Restoration of Famed Schooner Malabar X Nears Completion

The restoration of Malabar X, John Alden Design No. 453, is nearing completion, and the schooner will be launched on Wednesday, May 1 at the Ithaca Boating Center, 435 Old Taughannock Boulevard, Ithaca, New York. Malabar X, measuring 75 feet overall and 59 feet on deck, was designed by world-renowned naval architect, John Alden, and was the final in a series of schooners designed for his personal use. Hodgdon Brothers of East Boothbay, Maine, constructed the boat in 1930. Malabar X competed in the Bermuda Race in 1930, winning her class, and again in 1932, capturing the overall trophy.

After a series of owners, Malabar X fell victim to Hurricane Bob in 1991 while harbored in Greenport, Long Island, New York. She was laid up in dry-dock with severe damage and listed for sale. Doug Hazlitt of Seneca Daysails discovered and purchased her in 1999, trucking her to Cayuga Wooden Boat Works in Ithaca, for necessary repairs under the supervision of shipwright and facility owner, Dennis Montgomery.

He quickly discovered that repairs would not suffice and began a total restoration project. Hazlitt that the historical significance of this magnificent vessel demanded that the restoration meet the high standards established by Alden when he created the plans. To that end, he has spent over two years and more than 20,000 man-hours working in close cooperation with Alden Design Corporation to rebuild Malabar X to its original exacting standards. The restoration was funded in part by the New York State Canal Corridor Initiative, with major support from The First National Bank of Geneva.

Upon launch, Malabar X will travel via the Erie Canal system to her homeport in Watkins Glen, New York. There she will be available for day charters carrying a maximum of 25 people on two- to three-hour Seneca Lake sailing cruises. Hazlitt says, "There has been tremendous interest in sailing charters and Seneca Daysails will offer the only sailing experience available on the lake." Seneca Daysails is a joint venture of Doug, his wife Cheryl Giblin Hazlitt, a Binghamton, New York, native, and Bob Kinner, a retired Corning businessman.

Hazlitt is also vice president of the family-owned winery, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake at Hector. Seneca Daysails charters will offer a spectacular view of the region’s vineyards and enable passengers to understand why the lake provides such an ideal atmosphere for viniculture.

For additional information or to book a charter, contact Doug Hazlitt at (607) 546-SAIL, e-mail:, or visit his website at To view the restoration, visit