1ELMAR, Brooklyn, NY – 1949 Captain Frank Rau's newly converted "ELMAR" from Pier 9, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1949. She was a World War II Subchaser built in 1943 at Dorchester, MA, as the "SC-1329". The "ELMAR" made her maiden voyage from Sheepshead Bay on July 3, 1949 along with her sister ship, Captain Fred Wrege's "EFFORT". A third World War II Subchaser, the "CHIEF", was also supposed to make its debut on this day, but was delayed until August, due to the unavailability of parts needed for her conversion. Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort families.
2ELMAR, Brooklyn, NY – 1949 The "ELMAR" from Pier 9, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY and skippered by Captain Frank Rau circa 1949. She was a converted World War II subchaser, the "SC-1329". Captain Frank is the son of Captain Gus Rau of the "ELMAR III". The Captain's message on the back of the picture says "The mackerel are here, so come down and get your share before the codfishing season starts."
3PALACE III, Hoboken, NJ – 1949 Captain Edward Baletti Sr.'s "PALACE III" from Hoboken, NJ circa 1949. She was built in 1942 at East Greenwich, RI, as the US Navy Submarine Chaser "SC-1322". The US Navy gave her to the Baletti family after World War II as compensation for damages done to the converted steam yacht "PALACE", which was seized for the war effort. She sailed from Hoboken until the late 1970’s when she was sold, relocated to Florida and renamed "THE LORDS MERCY".
4PILOT II, Brooklyn, NY – 1949 Captain Harry Phillips' "PILOT II" and Captain Otto Behensky's "SWANEE" at Pier 7, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1949. Ernest Fiedler built the "PILOT II" in 1937, and the "SWANEE" was built in 1938 at Patchogue, NY. The "SWANEE" would later be owned by Captain Fred Ardolino. Captain Ardolino later sold her to Captain Charlie Roth who relocated her to Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, NY where she sailed as the "WOODEN SHOE II". 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. Also, 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.
5TAMPA, Brooklyn, NY – 1949 Captain Rocco 'Rocky' Becker's "TAMPA" sailed from Pier 2 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. She was built in 1943 at Algonac, MI and originally sailed as the US Army "J-711". The Becker Family would continue to sail party boats for the next fifty years and continues the family business and tradition with Captain Gene Becker's "TAMPA VII" from Point Pleasant, NJ. Postcard courtesy of Captain Tony 'Mo' Barbato.
6AMERICAN, Brielle, NJ – 1950 The "AMERICAN" from Brielle, NJ circa 1950. Johnson Brothers Boatworks, Bay Head, NJ built this 45' boat in 1945 as the "PARAMOUNT V". She was renamed the "AMERICAN" and later purchased and operated by Captain Jack Bogan. He relocated the "AMERICAN" to Broadway Basin, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and later sold her to Captain Lou Nyhammer, who also ran her from Broadway Basin. Photo courtesy of Captain Jack Bogan.
7EFFORT, Brooklyn, NY – 1950 The "EFFORT" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1950. She was a converted World War II Subchaser built in 1942 at Wickford, RI as the "SC–1300". The "EFFORT" was operated by Captain Fred Wrege and like the "ELMAR", she made her maiden voyage on July 3, 1949. Captain Wrege passed away in 1961 and his son-in-law, Charles VanDerVoort, took over the operation of the "EFFORT". She was finally dismantled in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Captain Charles VanDerVoort families.
8FLEUR DE LIS, Wildwood Crest – 1950 The "FLEUR DE LIS" from Wildwood Crest, NJ circa 1950. At the time, she was one of the fastest boats in the Cape May – Wildwood Party Boat Association. She was built in 1930 by the Kofoed Boat Works, Keyport, NJ as a prohibition-era rumrunner boat. After her days of "delivering the goods" were over, Harry Sinn purchased her. He moved the boat to Wildwood, NJ and converted her for party boat fishing. (Now you know why she was a fast boat.)
9MAROLYN II, Wildwood Crest, NJ – 1950 Captains George and Harry Sinn's "MAROLYN II" from Wildwood Crest, NJ circa 1950. She was one of many similarly named vessels that sailed from "Sinn's Dock" throughout the years. She was built in 1938 at Bowers Beach, DE and later sailed from Cape May, NJ as the commercial lobster boat "GANNET".
