Long Island Maritime Museum – one of the Top Places to Visit in New York
Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville, NY is truly a fascinating trip into history. The setting could not be more spectacular, situated on Long Island’s Great South Bay.
A trip to this historic area is a trip back in time to the days when almost all the boats were hand built of wood, with beautifully finished varnished decks with their brightly puttied seams. Visit the original historic shop of Frank F. Penney, Boat Builder and get a first hand look at what a real boatworks looked like inside.
There is a converted WWI US Navy seaplane hangar on the site, with more than thirty historic boats inside, including everything from the small sail-powered boats that were popular for families “back in the day,” to replicas of some of the famous tall ships of the Atlantic trade.
If you love boating history, you will revel in all the little boat that have been lovingly refurbished in the museum’s own little shipyard run by volunteers. Take a two hour trip on the oyster sloop Priscilla around Great South Bay. Enjoy the breathtaking views from the deck of this historic vessel, built in 1888, and feel the history of American boating under your feet.
Did you know that Long Island is world famous for its long history of sailboat building? Indeed, they have been building sailboats for well over a hundred years in the area. Priscilla is just one fine example of one of these sloops that has stood the test of time.
The volunteer crew is very friendly and have been known to let the occasional passenger take a turn at the helm. What an experience to enjoy and take home with you!
The Long Island Maritime Museum was founded more than fifty years ago, in 1966. Situated right on the waterfront of West Sayville, the grounds once belong to the Meadow Edge estate of Mr. and Mrs. Anson Hard. The museum property is made up of fourteen acres which include nine historic buildings.
The mission of the museum is to preserve Long Island’s maritime history and traditions. Long Island’s maritime heritage is long and storied, a very important part of American history to pass on into the future.
The area is famous for its oyster trade. Visitors can learn about the history of the trade in the Rudolph Oyster House, with displays featuring the families who developed the industry, as well as what happened to the industry and what is going on in the area, today.
Of interest to those who dream of the romantic era of sailing by dead reckoning and luck, there are exhibits featuring the days when the waters between Long Island and the barrier reefs became known as the “valley of shipwrecks.” While the nostalgia of yesteryear may hold a certain appeal, this exhibit at the Long Island Maritime Museum will help you to appreciate today’s electronic navigation aids!
No trip to the museum is complete without visiting the exhibit featuring the history of the life saving service, rescuing hapless sailors from storms, shipwrecks and even the pirates that once prowled the area. Prepare to be fascinated!
For golf enthusiasts, if you can drag yourself away from all the things to do and see at the museum, the spectacular West Sayville Golf and Country Club is right next door. That, in turn, is situated in the beautiful the Hard Estate-West Sayville County Park, a huge tract of land west of Sayville.
Getting to the Long Island Maritime Museum from JFK Airport or La Guardia Airport is under an hour in normal traffic. But why drive, when you can ride in comfort in a Long Island Limousine with a professional and courteous chauffeur at the wheel?