Burn boat, burn
Image of the fire taken by one of the bystanders.

Rhosemarie Cabanban (Inset: Photo by LIMM)

Burn boat, burn

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
11/5/2015


Burn boat, burn 

WEST SAYVILLE—On the eve of Halloween, the grounds of the Long Island Maritime Museum were inundated with approximately 2500 people, many of them dressed in costume, to witness the annual Boat Burning ritual. The event, which draws onlookers from near and far, did not disappoint.

This was the 25th year that the Suffolk County-owned museum hosted this event, which is loosely based on the Norse tradition of a Viking funeral. But, it’s also holiday-appropriate and a whole lot of fun. 

Each year, one of the many boats that are donated to the museum is chosen for the occasion. The only criterion for this event is that the boat should be made of wood and is neither usable nor repairable. Then, with onlookers placed a safe distance away, volunteers from the West Sayville Fire Department inspect the vessel thoroughly to assure it is completely vacant of all living things. They then douse it with flammable liquid before creating the largest bonfire in all of Long Island. 


Winning ticket 

BAY SHORE—Every year a new vessel made by the volunteer craftsmen at the Penny Boat Shop, located on the grounds of the Long Island Maritime Museum, is raffled off at the annual Boat Burning. Amy Furey from Bay Shore, pictured here with her son, was the winner of this year’s raffle. The winning ticket was purchased at the Bay Shore Arts Festival by the Bay last June.