Tuckerton/Beach Haven Passenger Ferry Is Delayed

Aug 15, 2018
Supplied Photo Tuckerton Seaport Executive Director Brooke Salvanto said the boat has been delayed in Florida as additional work had to be completed in order to comply with ADA wheelchair seating.

The anticipated passenger ferry between the Tuckerton Seaport and Beach Haven’s Taylor Avenue municipal dock originally planned to start in August has been delayed, and there is no firm start date, although Tuckerton Councilman Ron Peterson said he hoped it would be available in time to shuttle people between the two big Southern Ocean County festivals: the Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show in Tuckerton and the Chowderfest in Beach Haven, held Sept. 29 and 30.

On Monday, Tuckerton Seaport Executive Director Brooke Salvanto said the boat has been delayed in Florida as additional work had to be completed in order to comply with ADA wheelchair seating.

“When you order a boat, it’s like building a house – things come up,” said Salvanto. “It needs to have a row of bench seats that can be removed to accommodate wheelchairs and then be able to be put back in order to get as many passengers on as possible when there are no wheelchairs. Once that is completed, then it needs to go to the Coast Guard for their safety check.”

The initiative, called the “Tuckerton Seaport-Beach Haven Water Ferry powered by Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce” utilizes tourist grant funds. In a June 20 press release, Lori Pepenella, chief executive officer of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, said it was their “Downtown Driven Program and Water Ferry Committee,” with representatives of Beach Haven, Tuckerton, Tuckerton Seaport and the Ocean County Planning Department, that made the dream of a passenger ferry a reality.

“The effort began when the Southern Ocean Chamber established a Regional Economic Development Advisory Board in honor of their 100th Anniversary in 2014. It led to the Vision 2020 strategic plan that created programs to advance and sustain the business community in the 21st century. The Southern Ocean Chamber Downtown Driven program was one of the priorities resulting from that plan, which both Tuckerton and Beach Haven boroughs passed resolutions to work with the chamber that established best practices and innovation to boost the local economy and tourism.”

The committee voted to name the boat the Pohatcong II, a nod to the steam-powered paddle wheeler Pohatcong that took visitors traveling by train from New York and Philadelphia to Tuckerton across the bay to Beach Haven during the turn of the last century. The committee and community leaders will host an inaugural sail when the boat arrives at the Seaport.

Salvanto said the Seaport has also taken suggestions from its Facebook page and added a restroom (called a “head” in boat lingo) and also a suggestion to use the Pohatcong II as a floating classroom. “Our popular eco-tours could be expanded, so there is no limit to the uses for the ferry.”  

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

 

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