Delay in the Bay: Party boats still at Emmons Avenue pier, weeks after promised move

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They’re still sitting at a dock in the Bay!

Sheepshead Bay’s infamous “booze cruise” boats still haven’t shoved off from their Emmons Avenue pier despite a promise from the city to move at least three of the boats to Mill Basin by early May, and the new uncertainty about when they’re expected to set sail is riling locals.

One resident said he had sympathy for the party boat captains but is fed up with their passengers and the delay in making the move.

“It’s ridiculous with the loud and obnoxious drunks stumbling off the boats,” said one resident, who identified himself as Anthony but declined to give his last name. “I get that these guys got to make a living too, but how long is it going to take for them go somewhere else where they’re not annoying the people who live here?”

Back in April, the city pledged to move three of the party boats by May 1 to the waters off of Flatbush Avenue in Mill Basin, where residents and politicians have resisted the plan, holding protests and threatening legal action should the controversial cruises drop anchor in their community.

But two weeks into June there appears to be no movement from the city to prepare the new location for the boats, and even the captains are in the dark about the timeline, according the one local leader.

“There hasn’t been any construction in Mill Basin as far as docking,” said Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo. “The boats don’t know where they’re going or when they’re going.”

The mayor’s office did not respond to questions about the holdup, but a Parks Department spokeswoman said that there have been unexpected delays in the boat relocation and that the exact timeline for removal is still being finalized. In the meantime, late-night charters are still forbidden.

With a new 11 pm curfew in effect this season, some locals admit that the typically raucous passengers have become more tolerable lately. But others still complain about the number of cars flooding area parking lots that were not designed for large gatherings.

“It hasn’t been a problem for business, but the parking situation is definitely still an issue,” said Captain Mike of the Brooklyn VI, one of the many non-party boats on the bay offering daily chartered fishing excursions.

Some residents remain hopeful that a common-sense solution can be found that will make all parties happy.

Bay Improvement Group vice president Jack Spadaro suggested that the mayor’s office may have simply jumped the gun with the announced timeline, placating residents with promises of a resolution that is still being negotiated. He said the solution is to find a location with ample parking that would make everybody happy.

“They need to find an entertainment area in the city where these boats can be held with no problem,” Spadaro said. “If a place that has a large enough parking facility were available, that would be an ideal site for these booze cruises. You could park, relax, and barbecue and not affect residents in the area — like a tailgate party.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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