Boating in the 1940’s on Long Beach Island
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 filled the bay.
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.