Capella ll
Boat Owner
Byron Bennett
John G Alden
Smith & Taylor

John G Alden took a fancy to the name of a vanished spit of land, Cape Malabar, found on an old chart and felt the name would be fitting for a schooner he had designed and built for himself. This boat was first in a series of schooners named Malabar and based on the fisherman schooners of Gloucester, Maine, with internal ballast, beamy, low sided for easy handling of dories and cheap to build. He ordered a 41 1/2 foot schooner from C.A. Morse and Son of Thomaston, Maine before actually drawing the plans to design 155. The forward cabin trunk was kept short to allow for a dinghy on deck and no engine was installed as the designer had ‘better use for the room’. She had a bald headed self tending gaff rig including a gaff foresail for single handing. In 1923 she placed fourth in a fleet of 22 boats in the Newport to Bermuda race. In 1934 John Alden described her as the most interesting of the Malabars. (Source: ‘John G Alden and his yacht designs’ Carrick and Henderson 1995) Around 1966, on request, Alden designs modified the Malabar 1 design with the hull form remaining the same but with external ballast, an engine and the forward cabin trunk extended to give more headroom. The new plan number was designated 155-67. This boat was built as ‘Capella’, the builders own boat, by Misters Smith and Taylor alongside two others of identical hull form but fitted out as party boats, one for the local fire chief and the other for a local lawyer. There is no known record of the fate of the other two vessels and Capella ll is thought to be the only remaining example of the type, the original Malabar 1 believed to have been lost on a reef in Tahiti. Launched with a gaff main and foresail and a self tending jib, Capella ll now carries a staysail schooner rig with a marconi main and a furling headsail.. She carries a fisherman and a large gollywobbler. Re-installation of a self tending jib is in the pipeline. She is easily singlehanded under limited sail and with a bit of effort can carry all 5 sails. All spars are of spruce, solid bowsprit and boom and laminated masts. She has had 7 caretakers, of which I am the latest having owned her for almost 7 years. She is currently well into a 2 1/2 year below waterline and midships to the gunwhale rebuild and should be relaunched in the coming 4 months. Planned to be a 6 month partial frame replacement, it has turned out to be a major project with stem knee, lower stem section, all frames and floors replaced, partial horn timber replacement and total replanking below the waterline along with innumerable other repairs and rebuilds.. As such, I have no recent on water photos.

LOD feet
Hull Timber
Sapele & Mahogany
Type of Boat