Bon Voyage! Party boats to leave Sheepshead Bay for good

Brooklyn Daily
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They’re finally going to shove off!

The infamous booze cruises are finally getting the heave-ho from Sheepshead Bay, and even though the mayor’s promise to remove all the party boats before this summer was only half-kept, the pols pushing for the change rejoiced at the news.

“This is a long-awaited, gratifying victory for a community that has put up with numerous quality-of-life and public-safety issues for many years,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay).

Cymbrowitz and Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), who has also worked on the party boat issue, announced on April 24 that the party boats would be leaving the otherwise sleepy seaside community in two stages, with the last weighing anchor for good in September.

Three of the boats will be leaving the Emmons Avenue pier by May 1, with the remaining boats heading off after Sept. 1, according to an email from the mayor’s office obtained by this paper.

A Parks Department spokeswoman said three boats will move to Mill Basin off of Flatbush Avenue along the water in May, while the three others will move to Brooklyn Army Terminal along the Bay Ridge Channel in September after repairs there are completed. The exact details are currently in the works, the spokeswoman said.

The mayor’s office did not respond in time to a request for more details.

Pols and Sheepshead Bay residents have said the booze cruises bring drunken shenanigans, noise, and parking issues to the neighborhood. In September 2017, mayor DeBlasio promised to move the boats out by the end of that year’s season. And this February, the city announced the boats would no longer be allowed to depart after 11 pm. Many praised the cruise curfew, but some party boat captains slammed it as a racist measure aimed at their largely Caribbean-American clientele.

Deutsch said he is satisfied with the news, despite the mayor reneging on his promise and some boats staying this summer.

“It’s more controllab­le,” he said of the smaller number of boats that will be at the pier this season. “It’s safer for the community regarding emergency vehicles. Less crowded, less problems.”

Deutsch and an aide from Cymbrowitz’s office informed Community Board 15 of the news at its meeting on April 24. Both said there will be an increased police presence on the pier for the remaining party boats’ last hoorah in Sheepshead Bay this summer, with up to 10 additional officers on busy nights.

“The type of behavior seen here won’t happen again,” said Cymbrowitz’ aide to CB15.

One community leader said the boats’ impending departure will be good for both residents and the fishing boats that will remain in the bay.

“I wish them success. It’s been a problem,” said Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group. “They didn’t mix well with the party fishing fleet. Maybe now things will calm down.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Marlene from Sheepshead Bay says:
Great news!
April 26, 2018, 5:37 am
Roger from mill basin from Mill basin says:
Rally to preserve the mill basin waterway.
Nicks live lobster house parking lot north side. April 29, 2018 11:00 am. Have your voices heard and keep the garbage out.
April 26, 2018, 8:25 pm
Jean from Bergen Beach says:
So just push one neighborhoods problem on another? Brilliant Mayor DeBlasio. How you ever got re-elected is a mystery to me! Party Boats don’t belong in residential neighborhoods period. Why don’t you park them in your backyard! This is what Mill Basin has to look forward to.
April 27, 2018, 8:49 am
Matt Peres from Rockawy point says:
Noise level issue, while boats cruising on the water, also needs to be addressed. Coast Guard, Park police, Bay Police, NYPD, DEC, have never addressed or enforced level of noise these boats produce both day, and especially at night. Brooklyn and Queens residents, along the entire Jamaica Bay shoreline, have had to endure their blasting music , both day and night. During the past few years, I have personally called everyone one of the above agencies; all deny responsibility and/or jurisdiction. These boats need to be cited while on the water. Which is the responsible enforcement agency?
May 1, 2018, 10:06 am
Joe from Mill Basin says:
I hope all those who voted for Dumblasio are happy now. He has done nothing, but destroy this cities best neighborhoods trying to push his idiotic ideas ahead.
May 10, 2018, 8:41 pm
tom from sheepshead bay says:
the noise meter will pick up engine noise of police boat and party boat so it would not be admissible in court. BTW, the restaurants and bars should have to move from SHB because they cause traffic and noise too. also. they have drunk customers too. Party boats go out maybe 50 days in summer season, but restaurants are open 365days.
May 14, 2018, 8:05 pm

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