10OLD PAL, Brooklyn, NY – 1950 The "OLD PAL" from the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY circa 1950. The boat was built in 1946 for Captain Kaspar Bonsignore by the Scott J. McBurney Boatyard at Flatbush Ave and Avenue U in Brooklyn, NY. The "OLD PAL" was later operated by his son, Frank Bonsignore, who continued to sail her until 1982 when she was dropped from documentation.
11ROCKET, Brooklyn, NY – 1950 Captain 'Laddie' Martin's original "ROCKET" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1950. The "ROCKET" was built in 1932 at Southwest Harbor, Maine as the private motor yacht "MAYBE". She was replaced by the larger "ROCKET II" and became the "LADDY III". Photo courtesy of Tom Whitford.
12ROXY'S FLASH FISHING FLEET, Highlands, NJ – 1950 Roxy's famous "FLASH FISHING FLEET" circa 1950. Sailing from Highlands, NJ. Fishing is always good from early spring till late fall. Flounders, Porgies, Flukes, Blacks, Sea Bass, Weaks, Blues, Whitings, Ling, Cod, and Big Game Tuna. Just a few minutes to the "Big Tuna Mud Hole" Phone for reservations... just call Highlands 1061.
13TAMBO III, Brielle, NJ – 1950 The "TAMBO III" at Harbor Inn Basin, Brielle, NJ circa 1950. She was owned and operated by Captain John 'Candy' Keefe who ran her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY from 1930 to 1936 and then from Brielle, NJ from 1936 to 1956. Captain 'Candy' also owned the "TAMBO" during the 1920's and ran it from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY (Captain John earned his nickname 'Candy' when he started his maritime career as a candy vendor aboard the triple-decker party boat "TAURUS" in 1904.) Photo courtesy of Ed Keefe Jr.
14VICTORY, Brooklyn, NY – 1950 The "VICTORY" was one of four World War II sub chasers to sail from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY during the 1950s. Built 1943 at Detroit, MI as the US Navy vessel "AIR LAPWING", she was a prototype that never saw wartime action. At the conclusion of the war, the vessel was sold as surplus and converted as a party fishing boat. She was first owned by Captain Edward Clair and then by Captain Tred Abrams who later moved the boat from Sheepshead Bay to Montauk, NY. She returned to Sheepshead Bay in 1975 and briefly sailed as Captain Mike Scarpati's "RANGER IV". She ended her fishing career sailing as the "ROCKET" from Sheepshead Bay. Photo courtesy of John Cairns.
15FRISCO, Brielle, NJ – 1951 The "FRISCO" from Brielle, NJ circa 1951. The Bogan family owned the "FRISCO" and she served as a charter boat in their fleet. Captain Jack Endean (who was 22 years old at the time) operated her. The "FRISCO" was was a converted fireboat built in 1938 as the "MAUDE B" at Friendship, ME for the Boston, MA Fire Department.
In the late–1960s, the Bogan family sold the "FRISCO" to a gentleman from North Carolina. As the man was preparing to leave Brielle, NJ and take the "FRISCO" back to North Carolina, Captains John Bogan Sr. and Jr. advised him to postpone his trip since they sensed that a Nor’easter storm was brewing. The man decided to leave anyway since the weather was still nice and set off for North Carolina. The Nor’easter arrived later that evening and neither the gentlemen nor the "FRISCO" were ever seen again. Photo Courtesy of Captain Jack Endean.
16GERTRUDE H, Belmar, NJ – 1951 Captain Hugo Harms' "GERTRUDE H" from Belmar, NJ circa 1951. Captain Hugo Harms hand-built the "GERTRUDE H" in 1946 at Toms River, NJ. The "GERTRUDE H" was one of the largest and the most heavily built party fishing boat of her time. When she was first launched, many folks referred to her as the "Queen of the Fleet" because of her unique "yacht-like" design. Captain Harms sold the "GERTRUDE H" to Captain Fred Kern in1968 and she was renamed the "SPRAY II". Captain Kern sold the boat in 1974 and she became the commercial offshore lobster boat "RED MAN". She was finally dismantled in 1989. Photo Courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
Many Belmar, NJ party fishing boats had neon advertising signs in the 1950’s up until the late 1960’s including the "GERTRUDE H" (it’s above the pilothouse in the picture), the "BOBBY II", the "CHIEF II", the "LENNY", the "MISS BELMAR", the "OPTIMIST", the "SEA JET" and the "SPRAY II". The docks at Belmar must have been a remarkable sight at night back then.
