Friday, January 4, 2013 - 9:57pm
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Ahoy, Captains of historic, educational and cultural vessels from around the world! New York City is rolling out the blue carpet at no fewer than 19 docks across the city. From the Dyckman Street Marina at the Hudson River shores of northernmost Manhattan to the Sheepshead Bay piers in southern Brooklyn, from Staten Island's Homeport to the World's Fair Marina in Queens, your cleats and bollards await you. Docking protocols have been streamlined and you can now easily access a standard permit application. Best of all, comprehensive, user-friendly information on dock features and public amenities is available to anyone with Internet access.

Released by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the new initiative to encourage special vessels to visit NYC has the twin goals of connecting more New Yorkers to their waterfront and spurring tourism.

“A uniform process for coordinating and permitting docking of tall ships, historic, educational and research vessels and other visiting vessels of all kinds is welcome news and long overdue,” said Capt. John Doswell, Executive Director of the Working Harbor Committee. The next step, he says, is promoting the dock availability. “Now we need to tell the maritime world how to take advantage of this so that we can attract these vessels, with their cultural and economic benefits, which now regularly avoid New York City.”

“For a more than a generation, tall ships and other great historic ships too often avoided New York because it was viewed as an expensive, bureaucratic and unwelcoming port – and this diminished our maritime heritage and robbed New Yorkers of the unique spectacle and economic stimulus those vessels bring,” said Roland Lewis, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. “This will change with the City’s new historic vessel docking inventory and protocols.”

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