Builder and Owner History
Yacht Building Company ~ Camden, New Jersey ~ 1939
Built: 1940 - LOA: 71' - LWL: 68' - Beam: 16' Draft: 4'
6” - Disp: 80,000 lbs Model: Houseboat - Machinery:
- T 165-hp GM 6-71 diesels - Hull: Mahogany Over Oak
Company History: In 1910 the Mathis Yacht Building Co.
was incorporated in Camden, NJ. Officers were William
Robertson, President; John Trumpy, Vice President and
John Mathis, Secretary-Treasurer. A spin-off from shipbuilder
John H. Mathis Co. and the idea of John Trumpy, this new
company was formed to build yachts and build yachts it
did. For the next 29years the company prospered delivering
magnificent yachts to the rich and by building military
boats for America during WW I. In 1939 John Trumpy became
president of the company and moved the operation to Gloucester
City, NJ. In 1943 the company's name changed to John Trumpy
& Son, Inc. The rest is American yacht building legend.
Vessel History: Built in 1939, this yacht was owned by
Fred and Barbara DeRatto in 1989. The year of her launch
she went by the name “Martha”. By 2005 she
had seen 14 owners and in 1999 was donated by the DeRatto's
to the Boy Scouts of America. One of her most colorful
owners was non other than Howard Hughes who registered
her as “Veta” for the Hughes Tool Company.
Of course a number of stories are told about this period.
One of them is that even though he never set foot on the
boat he had a full time crew standing by keeping the boat
maintained and ready to sail at a moments notice. The
other tale is opposite. “Vita” was Howard's
favorite place to entertain lady friends during his Florida