John G. Alden TRUE LOVE

Sail Number:

Type: Malabar VII

Ex; Venona II

LOA: 67’0 / 20.4m
LOD: 53’9 / 16.38m
LWL: 37’11 / 11.56m
Beam: 12’5 / 3.78m
Draft: 7’3 / 2.21m
Yard Number: 280 D
Designer: John G. Alden
Current Name: True Love
Original Owner: Elmer J. Bliss
Current Owner: Schooner Excursions Inc
Year Built: 1926
Built by: Wiscasset, Maine by Pendleton Brothers Shipyard
Hull material: Wood construction
Displacement: 43,300 / 19,641kgs


Although Alden considered Malabar VII an unsuccessful boat, she won the 1926 Bermuda Race, with Alden attributing her Bermuda success to having good luck. He felt she was an ordinary performer, except while reaching. She had six other sister ships, with “Fearless” and “Teal” having the most success racing, while Venona II went on to Hollywood and fame.

Venona II was built in Wiscasset, Maine to the lines of design number 280, and in the early 1930s she went to Los Angeles, California, where she was bought by actor Dana Andrews, and converted to a cutter. Eventually renamed “True Love,” she went on to become a movie star, with her 1940 movie debut (minature model) in The Philadelphia Story, where Katherine Hepburn reflected on the Alden schooner in her infamous words “My, she was yar, easy to handle, quick to the helm, fast… ” Sixteen years late “True Love” would star again in the 1956 American musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters, “High Society,” where, while sailing, Bing Crosby serenades Grace Kelly with the Cole Porter song “True Love”

“True Love” can now be charted on Seneca Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of the Great Lakes. How did this schooner find its way to the Finger Lakes? For a number of prior years the Alden Schooner Malabar X ran as a charter boat out of Watkins Glen, until she was sold and brought to Spain, leaving a void on the waterfront. Josh and Lisa Navone of Watkins Glen, NY, found True Love for sale in the US Virgin Islands. Lisa Navone reflected upon seeing her” “It was a perfect fit and brought back a very important and treasured piece to the community,”



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