The boats caught fire at the dry dock of the Seaport Inlet Marina on 5th Avenue in Belmar.
It took firefighters several hours to get the 3-alarm blaze under control, and thick, black smoke could be seen for miles.
(Video courtesy @frankmercurinj via Twitter)
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said at least 12 boats were destroyed in the fire.
"The source of the fire is still under investigation," said Doherty. "Even right now while it's under control there are parts of the fire that are still stubborn. It's a mixture of plastics in the boat, and fuel that's still in the boat that's leading to this continuing fire."
There are no reports of injuries.
Power was cut around the marina. An outage of several hours was expected in the area of 5th Avenue between Main and B Street.
Dozens of firefighters from Belmar and several neigboring towns battled the fire, and kept it from jumping to nearby condominiums.
"Fortunately none of the residential properties were damaged, no injuries, no fatalities," said Doherty.
Boat owners came checking to see which vessels had been lost.
"My buddy called me from work and I shot right over here," said Shawn Funk. "Thank God the flames didn't hit this area, but I cried all the way home. It missed my boat, my boat's OK."