The History of the "High Seas" Motor Yacht
Designed by the world-famous naval architect John G. Alden
The “High Seas” was commissioned and built at Simms Brothers boatyard in Dorchester, Boston, Mass., in 1935. It was the first boat built under the Simms Brothers name. She was designed by the World-Famous Naval Architect John G. Alden. The vessel was originally named "Espada" (Meaning “sword” in Spanish), it was commissioned and built for Harry Warren (Salvatore Antonio Guaragna 1893-1981) the composer, lyricist, eleven time Academy Award and three time Oscar winner. Mr. Warren was most famously known for his song(s) "That's Amore" and the "Chattanooga Choo Choo" which was the first Gold Record in history. His music was featured in over 300 films.
The vessel was originally used by Mr. Warren as a pleasure craft and off-shore sport-fisher. She was moored at the famous Manhattan Yacht Club (New York) from 1935 to 1937. In mid-1937, Mr. Warren moved to Hollywood full-time and sold the boat to his long time friend Lester McGill (Industrialist). The Vessel remained in the New York area until November 30, 1943 (two days after the Tehran Conference between Roosevelt, Stalin and Chruchill) when she was sold to C.P. Aubry, and moved to Newport News, VA.
Fearing that the vessel would be commandeered and ex-appropriated by the US Navy Armed Small Vessel Patrol Unit, Mr. Aubry, commissioned a local captain & engineer, to pilot the boat south to Key West, Florida, in route to the Panama Canal, with a final destination of Portland, Oregon, The final destination was a private secluded boat house owned by Mr. Aubry’s former college roommate John L. Larson. The vessel left Newport News, VA on January 3, 1944, bound for Portland, by way of the newly opened Panama Canal. The trip would take sailors nearly six months. After arriving in Portland, the vessel was hidden for 2 more years in Mr. Larson’s boathouse until the conclusion of World War II.
In 1946, the vessel was sold to a Mr. A.C. Watkins, and moved to Kelso, Washington where it would stay until 1988. In 1988, it sold yet again to a Mr. Dewitt Hendon and it was moved to Seattle, WA; and in 1993 it was transferred to Orcas Island under a new owner. The current owner acquired the vessel in 2017 and spent nearly three years restoring the vessel to its original condition. She now operates as a private charter vessel and can be seen cruising daily on the waters near Orcas Island. We hope you enjoyed learning the amazing history of this vessel. She is truly a one of a kind and the only known example of a 1930's Alden sport-fisher motor yacht known to be in existence!