The president gets most of the playthings of the superrich: a mansion (the White House), a private jet (Air Force One) and a helicopter (Marine One). Still something is missing. That something is the Presidential Yacht. Whatever happened to it anyway? Town and Country investigated.
The quick answer is that the USS Sequoia, once the president’s personal yacht, is deteriorating in a Virginia boatyard. But it may once again sail the open seas.
Built in 1925, the Sequoia served eight presidents, and we mean served: Marilyn Monroe is said to have joined John F. Kennedy on the boat for a few cruises. But in 1977, Jimmy Carter decided our nation had outgrown the symbol of presidential decadence, and auctioned off the ship.
It enjoyed a bit of a heyday in the subsequent years, commanding rental fees of $10,000 a day. And in 1987, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Then, Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group LLC, which operated the yacht was struck with a financial and legal imbroglio with its lender. The yacht had to be pulled ashore and fell into disrepair as the years went by.
“The Sequoia, an elderly and vulnerable wooden yacht, is sitting on an inadequate cradle on an undersized marine railway in a moribund boatyard on the western shore of the Chesapeake, deteriorating and, lately, home to raccoons,” a judge noted in 2016.
That judge ruled that FE Partners LLC, a joint venture between the D.C.-based Equator Capital Group and a wealthy Indian family, could have the yacht for $0, according to Town and Country.
The investors say they hope to restore the yacht and return it to the Atlantic. [T&C]