Hitler’s Yacht

May 10th, 2011, 13:50H · Topics: Famous And Not So..., Getting Around · Print

“This is what was left of Adolph Hitler’s yacht.  People took parts of it for souvenirs, and someone started a fire and this hull was what was left.” LS

Typed on back of the print  “This is to certify that these pictures were taken Wednesday, August 30, 1950, approximately 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. by–Loyd Sandgren”

(Under Sandgren’s name is the name Robert Stedeford)

The Ostwind was one of two sailboats commissioned by Hitler in 1936 and it came to the United States after the war changing owners a half dozen times. It ended up in Jacksonville where it sat in disrepair until the 1980’s.  It was given to a Jewish Miami Beach Holocaust survivor who ultimately burned and sank it in the Miami Harbor.  There is apparently no evidence that Hitler ever set foot on the Ostwind.

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  1. 1 Asa Rock July 14th, 2011 9:53H

    Your site is a pleasant stroll down memory lane.

    A minor correction you may wish to address concerns the photo on your site by Lloyd Sandgren attributed to being Adolf Hitler’s yacht the Ostwind.

    The photo may be of some other, smaller watercraft connnected to Hitler, but it is not the 85 foot long Ostwind.

    This photo is dated 1950, but the Ostwind was relatively intact up until the early 1980’s when she was finally dragged ashore on the northside of Jacksonville by J.J. Nelson and later sold to the group in Miami that sank the Ostwind 2 miles offshore in 1989.

    In 1950 the Ostwind was being sailed as a training vessel by the US Naval Academy in Maryland. Later that year the yacht was sold to Navy Commander John Lyman who sailed and lived aboard the Ostwind with his wife until he sold it in 1966.

    Visit http://bootyforsale.com and view the “about’ page for a more detailed history of the Ostwind.

    Again, your site is enjoyable.

    • 2 john s September 5th, 2012 12:10H

      I saw the Ost Wind in Jacksonville, Fl.. It was in very poor condition, but afloat. I don’t know the year, probably the late1980’s.

  2. 3 Bob / Vintage Jacksonville July 14th, 2011 15:13H

    Asa, I appreciate your addition to the post. You may well be right. I am working from notes left behind by the photographer and I have found minor inconsistencies from time to time. Most of the notes Loyd Sandgren wrote were written and attached to his photographs later in his life as he was going through the vast collection of images from his 40 plus year career. I know I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast from time to time so it would be no surprise if the fog of time blurred some of the details from 30 years prior. In his defense, Loyd was very sharp right up to his passing. I can only hope to be so lucky.

  3. 4 Carol Ferkler Ecker June 10th, 2013 18:58H

    This photo is not of the Eastwind. My father was sailing on her at that time with his friend and past commander, whlle in Naval Intelligence, John Lyman. They sailed the Chesapeake Bay and I still have the black and white movies of my parents and their friends having a wonderful time on a beautilful day on a beautiful boat.

    • 5 julie lyman June 22nd, 2014 20:21H

      How could I get a copy of that video? My father was John. G LYMAN. Thank you.

      • 6 Bruce Brown January 11th, 2018 15:33H

        Hello Julie: By accident I was reading about Ostwind when I saw your comment. Your father and I were great friends, both announcers at SEAQUARIUM and I knew you as a little girl. For many years I wondered where I could find you and Charlie. Please give a reply when you have a chance. Sincerely, Bruce

        • 7 Charles Lyman October 14th, 2018 14:15H

          Dear Bruce: My son came upon this article while looking up my step father and mentioned your name as a commentator. I hope your are well and would be pleased to correspond with you if you wish.

  4. 8 Bob / Vintage Jacksonville June 10th, 2013 21:18H

    Thank you Carol, What a great story. I think there may be a level of urban legend surrounding the rotting hull that was in Jacksonville. There are a lot of stories and a lot of memories but little solid documentation to back them up. I don’t think I have seen any other photos of the ship during the time it was said to have been in Jacksonville. I always welcome information to fill in the information gaps.

    • 9 Carol Ferkler Ecker June 10th, 2013 21:36H

      Hi Bob, if you would like a copy of the movies my father took, I would be happy to send them to you. She’s under full sail on the Chesapeake Bay with many happy sailors and their wives aboard.

