People | Sailing

* Germany : David Brown Lelanta Sailing Tour

Sailing Width Lelanta and Captain David Brown

Enjoy the power, thrill and confort of sailing Lelanta, classic John Alden Steel Schooner, and flying before the wind.

The possibilities are endless. For those with a limited amount of time, you can daysail the local waters where you can anchor and swim off a deserted beach, have lunch and cocktails under the awning or sunbathe on deck.

It's just a sail away!


If old boats could talk, LELANTA would be one of those we wish could tell the tales of her various adventures. Designed by John G. Alden and built as an ocean racing yacht in 1929, she started her life as one of the nine contenders for the 1930 Fastnet race.

She was designed for Ralph St. L. Peverly, an American living in England and an avid Alden fan. He formally owned and raced another Alden schooner La Goleta in the 1927 Fastnet and was highly impressed with Alden's designs. She was being built for the 1931 Fastnet race, but due to the global economic issues at the time, she was completed early due to the many canceled orders in front of her. This would have been a blessing, but in the end, she had to retire from the race due to her un-tuned rig in gale force conditions. She did not compete in the 1931 race, but Peverly was so impressed with her strength, speed, and sea kindliness that he kept her till 1937 when he then ordered another schooner from Alden, just like LELANTA but seven feet longer. Apparently to add one foot to every bunk on board.

Although primarily an Alden design, Aage Nielsen had a major hand in her design which shows in her symmetrically balanced hull, conservative sheer and long overhangs. She is a deep bodied, full keel boat and her weight of 46 tons keeps her steady in any seaway. It is by far one of Alden's greatest designs for racing versus the fisherman style yachts he built previously for racing.

In 1937, Peverly's LELANTA II was being commissioned at the Abeking & Rasmussen yard in Germany. One of the last American yachts to be built by the German yacht builder before the yard was converted into a war machine manufacturer. As promised, LELANTA II carried all of the grace, beauty and speed Alden had designed into LELANTA. “We have original pictures aboard of LELANTA II being commissioned at Abeking & Rasmussen in Germany. The importance of this time period is clearly seen in the picture as LELANTA II sits on the railway with an American Flag on her transom and Nazi swastika flags on her mast and bunkers.

Meanwhile, LELANTA’s time during WWII, as with so many yachts, becomes very sketchy and very little is known about her. We do know that in 1946 she resurfaces as LINETTE III under the ownership of Guenn Ael Bollore. One of the most colorful characters of our time. Bollore is best known for Bollore Cigarette papers. But Bollore had made a name for himself long before inheriting the family business.


In 1937, the same year LELANTA II was being delivered and LELANTA sold, Bollore who had just turned seventeen, lied about his name and age joined the Free French Commandos of the French resistance. They were known as some of the most heroic soldiers in the war for their daring attacks and demolition stunts against the Germans. He later wrote several books about his adventures one of which is called “We Were 177” referring to the fact that there were 177 special force commandos in his division. In that book he describes being given a boat and along with 10 other marines trying to cross the English channel under horrific conditions in an effort gain access to the occupied coast. He mentions in the book that although they were unable to reach the 'other' coast, their lives were saved many times over by the boat being so stable, strong and safe. We can only wonder if this is how he acquired LELANTA in the first place...

After the war, Bollore sailed LINETTE III (ex LELANTA) throughout Europe and to the Arctic. He married his sweetheart, French actress Renee Cosima. The two of them would sail Europe’s waterways looking for the elusive Coelacanth (the oldest fish know to exist) and filming research films on the subject. Many of their travels would take them into the Arctic and beyond for months at a time. He managed to use this knowledge for many other species of marine life using LINETTE III as his research vessel. This developed into more filming aboard and eventually produced in 1959 an adventure film starring his wife called 'Les Naufrageurs'. On some of these ventures they were accompanied by many well known renaissance men of their day like Leon Blum and Henry Michaux whom wrote some of his works aboard.

Bollore inherited his family business from his grandfather Dr. Bollore who in 1839 served as Surgeon-Major on the “Amazon” a frigate of 52 guns, sailing to China. Dr. Bollore brought back with him the secrets of making extremely thin rice paper that was coveted in Europe as a smooth and pleasant cigarette paper. Guenn Ael has since passed the business on to his nephew who now controls one of the top 500 businesses in Europe.

