinkable' party boat "GASOON" from Far Rockaway, NY. (Air tanks were strapped into her hull compartments to give her the 'unsinkable' status.) Built in 1911 at Jersey City, NJ, she began fishing in 1917 from that port under the command of Captain Frank Berringer. In 1926, Captain Frank Henning bought her and moved the boat to Simis' Beach at Far Rockaway, NY. Postcard courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
3OSRIC, Cape May, NJ – 1928 Captain Howard Smith's "OSRIC" from Cape May, NJ circa 1928. She was built in 1911 at Anglesea, NJ (now called Wildwood, NJ) and originally operated as a small towboat. She began sailing daily from Schellenger's Landing in 1927. In 1954 she became a commercial fishing vessel under the same name, and was dismantled in 1966.
4SEA PIGEON, Brooklyn, NY – 1928 The "SEA PIGEON" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1928. Captain Steve Onody was at the helm at the time. She was built in 1902 at Oceanus, NY as a two-masted sailing schooner and started fishing in 1902 as an auxilliary schooner from Rockaway Beach, NY under the command of Captain John Carle. In 1913, Captain Patrick Donovan purchased the boat, installed a gasoline engine and sailed half-day fishing trips from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.
In 1915, she was sold to Captain Charlie Frieberger, who operated her until 1919. She was then sold to Captain Frank Baumann, who continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay. In 1927, Captain Steve Onody took over the ownership of the "SEA PIGEON".
In 1950, she was sold to Captain Marty Haines Sr., who moved her to Perth Amboy, NJ. In 1954, she was replaced by the "SEA PIGEON II" and sold. Her whereabouts today are uncertain.
Following the tradition, Captain Marty Haines Jr. operated the "SEA PIGEON IV" from Perth Amboy, NJ until 2007. The "SEA PIGEON" name is no more, but it was around for 105 years and until 2007, it was the oldest name in the party boat fishing industry.
5VELOCITY, Brooklyn, NY – 1928 Built 1895 at New York, NY as the yacht "RAMBLER"; she was later named the "ANNETTE" before becoming the "VELOCITY" in 1907. She first operated as a party boat in 1912 sailing from Messenger's Pier at Canarsie, Brooklyn under the command of Captain Samuel Leonard. In 1914, Captain Bill Stephens purchased the "VELOCITY" and continued to sail her from Messenger's Pier until relocating to the vessel to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in 1919.
In May 1927, Captain Stephens purchased the luxury yacht "AU REVIOR" as his new vessel and Captain Frank Baumann purchased the "VELOCITY" and continued to operate her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.
6AU REVOIR, Brooklyn, NY – 1929 Captain Bill Stephens' "AU REVOIR" from Pier 6, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1929. Built in 1893 at Wilmington, DE as a luxury steam yacht, the "AU REVOIR" was purchased by Commodore Charles A. Gould who renamed her as the "NEAIRA". Captain Bill Stephens purchased her from Mr. Gould in 1927 and converted her for party boat fishing, and he returned her to her original name, "AU REVOIR". At 145 feet in length, she was the largest vessel to sail from Sheepshead Bay.
7LOUNGER, Bay Head, NJ – 1929 The "LOUNGER" was built 1892 at Brooklyn, New York as a private yacht. She would later function as one of the many 'set line' fishing boats that supplied New York's Fulton Street Fish Market. In 1929, she was purchased by Captain Howard Duncan who began sailing her from Bay Head, NJ, making her the very first party boat to sail from Manasquan Inlet in New Jersey. And in 1930, Captain Duncan later relocated the "LOUNGER" to Point Pleasant, NJ and became the first party boat operator to sail from that port.
8RELIANCE, Wildwood Crest, NJ – 1929 Captain Frank Canning's 106–foot "RELIANCE" from Wildwood Crest, NJ circa 1929. Inspected and approved by U.S. Steamboat Inspectors with a capacity of 135 persons. The boat waits for the "Fisherman's Special" train leaving Market Street Wharf, Philadelphia, PA for Cold Spring Harbor, Wildwood, NJ, daily at 7:00 AM (Sundays and Holidays, 6:00 AM.) Lines, bait, baskets and refreshments sold on the boat. For further information call Bell Phone No.749.
9SHEEPSHEAD BAY PIER 6, Brooklyn, NY – 1929 This vintage view of Pier 6 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1929 shows several popular fishing vessels of the time. On the far right is the wheelhouse of Captain Fred Wrege's "EFFORT II", in the center is Captain 'Candy' Keefe's original "TAMBO" and the large steam yacht in the background is Captain Bill Stephen's "AU REVIOR".
