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1929 JOHN G ALDEN VOYAGER

$508,310 Listed price: €450,000 MAINE USA
Make JOHN G ALDEN
Model VOYAGER
Year 1929
Condition Used
Price €450,000
Type Sail
Class Antique and Classic (Sail)
Length 50 ft
Fuel Type Diesel
Hull Material Wood
Location MAINE USA
Beam 13 ft 12 in
Max Draft 7 ft 7 in
Fuel Tanks 1
Fresh Water Tanks 1
Holding Tanks 1

Description

VOYAGER

 

Description: Gaff fore and aft schooner designed by John G Alden, built in 1929 in Thomaston, Maine at the Charles A Morse yard.

 

LOA 20,11 m

LOD 15,25 m

LWL 12,16 m

Draft 2,30 m;

Beam 4,26 m

Request 470.000 €

 

Voyager is one of the 9 boats of the 390 series. She is an iconic Alden schooner with her knuckle bow and pronounced sheerline, inspired by the Gloucester fishing schooners. Drawn by Aage Nielson when he worked for John Alden, she has full waterline aft and a slightly hollow entrance. The high bow helps keep the foredeck dry in rough seas.

 

New hull rebuilt in Lunenburg Nova Scotia 1972-73.

Near complete refit (90%) Phuket, Thailand 2002-04 using the finest local jungle woods available and skilled shipwrights, architect-owner supervised (see Construction Overview).

 

Comments:

Voyager is one of the finest classic yachts of her size, with a history that includes six Atlantic crossings and a remarkable 15-year circumnavigation with the same owners since 1962.  Her powerful, yet simple rig makes her easy to handle with a crew of just two.  She has successfully weathered fair and foul (including hurricane and monsoon) conditions under the caring custodial watch of owner-captains Peter and Jeanette Phillipps.  Voyager’s elegant simplicity never fails to turn heads wherever she goes.

 

John Alden designed his yachts for seaworthiness, comfort, and speed, in that order.  Voyager has proven herself in all categories, taking home her share of silver in classic yacht regattas at home and abroad, including the Tall Ships Race in 1976 where she placed third in the Non-spinnaker Class from Bermuda to Newport.

 

Construction:  

Voyager is more solidly built than most schooners in her class,with near complete rebuild 2002-04 in Phuket ,Thailand. Originally designed in 1929 for coastal cruising, she was carefully refitted in exacting detail to become a home for the Phillipps in seas across the globe.  The first rebuild in Nova Scotia, 1973, was well documented in WoodenBoat magazine and to John Alden's original design specifications.  In the succeeding years of heavy sailing and fastidious maintenance, her owners learned a great deal.  All of this acquired-through-experience knowledge has gone into her most recent and near complete rebuild, in Phuket, Thailand, 2002-04.  She is now ready for another half century of ocean sailing or more.  

 

Her 50-year journey with the Phillipps has been well published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, her restorations described in technical articles and by many photographs and drawings.

 

Quoting from Peter Phillipps article on the refit in Thailand:

 

"The pace continued to be exhausting yet exhilarating.  Jeanette and I worked alongside when we could, but with four crew on deck, four below, and six on the hull, we found it more important to focus on supervision.  Of the three participants in the making of a yacht:  designer, builder, owner, the owner has but a small voice.  During our first rebuild, I lacked the confidence to challenge the shipwrights.  But I now realize that none had ever been to sea, none had experienced a full gale or the forces that wrench and batter their work, or slept in a wet bunk under a leaky hatch.  John Alden sailed his schooners offshore, and may be unique in his day as a designer/sailor.  Jeanette and I combined have seventy years of experience with the maintenance, construction, and sailing of Voyager.  Boat repair provides an excellent education in boat construction methods, revealing some as more successful than others.  It is our obligation to be on the job every day, putting to use the kind of knowledge acquired through ongoing problem solving.  We both initiated positive dialogue with each trade.  In the evenings we prepared detail drawings for the next day’s projects."

 

Construction Overview:

1972-73 Smith and Rhuland, Lunenburg Nova Scotia

New hull of African mahogany on oak frames, teak deck over bruynzeel plywood, new interior (WoodenBoat #33)

 

1984 Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, Vineyard Haven, MA

New steamed oak frames, hackmatack hanging knees (WoodenBoat #69)

 

2002-04 Phuket Inter-Woodwork, Phuket, Thailand

Near complete refit (90%) with all planking replaced; new deck installed over new deck beams; most frames and structures replaced.  The work completed by skilled shipwrights was fully supervised by the architect owners, and used the finest local jungle woods available:  

--Maay takien tong planking fastened w/silicone bronze screws; 

--Double framed of steamed oak and sawn takien tong;

--Takien tong clamp and shelf strakes;

--Laminated takien tong deck beams;

--New 3/4" teak deck over 3/4" maay daeng tongue and groove underlayment;

--New teak deck structures and cockpit; new takien tong stanchions; new maay brattu rails; new mast steps, mast partners, horn timber; rebuilt engine on new mounts; keel bolts checked, replaced as necessary, and more. 

