Step into the past with these glamorous photos of JFK's presidential yacht

The Honey Fitz was the longest serving US presidential yacht in history.

In its day, the 92-foot boat was one of the most luxurious vessels on the sea, housing a presidential state room, a galley, a dining room, and even an elevator — although Lyndon Johnson made the questionable decision of having the elevator removed and replaced with a liquor bar.

Nowadays, America’s presidents don’t have the luxury of a private yacht, quite simply because it’s not a good PR move and also because they now have Air Force One to fly them overseas (for a cost of $US206,337 (£132,144) an hour).

However, the Honey Fitz was restored in 2013 for private chartering and Reuters has compiled gorgeous photos of some of the happiest times in John F. Kennedy’s life

The Honey Fitz is a valuable piece of American history. It was built in 1931 by Defoe Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan. The yacht was used by five presidents -- Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, and JFK.

However, the yacht remained relatively unknown until it was passed onto John F. Kennedy when he became president in 1961.

Kennedy, a life-long lover of the sea, spent many a summer with his family aboard the yacht. Here, he's pictured with his daughter Caroline near Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

The yacht also played host to foreign dignitaries. In this picture, Kennedy is entertaining Prince Stanislaus Radziwill of Poland and then-Ambassador of Great Britain, Sir David Ormsby-Gore, as well as several family members.

The yacht's creator, Sewell Avery, originally named the boat Lenore, but Kennedy decided to change the vessel's name in honour of his maternal grandfather, John F. Fitzgerald.

Compared to today's yachts of the super-wealthy, the Honey Fitz had a relatively basic interior. The inside was decked out in dark-wood panelling, a typical design feature of the era.

Many of the furnishings and decorations were emblazoned with the presidential seal.

The master bedroom was one of the most luxurious rooms.

The onboard office was quite a bit smaller than the Oval Office. Kennedy was known to have held several key meetings on the yacht. Several strategy meetings were held during the Cuban missile crisis.

The presidential yacht weighed 88 tons and had a cruising speed of just 12 knots, which is roughly 13 mph.

The Honey Fitz was eventually sold to Joe Keating Jr. during the Nixon administration in 1970. He renamed the vessel 'The Presidents,' but restored its former name shortly afterwards.

The yacht was sold again in 1998. Texas oil executive William Kallop bought the Honey Fitz for $5.9 million (£3.7 million) at Sotheby's Camelot auction.

Under Kallop's ownership, the Honey Fitz is now used as a charter boat for private events having been restored after lying deteriorating in a boatyard in Mobile, Alabama, for several years.

In this picture, an 8-year-old Maria Shriver and a 6-year-old Caroline Kennedy play on the presidential yacht during a cruise near Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in 1963, just five months before John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

People who knew John F. Kennedy say some of the happiest times of his life were spent with his family onboard the Honey Fitz.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Tagged In

features politics-us uk