Due to a drawn-out legal battle, the future of the former US Presidential yacht Sequoia hangs in the balance after a court hearing found that she could cost up to $4million (roughly £2.77million) to repair.
Sequoia, which is designated a National Historic Landmark as the longest-serving presidential yacht in American history, was bought by Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group LLC in 2000. The group borrowed $7.5 million from FE Partners LLC in 2012 to restore her with an option to buy her out for $7.8million.
Repairs stalled in 2014 and she was placed into dry-dock storage shortly before FE Partners started a lengthy legal battle to get the buy-out clause reduced.
The company argues that the price should be reduced as a result of the high cost to repair, although contradictory reports suggest that the restoration could be completed for a tenth of the price (around $400,000).
If properly restored, she could be worth up to $13million, industry expert Earl McMillen III told the Georgetown Chancery Court on May 11. Following the hearing, FE Partners is now seeking the opinion of an independent marine surveyor.
Built in 1925, the 31.7 metre Trumpy yacht was the official US presidential yacht from the Depression-era of Herbert Hoover up until Jimmy Carter, who had the yacht sold in 1977.
Her history is closely entwined with several prominent US presidents of the 20th century – Herbert Hoover promoted his use of USS Sequoia as a misguided attempt to raise moral during the great depression.
During World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt used her as a base for planning Operation Overlord, while Harry Truman was said to be on board when he made the decision to use nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Richard Nixon was particularly fond of USS Sequioa, taking more than 80 trips on board, including one shortly before he decided to resign in 1974.
In recent years, Sequoia has been available for charters in Washington, D.C. The yacht has been hauled out at the Chesapeake Boat Works shipyard in Deltaville, Virginia since December 2014.