Skip to main content

No buyer yet for historic yacht

A clear sign the used-boat market is sputtering is when the former yacht of a U.S. President is having trouble finding a buyer.

John F. Kennedy’s 62-foot wooden Sparkman & Stephens yawl Manitou was advertised for sale last weekend at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md. — with a heavily discounted asking price. In June, the anonymous seller had set a $2 million price, but that has now been dropped to $1.3 million, according to a report in

However, no takers have been reported for Manitou. Built in 1937 by M.M. Davis and Sons in Solomons Island, Md., the vessel has been undergoing a restoration at the CalvertMarineMuseum, also in SolomonsIsland.

Manitou is constructed of mahogany over oak frames, decked in teak, and has everything from a small bathtub to a fireplace. Restoration began on her from the ribs up in 1999 in Deltaville, Va., and she was bought by the CalvertMarineMuseum last year and put on display until June 3, although the interior was sealed off, according to the report.

Any buyer would still have to rig the boat with electronics and complete the wood finishing.

— Elizabeth Ellis