      • 10 Jim Mauney October 23rd, 2013 20:54H


        I am in possession of a piece of lead ballast from the Ostwind. There is a box and inscription about the Ostwind as well as the number 153 on the edge of the lead souvenir.

        Can you shed light as to the authenticity of the object.

        Once you respond I can email photos for you to review.

        jim Mauney

        • 11 Jeffrey Jones February 11th, 2021 22:27H

          I have a same piece of the lead ballast that you’re talking about came in a fancy box with the satin lining we bought it from the man who owned the Ostwindi in Mandarin at one time his name was Horace Glass he was a diver.
          He took us out in a small rowboat and we actually got to climb aboard the vessel when it was on an anchor 50 ft off of his dock the mast for the boat was laying in his yard facing the river. You could see the boat when you drove across the Buckman bridge it looked like a giant white banana.

      • 12 maria June 22nd, 2014 18:09H

        Did your father know John Lyman?

    • 13 Debbie Smith February 6th, 2015 9:56H

      I’m sure it was in Jacksonville FL. It was dock on the water at my father’s cousins home in Mandarin for several years. He later sold it and it was docked of Trout River in North Jacksonville in bad shape. There were some news articles regarding this in the Florida Times-Union paper. I then heard in was sold to someone in Pennsylvania

  5. 14 Debbie Smith February 6th, 2015 9:35H

    My Father’s cousin Horace Glass in Jacksonville Fl purchase the yacht back in the 80’s. I heard that if was brought in from Flager Beach. He had it dock off his home in Mandarin for many years. and then was docked off trout river in north Jacksonville. He sold parts off of it to raise money to restore it for a museum however it never take off. I do have a piece of the Mass that has been authenticated.

    • 15 Liz Gavilan April 1st, 2017 0:00H

      Debbie, your account matches what I was told by my late husband Bob L. Gavilan, owner of The Old Book Shop on Beach Blvd in St. Nicholas, one of his customers, Horace Glass and his wife Jody, owned the Ostwind and was in the process of repairing it. Commemorative bars from the lead ballast were fashioned and sold to raise money for this project. I do believe it was a storm that came through that partially sank the boat and the Glass couple abandoned the project.

      It is my understanding they relocated to the north but I do not know where. I do remember seeing one of the commemorative bars and some associated paperwork, like maybe a flyer, in my husband’s book shop. I am thinking this was sometime during the 80’s. I seem to remember that the ship was anchored in the Mandarin area.

      Your account about bringing the boat up from Flagler Beach triggered a part of the story I had forgotten until reading your post but now I remember my husband had told me that too.


  6. 16 Bob Rich August 18th, 2018 13:23H

    I am writing a book on characters and boats of the Miami River. The “Ostwind” is one of them. She sat in rough shape for years at a decrepit dock just east of the 27th Avenue bridge. And then poof she was gone. But among the many stories of Mr. Lyman and this boat there is one that I am not sure of. It was said that Mr. Lyman was injured by a winch handle – and possibly lost sight of an eye. And this contributed to his waning interest in the boat.

    Her sister, the “Nordwind” is still sailing.

    • 17 richard jordan January 29th, 2019 15:19H

      You are so right Bob. The Ostwind sat for years in the Miami River docked behind a house on NW 20th Street. I worked for Southern Bell in that area and I saw it practially everyday. The story I heard back then was a fixed span bridge was being built or mabe a draw bridge was being replaced with a fixed span bridge and the Ostwind was moved because of it’s mast it would not be able to be moved from that location. The house was mabe 4 or 5 houses East of the 27th ave bridge and was very visable from the bridge.

  7. 18 bill barley December 5th, 2018 17:11H

    There is a story about the background of the boat and it’s owners up through it’s sinking from NPR’s This American Life radio program. It’s very interesting. J.J. Nelson was the final owner of the ostwind before he gave it to a Jewish group who sunk it in Miami harbor.


  8. 19 Jerry Hubbs February 10th, 2019 8:23H

    I remember seeing a boat up on blocks near the river in Jacksonville that rumor had it as Adolf Hitler’s boat. That was about 1985 maybe. I thought they said it was made of concrete. There was a nice restaurant on the water nearby.

