Photo via Hoboken Patch

Farewell Hoboken, hello Brooklyn! Yankee Ferry has left her Hoboken home to take up berth in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The historic steel-hulled passenger ferry turned private home and bed & breakfast, lost her Pier 12 dock this week, after months of negotiation with the City of Hoboken.

Sea Wolf escorts Yankee Ferry across the Hudson.
Photo via Hoboken Patch

Hoboken Patch: The historic Yankee Ferry, the last surviving Ellis Island ferry and an attraction for tourists around the world, departed Hoboken Tuesday after being unable to reach a docking agreement with the city.

The one-of-a-kind 106-year-old ferry-turned-houseboat that’s attracted the attention of residents, tourists and television show producers since docking in Hoboken seven years ago left town Tuesday.

SS Machigonne (later renamed Yankee), date unknown, but probably from the 1910s or 1920s. Photo: Navsource Online via Wikipedia

Yankee Ferry, a steel-hulled passenger ferry with a remarkable history that includes stints as a Navy-commissioned transport ship during World War I and II, and an Ellis Island immigrant ferry and Statue of Liberty tour boat in the 1920s, was tugged from Pier 12 to her new home across the Hudson in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as crew members perched atop the ship’s deck crooned farewells and waved to supporters below.

Photo: Paul Takahashi via

“It’s a total loss for Hoboken,” said resident Colleen Castle, one of about 40 well-wishers who saw Yankee off just after 5 p.m. “It’s something you’re never going to see again.”

Farewell Hoboken. Photo via Yankee Ferry facebook page

After spending its first six years in the Mile Square City docked at a private pier in the Shipyard Marina, Yankee relocated two piers south to city-owned Pier 12 on a temporary emergency basis following Superstorm Sandy.

Owners Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs. Photo: Norman Y. Lono via NY Daily News

Yankee crewmember and manager Josh Rasp said the ship’s owners, artists Richard and Victoria Mackenzie-Childs, had hoped to work out a permanent arrangement to keep the ship in Hoboken, but a deal could not be struck. Yankee received an eviction notice from the city in April, followed by a verbal notification in June that it had to vacate the pier within days.

Rasp said the crew was devastated by the news because they really wanted to stay.

Photo via Yankee Ferry facebook page

Rasp said they’d had trouble finding another spot to stay because of the ship’s age, size and the general lack of space available for docking ships near New York City, but that recent discussions with the owner of a pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn had been fruitful.

“We should be in Red Hook and hopefully we can be in a new place where we can really flourish and provide to the community over there,” Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee