Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-12-2012 Thread Starter
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Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

Two days ago in Portland, Maine, I sailed on a 55 foot John Alden-designed schooner. Bagheera was designed and built sometime in the 1920's, and now fully restored, sails five times a day out of Portland. The Portland Schooner Company runs her, and we were out with a group of about 10 or 12 others for a two and half hour sail.

OMG. The breeze was blowing about 15 knots, and we raised the main, fore, and forestaysail (there was something wrong with the jib halyard, so that sail didn't make it up), and she hit 9.2 knots! We heeled to almost 15 degrees at one point, enough to make my wife and daughter a bit uncomfortable. For any of you that have done these types of trips, the crew welcomes help from the guests, so I helped raise the main (to my daughter's embarrassment), and even steered for about 15 minutes or so. OMG. It was so cool.

If you ever get to Portland, give it a shot.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

She is beautiful under sail. I've watched her go in and out a few times this season from just down the street at Portland Yacht Services. Nice to hear you had a good time.
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

going out on windjammers is what inspired me to buy my own sailboat... now I can't afford to go to Maine and go on windjammers anymore LOL
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

Sailed on a couple of day schooners and one weekend in Maine. Loved it! Glad you had a good time too.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

Pics, please! Sounds like a great time.

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post #6 of 21 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

When I was a kid we had a '29 Alden Schooner built by Gamage in ME. We sailed her primarily fom Newport and from Bimini to Boothe Bay. With all sails flying 10 knots was not uncommon. I kinda remember her beam was quite narrow for a 53' boat. Dad loved to call for the "Gollywobbler" . Then he would yell, let it all hang out!

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Last edited by jppp; 06-13-2012 at 07:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

X2, pics please!

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Pics, please! Sounds like a great time.

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post #8 of 21 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

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When I was a kid we had a '29 Alden Schooner built by Gamage in ME. We sailed her primarily fom Newport and from Bimini to Boothe Bay. With all sails flying 10 knots was not uncommon. I kinda remember her beam was quite narrow for a 53' boat. Dad loved to call for the "Gollywobbler" . They he would yell, let it all hang out!
By any chance was that '29 Alden Schooner built by Gamage named "Voyager" and was your dad an architect?
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

mstern,

If you liked that, then I would strongly suggest going out for a slightly longer trip on one of the boats in the Maine Windjammer Association up in Penobscot Bay. There is a pretty wide variety of boats and what they do so you can pick one to suit your liking. Most are old coasting schooners but there are a few old yachts, fishing schooners and purpose built boats. The level of seamanship on these boats tends to be relatively high with them doing all of their own maintenance, sailing on and off the anchor everytime and doing plenty of other things that most people on small cruising boats don't do.

For full disclosure, I have worked on these boats including the American Eagle out of Rockland. There is nothing like charging along at 13+ knots on a boat like this.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Sailing on a 1920's Alden Schooner

The Boat was named Privateer when we bought her. Changed the name to Friar Tuck. Burl Yves owned her way back and named her the Bahama Mama. I remember looking at the logs and the many names she had over the years. I have an old pic somewhere. I'll take a pic of it and post it.

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