Here's a design from the Alden design office that is the styling antithesis of the Rondo. This boat is pure American classic yacht styling and beautifully done. The Alden 59 was designed for a Great Lakes client and is currently being built by the Hinckley yard. The combination of Alden design and Hinckley execution should result in a spectacular gold-plater.

Let's talk overhangs. Forget the "stretching the effective sailing length" arguments and focus on the aesthetic side of overhangs. There can be little argument that boats look better when they are long and low. Drawing out the ends in delicate overhangs emphasizes the long lines of a boat and gives it a graceful look. The entire exercise we call sailing is so impractical and whimsical to begin with, it seems senseless to reduce all design decisions to pragmatic issues. Sailboats are not sensible shoes. The overhangs of this design are accentuated by the stern-weighted spring to the logo

The keel is a low-aspect-ratio fin within a centerboard for a board-up draft of 6 feet, 6 inches and boarddown draft of 11 feet, 8 inches. The rudder is partially balanced on a half skeg. The D/L is 318. The stern is drawn out to accommodate the overhang and this results in a shapely and small transom. If the stern were more truncated like most of today's designs, the beam at the transom would not be out of line with more modern-styled designs.

This layout, in its variety of mutations, is quickly becoming the standard for mid-50-foot cruising yachts. The owner's stateroom is pushed forward. The head is forward of that and one step down. The main saloon features a fireplace at the forward bulkhead. I'd love to cook a big pan of braised lamb shanks in this appealing galley. Note the refrigerator has both top and front access. There is lots of counter space on both sides of the sinks. The port quarter stateroom has a double berth and more living space than the contracted starboard cabin. My one complaint with this layout is that I hate to come down a companionway and be met immediately with a counter. I like interiors on this size boat to open up in inviting ways, with room for people to move by each other without crowding. Nowhere is this more important than at the foot of the companionway.

Split rigs make a prettier picture than most sloop rigs. Alden chose a yawl rig for this design. The problem with a ketch rig is that the mizzen ends up farther forward and usually wrecks the cockpit layout. Ketches also manage to usually have their standing rigging coming down right where it inhibits movement to and from the cockpit. The yawl rig pushed the mizzen aft where it is out of the way. The mizzen makes a wonderful riding sail when the boat is at anchor and a great place to hang the radar.

Both main and mizzen are carbon fiber in-the-mast furling types. The SA/D is 16.66. Consider that this type of furling means that you will not only have no roach to the sail but in fact you will have hollow leaches and no foot and not a batten in sight to help you control the shape of the leach. If you look at the way a multipanel weighted mainsail is constructed, you will see that highest loads are seen at the roach and the lightest loads are at the luff. A mainsail's power comes from the aftmost third. This type of rig takes a big bite out of the mainsail's power region. I would like to see a higher SA/D if I were going to use an inthe-mast furling system.

Now let's look at light-air performance. This will be ensured by a Cummins 6B5.9M 115 horsepower diesel at 2,500 rpm. A Richfield, retractable-type bow thruster will make the skipper look like a hero in any tight maneuvering situation.

This boat will be a thoroughly updated example of the classic American yacht and will complement its surroundings beautifully. "Sure, you can tie up to my dock."

John G. Alden Naval Architects, Inc.
89 Commercial Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
phone: (617) 227-9480

SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.