JFK’s sloop to be auctioned off - Soundings Online

JFK’s sloop to be auctioned off

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A 22-foot Star Class sloop is one of a number of items once owned by President John F. Kennedy set to be sold at auction in New York City. Kennedy is said to have sailed Flash II off the Kennedy family’s estate in Hyannis, Mass.

A 22-foot Star Class sloop is one of a number of items once owned by President John F. Kennedy set to be sold at auction in New York City. Kennedy is said to have sailed Flash II off the Kennedy family’s estate in Hyannis, Mass.

Among the other items up for grabs are a series of handwritten notes Kennedy took during the Cuban Missile Crisis (which feature sketches of sailboats), photographs of the Kennedys on the water, and the Omega wristwatch JFK wore during his presidential inauguration. The items will be up for bid Dec. 15 to 17 at the Park Avenue Armory by Guernsey’s auctions.

“This is going to be the defining JFK auction, featuring some 20,000 items,” says Guernsey’s president Arlan Ettinger. “Flash II is a beautiful vintage sailboat and I believe she will be one of the highlights of the sale. We’re excited to have her as part of the collection.”

Although Ettinger wouldn’t estimate the value of the boat and says a minimum bid will not be set, he believes Flash II will sell for “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

In July, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled that Flash II be sold at auction, and that the federal government was entitled to two-thirds of the proceeds from the sale, since it was seized from convicted drug dealer Gregory Olaf Anderson, who allegedly bought the boat with money from selling marijuana. The remainder of the proceeds will go to a Florida man who invested $10,000 in the sailboat. Since then, a Florida anesthesiologist has reportedly also claimed a stake in the boat.

Flash II was built in 1930 and purchased by JFK and his brother, Joseph, in 1934. Kennedy raced the boat in the 1936 Atlantic Coast Championship and won the 1938 MacMillan Cup in Annapolis, Md. He sold the boat in 1942.

Bids for the JFK items, including Flash II, will also be taken in person, on eBay and over the phone. Interested buyers will be able to preview the items Dec. 13 and 14. For information contact Guernsey’s. Phone: (212) 794-2280. www.guernseys.com