Bill Boeing’s 1930 yacht up for sale
The 125-foot Taconite has been owned for nearly 30 years by Canadian Gordon Levett, who is asking just under $2.5 million.
By Seattle Times business staff
If this week’s Seattle Boat Show has nothing historic and luxurious enough to float your boat, you might like to know that the 125-foot yacht built for Bill Boeing Sr. in 1930 is up for sale in Vancouver, B.C.
Owner Gordon Levett, the Canadian who’s owned it for nearly 30 years, is asking just under $2.5 million. Need a place to keep it? A 150-foot boathouse is available for another $900,000 to shelter it from the elements.
The vessel, built by Boeing of Canada, is equipped with twin diesel engines and cruises at 12 knots, according to the marketing materials.
The Vancouver Sun, which first reported the boat is on the market, calls it a “floating palace” that “cost $421,000 to build, at a time when many boats cost $1,000.”
After hosting a launch party that attracted dozens of the business and social elite from across the U.S., according to newspaper clippings from the time, the Boeing family owned it for 47 years. Bill Boeing was refueling the Taconite on the British Columbia coast when he by chance met Clayton Scott, who became his personal pilot and later the chief production test pilot for the company. In 1956, while cruising on the Taconite near Edmonds with his wife, Bill Boeing died from a heart attack.
The yacht is named for a type of iron ore; Bill Boeing’s father, Wilhelm, bought Minnesota timberlands that turned out to hold low-grade taconite and, under that, more valuable ore that established the family fortune.
“She’s all teak, first-growth teak,” says Terry Cooke, partner at Emerald Pacific Yachts in Seattle, who is marketing the Taconite and credits Levett with “bringing it back to the original condition.”
Photos show an interior that seems in keeping with its era: red curtains and carpets, well-stuffed sofas, and gleaming wood surfaces and brass fixtures.
“A lot of the boats of its vintage don’t exist anymore” because they weren’t of such good wood, says Levett.
Both men say they’d like to see the Taconite stay in the Pacific Northwest. But they don’t expect it to wind up running 3-hour tours of Elliott Bay or anything so pedestrian.
“You’re really buying a good piece of marine history with a pedigree name,” says Cooke.