Boating on Long Beach Island began with the canoes of the Native Americans. There are some rumors that Viking Longships may have visited the area prior to Columbus. During the 1800's sailing vessels such as Catboats
One type of local craft was known as the Garvey. It was a wooden, shallow draft, flat bottomed boat used for clamming, gunning and fishing.
During the 1940's smaller boats powered by outboard engines became affordable and popular. These wooden boats were made of woods such as mahogany. Boat owners performed a yearly ritual of redoing the varnish, scraping the bottom and reapplying the 'lead' antifouling bottom paint. The outboard industry was dominated by Mercury (Kiekaffer), Evinrude and Johnson. Safety equipment such as flares, flotation and a life jacket was almost unheard of. Almost all of the outboards were hand started. Electrical starting was extremely rare. Below is a typical scene from the early 1940's showing a 16' wooden outboard with a vintage Mercury engine.
Old outboard at the cove
In the 1940's and 50's 10 to 20 horsepower was considered to be quite a bit of power. If you were good at waterskiing, you could ski behind about 15 horsepower with the right boat.
"Speedboats" of the 1940's
Of course, not all of the boats had a motor. There was still plenty of sailboating and rowboating to be had.
Rowboat, Long Beach Island, 1940's