Sunday, February 17, 2013

Boats and Presidents

It is Presidents day weekend. Since this is a sailing and food blog I want to mention the boats that our presidents are famous for.
George Washington
He is most famous for crossing the icy Delaware river on Christmas night 1776. This raid was a bold move of the revolutionary war. The boats were a mishmash cobbled together with the assistance of the Pennsylvania navy however the majority of boats were either ferry boats or Durham boats (flat bottomed with keels steered with sweeps primarily used at the local iron works)
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Leutze
Thomas Jefferson
USS Constelation
Urged and then started the US Navy. He is responsible for the first ships to be commissioned to be built for the US Navy. This bill was the Naval Act of 1794. The ships commissioned that made it to completion were in order of launch the USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.  Of these USS United States was sunk during the civil war. The USS Constellation you may still and I highly recommend you do visit in Baltimore. The USS Constitution still belongs to the US Navy and may be visited in Boston for great tours as well.
USS United States

USS Constitution

John Kennedy
On August 2, 1943 Kennedy was serving in the US Navy as a lieutenant junior grade aboard the patrol torpedo boat 109(PT-109) when it was sunk by the Japanese. He then led his men to swim first to one abandoned island and then to a second one where they lived for six days off of coconuts.
President Kennedy in his younger days had been a sailor of star class boats. Of all our presidents he is probably the best sailor. As an adult he had two sailboats. The Manitou a 62 foot racing yacht  sometimes called the floating white house and the 26 ft Victura which was given to him for his 15th birthday by his father and remained his favorite boat throughout his life. 
JFK aboard the Manitou
For a nice video of JFK sailing his Victura go here. He was president so we can forgive him his bad sail trim around 1:20 and 4:55.

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