In 1965 he sold LINETTE III to Jan Iserbyt who restored her original name, LELANTA. Iserbyt loved LELANTA and sailed her across the Atlantic for the first time. He put her into the charter trade making her one of the first boats to be offered for charter in the Caribbean. Many stories have been told about LELANTA during her time in the Caribbean. Old timers see her coming into the bay and recall with affection the decades that have passed since they last saw her. A smile graces their faces of memories gone past and a simpler life.

David Brown

Photo Boats is more than a nautical location destination, we are also experts in our field and can be hired for working knowledge of all things nautical.

David holds a 200 ton U.S. Coast Guard license and has over two hundred thousand sea miles under his belt. He has navigated the seas from Nova Scotia to South America and every port in between. He has sailed across the Atlantic and called in most ports in western Europe, most notably England, Portugal, Spain, the southern coast of France and much of Italy. He is not only considered to be a knowledgeable yachtsman, but also a gentleman.

David was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, but was raised in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He is fluent in English, Spanish and conversational Italian. He loves sailing, flying, classic vehicle and yacht restorations.

With his 25 years of experience in the industry, David is the perfect Captain to help you with your specific production needs. He is a qualified adviser to any film or production crew. His knowledge and foresight are particularly important in the beginning of any nautical endeavor. He will ensure that you have the proper boats, locations, and every detail down to the insurance necessary to make your production a success. His commercial and video experience include video commercials for Eden Hotel, Miami Beach, Sperry Topsiders, Wachovia Bank, Grey Goose, and most recently Chanel Perfume. Movies include Just Cause with Sean Connery and Miami Vice original TV series.


US Coast Guard 200 ton Master License S.T.C.W. 95 Certified Certified in ASA sailing, coastal cruising, and sail instruction Advanced Firefighting, First Aid and Vessel Management Certified Celestial Navigation, Broward Comm. College, Fl. Safe Boating Course, Florida Marine Patrol. Certified PADI scuba diver open water. Private Pilots license, SEL