 

 

Accommodations:

Voyager sleeps 7-8 very comfortably.  There is one spacious double berth in the aft cabin and two in the forward cabin, plus the mate's bunk, which is a very generous single that can fit two persons as it is 39” wide.  The double bunks all have split mattresses with lea boards to separate the couple when the boat is heeled over.  The peak has a huge split mattress, which is loved by adults and kids who enjoy camping up there as it is like a big platform/play/lounge area (with lots of partitioned storage under). There is also the option of a curtain to separate for privacy.

 

The 390 series had many different interiors.  Voyager originally had crew quarters forward, then the galley.  The aft cabin was strictly engine room/work shop.  When the boat was rebuilt in 1972, the Phillipps moved the bulkhead forward about one foot to allow for a proper double bunk, boxed in the engine and made a very spacious navigation station with two chart tables (one over the engine) and four large chart drawers, very convenient location just forward of the cockpit.

 

The galley and head are much more comfortable at sea located forward of the foremast and next to the main hatch.  The main reason for the changes designed by the architect owners is due to the change of lifestyle of the typical sailing family.  Voyager is not a weekend boat with a hired crew.  She is a family cruising boat and easily sailed by two.  

Anyone who sees her is awed and inspired by the openness and simplicity of the layout.  You can really see the shape of the boat and there is plenty of partitioned storage under the large shapes/bunks.  The curved settee around the mahogany drop-leaf round table is also comfortable for sleeping at sea as you just roll into the shape of the hull when the boat heels. 

 

Some of the 390's had one long cabin. Voyager originally had two and is now flush-decked with aft cabin trunk, which is much stronger and makes for a great working deck.  Both cabins are cool with good airflow.

 

Equipment:

Engine: Perkins 4236, 85hp 1986, completely overhauled 2004 and installed on new mounts, many spare parts.

Hydroline feathering 3-bladed prop 1996, fixed 3-bladed spare, new SS shaft 2012.

 

Furuno radar, GPS chart plotter, weatherfax, icom SSB, VHF. All the navigation equipment was new in 2000 except for the Pactor modem for sailmail which was installed in 2004.

Shipmate kerosene galley stove 3-burner w/oven, Shipmate wood burning stove, Wilcox Crittendon Imperial head w/holding tank, no shower.

 

Sails and Rigging:

The sails were new in 1996, from Lee Sails in Hong Kong. Some have some patches, but still work. She has a fisherman, main topsail and 100% jib that are in very good shape since not used very often. There is a 1000 sq. ft. gollywobbler, also in good shape.  Sail covers, three awnings (from stem to stern), wind scoop, all new in 2004. 

 

The rigging is 1988 galvanized by Brion Toss, all parceled and served. The headstay and forestay were replaced in New Zealand in 1995 with swaged fittings. The bobstay is SS chain, 1986. Chainplates are SS and were checked in Thailand in 2003.  She does not have turnbuckles but deadeyes and lanyards. Some of the deadeyes could be replaced but still in good shape.

 

Spars:

Mainmast is original 1929 Sitka spruce. It is in perfect condition except for a clothespin scarf with two compression rings at the mast step made of the finest Thai jungle wood called mai brattu. Both mast steps are new from the refit.

The foremast is douglas fir, replaced in 1954 after Hurricane Carol. The bowsprit is original long leaf yellow pine, in perfect condition.

The booms and gaffs have all been replaced over the years and are in very good to perfect condition.

 

Ground tackle:

Anchors: 80 lb Herreshoff, 65 lb fisherman, 33 kg Bruce, 15 kg Bruce, 100 lb Luke 3-piece storm anchor.

 400 ft. 3/4 inch chain (checked and re-galvanized in 2003), 40 ft 3/4 chain with 400 ft. rode. There is another new anchor rode 3/4 inch, approx. 300 ft.

 

Tenders:

In the tradition of the Gloucester fishing schooners Voyager has a wooden dory chalked on the port side of her flush deck.It is a cedar boat with new teak bottom and rails and it has its sailing rig .

 

History :

Voyager was built in 1929 by Charles Morse & Sons in Thomaston, Maine, designed by the greatest schooner yacht designer in the world: John G. Alden.Her near complete refit in Phuket, Thailand 2002-04 was meticulously supervised by her architect owners since 1962. Voyager, ex Tyrone, was the second boat of 9 built from the same plans, #390 B. The 390 was a very fortunate series, as all the boats have been very renowned and famous.  Only three are still sailing: Zaida II, #390 E which was built for George Ratsey of the famous sail factory of Cowes, Arcturus #390 F which was sailed in the Pacific by General George S Patton; and Voyager #390 B.

