President Bush's spiffy speedboat Fidelity sputtered to a standstill off his Kennebunkport, Maine, vacation home yesterday, disabled by a burned-out alternator.

Fortunately for the president, Barbara Bush and their guests, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mila Mulroney and Canadian Ambassador Derek Burney, the U.S. Coast Guard came to the rescue. The boat that always shadows the president's Cigarette boat carted the party safely to shore. They were boating only "a short distance off Walker's Point. ... There was never any danger to the president or the prime minister," a statement issued by White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater said.

The disabled Fidelity was towed to Walker's Point.

The Rolling Miss America Show The 50 finalists competing for the Miss America crown made a grand entrance into Atlantic City yesterday by train after spending the weekend making public appearances in Philadelphia. It was part of the pageant's 70th anniversary celebration, re-creating the stopover in the City of Brotherly Love and the train ride that contestants made from 1935 through 1939. "Since it was my first train ride, I was quite excited," said Miss Indiana, Brenda Alyce Bassett. "It reminded me somewhat of an airplane."

The Slump Hits Nixon Former president Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, have met the real estate slump face to face. They have had to drop the asking price of their seven-bedroom home in Saddle River, N.J., from $3.25 million to a mere $2.9 million. The house has been on the market since May, and includes a lighted tennis court and swimming pool, along with a detached garage filled with surveillance equipment, on its wooded four-acre lot. The Nixons are planning to move to a more manageable three-bedroom condominium in nearby Park Ridge.

Secord's Suit Dismissed The $38 million defamation suit filed by Gen. Richard Secord in 1988 against author Leslie Cockburn and the Atlantic Monthly Press was dismissed here yesterday in the U.S. District Court. Secord had contended that Cockburn's book "Out of Control" was libelous in linking Secord to drug-smuggling schemes and other illegal activities. Judge George H. Revercomb, in dismissing the case, decided that malice on the part of the author could not be proved.

Cockburn's lawyer, Floyd Abrams, said yesterday, "This was a suit that never should have been brought. It was a frivolous suit with no merit and no purpose other than to chill any speech about General Secord that was distasteful to him. The judge's ruling is a vindication in all respects of Leslie Cockburn and the Atlantic Monthly Press."

Non-Female Feminist The Akron, Ohio, chapter of the National Organization for Women has given its Feminist of the Year award to a fellow named Bob. Robert Zangrando is a history professor at the University of Akron who has earned the award with his steady support of the chapter, including joining in its marches and donating to its coffers.

In a statement yesterday, NOW President Molly Yard reminds us that " 'feminist' is a non-gender term. Anyone can be a feminist, man or woman. Since we have male members, we, of course, will have some male leaders, so {the award} was entirely appropriate."

k.d. lang as Annie Oakley? Country artist k.d. lang might soon become Annie Oakley, according to columnist Liz Smith. The young Canadian singer apparently has the inside track for the lead in a revival of the Irving Berlin musical "Annie Get Your Gun," to be staged later this year. When last in the news, lang was raising the hackles of cattle ranchers everywhere with her pro-vegetarian television advertisements.

Birthday Greetings for Mother Teresa In a telegram to Mother Teresa yesterday, Pope John Paul II wished her well on her 80th birthday and gave her a special blessing for caring "for all God's children."

Mother Teresa resigned for health reasons last spring from her position as head of the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded 40 years ago to help the poor and abandoned in Calcutta. Though she had a pacemaker installed after a heart attack in December, she felt unable at the time to continue with her work.

In his telegram, which was released by the Vatican, the pope said he was "giving prayer thanks to God for ... your lifelong dedication and service to the poorest of the poor, I wish to assure you of my warmest best wishes."