The Harlem Rocket, an exciting high-speed tour on the Hudson River along the famed Harlem and Upper Manhattan waterfront, has announced a new sponsorship and collaboration with Raymarine, a global leader in marine electronics. The May 2023 debut of the Harlem Rocket, launched from the award-winning West Harlem Piers, will feature state-of-the art yet rugged, reliable guidance systems produced by Raymarine, a leader in the field for 80-plus years.
“We are so happy to add Raymarine to our growing list of founding supporters and collaborators for the Harlem Rocket, the first phase of the Harlem Gateway Waterfront Initiative,” says Garry A, Johnson, founder and CEO of Paradise Express Ferry and Harlem Rocket LLC. “As thrilling as it is educational, the 90-passenger Harlem Rocket tours focus on the many historical and cultural contributions of the dynamic people who have lived and worked in Harlem and neighboring communities.”
For its part, the global marine electronics provider Raymarine is winning awards for product innovations and for supporting partnerships with groups worldwide, including offshore racing sailor Giancarlo Pedote and the Beneteau Oceanis Sailing Yachts, among others.
“We’re very excited to see the Harlem Rocket rigged with our state-of-the-art navigation products,” says Jamie Dery, Raymarine’s vice president for the Americas. “This high-performance boat is a great showcase for our Axiom chartplotters, Cyclone radar and FLIR marine camera system.”
Johnson says that Raymarine’s high-technology marine electronics for installation on the Harlem Rocket help position the company for valuable new exposure to the growing minority demographics in the recreational boating market. Adds Raymarine’s Dery, “Not only will it provide a thrilling experience for visitors to Harlem, this vessel also represents the start of a new era of opportunity, prosperity and family fun in a historic New York City neighborhood. We’re very proud to have a small part in making this possible.”
The Harlem Rocket is a uniquely branded, immersive maritime experience, integrated with novel drone, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-storage technologies, enabling guests to capture and share their experiences of the Upper Manhattan waterfront and the New York City skyline like never before. It also utilizes a workforce development model that will create exciting career opportunities and jobs that empower local communities and sustain scalable economic development, not only in maritime operations but also in renewable energy and offshore wind. (A video of The Harlem Rocket is found at https://harlemrocket.com/about-us and is available to media.)
“Our plan includes exposing area youth to the myriad of career opportunities available in the maritime space, because as we like to say, ‘A kid can’t be what a kid can’t see,’” adds Johnson, who also volunteers his time as Economic Development Chairman for the NAACP New York State Conference. “The Harlem Rocket concept has been met by local government and community leaders with great enthusiasm, and when it opens in May it will be the first major new tourist attraction in Harlem in over 30 years!”
Launching the Harlem Gateway Waterfront Initiative
The Harlem Rocket is also the first phase in the formal launch of a multi-phased development vision for this Hudson River area of Manhattan, called the Harlem Waterfront Gateway Initiative (see www.harlemwaterfront.com). The program comes to life through a series of scalable waterfront attractions designed to draw thousands of local visitors from communities across the Hudson River, such as Edgewater, Fort Lee, Hoboken, and other parts of metro New York and the tri-state area including New Jersey and Connecticut.
West Harlem’s waterfront will serve as a new entry point into Harlem and its famed 125th Street, which includes Columbia University’s new $6 billion Manhattanville campus, the world-famous Apollo Theater, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and connects with famous local restaurants such as Sylvia’s, Melba’s and Red Rooster, as well as popular national franchises.
“With these exciting projects and other uniquely branded immersive maritime experiences in development, Paradise Express Ferry is positioned to be one of the world’s most innovative and exciting maritime companies, creating local jobs and unforgettable experiences,” says Michael A. Preston, a partner and vice president of Government Affairs & Customer Experience at Paradise Express Ferry. “We are pleased to welcome Raymarine as a founding collaborator in this forward-looking venture beginning with the Harlem Rocket.”