History of Princess Bay Boatmen's Association

In 1934 a group of men, including some members of the now-defunct Prince’s Bay Yacht Club, private dock owners, clammers, sport fishermen and commercial fishermen operating out of Lemon Creek came together to form the Prince’s Bay Boatmen’s Association (PBBA). The purpose of the club was to promote seamanship and support both sport and commercial fishing by protecting the surrounding environment and ensuring a navigable waterway.

In a short time, the association had over one hundred members. By the end of 1941 there were over sixteen charter boats operating out of Princes Bay. The war stopped all fishing activity but the association continued as a social club. By 1955, an additional portion of the current property was leased by the PBBA from the Princes Bay Oyster Co. and Rum Creek was dredged for berths. During these early years the Boatmen’s Association provided winter land storage and summer wet storage to its members and operated a marine railroad used to haul boats. In 1957 the yard and an additional strip of Lemon Creek was purchased. This area was dredged for larger boats. The money for the purchase was raised among the membership through the purchase of mortgage participating certificates. In 1958 the property from Sequine Ave. to the bridge (now removed) at Bayview Ave. was purchased, which included what was, until October 29, 2012, the PBBA Clubhouse. A large basin was dredged (currently referred to as the small boat basin) which could berth over one hundred boats. The work involved was done by the PBBA membership in four short years.

Over the years, the organization was re-incorporated as the Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association, Inc. and continued to grow and acquire additional land. While other entities operated alongside the PBBA, the PBBA consistently stood out as the largest and most fiscally sound organization in Lemon Creek.

List of Past Commodores     List of Deceased Members

The Way It Was - 1948  - PBBA Member in Row Boat

Until the mid 1960s, the marinas at Lemon Creek were privately owned by several organizations. In the mid-1960s, all the marinas on Lemon Creek were obtained by New York State through condemnation in anticipation of development of a shore front highway that was designed to run along the South Shore of Staten Island, connecting the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Outerbridge Crossing. During this condemnation process, the highway project was abandoned. New York State nonetheless completed the condemnation to acquire lands for the future Lemon Creek Park, including the property owned by the PBBA. Due to legal requirements imposed by the bond act from which New York State ultimately obtained the condemnation funds, the original owners were permitted to remain on the premises as licensees.   The property was subsequently transferred to New York City and to the Department of Parks. Thus began an enduring relationship between the PBBA, the State of New York, and the City Department of Parks and Recreation that has spanned nearly half a century.

After the condemnation, the PBBA licensed its marina on a month-to-month basis; this arrangement continued from the time of the condemnation, in the mid 1960’s, until 1995. During this time, the PBBA made vast improvements to the premises including the construction of bulkheads in the large boat basin. The bulkheads were built by the membership from materials that were obtained from abandoned barges. By using these materials the PBBA helped rid the Island of these abandoned vessels by recycling the timbers. Portions of this bulkhead have survived from the late 1970’s until it was destroyed by the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, which is a tribute to skills of the membership. In 1975, the marine railroad was abandoned and a wet basin was constructed by the membership. A fifteen (15) ton travellift was purchased which allowed greater access to the grounds for boat storage.

The Way It Was - 1949  - PBBA Member on dock

During 1987 Parks began the process of multi-use development of Lemon Creek Park for the general public. The plans were submitted for public comment and they involved removing the five organizations as operators of the marinas, presumably to replace them with a single commercial operator. Due to a variety of factors, including widespread opposition to their removal from Lemon Creek Park lodged by the community and elected officials, Parks agreed to allow the organizations to remain as the operators provided they took steps to improve the marinas; the PBBA has taken these steps.

In 1995, the marinas at Lemon Creek Park were operated by five separate organizations. The organizations were either the original, or successors to the original, operators that had owned and operated the marinas for most of the 20th century. At that time, Parks wanted to enter into a License Agreement with only one party, but this approach conflicted with the above organizations’ desire to remain independent. So Parks proposed, and the organizations accepted, an arrangement whereby the organizations formed a single corporate entity, the Lemon Creek Mariners Inc. (LCMI), through which Parks would negotiate a license agreement and subsequently enter into and administer a five (5) year license agreement. The LCMI, in turn, was permitted under the agreement to sublicense the marinas to the five operators.

The five founding organizations of the LCMI were:
· Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association, Inc. (“PBBA”)
· Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association, Inc. (“LCBA”)
· Sandy’s Marina, Inc. (“SMI”)
· Staten Island Fur, Fin, and Feather Sportsman’s Association, Inc. (“FFF”)
· Ziel’s Island Boat Corporation (“ZI”)

While the LCMI was the corporate licensee, the PBBA had always assumed the largest share of the financial obligation as well as primary responsibility for maintaining the Creek as a navigable waterway for all of the Lemon Creek marinas and boaters. The PBBA has dredged and built extensive bulkheads on the eastern and southern shores of Lemon Creek and PBBA members have donated hundreds of thousands of hours to ensure a clean, safe environment and to promote safe boating for both members and the community.

