NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Riverside Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, August 20, 2007

Celebrating National Marina Day & Boat Basin Anniversary

Photo by Nate Grove

On August 11, National Marina Day, Parks & Recreation opened the doors of its flagship marina, the 79th Street Boat Basin in Riverside Park, to the public to learn about boating and meet our expert Dockmasters. This year, Parks also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Boat Basin, which was established by Robert Moses as the “recreational boating gateway to New York City” in 1937. The public was invited to stroll, or paddle, over to the Boat Basin to learn about life on the water.

Over 300 people received guided tours of the popular boating site where they were able to learn about some of the exciting challenges that go into operating and maintaining a marina on the Hudson River. Visitors were able to examine the myriad components that go into construction of a floating dock while receiving a first-hand description of the process from a Parks dockbuilder. Poster-sized photographs dating back to 1937 gave guests a visual tour of the site’s history, capturing many of the changes Parks continues to introduce to the location.

More hands-on activities included clinics on how to tie a range of different boating knots as well as the proper procedure to secure a vessel to the docks. Urban Park Rangers were on site with games and puzzles offering a wealth of facts and information on the Hudson River and the organisms with which it is inhabited. Visitors to the Rangers’ table were also able to learn about the many adventures in our parks, other free programs for kids, and receive a copy of the Ranger’s quarterly newspaper and calendar, Outdoors in NYC.

Other highlights of the day included a FDNY fireboat water display just off of A-dock. A stentorian blast of the vessel’s horn drew all eyes waterside as the over 150-foot long vessel powered up its six large fire-extinguishing hoses spraying arches of the river’s water high into the air. In addition to each visitor receiving maps and brochures of Parks boating resources and marinas, as well as their very own Parks & Recreation squeaking “rubber-ducky” tugboat, several lucky guests had their name selected from a free raffle to win their very own 79th Street Boat Basin plastic routed sign.

Finally, for those feeling that a day at the marina would not be complete without some actual time spent out on the open water, free charters aboard a 42-foot sailing sloop departed from the marina each hour for a 40-minute excursion to the George Washington Bridge before returning to homeport at the 79th Street Boat Basin. After the days events, it was clear that many of our first-time visitors would be returning to the Boat Basin and stopping by some of our other water-based sites soon.

Written by Nate Grove


“Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.”

Ayn Rand
(1905 – 1982)

Directions to Riverside Park

Was this information helpful?