Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Sale Price for JF Kennedy's Yacht

by E.B. Furgurson III, Annapolis/Sail-World on 11 Oct 2008
JFK sailing and Manitou arriving in Annapolis - photo credit J.Henson .. .
It's not only you and me who are feeling the pinch in the current economic climate - JF Kennedy's yacht is now advertised for sale at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, discounted a whopping $700,000 from its original price in June this year (See Sail-World story with more pictures of Manitou sailing)

It doesn't make her any less interesting. This wooden 62-foot Sparkman and Stephens-designed yawl was built by M.M. Davis and Sons in Solomons Island in 1937 for a wealthy fellow who sailed it in the Great Lakes. The boat is nearly fully restored.

Manitou was President John F. Kennedy's sailing White House. There is the famous photograph of him at the helm taken in August 1962 on Narragansett Bay, months after he selected Manitou from the sailing craft kept by the Coast Guard. Another photo has a young Sen. John Kerry, who was dating a Kennedy in-law, aboard for a ride.

The president used it to relax, to get away on weekends rather than the 92-foot presidential power yacht he had dubbed the Honey Fitz after his grandfather.

Made of mahogany over oak frames and decked in teak, she was called a 'sweet sailor' by the Coast Guard skipper who oversaw her when she was introduced to the president off the coast of Maine.

Retired Capt. Lawrence White, now living in Connecticut after moving there from Annapolis several years ago, said he had skippered the craft while at the Coast Guard Academy.

'We sailed her in a number of races at the academy,' Capt. White said. 'She was delightful yacht to sail. We liked her appointments, but we never did use the fireplace.'

That's right, fireplace. The boat is also graced with a beautiful interior made of butternut, icebox, propane stove, even a bathtub, though tiny. Her original equipment includes the brass Herreshoff steering pedestal and compass. It sleeps three forward, four in main cabin and the main stateroom aft sleeps two.

When President Kennedy was sworn in, Capt. White was stationed in Washington at Coast Guard headquarters. Soon he was tasked to prepare a notebook on the sailing yachts the Coast Guard owned.

'It disappeared up the chain,' he said. 'A little while later I was advised the president had selected Manitou,' he said.

Then he was ordered to the White House to make arrangements. And then detached to headquarters to make the boat ready for the president's use. The presidential yachting was hush-hush, coordinated by the Secret Service, Navy and Coast Guard.

'We got it fitted out and were ordered to waters off Maine by John's Island, where we anchored and waited for the president to arrive,' Capt. White said.

With a typical skipper's detachment he called the president's passage 'uneventful.'

'We were able to manage the conditions and dropped the president off,' he said.

A few days later he was replaced by a more junior grade officer, who was a good sailor.

Five years after the president's death the boat was sold as surplus to the Harry Lundberg Merchant Marine Academy in St. Mary's County for $35,000.

Aristotle Onasis, who by then was courting the president's widow, tried to buy the boat twice.

It was used as a training vessel there and after a number of years began deteriorating.

In 1999, the granddaughter of the original owner, James Lowe, bought the boat and soon set about the restoration.

She had Manitou was taken to wooden boat haven Deltaville, Va., where it was hauled, dismantled and painstakenly restored from the ribs up. Work continues still and is nearly complete.

Manitou was brought to the Calvert Marine Museum last spring and put on display as some of the final work was done.

If you have a spare $1.3 million, she is yours.

Then you would have to finish the work, which includes rigging electronics and some wood finishing.

For more information about how she was brought to Annapolis, go to the Home town Annapolis website
Colligo Marine 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - TechTuesday - Data drives athlete performance
Gathering real-time data isn’t just important for our Americas Cup racing catamarans, but our athletes as well. Gathering real-time data isn’t just important for our Americas Cup racing catamarans, but our athletes as well. Find out from Oracle Team USA physical performance manager Craig McFarlane how the team are using Zephyr Performance Systems to monitor athletes on the water and in the gym.
Posted on 28 Sep
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted on 28 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ gaining speed on the water + Video
There has been one predominant focus at Emirates Team NZ this past couple of months - gaining speed on the water There has been one predominant focus at Emirates Team New Zealand this past couple of months - gaining speed on the water. The team has been lying low, quietly chipping away and making gains on the water on their first in house designed and built AC45 test boat.
Posted on 28 Sep
RS Aerocup - Another magic day at Lake Garda - Day 2
Per Christian continued his domination with a string of firsts showing magical downwind speed through the waves. Per Christian of Norway continued his domination with a string of firsts showing magical downwind speed through the waves.
Posted on 25 Sep
2016 Star Sailors League Finals – Count down to Nassau
The reigning Star World Champion, Miami's Augie Diaz (USA) will be competing in Nassau but is yet to announce his crew. As always the top 12 skippers in the SSL Ranking for the year are invited to challenge and join 13 VIPs sailors selected for the successes achieved in their sailing career.
Posted on 22 Sep
Southern Spars en route to Monaco – Stand QSE2
It’s been another big year for the NZ based company, there's lots of exciting things to talk about the Monaco Yacht Show It’s been another big year for the New Zealand based company, giving us lots of exciting things to talk about at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show like our two big projects Adix and Aquijo. Adix, the three-masted 65-metre Dykstra schooner, has been transformed by a rig refit by Southern Spars and Future Fibres.
Posted on 22 Sep
America's Cup - Ken Read reflects on the recent World Series - Toulon
Commentator Ken Read on the recently completed round of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Toulon, France. North Sails President, Ken Read, doubles as a live commentator for the official TV feed from the America's Cup World Series. Here's his thoughts, from his blog on the North Sails website on the recently completed round of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Toulon, France. Read also looks ahead to the final round of the America's Cup World Series is Fukuoka, Japan and the strategies
Posted on 22 Sep
North Sails pays tribute to former owner Terry Kohler
Terry Kohler’s vision, leadership, and generosity will be felt within North Sails, and the sport for many years to come The North Sails Group is deeply saddened by the passing of Terry Kohler, owner of North Sails from 1984-2014. North Sails and all of its employees around the world would like to pass their condolences to the family Terry leaves behind, especially his wife Mary. Terry Kohler’s vision, leadership, and generosity will be felt within North Sails, and the sport for many years to come.
Posted on 22 Sep
America's Cup - CNN Mainsail goes inside the teams in Bermuda and UK
CNN goes inside four of the America's Cup teams in Bermuda and Portsmouth, UK for an insight into the design processes Double Olympic Gold medallist and presenter of the outstanding CNN Mainsail series, Shirley Robertson, goes inside four of the America's Cup teams in Bermuda and Portsmouth, UK for an insight into the design processes and angles being pursued by the teams. Then she goes on the water and sees the design teams and sailing teams working together.
Posted on 20 Sep
WIM Series moves on to the US
Next week will see the WIM Series midway event, the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, USA. Next week will see the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) midway event, the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, USA.
Posted on 19 Sep