The Aphrodite commuter
yacht was built by the Purdy Boat Company and
launched in May of 1937 for Wall Street financier
and later Ambassador to the Court of St. James, John
Hay Whitney of Manhasset, Long Island.
This elegant and sleek 74-footer whisked his owner
each morning from his large house in Long Island
Sound and thru the East River to his Wall Street
Aphrodite's guest list over the years included Fred
Astaire, Sir Laurence Olivier, Spencer Tracy,
Shirley Temple, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Ford II,
FDR advisor Harry Hopkins, and Nelson Rockefeller.
The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor (1942),
Aphrodite was given to the government for war
service and she was commissioned as a Coast Guard
auxiliary vessel (CGR-557). The boat spent
most of its war-time career transporting
President Roosevelt to and from his home at Hyde
Park on the Hudson River and ferrying dignitaries up
and down the Atlantic coast.
In the early 60s, Whitney gave the boat to an
organization that served disadvantaged inner-city
youth at East Hampton, Long Island.
In 1983, the
deteriorated, full of weed, Aphrodite was bought and
then restored. After being launched in 1984,
Aphrodite could be seen at many classic boat events
where she garnered many prizes.
In 2000, the beautiful
Aphrodite yacht was sold to its present owner who
was a classic boat enthusiast. The new
owner decided to full restore the yacht, replacing
every single old planks with new wood.
In October, 2005, after 33,000 man-hours, the famous
Aphrodite commuter yacht was once again launched at
Brooklin Boat Yard in the waters of Center Harbor
Maine. She was a complete restoration using
the original boat as a template from which to create
what would become the reborn “Aphrodite.”
Aphrodite has been turning
heads and capturing the hearts of mariners for more
than 70 years.