Take A Cruise On The Great Ga-Zee-Boat

By Heather Brousel         --    The Two River Times      --    July 26, 2002

OCEANPORT — “Captain Ed” Pomianoski’s riverboat, The Great Ga-Zee-Boat, is celebrating its fourth year as the last wooden riverboat licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to operate solely in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers.

    The Great Ga-Zee-Boat measures 44 ft. long and 16 ft. wide. With its octagonal cabin, the boat resembles a gazebo. It was built in Wall Township and carries 49 passengers. The boat cruises the rivers from May to mid October, sailing from the Oceanport Marina on River Street.

    With two other river boats — the Big Kahuna and the Viking Princess — long gone from local waters, Captain Ed’s is the only commercial passenger vessel still regularly plying the waters of the Navesink and the Shrewsbury, Captain Ed says.


Great Ga-Zee-Boat Captain Ed Pomianoski and his crew for the day, Capt. Dominick Orefice (L) and First Mate Gill Horack (R) get ready for another cruise on the Shrewsbury River.


Photo:  Scott Longfield

    The path the boat takes touches multiple municipalities, including Long Branch, Oceanport, Monmouth Beach, Rumson, Sea Bright, Highlands, Red Bank and Shrewsbury.

    Danny’s Steakhouse and Seafood Grill of Red Bank caters most of the events on the boat, which range from corporate affairs, weddings, birthdays and other celebrations to memorial cruises during which ashes of a deceased loved one may be scattered.

    “We’re service oriented and very accommodating,” says Captain Ed. He and his fellow captains, Bob Bataille and Dominick Orefice, are all licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. All of have spent the required 720 days of sea time and mastered all five required licensing exams. The boat is monitored by the Coast Guard and subject to numerous regulations, because it’s a carrier vessel, Captain Ed said.
A group from the Ocean Place Conference Center
came aboard for a scenic run up the river.

Photo: Scott Longfield

He got his start on the water as a child, when he went out on fishing boats during summers in Manasquan.

During the months when he isn’t using his sea legs, Captain Ed can be found teaching at the County College of Morris as director of their Hospitality Management program, which provides instruction to those seeking careers in travel, cruise and hospitality industries.

A ride on The Great Gazeeboat can last anywhere from two to six hours. Any type of party, occasion, sight seeing tour, or even happy hour can be the focus of a trip. The Great Ga-Zee-Boat has hours of operation seven days a week, anytime of day, and is licensed to serve alcoholic beverages.

Monday through Thursday are popular corporate and business trips. Friday through Sunday are usually social events, for example a trip was coordinated on the Navesink River July 3, 2002, for the Red Bank fireworks. Captain Ed and his crew also offer a team-building cruise that lasts 5 hours.

    “Two groups compete with one another on navigation issues, while working together with their respective teams,” said Captain Ed.

    If interested in experiencing what The Great Ga-Zee-Boat and Riverboat Services, Inc. has to offer check the website http://www.riverboatservices.com/ or call Captain Ed at (732)780-4217 to schedule a trip.

Published July 26, 2002