If Chanticleer has you humming classics like “I’m in the Mood for Love,” there’s good reason. Built in 1973, this 108-foot (33-meter) motoryacht counts the late songstress Frances Langford among her previous owners. Even though the yacht passed along to a few other owners, Chanticleer still bears the name that Langford gave her.
Interesting enough, Chanticleer’s original owner was equally famous. He was Ogden Phipps, who had a number of champion racehorses. He commissioned Burger Boat Company to build the yacht, to a design by Jack Hargrave. Phipps christened Buckpasser in honor of one of his most successful horses. Something that made her stand out at the time: She accommodated a helicopter.
Langford came to acquire Chanticleer in 1986. She was passionate about the water, having grown up on a houseboat in Miami and enjoying fishing. In fact, she had Chanticleer carry a handful of tenders from which she could fish. Langford was also responsible for having Chanticleer stretched 10 feet from her original length. This allowed for a larger cockpit.
Langford loved cruising aboard Chanticleer. Many a boater in the Jensen Beach area of Florida can fondly recall seeing her aboard. In 2006, the year after she died, Langford’s estate sold the yacht. The couple who acquired the yacht did so due to her history both as a famous yacht and as a Hargrave-designed Burger. They also had Chanticleer undergo a major restoration, to bring her to modern standards design-wise and systems-wise. (One thing they didn’t change: the original engines. Those Caterpillars were humming away as if they were new, clearly well maintained.)
In 2008, the couple who current own Buckpasser purchased her. They, too, have had the yacht refitted. While the helipad is long gone, they tote a Boston Whaler tender ideal for whale-watching and fishing. No doubt Langford would be proud. She’d further be proud of the VIP stateroom, a.k.a. the Frances Langford Stateroom. It’s adorned with memorabilia of her accomplishments.
Here’s more of Chanticleer. She’s the largest of the three blue-hulled Burgers in the video.
I had the opportunity and privilege to see and board “Chanticleer”, and meet Ms. Langford in 2003 when the vessel was on her yearly voyage to the North Channel. Both she and the boat were beautiful.