During this era, many party boat captains were purchasing larger vessels that were capable of carrying more people to distant fishing grounds in all kinds of weather. Many of the inshore captains were also upgrading to new vessels custom built for their trade. Needless to say, Sheepshead Bay was rapidly growing into the legendary and historic deep sea fishing haven of New York City.
10DIANA, New Brunswick, NJ – 1930 Captain Bobby Zeigler's "DIANA" is shown here heading down the Raritan River in central New Jersey shortly after her construction was completed at New Brunswick, NJ. The "DIANA" sailed for one season from Perth Amboy, NJ before heading to Brielle, NJ in 1931. Photo courtesy of Rich Johnson.
11ELMAR III, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY – 1930 This early advertising postcard produced by Brooklyn photographer Ernest Tanare shows Captain Gus Rau's "ELMAR III" sailing from Pier 4 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The "ELMAR III" was built in 1917 by the International Ship Building & Marine Engine Company at Upper Nyack, NY as a World War I US Navy Subchaser (the "SC-186"). Captain Rau purchased the boat in 1927 and converted her for party boat fishing. The "ELMAR III" continued to sail from Sheepshead Bay until 1949 when she was replaced by the "ELMAR", a converted WW II Subchaser.
12FLYING CLOUD II, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY – 1930 Mike's Maritime Memorabilia - Holiday Edition 2010-11-25The "FLYING CLOUD II" operated by Captain Henry Gunther Jr. sailing from Sheepshead Bay with a nice load of anglers circa 1930. She was built in 1901 at Patchogue, New York as the "MILDRED". In 1960, Captain Bill McNamara purchased the boat and moved her to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY. She was sold in 1963 to Captain Fred Bird who relocated her to Montauk, NY. In 1977, Captain Bird replaced the boat with a larger vessel and her present fate is unknown.
13GIRALDA, Sheepshead Bay, NY – 1930 The coal–fired steam powered party boat "GIRALDA" operated by Captain Dave Martin circa 1930. Her homeport was Pier 8, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The "GIRALDA" originally was a luxury yacht that Captain Martin purchased in 1914 and converted into a party fishing boat. This and other coal–fired boats often left the dock at 3:00 AM and steamed to Atlantic City for a day of fishing. They used to race to get to the prime fishing drops and poured on so much coal that flames and sparks shot out the red–hot smokestack. According to on–lookers, the boats looked like candles when they were under way to the grounds. Launched in July 1896 by James A. Baylis & Sons, Port Jefferson, NY, her original owner was Edward Renwich and her original homeport was Port Jefferson, NY.
14GLORY, Brooklyn, NY – 1930 The "GLORY" was built in 1896 at Weymouth, MA as the steam yacht "INDOLENT". She began her fishing career in 1914 when she was purchased by Captain Harry Hansen and began sailing from Brooklyn's west side. In 1922, Captain Hansen sold the "INDOLENT" to his son-in-law, Jacob 'Jake' Martin, who would rename her the "GLORY". She would become the benchmark of party boat fishing for the next decade. In 1932, Captain Jacob Martin would go on to own the steam yacht "SACHEM" and pass the helm of the "GLORY" to his son, Captain Jacob 'Chubby' Martin Jr. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
15EVELYN and FLYING D, Brooklyn, NY – 1930 In 1930 the "EVELYN" was owned by 'Jake' Martin and operated by Captain Ted Alexander, who would eventually purchase her in 1935. The "FLYING D" was built in 1898 at Long Island City, NY. In 1934, she became Captain John Maculuso’s "AMERICA" (one of two vessels sailing under that same name from Sheepshead Bay at the time).
16NEW YORKER, Brooklyn, NY – 1930 The "NEW YORKER" was owned and operated by Captain Bill Clulo and sailed from Sheepshead Bay's Pier 5. The "NEW YORKER" was built in 1912 at Brooklyn, NY and was one of the earliest party boats to sail from Sheepshead Bay. Postcard courtesy of Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato.
17CLAIRE, Bronx, NY – 1931 A 1931 postcard for Captain Harry Berlin and Captain Blease's "CLAIRE" from the Bronx, NY. She was built in 1914 at Kearney, NJ. Harry Berlin purchased her in 1917 after his discharge from the US Army at the end of World War I. Captain Berlin named her the "CLAIRE" after his wife. She began sailing from Clason Point in the Bronx and in 1930, he relocated her to Westchester Avenue (on the Bronx River.) On April 3, 1950, the tanker "MYSTIC SUN" struck the "CLAIRE" near Fort Schuyler at the northern entrance to the East River and she sank. Postcard courtesy of Captain 'Howie' Berlin.
