Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

JFK's Classic Yawl is up for Sale

by Des Ryan on 13 Jun 2008
Manitou sailing .. .
If you have a couple of million (US Dollars that is) to spare, one of the most prestigious classic yachts of all time could be yours. Aristotle Onassis tried to buy her twice, failing each time, and the original owner bought her back just a few years ago.

For a time she was the USA's 'Floating White House', and the world's most vital secrets of the day were whispered in her salon. She's Manitou, John F Kennedy's Presidential yacht.

As one of his first official acts, incoming president Kennedy selected Manitou, the 62-foot Sparkman & Stephens yawl designed in 1936 to replace the 92-foot powerboat that was then the Presidential yacht.

She had been donated in 1955 to the Coast Guard Academy. She was brought to the Chesapeake Bay and equipped with communication equipment so the President would never be out of touch with his office (or the Kremlin) while on board.

Kennedy sailed Manitou often on the Bay and in New England. Kennedy was so fond of the boat that he deemed her the 'floating Whitehouse.' She was named after Manitou Passage in Lake Michigan. 'Manitou' means 'Spirit of the Water.'

Five years after his assassination in 1963, she was sold by government (Defense Surplus Sales Office) on May 23, 1968 to the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at Piney Point, Maryland for $35,000, and then used for training for the Merchant Marine.

In the same year, Aristotle Onassis, the Greek multi-millionaire made two attempts to buy the boat back when he was courting Mrs. John F. Kennedy. He married her a few months later (October 1968).

In 1999, Manitou was purchased by the granddaughter of the original owner, James Lowe. Since then, the boat has undergone a major refit. The current owner has seen some changes, too -- citing the birth of triplets in 2001. She has put Manitou up for sale.

Her shapely lines were originally built at the M.M. Davis & Son yard at Solomans, Maryland but has just completed an almost entire rebuild in the course of the past five years.

Designed after Mr. Olin Stephens experience with the famed Dorade? and Stormy Weather she followed the Cruising Club rule, and she is a boat of solid construction intended to be able to handle herself smartly in almost any sort of sea. She was always an excellent design for extended cruising or ocean racing and she now has many features, some original and some from the refit that make her desirable.

She is built with teak planking on deck and Philippine mahogany over oak frames for the hull - all of which is now new.

And here's what you get for the 1.9mil:

Length: 62 feet overall (44 feet on water line). Beam: 13 feet. Draft: 9 feet.

Power: gasoline engine (7-8 knots)

Equipment: radio direction finder, fathometer, radio telephone

Accommodations: icebox, propane stove, usable fireplace, head forward, and head admidships. Sleeps 3 crew forward, 4 in main cabin and the main stateroom aft sleeps 2.

Rig: Marconi rigged yawl. Requires at least 3 experienced hands to sail her and another 2 or 3 to handle the sails and gear. In addition to regular working sails, has a complete set of racing sails.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]



For more information about the yacht as she stands for sale, go to the Sparkman & Stephens Association
..........................

Letter from reader:
Sender: Timothy Davis

Message: M.M. Davis was my great grand father. He died long before 'Manitou' was designed, let alone built. My great uncle, Clarence, who was the guy responsible for the building all of the 'Yachts', including 'Manitou', at M.M. Davis and Son (he being the son), died shortly after the keel was laid, but before the vessel was completed. It could be said that it skipped a generation, as my father had a PHD in chemistry, and worked for US Steel, but I am a marine surveyor, based in the Virgin Islands, and my twin brother (Jon), still builds boats on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. If you can feel it or understand it, there has always been, through out the history of mankind, something special about 'boats'. I am proud of what M.M.and his son created, and would hope that they would be proud of what their ancestors have done to date
Tim Davis
Davis Marine Surveying and Adjusting

