The Aphrodite Commuter Yacht was launched in May of 1937, built by the Purdy Boat Company, Long Island. We are offering a museum quality Aphrodite, FULLY ASSEMBLED model, ready to be proudly display as a piece of history.
Our master craftsmen using historical photographs, drawings or original plans meticulously handcraft these highly detailed wood models from scratch. They are built to scale with top-grade wood such as rosewood, mahogany, teak and other exotic woods. Aphrodite model is 100% hand built individually using plank-on-frame construction method and are similar to the building of actual ships. Each model requires hundreds of hours to finish and must go through a demanding quality control process before leaving the workshop.
Best described as a “Commuter Yacht”, the original boat was elegant and a sleek 74-footer that was utilized by many famous people in history. Aphrodite’s guest list over the years reads like a “Who’s Who” in the worlds of government, business and entertainment with such luminaries as Fred Astaire, Sir Laurence Olivier, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Ford II, FDR advisor Harry Hopkins and Nelson Rockefeller aboard for summer day cruises down Long Island Sound. APHRODITE also once served as the site for a birthday party for Shirley Temple.
The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Aphrodite was offered to the government for war service and she was commissioned in April 1942 as a Coast Guard auxiliary vessel (CGR-557). The boat spent most of its war-time career ferrying dignitaries up and down the Atlantic coast and transporting President Roosevelt to and from his home at Hyde Park on the Hudson River.
The “Aphrodite” was a complete restoration using the original boat as a template from which to create what would become the reborn “Aphrodite”.
The first stage of this project was to extensively catalog all aspects of the boat for later reference. Once this historical documentation was completed, forms were placed into the boat to retain her hull shape. Next the job of disassembly began in earnest with the removal of the deck, superstructure, bulkheads, all interior accommodations and ship’s systems leaving only the hull in place.
Reconstruction began with the replacement of the original backbone, stem, floors and the re-framing of the curves of “Aphrodite’s” signature torpedo stern. Next on the list was the removal of the original hull planking and the fastening of temporary rib bands to the original frames. After all planking was removed, new white oak frames were fabricated and steam bent into position and the original frames were removed.
On September 2, 2004 the final original frame (last wood of the original boat) was removed marking the transition from old to new.
Once the all important structural framing work was completed the hull was then re-planked as originally built with double-planked, copper-riveted Philippine Mahogany. With a new hull in place the work of engine and systems installation went forward along with the reconstruction of the interior accommodations spaces, new deck construction and the crafting of Aphrodite’s distinctive cabin and superstructure.
On a crisp clear October day in 2005, with a huge crowd made up of Aphrodite’s owner’s, the crew of Brooklyn Boat Yard and families and friends from both sides of the project on hand to wish her well, Aphrodite slipped into the waters of Center Harbor Maine to begin her new life.