Captain David Brown and Lalenta

Capt. Brown, her present captain recently spoke with Mrs. Iserbyt. She recalled one of these magical moments in1960's when she was in Guadalupe playing with her kids at a sea side park. She told me “I was with my kids then ages 1 or 2 years old, I heard an older lady near me say” “Oh dear, there is my LELANTA” when Mrs. Iserbyt looked up, sure enough, her husband was coming into the bay. So she corrected the lady and said “you mean my LELANTA”. A moment later, the older lady introduced herself as Mrs. Peverly. The original owner's wife. She said that they kept that boat at the Mersey Yacht Club in England. That her husband and she loved the boat dearly and they raced and cruised the boat often. She also gave the first clue as to her name. LELANTA was named after the river Lent in England near where they lived. Mrs. Peverly and Mrs. Iserbyt continued to write to each other for many years until Mrs. Peverly’s passing. I am fortunate to still be able to correspond with Mrs. Iserbyt; she is scheduled to come aboard LELANTA this coming summer for a sail in Sag Harbor NY,” says Capt. Brown. “Experiences like these allow us to have just one degree of separation from the original ownership. A very rare fact with a boat dating back 80 years.” In 1972, having accomplished everything with LELANTA he had set out to do, Mr. Iserbyt sold LELANTA to Jonathan McLean of Virginia. He gave LELANTA a thorough refit and she was changed from a gaff rig to a staysail schooner. The change made her easier to manage with less crew and provided more options under different wind conditions. McLean added a larger engine and changed some accommodations. There are some questions as to what happened to her after that. LELANTA disappeared, apparently into the drug trade and her travels remain a mystery. She was eventually seized off the coast of Naples Florida. One night, an off duty sheriff was fishing off the coast when he saw a sailing boat moving in without lights. He did see flashlights moving about the deck and assuming they were in distress, he turned on his police lights and approached to provide assistance. As he got near, he saw the crew jump into smaller boats and race away. On boarding, he found the interior of LELANTA stacked to her deck with tons of Marijuana. After her seizure, LELANTA was put up for auction and sold to a woman in Miami. After she took possession of the vessel, the Coast Guard sent her the documentation but it was returned as undeliverable. Apparently, she had just been sold back into the drug trade. This time, she was a regular sight between South America and Newfoundland, doing regular runs east of Bermuda regardless of weather or season. I guess the folks running the drug trade knew a good boat when they saw one. After being seized again, she was auctioned to Charles and Nick Iliff. A father and son team that was going to rebuild her back to her original glory after the drug runners has stripped the boat of her interior. They managed to put most of the boat back together and do some cruising throughout the Chesapeake and to Bermuda. In 1981, they donated the boat to the Landmark School for Dyslexic children in Beverly Massachusetts. The school would build a semester-at-sea program for the kids and take them sailing aboard LELANTA and various other vessels. During this time she sailed alongside another Alden schooner “WHEN and IF” which was built in 1938 for General George S. Patton. The two schooners shared sailing gear and sailed together from time to time. A year later, she was back into private ownership and returned to St. Barth's were she was to return to her contraband carrying days. This time the cargo was champagne. In the early 1980's, the French government was trying to assist the island of St. Barth's and was introducing an economic development package that includes duty free alcohol. This made the price of champagne cheap enough to sell to the other islands and make a decent profit. Her interior was removed yet again as she became a cargo vessel for the fine spirits. She traveled throughout the Caribbean island chain selling spirits to the highest bidders for the next 6 years. The turning point in LELANTA's life was soon to come when two friends got together in St. Barth’s discussing boats, probably with the help of a bottle of rum. John Welteroth was looking for a steel schooner to sail the Pacific, for quite some time and was about to settle for less. But his friend said, “I know a schooner for sale.” They hopped a plane from St Barth's to St. Martin and while still in the air John looked down at Simpson Bay lagoon and said “that's the one right there”. In his mind, he had bought the boat before the plane touched the ground. After a cautious, but quick inspection, he bought the boat “as is-where is.” It then took 8 months and a lot of work to get LELANTA in shape for her journey to her new home, Sag Harbor, NY. A very small, quaint, former whaling village with a large schooner past and plenty of character. LELANTA was to remain inactive for the next 12 years going through a complete refit. “We started with an empty shell, took her completely apart and started over again,” John Welteroth remembers. After endless hours and effort, LELANTA made her debut in 2001 as virtually a new 1929 Alden Schooner. With a completely new interior, fittings, wiring, plumbing, fixtures, all the necessities. “There is not a part of LELANTA's refit that was overlooked,” he said. “Her core is essentially the same. Her mast, decks, and hull were not altered. However, everything to do with interior or machinery were replaced or installed new.” “She now boasts state of the art navigation, audio/visual entertainment and even wireless internet throughout. Something we are quite proud of since you cannot see any of it.” The Owner reports. “The whole vessel has been kept in a 1929 appearance but with all the conveniences of home.” LELANTA has generous decks for lounging while at anchor and work space while at sea. Awnings can be set to provide shade in any part of the deck necessary. A large cockpit aft provides comfort and shelter for our guests. Down below is a large king size cabin to port with a large galley and navigation center to starboard. Forward is a full width saloon, guest head and dining table. Forward of the saloon are identical sea cabins that accommodate two guests in each cabin. In the focs'l forward is the Captains cabin, head and work station. The boat is quite comfortable with up to twelve passengers and crew. She has been sailing as a private yacht and day sail operator from Sag Harbor for the past eight summers and LELANTA is a part of the very exclusive Hampton's community. The clientele include writers, actors, models and the finest residents and guests of the summer community. Following the sun, LELANTA travels to the Caribbean every winter, operating out of the main harbor of St. Barth’s, the jewel of the Caribbean destinations. Spring will find her, making her way back in Sag Harbor for the summer months, ready again to serve as the Hampton Community’s premier day sailing destination. Captain David Brown reports, “We plan on enjoying our new home here in St Barth's. On our way here, LELANTA was sailing herself almost as if she knew the way home. We intend to race her in the many exciting Caribbean Classic Regattas this year as well as day sails from St. Barth's. As far as her past is concerned. We strive to learn more every day,” he said. John Welteroth and Capt. Brown are constantly researching LELANTA's past and are amazed at the information they are able to collect 80 years later. Most of it comes via some story. It usually starts with “LELANTA! I know that boat! I remember when she.....” LELANTA is based in St. Barth's for the winter months, offering LELANTA for day charter and Classic Yacht Regattas. She is well known in various regattas in New England and Caribbean circuits, and wherever she goes.