The 93-foot wooden yacht was originally built in 1931 by Defoe Shipyard in Bay City, Michigan for Sewell Avery, a prominent businessman from Chicago, who mostly used it to cruise around Lake Michigan. On June 23, 1945, Lenore became a tender for the USS Potomac. Retaining the yacht’s original name, Truman renamed the tender the yacht Lenore II and mainly used her as a tender for the Williamsburg.
Eisenhower decided the Williamsburg was “too rich for my blood,” and retired her, choosing instead the Lenore II, which he renamed Barbara Anne after one of his granddaughters.
The wooden yacht acquired a more public profile in the 1960’s during John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s presidency. JFK renamed her Honey Fitz, the nickname used by his maternal grandfather.
Johnson continued to use the yacht during his administration, mainly for dinner and cocktail parties.
By the time Nixon came to office, the Honey Fitz was a well-known yacht. Although Nixon renamed the yacht Patricia after his wife, the press and indeed everyone, continued to think of the yacht as Honey Fitz. Nixon sold Honey Fitz in 1970.
Honey Fitz has been fully restored and is available for charters in Florida.