18FLYING D, Brooklyn, NY – 1931 Tom Palowski's "FLYING D" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1931. She was built 1898 at Long Island City, NY as a sailing sloop. The "FLYING D" was later sold to Captains John and Frank Knuth and continued to sail under the same name until 1934 when she was sold to Captain John Maculuso and sailed as his "AMERICA". (She was one of two vessels sailing from Sheepshead Bay with the name "AMERICA" at the time.)
19GLORIA, Cape May, NJ – 1931 The "GLORIA" from Cape May, NJ circa 1931. She was built in 1929 at Cape May, NJ and was powered by two Fairbanks Morse diesel engines that produced a total of 250 horsepower. The "GLORIA" was owned and operated by Captain Peter Devains and specialized in Delaware Bay fishing for croakers and weakfish.
20LIBERTY II, New Rochelle, NY – 1931 Captain John Peterson's "LIBERTY II" from New Rochelle, NY circa 1931. She was built in 1917 by George Lawley and Sons, Neponset, MA as the World War I Subchaser "SC-258". In 1942, the War Shipping Administration (WSA) acquired the "LIBERTY II" and returned her to military service with the US Coast Guard as the Cutter "BELLEVILLE" (WPC 372). In June of 1945, she was decommissioned and her fate beyond that is unknown. Captain Petersen operated two former World War I Subchasers as party fishing boats during this era. His other former Subchaser was named the "LIBERTY" ("SC-148").
21LOUNGER, Manasquan Inlet, NJ – 1931 This 1931 photo postcard depicts the party boat "LOUNGER" entering the Manasquan Inlet shortly after the inlet was reconstructed with new stone jetties and much dredging.
The "LOUNGER" was built 1892 at Brooklyn, New York as a private yacht. She later operated as one of the many 'set line' fishing boats supplying New York's Fulton Fish Market.
In 1929, she was purchased by Captain Howard Duncan who began sailing her from Bay Head, New Jersey, and was the very first party boat to sail from Manasquan Inlet. In 1930, Captain Duncan relocated to Point Pleasant, NJ and was the first party boat operator to sail from that port.
22NAUTILUS, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY – 1931 This vintage advertising postcard depicts Captain Sparta 'Sparks' Telesca's "NAUTILUS" from Sheepshead Bay. Built in 1883, she was one of the oldest vessels in the Sheepshead Bay fleet at the time. She was later purchased by Captain Bob Wood who continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay. The "NAUTILUS" then sailed as a launch for a dry dock company in New York City until she was dismantled in 1949.
23OLIVE, Atlantic City, NJ – 1931 In this photo, the "OLIVE" is heading out for a day of fishing (note the bag of skimmer clam bait on the stern). She sailed from Atlantic City, NJ and was owned and operated by Captain Jim Endicott. Built in 1899 at Atlantic City, she originally sailed as the "ESTELLA TOWNSEND". Although she was never a 'rum runner' during the prohibition era, she did participate by delivering supplies to the 'Black Boats' (named for their black painted hulls which made them difficult to see during their nighttime deliveries of prohibition booze.) Captain Endicott operated the "OLIVE" until 1956 when he sold her to Captain Norman Grist, who continued to sail her from Atlantic City until she was dismantled in 1962. Photo courtesy of Don Nyce.
24PALACE, Hoboken, NJ – 1931 Originally named the "IDALIA", this luxury steam yacht was built in 1899 by the Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding & Engine Works Company at Chester, PA for millionaire Eugene Thompkins, owner and president of the Boston Theater Company. The yacht changed hands several times and was renamed "MALAY II" in 1924 when she was sold to Ms. Mary Weld of Brookline, MA. Like many yachts during the Great Depression, her owner could no longer afford to keep the boat and she was sold in 1930 to Louis Castellano for $36,000. Mr. Castellano moved the yacht to Edgewater, NJ and began converting her to the party fishing boat "PALACE".
Her deckhouse exterior was fine mahogany, her interior was finished with birdseye maple, she had polished brass oil lamps throughout, and even had a stylus player piano. Mr. Castellano gave her the name "PALACE" since he compared the yacht to a palace when he boarded her for the first time.
