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History of The True Love

In 1926 John G. Alden designed and built the Malabar VII, the seventh vessel designed by Alden in a series of thirteen racing sailboats, known as the Malabars. The Malabar VII was the first of seven sister ships to be created: Angelica (1926), Teal (1926), Venona II (1926-now known as True Love); Fearless (1927); Sea Dream (1927), and Moby Dick (1927). Many of these sisters went on to win some of the world’s most prestigious and difficult sailing races, such as the Newport to Bermuda Race, and the San Francisco Class Championships. In fact, Alden designed the Malabar VII for the sole purpose of creating a sailboat that would claim first place in the 1926 Newport to Bermuda race; and the Malabar VII accomplished just that. The Malabar VII design varied from its predecessors by incorporating three more sails, adding about seventy square feet more of sail, making it one of the strongest racing boats in the late 1920s.

Click on the pictures below to view a larger picture!



From left to right: (Top row) Malabar VII design; Malabar VII sailing; Venona II (known today as True Love); John Alden at Helm; (Bottom Row) True Love's sister ship Teal; Malabar VII in action; cabin design for Malabar VII


Commissioned in 1925, Venona II was built in 1926 in Wiscasset, Maine by Pendleton Brothers Shipyard. After Verona II’s sister ships gained notoriety for their sailing records, Venona II was eventually renamed True Love, among other names and went on to make a reputation as a movie star. True Love made her movie debut in the 1940 romantic comedy, The Philadelphia Story, where she appeared as miniature model of herself. This movie would go onto produce, perhaps one of the most famous sayings in modern sailing; when Catherine Hepburn said, “My, she was yar.” Sixteen years later in 1956, True Love would make her life size debut in the musical- film High Society, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. In one scene in particular, Bing Crosby serenades Grace Kelly with the song “True Love” while onboard True Love.

After her movie career, True Love retired to St. Thomas where she sailed  for well over half her life. In 2003 she was completely restored to the beauty and sophistication she represents today.

True Love carries the specifications:

·         LOA: 67'

·         LOD: 53'9''

·         Beam: 12.5'

·         Draft: 7.3'

·         Displacement: 22.5 tons

·         Engine: Caterpillar 3054b 86 HP

·         Sail Plan: Schooner Rig Marconi Main/ Gaffed Foresail

In 2008 she was purchased by Schooner Excursions Inc. and made the long journey north to her current home at the Seneca Harbor Park Pier in Watkins Glen; the heart of the Fingerlakes region. This trip north entailed hundreds of miles of offshore sailing, and hundreds more miles up rivers and through canal systems where her masts were stepped, or removed, enabling her to travel through narrow passage ways and underneath bridges. She was named Malabar VII for a brief period of time before officially returning to her proper name True Love after her re-christening in the summer of 2010.

True Love is not only a symbol of sailing history and naval architecture, but also a representation of the love of generations past, present, and future. Those who set sail with this truly majestic boat on the waters of the simply serene Seneca Lake will feel as if they have fallen in love all over again.








**Please note our Sources page for our citations on information used

Schooner Excursions, Inc

(877) SAIL ADV (724-5238)
(607) 535 LAKE (5253)
215 S. Madison Ave. Ste C, Watkins Glen, NY


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