John and Mable Ringling aboard their boat

John and Mable Ringling pose on the deck of one of a succession of splashy yachts, he in a jaunty captain’s hat, she in a nautical striped dress and capelet. Their final yacht was the grand 125-foot long Zalophus, which cost Ringling $200,000 in 1922. He used it to take potential financial investors on pleasure cruises along Sarasota Bay. In 1930, the yacht hit an uncharted rock off Lido Key in heavy seas and sank. Passengers and crew made it to safety, including, it was revealed years later, New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker and actress Betty Compton. The Ringlings were not on board. 

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