  9. 20 Curtis Yake September 23rd, 2019 18:58H

    My grandfather Herman Yake build shrimp boats as a hobby in our fab shop and sailed one of his boats along the ostwind for the sinking . His boat was docked at the same marina that the ostwind was at here in Jacksonville . He was giving a large piece of the ship that also includes a port hole My aunt in Coca Beach still has it .

  10. 21 Russell M Thomas February 4th, 2020 17:49H

    I first met Commander Lyman in Washington DC in 1953 when he and his wife were living aboard Eastwind, tied up in the basin. He had had the accident that tore out his eye, part of his skull and check bone.
    I was in touch with John up through the time that we got Eastwind ready for the race Havana to Spain in 1955. I was on the Ticonderoga in the race. Eastwind was taking on too much water so they dropped out of the race.
    John had Eastwind in the Miami river on Just Island. While there we unstopped the mast and carefully took it apart and rebuilt it as the glue lines has let go.
    I was at John’s second wedding and remember “big mouth Charlie”
    The accident that caused John’s injury went like this – they (his wife and others were sailing in the Chesapeake and a squall like came over them. In attempting to lower the Main Halyard, some one let go the main boom topping lift with put the total weight of boom, sail and wind on the main halyard winch with John was holding and lowering on a much too small halyard winch. With the usual crew in Germany of 20 able sailors to tail the winch it was safe but not one man. His wife was able to hold John in her lap and sail Eastwind back into Annapolis.
    Admiral Karl Doenitz was the ranking German officer to sail on Eastwind and on Northwind. Northwind held the Fastenet Race record until we better the record in 1955 on Mare Nostrum sailed by Woody Pirie and myself and a mix crew.
    My long time sailing buddy Frank Dratz helped sail the Eastwind to Havana before the race and said that he had never experienced such a powerful sailboat and he sailed on many. They had a nice reach and passed up shrimpers, small freighters and such.
    Gruber was an outstanding designer and these “Wind” boats were exceptional. Composite hull with unknown metal for frames and great hard wood planking. Sad ending to one of the truly great sail boats and to Commander John Lyman, A great friend. Rusty.

  11. 22 M.K. April 25th, 2020 22:24H

    Wow, I thought I was crazy when I would tell people about Hitler’s boat. As a kid we would eat at Jackie’s seafood and then walk with my grandfather along the docks while he smoked cigars. He used to always talk to this man who said he was restoring the boat. I have a piece of wood and a piece of metal from the boat (nothing fancy like a port hole), but they remind me of my grandfather and Miss Jackie. Thank you for having this information.

  12. 23 Eugene Morrissey July 25th, 2023 13:42H

    I lived in MAINE for a while. Up the road from us was a retired US ARMY Colonel — Harold Thomas Lentz. At the end of WW2, Col Lentz was assigned to a town in Austria. . He was a Military Governor there for some reason ?? Col Lentz took Hitlers Yacht Ostwind as his Office and Living Quarters. Col Lentz must have acquired a few items of value because of his wealth after the War when he lived in MAINE in the 1960’s.In his Horse stables under the house , he had a row of beautiful, Black Saddles — all with the SS markings on them.. Up stairs in his dining area was a small area where he could sit and chat with his company. On the walls there was what looked like a old European Bar. He told me it was from Austria – where Hitler hung out with his buddies. Col Lentz had it removed and brought to the US and assembled in this Home in MAINE. It was complete with the bottles of liquor that were on it in AUSTRIA.. while on Ostwind he found many NAZI items and a lot of Medals. Col Lentz gave me all the Medals he found aboard Ostwind.. I still have them. Several Knight’s Crosses — a German Cross in Silver.one was the German Cross in Gold ( i sold it – big mistake) .and a bunch of others.. Col LENTZ was a very open person to me since I had been in the US Military. Col Lentz had a heart attack and died at a Horse Race he had one of his horses running in. The home was sold by his wife Susan . The Bar was still intact. The home today is a sort of INN..?? People stay there like in a Hotel. I do not know if the Bar is still there ?? It would be worth a fortune if it is ??.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More