by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

Jacksonville Florida Boatyard and Maybe Ostwind

In the 1980’s, I came across an interesting old derelict sailboat in a Jacksonville boatyard on the Trout River in North Jax. A worker said the yacht had once belonged to Hitler.

I researched the matter, and found that during World War Two, Hitler had an 85 foot sailing yacht built for himself named “Ostwind”. His plan was to sail into England after Germany had won the war and accept Winston Churchill’s surrender aboard the yacht.

Hitler’s plan didn’t work out, and the fate of the “Ostwind” kind of got obscured by postwar history. She reportedly sank in the Miami River and was later towed to Jacksonville.

I am not 100% sure the boat in my photograph is “Ostwind”, but I ran across another story that said in 1989 that the yacht was transported from Jacksonville to Miami and sunk in the ocean off Miami Beach. It had been purchased by a Jewish group headed by former Miami Beach commissioner Abe Resnick, a Lithuanian-American.

They turned the yacht into an offshore reef for fish habitat, and dedicated it to the memory of the voyage of the SS St Louis

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