Presidential yachts: Inside the superyachts owned by world leaders

BOAT discovers the stories behind the yachts owned by US Presidents, world leaders and heads of state, including one of the largest superyachts built to date.


Launched in Genoa in 1938 as an auxiliary cruiser for the Yugoslavian Navy, 115 metre Galeb is one of the more controversial presidential yachts on our list. Owned for many years by the first president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, she was used as a floating residence, embassy and party boat, hosting Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as well as carrying Tito to London for a state visit in 1953 — the first by any communist leader.

Since Tito’s death in 1980, Galeb (which means seagull in Croatian) has fallen into a sorry state, languishing in the port of Rijeka for the past decade. However, plans are afoot to restore and convert Galeb into a museum ship by 2021.

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