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National Parks Service to allow for party boats to dock at the Gateway Marina

National Parks Service to allow for party boats to dock at the Gateway Marina

It could be a Gateway to a solution.

The controversial “booze cruise” party boats that the city wants to move from Sheepshead Bay to Mill Basin could find a home instead at the federally owned Gateway National Recreation Area nearby, according to a local politician. 

Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Mill Basin) has asked the National Parks Service to allow for party boats to dock at the Gateway Marina concession in Dead Horse Bay, and said there’s no reason why the federal recreation area couldn’t host them.

“The concessionaire has a right to lease space to boats, party boats being amongst them,” Maisel said.

Maisel, who has railed against the city’s plan to shift the notorious booze cruises to the quiet residential neighborhood he represents, said the designated recreational area would be a more fitting location for the party boats, provided the details can be worked out between all parties.

“There are details that have to be worked out between the concessionaire, the boat owners and the National Parks Service,” he said.

The National Park Service did not respond for comment at press time, but a spokeswoman for Gateway Marina said that it did not have any current plans to host party boats. Moonbeam Leasing & Management acquired the marina concession last April.

Another local leader said that she had not heard about any plans move the boats to Gateway, but said she was sceptical that it could happen because Gateway is federal land and she assumes the congressional reps with jurisdiction over the recreational area would black it. 

“It’s very unlikely, that’s federal ground,” said Community Board 18’s district manager Dottie Turano. “Unless our elected officials condoned it, which they don’t, I don’t think they would ever approve it.”

The city is still finalizing the plans for moving the boats out of Sheepshead Bay, and neither the timeline nor the new location have been determined, according to a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, who would not confirm any plans to dock the boats at Gateway.

The city announced back in April that it would move the controversial party boats out of Sheepshead Bay — where locals have long complained that they bring quality-of-life problems when their boozy patrons come ashore. The original plan was to relocate three of the boats to Mill Basin in May, and the remainder to Brooklyn Army Terminal in September. 

Mill Basin residents and pols said they were blind-sided by the move and immediately pushed back, even threatened legal action. The relocation of the boats has been stalled ever since. 

Mill Basin community honchos are hopeful that the boats will not dock in their small harbor.

“We don’t know when this is going to happen but we’re already in July and they have not come to Mill Basin so that’s wonderful,” said Maisel. “Every day that they don’t come is a day closer for them to go to Gateway.”

Turano said that she thinks the boats will likely stay where they are, or move to Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park.

“I think they’re probably going to stay in Sheepshead Bay because they seem to be working with them and the rest of them will go to the Brooklyn Army Terminal,” she said.


Duggan, K., Lucente, A., & Community News Group. (2018, July 9). 'Park' party boats with the Feds, sez pol pushing Gateway Marina for booze cruises instead of Mill Basin. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from