Ellis Island Ferry Gets Second Chance—As A Houseboat

March 2017 Feature, News Web Exclusive

According to WorkBoat.com, this hundred-year-old ferry served under the Ellis Island immigration center in New York Harbor and is now being given a $1.25 million jumpstart on a new life as someone’s private houseboat.

Currently listed on the market, the Yankee comes with a rich history trailing behind it all the way back to 1907. Originally christened the Dida in Philadelphia, Pa., its first of many hats was that of steam-powered ferry. During World War I, the Dida then spent time as patrol boat and troop carrier Machigonne in Boston Harbor. U.S. immigration authorities took it over from 1921 to 1929 so it could serve as the Ellis Island ferry. Throughout the 1930s, this 147-foot vessel spent time as Hook Mountain, a New York tour boat, before World War II brewed and it was used by the Navy as a ferry for the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

We’re getting close to the finish line now! After the war, the government sold it in 1947. Re-christened the Yankee, this boat’s original 450-hp steam engine was swapped for a General Motors 12-567A diesel. In 1992, it was added to the national Register of Historic Places. 

After a period of inactivity, the Yankee was bought by Jim Gallagher, who had plans to restore this old boat to its glory days. He worked on it until 2003, when Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs took it under their wing and continued the restoration work to this day, when it’s officially ready for the market.

With five staterooms, a full bath, a gorgeous galley, and unbelievable space for hosting some pretty incredible dinner parties, the Yankee has been inspected and approved for private dockside use. With a story like this, it must be nice to retire somewhere in peace and quiet. You can check out more info at WorkBoat.com.

Photos courtesy of Franklin Ruttan Brokers

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