The original distribution of lease share is described below:

Lemon Creek Mariner’s Inc. Membership in 1995

Percentage of Rent

Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association (PBBA)

50%

Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association (LCBA)

14%

Sandy’s Marina Inc. (SMI)

19%

Staten Island Fur, Fin and Feather Sportsmen’s Association (FFF)

12%

Ziel’s Island Boat Corporation (ZI)

5%

In September of 1998, one of the for-profit entities in this coalition, Ziel’s Island Boat Corporation, went out of business. Ziel’s Island had been responsible for 5% of the rent owed to NYC Parks. The other members of the LCMI declined to assume Ziel’s Island’s sublicense and so the PBBA assumed the license out of necessity.

In August of 2000, the LCMI entered into a new ten (10) year license with Parks. At that time the LCMI was owned by the PBBA, Sandy’s Marina, Inc. (SMI), Staten Island Fur Fin and Feather Sportsman’s Association, Inc. (FFF), and the Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association (LCBA), each owning twenty-five percent (25%) of the LCMI. The annual fee due to Parks, however, continued to be weighted towards the PBBA and was apportioned as follows:

Lemon Creek Mariner’s Inc. Membership in 2000

Percentage of Rent

Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association (PBBA)

55%

Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association (LCBA)

14%

Sandy’s Marina Inc. (SMI)

19%

Staten Island Fur, Fin and Feather Sportsmen’s Association (FFF)

12%

In 2008, the opportunity presented for the PBBA to reacquire a portion of the premises, which was condemned in the 1960’s. The portion of the premises know as Block 6694 Lot 100 a fifty (50) foot by eighty-two (82) foot parcel had been sold by the City of New York to the Staten Island Hospital. Subsequently, the hospital had no need for the property and offered it for sale to the PBBA. The PBBA completed the purchase on May 14, 2008 thereby reestablishing ownership of a portion of the original premises for the first time in over forty (40) years.

On December 23, 2008 the sublicenses owned by SMI and FFF were acquired by the PBBA with the consent of NYC Parks and the member-shareholders of the LCMI. The PBBA also acquired the shares of the LCMI owned by SMI and FFF with the consent of Parks and the member-shareholders of the LCMI. Although the PBBA acquired the sublicenses and shares of the LCMI owned by SMI and FFF, the PBBA did not acquire the corporate shells of these entities. Prior to the PBBA takeover, SMI and FFF were run by Christopher Wallace as a for-profit enterprise. Because of the transfer, the PBBA then owned 75% of the LCMI with the remaining 25% being owned by the LCBA. Effective December 23, 2008 the financial license obligation was as follows:

Lemon Creek Mariner’s Inc. Membership in 2010

Percentage of Rent

Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association (PBBA)

86%

Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association (LCBA)

14%

In 2010, since there were no longer five entities and since the PBBA held both a controlling interest in the LCMI and the dominant share of the license payments and operational responsibility, the Boards of the PBBA, LCBA and LCMI agreed that it was no longer necessary to maintain the LCMI. Therefore, it was planned that going forward, in attempting to secure a new twenty (20) year license for the premises, that the proposed concessionaire with the City of New York would be the PBBA, which would replace the LCMI at the time of a new license. The PBBA planned to execute a sub-license to the LCBA with the approval of Parks - similar to the prior relationship between Parks and the LCMI as the concessionaire with the LCBA as a sub-licensee. 

In October of 2010, the PBBA entered into a twenty (20) year license agreement with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, to operate the Marina at Lemon Creek. The license commenced on January 1, 2011 and will terminate on December 31, 2030. After securing the license agreement with the City, the PBBA entered into a sublicense agreement with the Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association, Inc. for a portion of the premises. This sublicense will allow the Lemon Creek Boatmen’s Association, Inc. to continue its operation during the term of the twenty (20) year license agreement.

On October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island with crippling winds and tides. A wall of water hit the South Shore of Staten Island which devastated the PBBA along with many Staten Island residents. The clubhouse at 175 Johnston Terrace was destroyed. This cherished piece of our history, which had stood since before our existence in 1934, was gone in several hours. The first floor of 500 Bayview Avenue was flooded to a height of seven and one half feet. All of the windows, doors and interior walls were destroyed. B.S Corners was flooded. Over four hundred feet of bulkhead was destroyed. Twenty-five hundred feet of floating docks were scatted throughout the surrounding area with seven-hundred sixty feet of dock destroyed. All of our heavy equipment was submerged in salt water rendering it unusable. Our electrical service was flooded in salt water. The boats in the small boat basin were scattered throughout the surrounding area as were all the boats in dry dock. The only boats to remain secured were the boats in wet storage in the large boat basin as the piling were higher than the height of the tide which prevented the floats from becoming dislodged. Boats were sunk in the creek, aground on Bayview Avenue, dumped in the salt marsh and as far away as Mount Lorretto Beach and South Amboy, New Jersey. Three quarters of the berm at Seguine Point was washed away. Tens of thousands of cubic yards of mud, sand and silt were dumped into the channel and creek. Damages to the organization were estimated to exceed one million seven hundred thousand dollars.

