Classic Wood Trumpy Yacht

Johan Trumpy describes his grandfather, John Trumpy Sr., as an ambitious 23-year-old naval architect who arrived from Berlin, Germany, at the turn of the century. He began his U.S. career at the New York Shipyard in Camden, N.J. and eventually became a prolific designer at the Mathis Yacht Building Company. By the 1920s, the graceful Mathis-Trumpy line had an easily distinguishable styling with signature “T” scrollwork, plumb bow and counter stern, vertical Pullman windows and canvas awning.


The 104’ Sequoia Presidential Yacht, built in 1925, is perhaps the most illustrious Trumpy built in the 1920s. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the yacht served more than nine Presidents and even hosted President Clinton. GM executive DeWitt Page owned the 1929 112’ Maemar that featured elegantly arched topside windows. Steel and auto executive Truman Handy Newberry owned the 105’ Truant, built in 1926 and later commissioned the 121’ Truant II, the second largest Mathis-Trumpy build, launched in 1930. In Chicago during the 1920s, four colorful brothers built an empire manufacturing coin-operated slot and vending machines. They jointly owned the 108’ Minoco built in 1930, which provided their escape from the fierce Chicago winters.

Just before WWII John Trumpy Sr. became president of the Mathis Yacht Building Co. and renamed the company John Trumpy & Sons Inc. His sons joined him, and the family continued to produce its signature yachts until 1974, when the company launched its last vessel, hull No. 450. After manufacturing ceased, Trumpy enthusiasts helped preserve the brand by collecting and restoring authentic Trumpys and on occasion tried to duplicate the design.

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