17YANKEE, Brooklyn, NY – 1951 Captain Frank Palsgraf's "YANKEE" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY heads out for a day of fishing circa 1951. She was built in 1946 at Staten Island, NY. Sold in 1961, the boat was relocated to Bath, ME.
18ACE, Manhattan, NY – 1952 Built in 1930 by Consolidated Shipbuilding at New York City as the yacht "STEVENA", she began fishing as Jimmy Driscoll's "ACE" in 1950. During her party boat tenure, she was billed as the 'World's Largest Deep Sea Fishing Boat'. (She had an overall length of 135 feet and weighed 234 gross tons.) The "ACE" sailed from the Jersey City Piers at 6:15 AM daily, and then picked up additional passengers at Battery Place, Manhattan at 6:30 AM and made one last stop at Brooklyn's 69th Street at 7:00 AM. From there, it was off to the fishing grounds. Sold in 1958, she was relocated to Maryland where she operated as the cruise vessel "DIPLOMAT". She is presently sailing from New York City. Photo courtesy of John Cairns.
19DOLLSON, Brooklyn, NY – 1952 Captain Adam Doll's "DOLLSON" from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY is shown here as she returns to her slip in 1952. The lad in the bow is a young Billy Doll who would later take over the family business. Built in 1943 at Honolulu, HI as the US Navy Launch No.19485, she was named the "HELEN CATHERINE" before becoming the "DOLLSON". Photo courtesy of John Cairns.
20ELIZABETH B., Atlantic City, NJ – 1952 The "ELIZABETH B." was built in 1941 at North Wildwood, New Jersey, and owned by Captain Jim Leeds and operated by Captain Mark Broome. In 1961, she was purchased by Captain Thomas Haughey, who continued to sail her from Atlantic City. In 1979, she relocated to Florida as the commercial fishing vessel "TEE CEE". Her fate is presently unknown. Photo courtesy of Don Nyce.
21GONE WITH THE WIND, Ocean City, NJ – 1952 During World War II, Vospers, a British shipbuilding company, arranged for several boatyards in the in the United States to build British-designed 70-foot Patrol Torpedo boats to help the war effort and this boat was one of them. Built in 1945 by the Annapolis Yacht Yard at Annapolis, Maryland as the US Navy Patrol Torpedo boat "PT-705", she was powered by three 1,500 HP Packard V12 gasoline engines with three shafts and had a top speed of 40 knots. This was also one of several PT boats originally intended for "lend-lease use" to the Soviet Union, but the end of the war precluded the transfer. As a result the "PT-705" was sold as surplus in 1946 and was converted to the private yacht "CAROL-FLO".
She was then converted to a party fishing boat and sailed as the "GONE WITH THE WIND" from Ocean City, NJ. She later sailed from Johnny's Dock in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ as Captain John DeRose's "WANDERER". After moving to Sheepshead Bay and sailing as the "APACHE IV" for several years, she last sailed as the "ATOMIC" in 1987. The boat was dismantled in 1988.
22LOLETA II, Wildwood Crest, NJ – 1952 Captain P.T. Blake's "LOLETA II" from Blake's Dock, Wildwood Crest, NJ circa 1952. She was built in 1935 at Croyton, PA.
23OPTIMIST, 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.
24PARAMOUNT, 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.
25RANGER, Brooklyn, NY – 1952 Captain Mike Scarpati's "RANGER" at Pier 6, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1952. She was a converted U.S. Army Bomb Target Boat, a vessel that towed targets used for open water bombing practice. 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. She would later become Captain Norman Mordaunt's "SEA RANGER" from Belmar, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
26SEA 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.
27SEA 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.
28WHITBY 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.
29CHIEF, 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.
30EFFORT, 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.