Related News Item: JFK's Classic Yawl is up for Sale

T Clewring CruisingNorth Technology - Southern Sparsupffront 660x82

Related Articles

Indispensable Sunscreen Tips
This is the second part of a three-article series on sailors and the sun This is the second part of a three-article series on sailors and the sun Dr. Steve Horwitz has been an active PHRF, Lightning and Etchells sailor for quite awhile. While most sailors on Biscayne Bay are used to seeing him at the helm of Widespread Panic, he crewed for years before he became a dermatologist.
Posted on 26 Apr 2009
Skin Cancer - the Reality of being a Fair-Skinned Sailor
'One of the first skin cancer screenings was during 2001/02 stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Dr. Steve Horwitz 'One of the first skin cancer screenings that I did at a regatta was during the 2001/02 Miami stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Dr. Steve Horwitz. Steve is sailing’s skin doctor. He has been practicing dermatology in Miami for over three decades and has been sailing on Biscayne Bay for longer
Posted on 24 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket - Out of time and at the bitter end
We did all we could as the weather once again played games with us. Vestas Sailrocket is attempting to break the World Sailing Speed record on Walvis Bay in Namibia. Their time period for attempting this record has come to an end. Latest from Paul Larsen. We did all we could as the weather once again played games with us.
Posted on 20 Apr 2009
Curtain raised on the new l’Hydroptère.ch
l’Hydroptère.ch the new lab boat will be a trial platform on a reduced scale for the future Hydroptère maxi On Wednesday during a press conference organized in Lausanne, on the campus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which is the scientific adviser of the project, Alain Thébault and a part of his team unveiled the drawings of l’Hydroptère.ch
Posted on 18 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket record attempt - And the answer is ...
Did we or didn't we???? We did a 45.68 knot 500 meter average and peaked at 47.6 something... Did we or didn't we???? As I sit here writing this and stuffing a basic chicken and cheese roll nto my mouth, Helena sits down the other end of the container trying to work out if we just broke the nautical mile record or not. I know it was close... We did a 45.68 knot 500 meter average and peaked at 47.6 something...
Posted on 10 Apr 2009
Vestas Sailrocket posts second fastest nautical mile run on record
Yesterday Vestas Sailrocket effortlessly posted the second fastest nautical mile run ever. Yesterday Vestas Sailrocket effortlessly posted the second fastest nautical mile run ever. Whilst yesterday was a bit light to hit top speeds, conditions were pretty ideal to ramp up the check-out of Vestas Sailrocket in preparation for what is to come...
Posted on 1 Apr 2009
Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium for 2009
Organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum have announced the addition of a Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium Informa Yacht Group, organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum have announced the addition of the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium to run parallel to this year’s Forum, 9-10 December at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Posted on 1 Apr 2009
New World Speed Record- Macquarie Innovation breaks 50 - hits 54 knots
Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo leapt back into the history books Thursday when Macquarie Innovation averaged 50.43 knots Australian sailors Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo leapt back into the history books Thursday night when Macquarie Innovation powered down the Sandy Point speed course, near Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, at an average speed of 50.43 knots
Posted on 28 Mar 2009
Cowes Week to go ahead without sponsor
It’s business as usual for the world’s oldest and largest sailing regatta, Cowes Week It’s business as usual for the world’s oldest and largest sailing regatta, Cowes Week. The team at Cowes Week Limited, the organisation behind the world famous event, announced today that despite no new title sponsor being signed to date, they want sailors and spectators alike to rest assured the regatta will sail ahead as usual
Posted on 23 Mar 2009
Unlucky Friday 13th crash for Vestas SailRocket and Paul Larsen
Vestas SailRocket crashed at high speed and injuries to Paul Larsen, while attempting a world record run On Friday the 13th, the Vestas SailRocket team scheduled another world record attempt, which resulted in Vestas Sailrocket crashing at high speed and injuries to Paul Larsen. Larsen was hospitalised, but later released. Larsen was shaken but is determined to carry on.
Posted on 16 Mar 2009