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Seller's Description

Description: Alden Schooner ~ Malabar II ~ Very unique opportunity

Every once in a while, you stumble across a classic yacht, so stunning in her lines, that it stops you in your tracks. ‘Decatur’ is such a yacht! An absolute head turner in every respect.

Decatur is a Malabar II, designed in 1922 (101 years ago) by John G. Alden. The original Malabar II was built in 1922 by Charles A. Morse & Son in Thomaston, Maine. The famous Malabar yachts were all designed by, built for, owned and raced by John G Alden. Malabar II was the second in a series of ten schooners that Alden designed for himself.

Few rigs charm the hearts of sailors as much as schooners and Alden quickly established a reputation as a leading designer in that class. It’s true to say, that any time a group of sailors are huddled around a bar talking about classic schooners, the name Alden will certainly be mentioned.

The striking lines of the Malabar II also caught the eye of some big Hollywood producers and a Malabar II featured heavily in the movie ‘Message in a Bottle’, staring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright-Penn.

Alden’s design brief for the Malabar II was for a yacht that could stay at sea in almost any weather, and yet would not be too much to handle alone. To achieve the later, all of the sails are self-tending while tacking and drop easily into lazy jacks. The foremast is stepped well forward to keep the jib small enough to handle comfortably. John Alden noted that Malabar II would beat to weather under foresail alone and would “move along well in light weather. “ It was the efficiency of this rig, in combination with the carefully worked out lines, that made Malabar II unique.

The name Decatur is a tribute to Stephen Decatur a famous American naval officer and Commodore, born in 1779, his career was bought to an early end when he was killed in a duel with Commodore James Baron in 1820.

Decatur was built by master shipwright Keith Allen with the assistance of his daughter Bernadette Hedger. The hull is carvel planked and constructed from highly prised Huon Pine that is copper fastened and caulked with Oakum and cotton, with Scented Maple and Gympie Messmate steamed ribs and sawn frames of New Guinea Rosewood. The decks are White Beach over two layers of plywood glassed with Dynal. The keel is solid and very durable quarter sawn spotted gum. The masts are Silver Durgong and the gaffs and booms are Oregon. The builders had a meticulous eye for detail that is evident in the selection of fine timbers, bronze hardware, wooden blocks and traditional rigging that is all in keeping with a classic design of this era. The build quality is very impressive, and she has been well maintained by her current custodian.

Decatur is a true celebration of traditional wooden boat building at its finest. The experience of being onboard gives you the feeling that you have travelled back in maritime history.

Stepping down the companionway you are greeted by an interior that is oozing with charm from a bygone era. The saloon is compact and very cozy with two large settees on either side of a fold out dining table. The diesel heater is a nice touch, and you can imagine yourself relaxing with a good book and your favourite glass of red on a cold winter’s night. The timber work is stunning and incorporates numerous exotic species including Papua New Guinea Rosewood, Huon Pine, Spur Mahogany, White Beach and Queensland Maple.

The master cabin is in the forepeak with twin single berths. Again, the timber work and detail in this cabin leaves you speechless. It is something special. The settees in the saloon both have lee cloths and make great sea berths while underway. There is an additional single quarter berth on the starboard side.

The galley is simple and functional. There is a very high-quality Taylors paraffin stove and oven. These are hand built in England and sell in Australia for a staggering RRP$16,000. The stove has a large paraffin tank that you pressurise with a bicycle pump. Adjacent to the galley on the starboard side is a top loading 12v refrigerator.

Decatur is powered with a reliable 40hp Yanmar diesel engine with only 1145hr on the clock. She is shaft driven with a three blade fixed prop.

To commission a master boat builder, IF you could find one with the traditional skills to build a boat the same as Decatur, would cost North of $750,000. So, at a fraction of the replacement cost, Decatur not only represents great value for money, but also a very unique opportunity that comes around once in a blue moon.



# Built
Timber Huon Pine


Length Overall
41 4 / 12.6 m
Waterline Length
11 3 / 3.4 m
6 2 / 1.9 m ?
28,660 lb / 13,000 kg

Rig and Sails

Masthead Schooner
Reported Sail Area
Total Sail Area
Sail Area
Air Draft
Sail Area
Forestay Length

Auxilary Power

Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity
58 gal / 220 l
Engine Hours


Water Capacity
106 gal / 400 l
Holding Tank Capacity


Hull Speed

Hull Speed

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.


Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

A more accurate formula devised by Dave Gerr in The Propeller Handbook replaces the Speed/Length ratio constant of 1.34 with a calculation based on the Displacement/Length ratio.

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio.311
Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Classic formula: ?
Sail Area/Displacement

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.


SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64)2/3

  • SA: Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D: Displacement in pounds.
<16: under powered
16-20: good performance
>20: high performance

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.


Ballast / Displacement * 100

<40: less stiff, less powerful
>40: stiffer, more powerful

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.


D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
<100: ultralight
100-200: light
200-300: moderate
300-400: heavy
>400: very heavy
Comfort Ratio

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.


Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam1.33)

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
<20: lightweight racing boat
20-30: coastal cruiser
30-40: moderate bluewater cruising boat
40-50: heavy bluewater boat
>50: extremely heavy bluewater boat
Capsize Screening

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.


CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
<2: better suited for ocean passages
>2: better suited for coastal cruising
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