 

John Alden too wanted a boat of the same series: Rogue #390 C, than named Venturer. 18 years later in 1948 Alden bought also Abenaki #390 D with which he collected honors in ocean races, among them a second place at the Bermuda race of 1950. The designer was 66 and the yacht 20 years old…and at that time there was no age handicap! 

 

The history of Voyager becomes interesting, and maybe unique after the purchase by Peter Phillipps (architect and professor at Brooklyn College) in 1962.  Since Peter became her owner, or “more precisely her servant” as Peter used to say with great respect and worship for her, Voyager became more and more beautiful, fascinating, seaworthy and efficient. All this thanks to the great care and the restorations provided by the Phillipps during their long ownership. But Voyager was not that kind of yacht one would find docked in some elegant marina all year round waiting to take part in some classic yacht meeting or short inshore races, or just used for two weeks summer cruising with the family. Voyager, as her name suggests, has actually been voyaging: six Atlantic crossings, several blue water cruises and a full round-the-world tour in 15 years with as many calls as possible to satisfy the love of sailing and navigation, the “Weltanshauung”, and the intellectual curiosity of Peter and Jeanette Phillipps.

 

In 1993 I met them in Antigua W.I. during my Caribbean life with my Alzavola, the 1924 English ketch on which I used to live and sail. The two black boats easily represented the icons of two yacht design schools of the 1920’s. One an American schooner, wider and shallower, the other a deep and narrow English ketch; and we, the owners and navigators were the “pro-tempore” curators of these two little floating museums of yachting history that thanks to their high level of construction and to the care provided, have been proven to be able to sail many thousand miles and to last many years more than the human life.

Voyager was sailing out of New York from where she was bound to the Caribbean. But their plan had to be modified with the development of hurricane Francis outside the South Carolina coast. For a skilled seaman there was nothing else to do than to try to run before the storm and try to keep in its periphery, therefore Voyager kept on sailing all the way to…the Azores Islands!! always with gale, storm, and locally hurricane force winds and seas up to 40’ between the starboard beam and the broad beam. Once at the Azores, Voyager was in the need of repainting the topsides as the hull was water blasted by the force of the waves, but no shipyard for yacht facilities was found there and the Phillipps set sail again bound for the West Indies(!!) via Morocco, Madeira, Canaries and Cape Verde, following the trade winds.  I met them there ready for the Classic Race Week in Antigua in April, after having repainted the topsides of Voyager, looking shining and bright.

 

In 1994 I met the Phillipps again in Cumana, Venezuela. The two yachts were on the hard in the same shipyard for maintenance. Voyager was having a partial refit with some change of a few planks and re-caulking of the hull. After that thorough check-up Voyager left the Caribbean for her 15-year round-the-world voyage, through the Panama Canal, visiting the most dreamed about anchorages for all sailors and the most remote moorings in French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Borneo, Philippines, China, Japan, Thailand, planning and providing the maintenance and improvements required by a long-term cruising boat before coming back to the States through the Red Sea and Mediterranean in June 2007.

 

In 2002, in Thailand, in the Boat Lagoon near Phuket, Voyager had the latest and most comprehensive refit. After 40 years of sailing and thousands of ocean miles in all weather and sea conditions, and with at least half the world still to sail before getting home, it was time for some work: a new deck, some planks, some frames.  Many areas were quite sound and could have been saved, but once the boat was opened up, it made sense to replace rather than reuse.  Peter was determined to return home with a Voyager that was stronger than when they left.

 

Peter wrote from Boat Lagoon:

 “That night with thirty planks pulled, we slept comfortably with the northeast monsoon winds streaming through the hull. Each night became more pleasant as frames, planks, eventually the deck was removed, but we soon found ourselves sleeping in the open air. For the first time in thirty years, it was necessary to find shelter elsewhere..."

 “The Voyager I purchased in 1962 had served five skippers over a period of thirty-three years.  She was built in 1929 by Morse and Sons in Thomaston, Maine from four drawings prepared by John Alden’s office.  The same drawings bearing the initials for Aage Nielson were used by Smith and Rhuland of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to build a new hull in 1973.  Their effort gave us thirty years and more than 100,000 miles of blue water sailing.  For this construction project Jeanette and I added more than fifty detail drawings and worked alongside the Thai crew seven days a week, overseeing the shaping, fastening of every piece of wood.  The result is considerably beyond our expectations.  If Voyager lasts another thirty years, I will be 100; my grandchildren may have to assist in setting the topsails”.

 

Captain Peter Phillipps could still climb the rigging and set the topsails when he left us at a young 77 to sail eternal uncharted waters.  Jeanette has taken the helm as owner-captain, spending summers onboard, sailing out of Rockland harbor with family and friends.  Voyager is stronger than new, well appointed, tried and tested and ready to spread her wings once again, continue living up to her name.  Jeanette will be pleased to pass the helm of this very special sailing vessel to a new caring owner.  Voyager is world-renowned not only as a magnificent vessel but as a symbol of realizing one’s dreams. 

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