On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 some of the world’s most beautiful vintage yachts will assemble at the West Palm Beach waterfront for the second annual Palm Beach Vintage Regatta. And the second year, the “star” of the show will be the Honey Fitz, a 93-foot yacht that has served five different Presidents, including JFK, who gave her the name she has today.
Built originally in 1931 for the chairmen of Montgomery Ward, the Honey Fitz was first named Lenore. Its first use as a Presidential yacht was by Harry Truman, but JFK was its most ardent Presidential admirer. Kennedy renamed it Honey Fitz in honor of his maternal grandfather. He, Jackie and their family frequently cruised the Potomac in it, and spent holidays cruising the waters around Palm Beach.
The Honey Fitz will be one of more than three dozen vintage yachts at the Regatta, including the 122-foot Mariner III.
Along with the yachts, there will be vintage cars to see and special exhibitors as well.
Private steam-powered yachts had become prevalent, rivaling great mansions in luxury and workmanship. Automobiles were a thrilling novelty. Palm Beach’s “Third Annual Motor Races and Carnival” on Lake Worth showcased the fastest and best-known motor boats in the country. Palm Beach Life regaled a Venetian-style finale to the event, describing it as “a mimic bombardment of two fleets, gayly decorated barges, suggestive of the floating galleys of the old Roman emperors, together with the illumination of the famous gardens of the Royal Poinciana, and display of fireworks, (presenting) a scene only to be compared to the wondrous descriptions of the Arabian Nights.”
The legendary Palm Beach Cup was held right here between the Flagler Memorial and the Royal Park Bridges. In years past, the docks were alive with some of the most magnificent works of art handcrafted of wood. Many of these beautiful yachts still exist, including the “HONEY FITZ”.
Don´t forget, only 38 seats available for the very Exclusive Presidential Dinner on board the Honey Fitz.
Palm Beach Vintage Regatta
The Palm Beaches have a long history of being one of the finest yachting destinations in the U.S. with yachts hailing from ports across the globe. Regattas and races are part of our history and date back to the 1900’s.
Some pictures by Leonard Bryant Photography
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