As Tammy Kennon (USA Today) said, “Some yachts have a stage presence. When they enter a port, all heads turn. Trumpy motor yachts have that hard-to-define appeal. Like a Frank Lloyd Wright house or a Rolls Royce, they are a product of their time but possess a timeless appeal.
We appreciate it so much Bernadetteowned by John Kent Cooke and Rita Bernadette Cooke, to compete as race leader in the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Regatta and Shipyard Cup Classics Challenge Boat Parade on Sunday, July 24 at 10 a.m. in Boothbay Harbor Inner Harbor.
This classic 70ft motor yacht was built by John Trumpy in 1958 for use as his own personal yacht and has been named Dawn, (like all of his boats) and restored to original condition by former NFL Washington Redskins President John Kent Cooke. We agree with John who says “All Trumpys are beautifully designed – not an ugly one in existence – but this one, with its clipper bow and fantail stern and sail sweep, is truly unique.”
Renowned Bernadette for his wife Rita’s middle name, John Kent Cooke undertook a major restoration and replacement of all systems and had further work carried out at the Brooklin Shipyard in Maine in the summer of 2011. At Bernadette’s the upper planking was fluted. Her topsides and superstructure were repainted. All hull portholes removed, rechromed and reinstalled. Finally, the top stack of her cabin was removed, rebuilt, repainted and reinstalled. She received the Ocean Reef Club Vintage Classic Award for Best Restoration and was featured in “The Art of Trumpy Yacht Building” in 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Although over 400 Trumpys were built between the 1920s and 1970s, each Trumpy is unique. All yachts have a signature look and still the essential Trumpy embellishment: carved wooden scrollwork on the bow which, upon close inspection, incorporates a capital T.
Trumpy’s shipbuilding legacy began five generations ago in the coastal city of Bergen, Norway, where Casper Trumpy owned a shipyard nestled at the foot of the Seven Mountains. Casper’s son, John, grew up working in the family shipyard and returned to do so after earning a degree in naval architecture in Berlin, Germany. When Casper Trumpy died, John sold the business to the Bergen Gas Company, and with little left in Bergen, moved to America. Developing skills and relationships, Trumpys began to be successfully designed and built to sail the East Coast of North America, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. In its day, Trumpys were the epitome of luxury, owned by famous sailors of the time: Chrysler, Hughes, Guggenheim, DuPont, Whitney, and are currently prized by collectors of wooden motor yachts today.
The 104-foot Trumpy, Sequoia II, built in 1925 for Richard Cadwalader Jr., became America’s presidential yacht in 1933, entertaining presidents from Roosevelt to Carter. Richard Nixon hosted Leonid Brezhnev on Sequoiaand Queen Elizabeth boarded it in 1968 to visit President Lyndon Johnson.
In America, the first generation of John Trumpy found time to build boats under government contract before the war, having designed several designs, including a Coast Guard speedboat used during Prohibition. During the war, government contracts increased and the workforce grew rapidly from around 60 workers to over 500. By the end of the war, all of Trumpy’s production was devoted to building machinery military. But when the war ended, Trumpy turned his attention to the design and production of private yachts.
Bernadette was built 64 years ago in the Trumpy yard in Annapolis, Maryland. It is 70 feet long, 16 feet wide and draws 4 ½ feet. She has a double-planked mahogany hull, Virginia black walnut paneled saloon and features two cabins, a galley at main deck level and a mahogany wheelhouse. Bernadette is all original but with modern systems and conveniences; new engines and generators, plumbing and wiring, 5 zone air conditioning, modern navigational aids and original furniture designed by Trumpy and maritime antiques.
John and Rita Cooke are summer residents in Southport. At Bernadette’s the summer house is in Boothbay Harbor, but cruises the coast of Maine throughout the summer.
Home is in Virginia, where they operate the prestigious Boxwood Estate winery in Middleburg, Virginia. John was President of the NFL Washington Redskins for 18 years, President of Cooke Communications with newspapers in Florida and North Carolina, and Founding Director/Chairman of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the largest private, independent scholarship provider. studies in the United States. .