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  #1  
Old 10-15-2006
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Alden 44

As part of my boat research process, I have taken a casual glance at the old Alden 44 Mk I's from around 1980 and aside from a Jack Horner review and Ferenc Mate's books, I can find little else about them on the internet.

Is there anyone out there who owns one, sailed one, or knows of an online resource I can look at so I can either add it to my short list or get it's lovely lines out of my head for good?? I hearsay that one or more may have circumnavigated...
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Old 10-16-2006
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No direct experience with them. Only know them by reputation. Top quality build. Certainly suitable for bluewater cruising.
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Old 10-16-2006
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I appreciate your response!

It seems like the only time I hear these boats referenced is in a list of "top ten boats I would love to have" - but they aren't even in the list. The list starts out, "well, aside from Hinckley, Alden, Morris, and Shannon, here are my top ten..." But aside from the fact that a brand new one of these babies is a bajillion dollars, nobody ever says *why* they would want a Hinckaldemorrishannon, other than that they are beautiful as they wipe the drool with their shirtsleeve. What if you COULD own one, would you? If the late '70's and early '80's boats are creeping down in the reach of mere mortals like myself, why buy a 1982 blistered Valiant that somebody has ragged to pieces when I can get an 1978 Alden owned by some East Coast Senator who sailed it two weekends a year and stored it on the hard in his personal boat shed the rest of the time, with an army of paid servants to lavish it with oil and varnish and upgrades? I digress...

I guess what I am looking for is an honest discussion about some of these older high-end boats and their handling characteristics, common problems, idiosyncracies, etc. Maybe ONE website of somebody who owns one (I even found a Cape George 36 owner's website).

Final question: I often read that the best used boats to look for are 5-10 years old. Is a 25-30 year old boat, no matter who makes it, not as good an idea..? And if you say, Well you can get such and such boat made in the 90's that will work just fine for the same price, I will say, yeah, but it's not an ALDEN.


Lavish me with knowledge...
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Old 10-16-2006
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btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
The man who knows more about Alden 44's than anyone you'll find is Bill Seifert. He was production manager for Alden (and other companies), is a very experienced deepwater sailor, has written a very handy book on offshore sailing tricks of the trade, and has been maintaining Alden all 'round the world for many years.

He lives in Rhode Island, when not globetrotting. You might be able to track him down there and get an honest opinion.

A beautiful Alden 44, "Cariad", was next to me in the BVI for several years. Her owner was a surgeon, I believe, and the boat was taken to the Pacific Northwest.

Bill
S/V Born Free
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Old 10-16-2006
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I have read Bill's book and it's one of my favorite in my steadily growing library.

More generally, I guess at this point my post will undoubtedly overlap with the "age trump design" post. Seems to me that buying an older high end design would be about the same as a newer, not so high end (but still good) design. Probably cost the same and after 10 years if nothing has been done otherwise, they will probably both need new sails, rigging, electronics, etc, anyway.
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Old 10-16-2006
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We recently did an analysis that is similar to the one you have discussed and opted to buy a much older but very well maintained "high-end" boat (a 30 year old S&S designed Swan). I could never have afforded a comparable boat of recent vintage. We have been very pleased with it but would only have done it if it was already in very good shape. THere is no limit to how much money you can spend restoring or updating a boat of that vintage, particularly if you are doing it to "Alden standards."
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Old 10-17-2006
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What boat, exactly, did you end up with?
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Old 10-17-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattypatty
What boat, exactly, did you end up with?
We bought a 1976 Swan 41. It had been redone by a boatyard owner in Maine (new electrical, winches and hardware, new teak decks and very nice varnish work). Handsome lines. We have been very pleased with her sailing characteristics. A great combination of reasonable speed and stiffness. It loves lots of wind. I now look forward to sailing, even in heavy winds. I don't know when we will have time for blue water cruising, but would love to try it on this boat. So far, only the sail down from Maine.

Drawbacks as compared with a more modern boat? Smaller cockpit. Smaller accommodations below. Less storage. Also, sails are in decent shape, but old. Also, most 41 foot boats have longer water lines now and thus higher hull speeds, although I don't know if they get up to them as easily. Overall, we are very happy.

Last edited by CBinRI; 10-17-2006 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 10-17-2006
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In 1987, I had a limited budget but wanted to go cruising - Aldens and Swans were out. I opted for the 'poor man's Swan' - a Tartan 41. It still stretched my budget but it was worth it. I ended up living aboard for 2 years and came to trust this boat in all conditions. Another moniker the Tartan 41 goes by is: "Racing Sherman Tank." She's not perfect, and the same list of constraints posted by CBinRI go for this boat. Even so, you may want to take a look.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sialia
In 1987, I had a limited budget but wanted to go cruising - Aldens and Swans were out. I opted for the 'poor man's Swan' - a Tartan 41. It still stretched my budget but it was worth it. I ended up living aboard for 2 years and came to trust this boat in all conditions. Another moniker the Tartan 41 goes by is: "Racing Sherman Tank." She's not perfect, and the same list of constraints posted by CBinRI go for this boat. Even so, you may want to take a look.
Same designers, I think (Sparkman & Stevens), as the Swan. Extremely well-constructed. Plus, no teak decks to deal with (which is a good thing). I have heard nothing but good things about the Tartan 41 and it also was on the list when the Swan came up. A very good suggestion.
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