Notorious Party Boats To Be Relocated Off Sheepshead Bay Piers

A party boat docked at the Sheepshead Bay Piers of Emmons Avenue (Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

SHEEPSHEAD BAY – After years complaints from residents of Sheepshead Bay about the noise, trash, parking and fights that spilled over from party boats docked along Emmons Avenue, it appears a sea change is coming.

Yesterday Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz announced that three of Sheepshead Bay’s party boats will vacate the Emmons Avenue piers by May 1st, while the remaining vessels will be gone in September. Today, Councilmember Chaim Deutsch said that these party boats would be moving to Mill Basin for the summer and ultimately the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park.

The change was hinted at last year during a mayoral town hall in Sheepshead Bay, when Mayor De Blasio said that new location would be found for the boats, without going into detail as to where. At the time, he praised Assemblymember Cymbrowitz, who has campaigned to get the boats off Emmons Avenue, for his work on the issue.

However, the city’s 11 p.m. curfew for the party boats – a move Cymbrowitz said was “necessary to resolve longstanding community complaints like traffic jams, overcrowding, littering and intoxicated passengers wreaking havoc on the residential neighborhood following late-night cruises” – seems to had hit a roadblock. 

“I was disappointed to learn several months ago that the Mayor’s promise to end all late-night boats not going to be fully implemented right away,” he said. “I worked vigorously with City Hall to reach an even better solution.”

“Working with the Mayor’s office, we’ve been able to move three of the seven party boats out of Sheepshead Bay immediately, with the other four boats leaving right after the summer season,” he said. “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.”

Three of the boats spending one final summer in Sheepshead Bay will have 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. runs. The fourth boat, the Atlantis, does not offer a late-night trip.

CO Captain James King of 61st Precinct has assured the assemblyman that the NYPD will have increased coverage in place prior to Memorial Day Weekend. “The 61st Precinct is committed to keeping residents and everyone who visits Sheepshead Bay safe,” said Captain King. “We want everyone to have an enjoyable summer, but safety is our number one priority.”

There will be four additional full-time foot patrols every day (except Tuesday and Wednesday) from 2 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., plus a supplementary eight to 10 cops as needed. Prior to the boats’ 11 p.m. launch, the precinct will have full coverage with sector cars and Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs).

Tensions between residents and the patrons of the party boats—many of whom don’t live in the neighborhood—have been high for years. As far back as 2015, Cymbrowitz fought back against party boats, even introducing a bill to ban them from the piers in his district. As owners worked harder to enforce rules and keep the environment safe, Cymbrowitz later praised their efforts.

But it still wasn’t enough for many residents of the “fishing village” of Sheepshead Bay. Last summer, after meetings were held about quality of life issues and a major brawl prompted enforcement from the Parks Department and NYPD, it was clear a major change had to come.

According to Deutsch’s announcement today, three boats will be relocated from Sheepshead Bay to Mill Basin next week, on May 1st. Then, in September, the remaining boats will make their way to the Brooklyn Army Terminal piers off Sunset Park.

“Lack of crowd control, insufficient parking, and inadequate restrooms to sustain the influx of guests have been concerns for the Sheepshead Bay fishing village for years,” he continued. “I’m very satisfied that we were able to establish an arrangement that allows the party boat owners to continue to operate their businesses, whilst ensuring that the safety and security of community residents and visitors is not compromised.”

Hopefully, residents will have quieter streets and boat operators will be able to maintain their clientele in the new locations—but only time will tell.

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Paul Stremple

Paul was a staff reporter at Bklyner, responsible for covering Northern and Eastern parts of Brooklyn between August 2017 and January 2019.


  1. not sure about Mill Basin but the army terminal makes plenty of sense – lots of parking, accessible by the new ferry and no neighbors.

  2. Where in mill basin would these party boats dock. I don’t want these people in my back yard.

  3. @roger from Mill Basin – i understand three boats will by tying up on Flatbush Ave – near Nick’s Lobster – departing crowd should be better and they can use Kings Plaza parking – but the boats are awfully close to the houses on the water in Mill Basin – I predict this will not be well received by Mill Basin residents.

  4. 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.

  5. This is a bunch of BS. They are getting rid of the boats, that have been there for years, to make room for more restaurants on the water. Going to Mill Basin will create a mess for those living in the area. The only place that makes sense is Canarsie Pier, since there is plenty of parking and has had party boats in the past i.e. Captain Bob. This will be sad to see.

  6. 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?

  7. Ceasars Bay has all the parking they need. A pier can be put there for docking and departing only. Charge a fee each time they use the pier, this will pay for the construction of the pier. They can also put docking piers behind BJ’s and charge boat owners a yearly fee for docking. If you want to construct a strong pier it can also be used for fast ferries to use to bring passengers to Manhattan (Great idea less traffic).

  8. Sad to see all the chaos these party boats are causing.I had the greatest fishing experiences fishing back in the 60s,70s, and 80,s.I didnt see drunks,garbage or excessive noise.

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