M/Y CHANTICLEER has a most colorful and storied history through the course of her noteworthy previous owners. Although she may be more famous as Frances Langford´s CHANTICLEER, she was originally built for Ogden Phipps, who was one of the dominant figures in thoroughbred horse racing in the 20th century. Phipps was involved with a number of high pedigree horses, including Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, and Buckpasser, the 1966 Horse of the Year. The Phipps families collectively have the most Breeders´ Cup wins in history. Ogden enjoyed immense success as an athlete and won 7 US tennis championships and in 1949 was The British Amateur champion. He was inducted into the International Court Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001. Phipps wintered in Palm Beach, which is where he learned of J.B. Hargrave Naval Architects. Noted naval architect Jack Hargrave designed "Buckpasser" as a luxurious four stateroom cruiser in the typical Burger layout of the day.
However, Frances Langford was known as the "Sweetheart of World War II". Her trademark song, "I´m in the Mood for Love" captivated soldiers during the 1940s. Her first appearance in Bob Hope´s radio show ("The Pepsodent Show") was in 1941. She performed as a singer and comic actress from 1935 to 1954. While Langford traveled the world with the USO Bob Hope Shows, she often experienced the hazard of war first hand, taking shelter during bombing raids and dodging aerial attacks. Frances was both fascinated and frightened by her experiences in combat zones, but she has always said that the greatest satisfaction in her life was entertaining the troops.
She was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 1525 Vine Street and for Motion Pictures at 1500 Vine Street in Hollywood, California. It was Ralph Evinrude who introduced his wife to the Georgian Bay, having traveled there himself since the 1920s. As a child he´d been plagued by respiratory problems and had been brought to the town of Little Current on nearby Manitoulin Island to alleviate the effects of hay fever. Evinrude fell in love with the island´s rugged beauty and the couple eventually bought tiny twin islets in the northeast end of Baie Finn, where they built a waterfront house that they frequently visited. The internet is full of breathless accounts from Georgian Bay cruisers who had spotted CHANTICLEER and were eager to report that even as an octogenarian, Langford was still looking "very Hollywood"
When Frances Langford, first met her husband, Ralph Evinrude the two didn´t talk Hollywood. They didn´t´ discuss movies or big business, nor did they swap high-profile names, though given her celebrity and his position as Vice Chairman of the Outboard Marine Corporation they certainly could have. Instead, the pair talked boats. Surprising, perhaps to many fans who remember Langford from her days on Bob Hope´s USO tours, but certainly not to the many boaters who´d seen her onboard her 108' Burger, CHANTICLEER. They knew that above all else, Langford was a passionate boater.
After Frances Langford married Ralph Evinrude in 1955, (his family made the famous Evinrude outboard motors) they opened the Outrigger Resort in Jensen Beach in the mid-1950s. She began accumulating property along the Indian River in Jenson Beach, Florida. Among the 400 acres was a small marina, where Langford kept a series of small sport and fishing boats. Eventually, Langford and Evinrude decided a yacht large enough to take them back and forth between their summer home on Georgian Bay, Ontario and winter home in Jensen Beach was in order."
During Langford´s ownership the helipad was converted into a dining area with storage aft for two tenders. A cockpit was also added extending the yacht from 98´ to 108´. Frances Langford passed away in 2005 at the age of 92. In 2006, her estate sold CHANTICLEER to a Washington, DC area businessman, Jon Couch who began renovating the vessel, notably, painting her hull Flag Blue.
In 2008, CHANTICLEER was acquired by her present owners, Marty and Lisa Sutter, who have continued to renovate the boat extensively. Although those who remember CHANTICLEER best from her years owned by Frances Langford would be hardpressed to recognize the same vessel today, The Sutters have paid appropriate tribute to her ownership of the vessel by designating the VIP stateroom as the "Frances Langford Stateroom", where posters of her movies, photograph and other memorabilia are prominently displayed.