Treasure of maritime history for sale: Classic houseboat built in 1947 on the market for $2million


An elegant houseboat described as a ‘treasure of American yachting history’ has sailed on to the marketplace.

Cruising houseboat ‘BB’ was designed and built by John Trumpy, the ‘Rolls-Royce of American yachting’, in 1947 and has just undergone a $4million (£2.9million) restoration to return her to her original splendour.

The beautiful boat is now for sale for $2million (£1.45million).

Cruising houseboat ‘BB’ was designed and built by John Trumpy, the ‘Rolls-Royce of American yachting’, in 1947 and has just undergone a $4million restoration to return her to her original splendour

The exterior of the restored BB, formerly known as Seaplay, features generous walk-around decks and copious amounts of teak and glass

The exterior of the restored BB, formerly known as Seaplay, features generous walk-around decks and copious amounts of teak and glass

Pictured is the aft dining space with its transparent isinglass curtains that can be rolled up on warmer days, curved banquette seating area and dining table big enough for eight people

Pictured is the aft dining space with its transparent isinglass curtains that can be rolled up on warmer days, curved banquette seating area and dining table big enough for eight people

Pictured is the master stateroom with its queen-sized bed, period bedside reading lamps, four opening portholes with sliding shutters and an en-suite

Pictured is the master stateroom with its queen-sized bed, period bedside reading lamps, four opening portholes with sliding shutters and an en-suite

The BB was originally built for George W. Codrington of Cleveland, Ohio, who was vice president of General Motors - the world’s largest motor-vehicle manufacturer for much of the 20th and early 21st centuries

The BB was originally built for George W. Codrington of Cleveland, Ohio, who was vice president of General Motors – the world’s largest motor-vehicle manufacturer for much of the 20th and early 21st centuries

During his career, John Trumpy built boats for some of American’s top high-society figures such as Howard Hughes and the Chrysler and Guggenheim families.

The BB, however, was originally built for George W. Codrington of Cleveland, Ohio, who was vice president of General Motors – the world’s largest motor-vehicle manufacturer for much of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

When the vessel was first launched, a review in the August 1948 issue of The Rudder Magazine described it as having ‘a well-blended combination of seaworthiness, sleek lines, good turn of speed, ease of handling, sturdiness, compactness with comfort, reliability, and the ability to go anywhere her owner desires’. 

The authentic restoration of the BB, known as Seaplay in Codrington’s time, took three years and involved an alphabet’s worth of materials, including 233 gallons of varnish.

The authentic restoration of the BB took three years and involved an alphabet's-worth of materials including 233 gallons of varnish

The authentic restoration of the BB took three years and involved an alphabet’s-worth of materials including 233 gallons of varnish

Pictured is the salon with its framed black-and-white photographs, custom wood Venetian blinds, restored floor timbers, white upholstery with yellow accent cushions and dhurrie rug

Pictured is the salon with its framed black-and-white photographs, custom wood Venetian blinds, restored floor timbers, white upholstery with yellow accent cushions and dhurrie rug

Pictured is the pilothouse with its original teak wheel, spacious chart table, and fully modernized navigation and helm station

Pictured is the pilothouse with its original teak wheel, spacious chart table, and fully modernized navigation and helm station

When the BB was first launched, a review in the August 1948 issue of The Rudder Magazine described it as having 'a well-blended combination of seaworthiness, sleek lines, good turn of speed, ease of handling, sturdiness, compactness with comfort, reliability, and the ability to go anywhere her owner desires'

When the BB was first launched, a review in the August 1948 issue of The Rudder Magazine described it as having ‘a well-blended combination of seaworthiness, sleek lines, good turn of speed, ease of handling, sturdiness, compactness with comfort, reliability, and the ability to go anywhere her owner desires’

The BB has guest accommodation for up to six people. Plus, there are crew quarters comprising two separate crew cabins that share a bathroom and a Captain's Cabin

The BB has guest accommodation for up to six people. Plus, there are crew quarters comprising two separate crew cabins that share a bathroom and a Captain’s Cabin 

The exterior of the restored vessel, which is being sold through Luke Brown Yachts, features generous walk-around decks and copious amounts of teak and glass.

The interior, meanwhile, is decorated with authentic period furnishings including mahogany panelling and period glass light fittings.

Highlights of the onboard facilities include a butler’s pantry with a fridge, coffee maker and ice maker, a card room with a cocktail table and a large aft dining space with isinglass curtains that can be rolled up on warmer days, a curved banquette seating area and a dining table big enough for eight people. 

Following its sympathetic three-year restoration, pictured, the 80ft (24m) yacht BB is on the market for $2million

Following its sympathetic three-year restoration, pictured, the 80ft (24m) yacht BB is on the market for $2million

Pictured is the Pilothouse during renovations. This space now features mod cons like a Garmin GHC 20 autopilot and Garmin 8612 XSV multi-function displays

Pictured is the Pilothouse during renovations. This space now features mod cons like a Garmin GHC 20 autopilot and Garmin 8612 XSV multi-function displays

On the accommodation front, meanwhile, the BB has guest accommodation for up to six people. There’s a master stateroom with a queen-sized bed, four opening portholes with sliding shutters, period bedside reading lamps and an en-suite. 

Then there’s a twin stateroom and a third guest cabin with bunks that share a second en-suite bathroom. 

The BB also features crew quarters comprising two separate crew cabins that share a bathroom and a Captain’s Cabin. 

While the yacht has been restored to make passengers feel like they’re sailing in the 1940s, there are a few features on board that would have seemed like voodoo to Codrington.

In the master stateroom, for example, there’s a pop-up flat-screen 48-inch TV. Plus, the yacht features a new modern air-conditioning system. 

The yacht also comes with what its current owner describes as ‘toys’. These include a NautiBuoy inflatable swim platform, an inflatable paddleboard, and an Ocean Explorer two-person, 14ft kayak.



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