Visiting Vessels

Most NYC revitalization plans have focused on bringing people from inland to the water's edge; PortSide's BlueSpace thinking also brings people (and their business) from the water to the land. PortSide connects people afloat and people ashore.

PortSide has helped bring vessels from overseas, out of state, up state and Manhattan to Brooklyn. The list includes a wide range of vessels: tall ships, tugboats, a buoy tender, rowing gigs, kayaks, and a historic fleet from the Netherlands.  We run a visiting vessel ourselves!  We have also promoted visiting vessels arranged by other groups such as when we promoted the OpSail/Fleet Week ships in Red Hook in 2012. Our guide to the ships in Red Hook was so good, OpSail handed out ours; and our webpage for the ships attracted over 26,000 hits in May.

A PortSide goal is to be a place, a maritime hub, where many vessels come and go, including the MARY A.WHALEN. Our shoreside programs are designed to have a synergistic relationship to this activity.

Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, summer 2010

The historic tug CORNELL made several appearances alongside the MARY A. WHALEN. The CORNELL towed the 173’ Steamer LILAC over from Manhattan for City of Water Day during which the Lilac offered ship tours and and two shipboard photo exhibitions.  In August, GAZELA, Philadelphia's flagship and the oldest wooden square-rigger still sailing in the USA, was brought to Atlantic Basin by PortSide. She came with daytime tours and two cabaret performances a night on the main deck. 

Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, Winter 2009-Spring 2010

PortSide working with the NYC EDC, secured a winter berth for two impressive schooners:  the CLIPPER CITY, a 158-foot topsail schooner, and SHEARWATER, a 82-foot 1920's luxury schooner yacht.  As part of the deal, PortSide distributed 550 free tickets to community sails on the CLIPPER CITY in late April and early May.

Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet event 2009

To commemorate the year-long Hudson Quadricentennial, festivities, some 400 visitors greeted the historic Dutch Flat Bottomed Fleet in Atlantic Basin on Harbor Day, 2009. Visitors swarmed the pier, the Flat Bottom boats, and boarded a surprise visitor in the form of the 150’ barquentine Peacemaker. Co-hosted by NYC EDC.

Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, 2008

On a raw December day, we attracted 500 people to the pier for the MARY A. WHALEN's 70th birthday party.  Visitors also came by water; the historic tug PEGASUS came from Jersey City after picking up guests in Manhattan. The active-duty tug JANICE ANN REINAUER joined the gang. The MV MANHATTAN  swung through Atlantic Basin for a cheer and a wave, and several gigs from the Village Community Boathouse and kayaks rowed over from Manhattan. 

When we are a visiting vessel

We have been a visiting vessel ourselves, taking the MARY A. WHALEN to Sunset Park for the first, free, bilingual historic ship tours open to the public (at a salsa concert) in 2010.   400 people streamed aboard, it was the first time on a ship for many.

Kayak Valet

PortSide invented Kayak Valet in New York City in 2006.  We designed the concept to raise awareness that people want to visit by water and to promote that concept.  We watched kayaks in Valentino Park so people could paddle in, leave their boats and visit Red Hook.  We secured discounts from local stores and handed out our visitor guides to Red Hook.  The Red Hook Boaters now run Kayak Valet every time they offer public kayaking, and the practice is now widespread in New York City.  where local groups have kayak programs.