Norwester John Wayne Yacht

When you think of John Wayne, most likely you think of cowboys and horses. But, “The Duke,” also had a love for the sea. Wayne owned several luxury yachts in his time, and according to Western Washington’s KING news channel 5, his first one, the Norwester, has just been turned into a floating museum. John Wayne bought the Norwester from his manager in 1955. Speaking with the station, Tour guide Lisa Judy, said, she heard the legendary actor had to buy it after damaging the 76-foot long yacht. “Apparently, John Wayne wasn’t a very effective captain. It might have had something to do with the alcohol.”

John Wayne Yacht Museum

What You Can Expect on a Visit to John Wayne’s Yacht

John Wayne’s former yacht is now permanently docked at downtown La Conner’s waterfront. Judy, who is director of La Conner’s Visitor Center said, “Wayne not only traveled aboard the Norwester with his family, but also invited several notable Hollywood actors aboard. Cary Grant and Gary Cooper were among the famed guests.

The yacht turned floating museum now holds various pieces of movie memorabilia including props, movie theater cards and signed photos from various stars.

“People are amazed at how up close and personal they can get with everything,” Judy said of the guests who have toured the yacht so far. For example, in “The Duke’s” sleeping quarters, many of Wayne’s personal items are on display. His toothpaste and shaving cream line the shelves in the bathroom. A painting from Pilar, Wayne’s wife during the time he owned the yacht, also hangs above the bed.

All of the items aboard the boat were acquired by the current owner, Guy Vallee. After buying the yacht, Vallee moved it from Anacortes to La Conner, where he spent weeks restoring it.

John Wayne on his Yacht

John Wayne and his son Patrick and Daughter Toni on the Norewester

The Wild Goose

Wayne’s more well-known luxury yacht was the Wild Goose. The Wild Goose was a former naval vessel, a mine sweeper, the USS YMS-328. After being decommissioned she was renovated as a private yacht, and renamed the Wild Goose. Wayne bought the Wild Goose in 1962, and is known to have entertained Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon aboard her. The Wild Goose is still operational today as a dinner cruise, or for private charters.


Wrangle Up Some Charter Income Opportunities

You might not be about to turn your luxury motor yacht into a museum dedicated to one of Hollywood’s most legendary cowboys, but we can help you wrangle up some great charter income opportunities. Contact our offices today, and find out how our On Demand Yachting solution can help you reduce the cost of yacht ownership by as much as 30%!



Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (855) 318-6328.