With a storied legacy of over 80 years, including war-time service and a complete rebuild, the 74’ APHRODITE has been placed in the hands of an experienced owner and classic boat enthusiast. Ensuring this retro 1937 torpedo-stern beauty remains in perfect condition, she was recently entrusted to Safe Harbor Pilots Point Marina and Alexseal’s yacht coatings system. Her recent winter refresh at the popular Connecticut, USA shipyard and marina included Alexseal’s Finish Primer 442 and Premium Topcoat 501 in Super Jet Black.
Originally launched in May of 1937 by the Purdy Boat Company for a Wall Street businessman, the APHRODITE was breath-taking and large for her era. She played host to a slew of famous folks, including actors and performers Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire, along with businessmen Henry Ford II and Nelson Rockefeller. APHRODITE was well-known throughout the Eastern US and influenced the style and design of many yachts of the mid-20th century.
When tragedy struck on US soil at Pearl Harbor in 1942, the original owner of APHRODITE offered her to the United States Military during World War II where she served as a Coast Guard vessel transporting dignitaries and then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt. After a quarter-century of ownership, the original owner donated APHRODITE to a summer boating program for youth on Long Island in New York.
Within a few years, APHRODITE began changing hands under the new name MOONFIRE which led to her becoming neglected and unmaintained. By 1983, MOONFIRE had found the right owner and a passionate boatyard to bring life back into her bones. APHRODITE was repaired and relaunched and could be seen traveling up and down the Atlantic East Coast capturing awards and prizes at classic boat shows.
At the turn of the century, APHRODITE changed hands one more time to her current owner. Although the previous owner had done well to keep her maintained, 65 years and a turbulent past had taken its toll on this classic beauty and a true resurrection was needed. In 2003, the current owner placed APHRODITE in long-term care at one of Alexseal’s partner shipyards: Brooklin Boat Yard of Maine.
A two-year-long refit commenced where the Brooklin team actually templated the entire boat, performed extensive cataloging of all systems and spaces throughout the interior and exterior and then began deconstructing the original Purdy 74’. Although the reborn APHRODITE features all-new materials from the keel, stem and hull planking on up to her cabin-top, her iconic hull shape was copied and reconstructed expertly. The hull planking is also identical in species and construction to the original 1937 build: Philippine Mahogany, double-planked and fastened with copper rivets.
Interior accommodations were also reconstructed as original while new engines and systems were introduced into this resurrected 1930s cruising yacht. The new APHRODITE was launched in fall of 2005 – designed by Purdy Boat Company and proudly rebuilt by Brooklin Boat Yard.
Fast-forward fourteen years and this reborn classic is still turning heads throughout the New England region thanks in part to her fresh Alexseal topcoat applied by the professional shipwrights at Safe Harbor Pilots Point Marina. Alexseal’s coatings system has proven to stand the test of time, with many yacht owners attesting to a brilliant shine after 10, 12, even 15 years since application.
APHRODITE is commonly spotted at her homeport of Watch Hill, Rhode Island near the historical and equally stunning Watch Hill Inn and Ocean House waterfront properties. Her new Alexseal Super Jet Black hull and retro torpedo stern constantly inspiring awe. The owner is comforted in knowing the new Alexseal paint job will see Aphrodite through to her 90th birthday and beyond.