However, some of the modifications needed to allow her to carry passengers for hire proved costly (such as building bulkheads below deck and having her steel hull strapped.) Consequently, Mr. Castellano decided to sell the "PALACE" to Edward Baletti in April 1931 for cash and an agreement to retain the concession business aboard the vessel.
The "PALACE" began her fishing career later in 1931 and it was a great success for both men. Interestingly, this happened during a time when most other businesses were suffering the ill effects of the Great Depression economy. Photo courtesy of Phil Castellano.
25RELIANCE, Wreck Lead, NY – 1931 A 1931 photo depicting the party boat "RELIANCE" and her Captain, Herman Toby. The "RELIANCE" was built in 1913 at Brooklyn, New York and her design was what was referred to by many as a 'sailing hull' party boat. She later relocated to Montauk, New York where she sailed as the "HACKLE HEAD II" under the command of Captain Murray Bock.
26TAMBO III, Brooklyn, NY – 1931 A 1931 advertising postcard for Captain John 'Candy' Keefe’s "TAMBO III". She was built in 1930 at by Ernest Fiedler at Bergen Beach Boat Works, Brooklyn, NY and is a typical 'skipjack' class party boat. She sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY until Captain 'Candy' moved his business to Brielle, NJ in 1936. The "TAMBO III" specialized in Fluke fishing and you can see a nice specimen dangling in the air near the bow. Captain 'Candy' also owned the "TAMBO" during the 1920's and ran it from Sheepshead Bay (Captain John earned his nickname 'Candy' when he started his maritime career in 1904 as a candy vendor aboard the triple-decked fishing steamer "TAURUS".) Postcard courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
27VICTOR, Wildwood, NJ – 1931 The "VICTOR" from Wildwood, NJ circa 1931. Built at Pocomoke City, MD in 1922, the "VICTOR" sailed from Cold Spring Harbor, Wildwood, NJ under the command of Captain John Burke. Like many of the South Jersey party boats of her day, she catered to Philadelphia anglers who arrived by passenger railroad on a daily basis.
28BROOKLYN, Brooklyn, NY – 1932 Captain Henry 'Harry' Rigby's "BROOKLYN" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1932. The "BROOKLYN" was built by Captain Rigby in 1920 at (where else) across the street from the Sheepshead Bay fleet on Emmons Avenue at Brooklyn, NY.
When he retired in 1937, Captain Rigby sold the BROOKLYN" to Captain Frank Palachek, who sailed her until 1945. Captain Palachek then sold the boat to Captain Salvatore 'Sal' Dragonetti and she became his "CARRIE D II". She was again sold to Captain Jim Crispino and continued to sail from Sheepshead Bay as the "CARRIE D II" until 1979 when she was dismantled.
Ernest Tanare of Brooklyn, NY was the official photographer of the Sheepshead Bay fleet during the 1930s. He produced this postcard as well as many others we have on display at Mike's Maritime Memorabilia. Besides photographing the vessels and preparing advertisements, Mr. Tanare also attended and photographed many of the boatmen's events such as the annual holiday dinners and summer picnics. Postcard courtesy of Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato.
29EDITH, Hoboken, NJ – 1932 Captain William Baletti's "EDITH" returning to her pier at Hoboken, NJ circa 1932. In the background is the Manhattan skyline off West 14th Street. The boat was built in 1902 at Boston, MA as the steam yacht "SATILLA". In May 1917, the US Navy acquired her for service during World War I and named her the "USS SATILLA" with the hull designation of "SP 687". Assigned to coastal patrol duty along the Maine coast during World War I, she returned to civilian operation in 1920 when Oscar Ledberg of Providence, RI purchased the boat and renamed her "EDITH".
In 1927, Captain William Baletti purchased the "EDITH" and she began making fishing trips from the 15th Street Pier at Hoboken, NJ. Captain Baletti also picked up additional anglers at Battery Park, NY before heading to the fishing grounds. Photo courtesy of Phil Castellano.
30HELEN H, Brooklyn, NY – 1932 A 1932 postcard for the original "HELEN H" operated by Captain Alex Hansen. She sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Captain Harry Rigby (the owner/operator of the party boat "BROOKLYN") designed the boat and she was built in 1930 by Ernest Fiedler at Bergen Beach Boat Works, Brooklyn, NY. She later became the "FIDUS", the "ELLEN S", and then Captain Joe Burns' “MOHAWK” from Point Pleasant, NJ. She is another example of a 'skipjack' class party boat.