Presidential yacht Sequoia to be restored and displayed on DC waterfront

The 94-year-old yacht Sequoia is in for a full stem-to-stern restoration. (Courtesy Equator Capital)
The USS Sequoia, built in 1925 from mahogany, teak and yellow pine, was barged to the Cambridge, Maryland, Richardson Maritime Museum in September. (Courtesy Equator Capital)
President Roosevelt hosted Britain's prime minister on the Sequoia to discuss the Great Depression.
Highlights of the Sequoia’s run as the presidential yacht include President John F. Kennedy’s celebration of his 46th and final birthday on board.
President Roosevelt hosted Britain’s prime minister on the Sequoia to discuss the Great Depression. (Courtesy LeVarn Collection)
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President Roosevelt hosted Britain's prime minister on the Sequoia to discuss the Great Depression.

The 94-year-old yacht Sequoia, which served as the floating White House for every president from Herbert Hoover to Gerald Ford, is in for a lengthy, full stem-to-stern restoration, and its current owners expect to return it to the D.C. waterfront for the public to enjoy.

After a six-year legal battle over ownership, the USS Sequoia, built in 1925 from mahogany, teak and yellow pine, was barged to the Cambridge, Maryland, Richardson Maritime Museum in September.

Philadelphia-based Wolfe House & Building Movers transported the ship.

It will depart for Belfast, Maine, this week, where it will be restored by boat builders French & Webb.

The trip will take the yacht on a barge up the Chesapeake Bay, around Cape May, past the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge and onto the New England coast.

“Once restored, our intention is to bring Sequoia back to Washington where she will serve as a venue to teach American presidential history and promote ocean conservation causes,” said Michael Cantor, managing partner at D.C.-based Equator Capital Group, which owns the Sequoia.

“In four years, and hopefully sooner, Sequoia will be seaworthy and ready for Americans to once again enjoy the former presidential yacht’s storied past.”

Highlights of the Sequoia’s run as the presidential yacht include President John F. Kennedy’s celebration of his 46th and final birthday on board. President Roosevelt hosted Britain’s prime minister on the Sequoia to discuss the Great Depression.

President Nixon played “God Bless America” on the Sequoia’s piano after deciding to resign over Watergate, and President Lyndon Johnson pressured Congress to pass civil rights legislation while aboard.

Equator Capital’s Equator Collection, which provides funding for preservation of historical maritime assets, also owns Tenovus, a 31-foot yawl built for Joseph P. Kennedy in 1931. Tenovus was named for Kennedy’s then-10-person family.

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