Despite the devastation of Hurricane Sandy the PBBA was able to open for business, as scheduled, on May 1, 2013 providing summer wet storage to its members and customers. This was accomplished through the tireless efforts of the membership who arrived in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and continued to work until the marina was able to resume operation.

Early in 2013 the location of our membership meetings was relocated to 500 Bayview Avenue which had been hit by Sandy but was able to be salvaged. The Building committee refurbished the building to provide a suitable meeting room for the membership. During the remainder of 2013 the PBBA prioritized the repairs needed as a result of Hurricane Sandy to assure that the facility would remain operational.

In 2014 the PBBA replaced the four hundred feet of bulkhead which had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. A major dredging project was also completed in that same year.

Each year the PBBA continues to make sizable investments for capital improvements to the Marina at Lemon Creek. These improvements have benefited the members, their customers and the City of New York by providing a clean, safe, low cost marina serving the population of the South Shore of Staten Island.

At the end of the current license, the Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association, Inc. will have operated its marina at Lemon Creek for ninety-six (96) consecutive years.

PBBA Members with a 945lb Tuna in 1982

PBBA Deceased Members

Joseph Johansen 

1955

William Duffy

1957

Ulysses S. Coffin

1957

Van W. Marscher

1958

George Barker

1958

George H. Bishop

1959

John J. O'Connell

1959

Robert S. Frank

1959

John Ryan

1960

Thomas Stevens

1960

David W. Price

1963

William Roagers

1963

William S. Brown

1964

Albert Hoyer

1966

George Free

1966

Henry Creutz

1967

Stanley F. Krane

1967

Howard Brown

1967

Aage Hansen

1969

Edward A. Schaffer

1969

Fred D. Halama

1970

Joseph Viggiano

1970

George C. Nelson

1971

Arthur Stryker, P.C.

1971

Charles Baker

1972

Americo Macioci

1973

George R. Erwood

1973

Richard Gardiner

1976

Bernard Long

1976

John McCrave

1978

Louis Kish

1978

Jerome A. Scala

1979

Joseph L. Sullivan

1980

William A. Smith                               

1981

Edward Curry                                    

1982

George Farrell                                    

1983

Jean Duchemin                                   

1985

Robert Johnson                                  

1987

Herman Waldman                              

1987

James Bell                                          

1988

Edward Kraemer                               

1988

John Richards                                    

1989

Al Otten, P.C.                                    

1989

Ted Federico                                      

1989

Joseph Fader                                       

1990

Walter Emrich, P.C.                           

1995

George "Jr." Brown                            

1996

Bernard Oechsli                                 

1996

Robert E. Humphries, Sr. P.C.             

1996

Robert Foggin                                    

1996

Malcome Rice                                    

1998

Eugene Pecoraro                                

2000

Peter Barrale                                      

2002

Albert J. Cutler                                  

2004

Bernard McSorley, P.C.                     

2005

Francis "Skippy" Westcott                

2006

Robert Hood                                      

2007

Frank H. Schnoes, P.C.  

2008

Rocco Florio

2010

Tony Morisano

2012

Peter Glismann

2012
* P.C. denotes Past Commodore.

PBBA Past Commodores

Leo Larsen                             

1968

Arthur Stryker                        

1969

Milton Johnson                      

1970

Donald Rogers                       

1971

Al Otten                                 

1972, 1973

Walter Emrich                        

1974, 1975

Edward Kafader                    

1976, 1977

Al Kish                                   

1978

Robert E. Humphries, Sr.           

1979, 1980, 1981

Charles Kosa, Sr.   

1982, 1983

Walter Emrich                        

1984, 1985

Frank Schnoes                        

1986, 1987

Steve Sandow                        

1988

Joe Artale                               

1989, 1990, 1991

Ron Jacobs     

1992, 1993

Walter Emrich                        

1994

Walter Emrich                        

1995 (died in office)

Bernard McSorley

1995 (took over for Walter Emrich)

Bernard McSorley                  

1996, 1997

Charles Kosa, Sr.

1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Steven Reiss                                       

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Charles Kosa, Sr.

2006, 2007, 2008

Edward F. Humphries

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013