THIS YACHT WAS ONCE OWNED BY HOWARD HUGHES
was custom built in 1939 by the Mathis-Trumpy Boatworks in Camden, New Jersey.
John Trumpy was known at that time for designing and building the finest wooden
motor yachts ever produced, a reputation that had never been surpassed by any
other builder. The list of original clients reads like a veritable 'Who's Who'
of American industry, entertainment and politics. The Presidential Yacht
'Sequoia' is a Trumpy, as were yachts built for John Wayne, Josephine Baker,
Roger Firestone, etc., etc.
'Eleanor' was purchased by billionaire tycoon and record-setting aviator Howard
Hughes in 1957 and renamed 'Vita'. It was kept at his ready with a crew of four
in Miami, Florida for entertaining his friends and business associates. Trumpy
historian Jerry Foster remembers the day Hughes took possession of the yacht in
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The yacht has three staterooms, each retaining their
original built-in mahogany furniture and single beds. The master stateroom has
the bathroom (head) en-suite and the two guest staterooms share the head in the
hall. The 'saloon' or main deck-house is panelled in richly varnished mahogany
with nickle-silver seashell fittings. The galley has been remodelled and
enlarged and is a quite capable of producing meals for as many as 30-40 guests
at a time. The aft-deck is open-air and can seat 10-15 guests for dinner. The
fore-deck seats 10-15. We have had as many as 55 people on board at a time for
The yacht is powered by twin 671 GM deisel engines which are vitually brand new.
They miraculously burn a mere 10 gallons of fuel per hour ($10-$20) at a speed
of 11 knots! The generator is a 12 killowatt Westerbeke which was installed 2
The yacht has undergone continuous restoration for the last five years at a cost
of more than $550,000. All modern systems have either been completely upgraded
or replaced with new. A survey done in August of 2004 valued the vessel at
$625,000 before an additional $75,000 was spent repacing the engine and
extensive brightwork being done. The yacht has a replacement value of no less