In the days before the modern day MTA, fire department and major roadways, boats and ships served a number of purposes in New York City history. Some boats were simply a means of transportation between boroughs and neighboring states, while others protected New York’s harbors during war. Here is a list of the top ten abandoned and retired boats in New York City (and one in New Jersey!)
10. The Frying Pan
Before the Frying Pan called New York City its home, it was known as Lightship #115 Frying Pan in North Carolina. The lightship was built in 1929 and guarded the Frying Pan Shoals in Cape Fear, which at the time was the site of a number of shipwrecks in history. According to the Frying Pan website, the 15 men lived on the ship from 1930 to 1965. They were assigned to spend three months on the ship and two months on shore, and was a job that was filled with months of boredom followed by minutes of pure fear.” The ship was subsequently replaced by the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower from 1966 to 2003. The Frying Pan was reportedly abandoned for 10 years at an oyster cannery in the Chesapeake Bay, and then sank in 1986.
After it was resurrected, the now-defunct lightship was sold to its current owners and is docked in front of Pier 66 Maritime Bar and Grill in Hudson River Park. The ship is currently open to visitors seven days a week from noon to 12 am, and is free to the public.