Home News This decommissioned Staten Island Ferry can be yours for $155,000

This decommissioned Staten Island Ferry can be yours for $155,000


Two years after local Richmond County boys Colin Jost and Pete Davidson bought an out-of-work orange ferry boat with the hopes of turning it into a nightclub, another decommissioned Staten Island Ferry is on the auction block.

The Andrew J. Barberi, a 310-foot ferry retired by the city last year, was put up for public surplus auction this week by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

“NYC DOT has been upgrading our ferry fleet through generational investments to improve service and bring new amenities for riders—allowing older vessels to be retired​,” Vincent Barone, a spokesman for the city’s Transportation Department, said in a statement. “We will have more information soon on NYC DOT’s plans to commemorate the Andrew J. Barberi.”

Bidding on the giant orange ferry opened at $155,000 — as of Thursday, no one had made an offer.

The 3,335-ton vessel has been stripped of its propulsion and navigation systems — DCAS officials say its eventual new owner will need to tow the Barberi from its berth in St. George.

The ship, first launched in 1981, served the city for 42 years before being retired.

In 2003, 11 people were killed and 70 others injured when the Barberi crashed at full speed into a pier at St. George, a tragedy that made the cover of the Daily News.

Staten Island Ferry

Aerial views while rescue workers work on the Staten Island Ferry Andrew J. Barberi after it crashed into the pier at St. George on Staten Island on Oct. 15, 2003. (John Roca)

Roca, John

Aerial views while rescue workers work on the Staten Island Ferry Andrew J. Barberi after it crashed into the pier at St. George on Staten Island on Oct. 15, 2003. (John Roca)

Ferry pilot Richard Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison for passing out at the helm, and then-ferry director Patrick Ryan received a year and a day for failing to enforce a rule requiring two pilots to operate the boats while docking.

The ship had another run-in with a pier in 2010, when a faulty engine part caused it to smack into the dock at St. George once again, this time injuring 48 people.

The ship served 13 more years in city service without a major incident and was retired in October.

Decomissioned ships such as the Barberi are typically purchased at auction by so-called ship breakers, who strip vessels down to sell components and scrap metal.

In 2022, though, “Saturday Night Live” stars Jost and Davidson, along with Manhattan real estate broker and comedy club owner Paul Italia, saved the 60-year-old vessel John F. Kennedy from a similar fate when they purchased the ship for $280,000.

Italia said at the time that the plan was to make the iconic ship into a floating event space, while Jost waxed poetic about taking the ferry during his high school commute.

As of Thursday, though, the John F. Kennedy could still be seen sitting at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair on the Kill van Kull, where it was towed in April 2022.

Sources told the Daily News that work on the future aquatic nightclub was ongoing — a sign the Kennedy may turn out better than the last Staten Island Ferry purchased with grand plans.

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