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Roosevelt’s Potomoc Back Afloat

The Roosevelt presidential yacht in dry dock in Alameda. (Photo: Business Wire)

The WWII-era Roosevelt presidential yacht, Potomac, is back in the water after a maintenance drydocking at Bay Ship and Yacht in Alameda.

A National Historic Landmark, the Potomoc was commissioned into the Navy in 1936 and served as a “floating White House” for President Franklin D. Roosevelt until his death in 1945.

The boat was decommissioned later that year and turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard.

In August 1941, Potomoc served as a decoy, continuing to fly the presidential flag as Roosevelt transferred to a warship to speed off to a secret meeting in Canada with Winston Churchill and ultimately develop the Atlantic Charter, which became the basis for the later Declaration by United Nations and formation of the United Nations.

The boat is now under the management of the Potomac Association; Bay Ship and Yacht was chosen for the recent retrofit as the company is familiar with the vessel.

Repairs included above and below water painting; preservation and repair of the valves; checking and maintenance of all mechanical propulsion and steering systems; structural steel repairs to tanks and hatches; and tank painting.

“The Potomac is a wonderfully kept piece of machinery by a dedicated group docents that are passionate about preserving history,” said Richard Maguire, Business Development Manager, Bay Ship and Yacht. “Her docents often remark about the monumental decisions that were discussed aboard all throughout her tour of duty spanning the Great Depression and World War II. Bay Ship and Yacht is extremely pleased to be part of the preservation of such a fine piece of American history, and delighted to work with such professional and dedicated members of the Potomac Association.”

The vessel, berthed in Oakland at Jack London Square, is available for tours and voyages by the public.

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