Greenport BID not thrilled with cruise boat idea

05/02/2011 1:00 PM |

The excursion boat that failed to find a home in Riverhead appears to have struck a reef in Greenport as well.

Ed Graham, the businessman behind what he called a “cocktail boat” during a recent Village Board meeting, April 25 a “cocktail boat” that would offer excursions on which passengers could purchase drinks, hors d’oeuvres and light snacks, received a less than enthusiastic response from the village Business Improvement District during it’s gathering last Thursday.

Part of the problem was there had been no communication from Village Board members about Mayor David Nyce’s suggestion that Mr. Graham meet with the BID. And BID member Amy Martin said it’s not up to the group to vet proposals for the village.

Mr. Graham told the Village Board that the boat was part of the Marco Polo Cruise Fleet and referred them to its website to see the kinds of excursions it runs. But he revised his story for the BID, saying he and others were planning to rent the Cabana from Marco Polo, but wouldn’t be under the auspices of Marco Polo.

He said he’s simply trying to secure dock space and a full business plan, while not yet available, would be provided if a deal could be struck with the village. While assuring that the boat would be properly insured, he could offer no specifics other than to say it would be Coast Guard-certified.

Nor could he offer any indication of whether he would have Suffolk County Department of Health approval to sell food.

“I’m just a guy looking to bring a boat out here and make everybody happy,” Mr. Graham said.

While Mr. Graham let slip at the meeting with the Village Board that he might be open to ponying up $10,000 to $15,000 for dock space plus $1 a head for passengers, he wouldn’t quote an amount to BID members.

Janice Claudio of Claudio’s Restaurant suggested that he should be paying about $40,000 to $50,000 for dockage, similar to what she said it costs a restaurant to operate in Greenport. She scoffed at the idea that the Cabana could assist restaurants by making the boat available for large parties they might not have room to accommodate.

Mr. Graham did say he would need at least 100 passengers per trip to make it worthwhile for the boat to leave the dock.

That’s a weekend business, BID president Mike Acebo said, insisting there wouldn’t be that number of people signing up for the cruises during the week.

When asked where passengers would park, Mr. Graham suggested the Greenport School or the Long Island Rail Road station, saying passengers could walk to the boat. But he grew vague again when Ms. Claudio questioned his running 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. cruises, because it could be disturbing to have a boat coming in that late.

Mr. Graham said he would look into other docking spaces for the return trip, then shrugged when Ms. Claudio asked how he would get the passengers back to their vehicles if they didn’t return to dock in Greenport.



486 Comment

  • mr. graham did not say what the boat would do if it it did not have a 100 people to sail did he?
    well heres the dirty little secret , the boat will be tied and open for business and if 50 people get on
    to have apps. & drinks & some nice music, well do the math. why leave the dock, plus no $1 to the village cause after all the boatl is tied up. wow, thats beneficial to the restaraunts & bars especially to claudios

  • parking at the greenport school, that aint happening graham 300 plus people at 3am? no way
    i’ll fight this tooth& nail, shuttle them in your neighborhood.
    “im just a guy looking to bring a boat out here and make everybody happy”
    yeah ok. and im just the tooth ferry looking to extract your gold fillings

  • Is jan Claudio the right person to be addressing this? I understand her role in Greenport BID, but you must also take into account she is an owner of Claudious Restaurant. This boat might take business from that restaurant. But it would bring out far more people to Greenport. When someone asks me what is there to do fun in Greenport, my response isnt very long. This boat would be an immdiate destination spot. Jan having any authority in this issue is a total conflict of interest.

    the 3am issue can be resolved with a curfew. No reason the boat should be out that late. The boat would need to set sail no matter how many attendees. no food or drink can be served at the dock. I am sure the village and the SCHD would make sure of that.

    Funny thing is why hasnt a local like thought of this. It is a great idea for a maritime village. And the village could use the extra people in town in spring and fall.

  • of course shes the right person to address such a matter as this, she’s a tax payer and she has the right to voice her opinion on such an important matter. all businesses that are related with the food industry or marine industry that been there year after year, winter after winter should voice their opinion, anyway those folks are still not in possesion of any vessel,and if you put too many stipulations on these
    guys they wont go for it, its either their way or nothing which is a bad way to walk into any town
    not just greenport or riverhead

  • This boat idea is a joke. Riverhead proved that these “businessmen” don’t own or even have a lease on the boat. The boat isn’t even in the water. Why are we even wasting a minutes time on this?