John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his yachts: a passion deeply ingrained in him
By François Chevalier @ Jacques Taglang
“I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s speech to crew of the defender Weatherly and the Australian challenger Gretel, the day before the first match race of the 1962 America’s Cup.
Newport, Rhode Island September 14, 1962
|© John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston - Newport 1962. President John F. Kennedy and Jacky watching the race between Weatherly and Gretel.|
JFK had a passion for sea and yachts since his very childhood. Due to the inspiring personality of this president, we wish to introduce the primary yachts he owned and/or sailed.
He had a true passion for his first boat Victura throughout his lifetime.
Wianno Senior – designed in 1914 – hull n° 94, wood gaff rigged sloop built in 1932 by Crosby Yacht Yard, Osterville, Massachusetts
|©François Chevalier 2011 - Victura sail plan|
Sail area (Upwind): 308 sq. ft.
On display at the Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester, Massachusetts
|© John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.|
Star Class boat.
Built in 1930 by his first owner, H.B. Atkin
Owned by Joseph P. and John F. Kennedy from 1934 to 1939
Owned by John K. Kennedy in 1940 (one year only)
The two Kennedy brothers owned a first Star Class Flash (1932)
Sail Area: 285 sq. ft.
Displacement – keel: 885+/- 15lb
In 2004, it appears being detained by US Customs.
Motor yacht. Mahogany built. Rum-runner hull configuration
|©François Chevalier, 2011. Marlin profile|
Designer: Walter J. McInnis
Builder: F.D. Lawler
Where: Quincy, Massachusetts
When launched: 1930
First owner: Edsel Ford
Second owner: Schenley Distillers
During Second WW drafted into coastal patrol service (Coast Guard)
Third owner: Yellow Cab Company of Cambridge, Mass.
Owned from 1952 to 1970 by the Kennedy family
Present owner: Diego Della Valle, Italy (since 2005)
Engines: two Sterling Dolphin 6-cylinder 300hp
|©Dominique Gabirault Collection|
|©Dominique Gabirault Collection|
|©Dominique Gabirault Collection. Early configuration|
HONEY FITZ, ex BARBARA ANNE, ex-LENORE II
Motor yacht. Mahogany built.
|©François Chevalier, 2011. Honey Fitz profile|
Builder: Defoe Boat Works
Where: Bay City, Michigan
When launched: 1931
First owner: Sewell L. Avery
Second owner: US Coast Guard from 1942 to 1945
Permanent transfer to US Navy: end 1945. Tender for Williamburg, president Harry S. Truman’s yacht. Then sailed by president Dwigth D. Eisenhower, renamed Barbara Anne.
President JFK renamed her Honey Fitz. She remained in use for presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
Sold in 1970. Owns to a private group.
Displacement: 88 tons
Cruising speed: 12 knots
|©Dominique Gabirault Collection. Lenore then Honey Fitz|
MANITOU – “The floating White House”
Auxiliary Marconi rigged yawl. Wood built
Builder: Davis & Sons
Where: Solomans, Maryland
When launched: 1937
First owner: James R. Lowe, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Chosen by JFK in 1962
Sold by government on May 23, 1968 to the Harry Lundeberg School o Seamanship at Piney Point, Maryland.
Purchased by the granddaughter of James Lowe in 1999. Major refit. Sold in 2001.
Presently (2012) owned by Claës-Goran Nilsson, Phil Jordan, Pat Thierney and Melinada Kilkenny
In 1938, Manitou won the Chicago-Mackinac Race.
|©François Chevalier, 2011. Manitou profile|
Displacement: 39,4 tons
ROYONO, ex-MANDOU II
Bermudian yawl. Composite built (steel frame, wood planking)
|©François Chevalier, 2011. Royono sail plan|
Designer: John G. Alden - n° 623
Builder: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, Rhode Island
When launched: 1936
First owner: D. Spencer Berger
Between 1988-89, Bill Coffman conducted her restoration. Owned by Pilippe Bomare
New restoration in La Ciotat (2003)
Still sailing (2012) in the Mediterranean Sea
Sail area: 220 sp. Ft. Sail number 64
NOTE: for more information about the drawings and plans email to email@example.com