Kennedy’s Victura Subject of New Book

President Kennedy and family aboard the Victura.

President Kennedy and family aboard the Victura.

HYANNIS – The iconic sailboat Victura, a 25-foot Wianno Senior sloop purchased by Joseph P. Kennedy in 1932, is the subject of a new book by author James Graham.

Graham, author of “Victura: The Kennedy’s, a Sailboat and the Sea,” will be discussing the boat Wednesday, August 13 at 6 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum in Hyannis.

Graham said sailing was not only a source of recreation but the family had a personal connection when out on the water.

“They took to the sport with such enthusiasm that all of the brothers and sisters began taking it up and it became the basis for the close family relationship,” he said.

A new book tells the story of John F. Kennedy's sailboat, Victura.

A new book tells the story of John F. Kennedy’s sailboat, Victura.

Graham says the Kennedy family also felt that John F. Kennedy’s experience on the Victura was a help to him when he found himself and his crew stranded in the South Pacific during World War II.

Graham’s book, published in April, documents the intense relationship the Kennedy family has always had with sailing and the sea. Many families sail together, but the Kennedys’ relationship with Victura, the 25-foot sloop purchased in 1932 shortly after the family’s move to Hyannis Port, stands apart.

Graham’s tale is about one small sailboat but it is also about the mystique of the Kennedys and their close ties to Cape Cod.

Throughout their brief lives, Joe Jr., Jack, and Bobby spent many hours racing Victura. Likewise, Eunice emerged as a gifted sailor and fierce competitor, the equal of any of her brothers.

The Kennedys believed that Jack’s experience sailing Victura helped him survive the sinking of his PT boat during World War II.

In the 1950s, glossy Life magazine photos of Jack and Jackie on Victura’s bow helped define the winning Kennedy brand.


Author James Graham will sign copies of his book at the JFK Museum this week.

Author James Graham will sign copies of his book at the JFK Museum this week.

Jack even doodled sketches of Victura during Oval Office meetings, and it’s probable that his love of seafaring played a role in his 1961 decision to put a man on the moon, an enterprise he referred to as “spacefaring.”

Ted loved Victura as much as any of his siblings did and, with his own children and the children of his lost brothers as crew, he sailed into his old age: past the shoals of an ebbing career, and into his eventual role as the “Lion of the Senate.”

In Victura, Graham charts the progress of America’s the Kennedy dynasty. He will share stories from the book, answer questions and sign copies during the event Wednesday night.

Tickets are $35 each and include a copy of the book.

Tickets are available at, at the museum or at the door.  Attendance is limited to eighty guests.

The JFK Hyannis Museum is located at 397 Main Street in Hyannis. Interpreting for the deaf is provided for this program.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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