Two friends from Staten Island who also happen to be co-stars on Saturday Night Live took a chance on nostalgia and bought the John F. Kennedy, a retired Staten Island ferry back in January. Comedian Colin Jost took the ferry out on Monday not as a passenger, but as part owner.
Tug boats first pushed the Kennedy into New York harbor for some photos and video with Jost and his dad onboard. He and Pete Davidson joined a group of investors to purchase the ferry for $280,000 basically on a lark, Jost told the New York Times:
“I’m a cautious person by nature and this is definitely the riskiest thing that I’ve done,” Mr. Jost said, referring to the entire adventure.
He said that he wanted to get involved in the venture because of his nostalgic connection to the ferry, and he texted Mr. Davidson and asked, “Split it?” Mr. Davidson, who did not join the group on Monday, replied right away with enthusiasm, Mr. Jost recalled.
“Because it came from a pure place, it ended up being a smart decision,” Mr. Jost said. Though, he added, “Worst case, we just dock it somewhere and make it New York City’s biggest houseboat.”
At 277-feet long and 2,100 tons, it’d be a hell of a houseboat, though the currently plan is to turn the 57-year-old ferry into an entertainment venue. For now, the ferry is on its way to the Staten Island shipyard Caddell Dry Dock & Repair for badly needed fixes and renovation. The ferry was listed in “poor” condition when it went up for sale in January. The group of investors bought the old ferry “as-is,” and while it may not have working engines, the Kennedy did come with plenty of wooden benches and a working popcorn machine.
They’re off to a great start.