Power & Motoryacht

SHIPS OF STATE

United States presidents have lots of toys at their disposal, and expensive ones at that: Air Force One, for example, a nice U.S. Marine helicopter, garages full of bulletproof limos and high-end SUVs and probably plenty of stuff we don’t even know about. But they don’t have a yacht, at least not anymore. After almost a century of presidential yachts, Jimmy Carter sold the last one in 1977. But while we had them, presidential ships were an ideal way to impress foreign ambassadors and heads of state. Diplomacy aside, a yacht seems like the perfect place to shake off the stresses of running our complex country while avoiding war with others.

Nine presidential yachts served our chief executives between 1880 and 1977. The White House Historical Association lists them as: and . The U.S.S. was a 198-foot U.S. Navy steamer that had been used primarily for diplomatic missions. In 1880, she was assigned to President Rutherford B. Hayes, and later to President Grover Cleveland. In October, 1886, carried Cleveland and his entourage to Bedloe’s Island, now Liberty Island, in New York Harbor for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Five years later, while returning to Washington from New York City, she grounded on Virginia’s Assateague Island in a gale; her crew

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