They call them "boat raves" even though they're in the middle of the afternoon.
And it’s hard to imagine a more perfect confluence of money, skin and exhibitionism.
But not everyone is excited:
Some longtime regulars worry that the scene is becoming too big, too fast, and could be headed for calamity.
This type of thing has always been big on the Jersey Shore. Granted, it has a bit more of a family vibe than a Girls Gone Wild vibe, but that has always been present as well.
The great hotspot of old was Party Island. Basically a sand bar in the middle of Barnegat Inlet, it would surface every day during low tide. As the tide went out, every single weekend, several hundred boats would beach themselves on it's banks. At peak low tide, the boats would be fully out of the water, trapping visitors until the water rose again. The sandbar would be filled with BBQ grills, tents, fold out tables, lawn chairs, and whatever else anyone could get out there. My family was notable for being the first to bring off-road motorcycles to the island. I have many great childhood memories associated with this scenic spot by the lighthouse.
Sadly, Party Island has not existed for over a decade. When the inlet was re-engineered and dredged, the sand deposits that made up Party Island were eroded to the point where it no longer surfaces, saying at least a foot under water at all times.
The other hot spot, which is still in action, is Tices Shoal, located about 6 miles north of the Inlet and 3 miles south of Seaside Heights. At any given time, The Shoal may have anywhere between a few dozen to two thousand boats anchored on it's bay side. The location is extremely convenient for two reasons. First, the water is about 3ft deep for a very large area before dropping off to about 6ft, allowing a very wide range of boats to get up close to the shore within an area not as choppy as the rest of the bay. Second, there is a walking trail that connects the bay side to the ocean side, so the beach is only a brief walk away. The section of Island Beach State Park where Tices Shoal is located is directly at the point where you need an off-road pass to go any further by car, and has a big parking lot nearby, so it is possible for people to get there by land and join seafaring friends.