52′ John Alden Malabar VI Schooner
Adventurer is a 65’ LOA John Alden Malabar VI schooner (248c) built by Franklin B. Post in Mystic, CT in 1925. During the 1920s John Alden designed and had himself built a new schooner each year, Malabars I-X. The first few were pocket cruising schooners but the Malabars grew larger and more complex as Alden’s interest in offshore racing developed through the decade (He won the Bermuda race on Malabar IV in ’23, on Malabar VII in ’26 and finally on Malabar X in 1932).
The designs from the middle of the series hit a sweet spot in terms of size, speed, seaworthiness, comfort and ease of handling. They’re exceptionally versatile boats, at home cruising, on the race course and offshore, perfect for the contemporary classic yacht owners. The Malabar VI’s (Adventurer is one of 7 sister ships to the original Malabar VI) have longer finer ends than their contemporaries and are arguably the prettiest.
Adventurer strays from the standard Malabar VI design in a few subtle ways. She was drawn with an extra topsides strake and more cambered deck to accommodate the height of her initial owner, a man named A.E. Whitney of Glen Clove NY. Whitney also asked that the locations of the cabin houses be reconfigured to allow the main mast to step through deck rather than the forward deck house. It’s a considerably stronger arrangement and makes her more proportional in profile.
Adventurer has typical rig for a schooner yacht of her era. She carries 4 lowers (main, fore, club-staysail and jib) of which only the jib isn’t self-tacking. Her main mast is considerably taller than the fore and allows her to fly a main topsail (set from deck on jack spar) and fisherman in lighter winds.
Adventurer’s interior was reconfigured from the original layout following a significant structural refit in the early ’90s. Access is through the starboard hatch on the aft cabin house and through the forepeak hatch. There’s a wet locker behind the companionway and at its base port and starboard settee berths whose backs swing up to provide 2 additional berths. There’s a drop-leaf table and soapstone solid-fuel stove between. Moving forward there’s a horseshoe shaped galley to port and a hanging locker, nav. station and counter-top with storage above and below to starboard. The double berth owner’s cabin is forward of the galley on the port side followed by the head and then forepeak.
In 1992 Adventurer went to Gannon and Benjamin on Martha’s Vineyard for a sizable refit (outlined below) but she’s now due for another one. As evidenced in the photos, her exterior finish work needs redone. A 2019 survey (available on request) suggests she needs deck repair, hull refastening, systems maintenance, and a fair amount of planking work above and below the water line.
Adventurer is certainly worthy of the restoration. She’s the only big Malabar currently on the market and one of the few remaining examples of the beautiful, seaworthy gaff schooners that dominated offshore racing in the early 20th century before the arrival of the Marconi ketchs and yawls in the 1930s. Adventurer is currently stored in the water in Cambridge, MD and ready for showings.
Gannon Benjamin Refit 1992
- The keel was dropped and all keel bolts replaced.
- All frames,& floor timbers mid-ship were replaced.
- New planking was installed as required.
- A complete refastening was done with bronze wood screws.
- The shear was restored and a “fisherman’s” clamp, was added to prevent future sagging at the chain plates
- All deck beams were sistered.
- A new teak deck was layed over the original deck.
- The cabin house was completed replaced
- He Mainmast was extended by 6’
- The Cockpit coaming was eliminated.
- New toe and cap rails,
- New chain plates.
- Rigging was replaced as needed and all standing rigging was ‘worm, parceled and served’
- Pin rails added along with sway hooks, and bronze turnbuckles.
ENGINE MAKE: PERKINS 4236 FWC DIESEL
SERIAL NO: LD20665-U32886
HOURS ON METER: 1300 (REPORTED)
PROPELLER: 2 BLADE BRONZE FIXED SERVICEABLE
PACKING GLAND: CONVENTIONAL
ENGINE ALARMS: NA
CONTROLS: MORSE MECHANICAL
TYPE: EDSON WORM GEAR
RUDDER: WOOD W/BRONZE FITTINGS
FUEL TANKS: 2@ 40 GAL
TANK MATERIAL: STEEL
HOLDING TANK: 20 GAL. BLADDER TANK
WATER TANKS ONE 150 GAL 1 75GAL BLADDER
COMPASS: DSNFORD CONSTELLATION
DEPTH: STANDARD HORIZON
RADAR: JRC 1000
GPS PLOTTER: GARMIN 545 AND 162
WIND: WEST MARINE
SEARCH LIGHT: NA
SAILS AND RIGGING:
JIB FURLER: NA
STANDING RIGGING: BRONZE TURN BUCKLES, STAINLESS WIRE
RUNNING RIGGING: DACRON BRAID
SAILS: MAIN, FORE, STAYSAIL, JIB, MAIN TOP, FISHERMAN