BELFAST- A piece of presidential history is now docked for the next several years to undergo a major overhaul.
The presidential yacht USS Sequoia will be calling Belfast home for the next three to four years while it is being restored.
This ship has served every president from Herbert Hoover to Gerald Ford.
However, the USS Sequoia has seen some hard times recently as it had broken down to the point that it was a refuge for a family of raccoons, according to Belfast city officials.
“It was not able to float on its own bottom, so we spent the last two and a half months extricating it from the shores of Virginia in this boatyard that it was at. And put it on some massive house moving equipment with steel beams and with movable wheels,” said Todd French of Belfast boat builders French & Webb.
He said French & Webb took on the project because of the prominence of the USS Sequoia.
“This is just on a scale of its own, it has such a rich history, to walk on that boat, you get goosebumps every time. You can feel the soul of that boat and the stories its generated over the years and it’s our hope through this restoration we honor every one of those stories,” French said.
City officials said the presence of the ship can benefit Belfast.
“Having this ship of this significance on our traditional working waterfront is going to be great for French & Webb and great for the Belfast waterfront. We’re going to attract some extra people to Belfast who are going to want to see this,” Belfast Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge said.