Building out a John Alden 47 as an electric bluewater ketch

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by agencyone, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. agencyone
    Joined: Feb 2021
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    Location: Maine

    agencyone Junior Member

  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Electric propulsion would work, but at a higher cost than a diesel. For a circumnavigation it doesn't make sense though. You will be powering a very small percentage of the time.
     
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Ummm, yes, it is.
    A very insane idea.

    If you want to get a boat for a circumnavigation, there are hundreds of perfectly good, ready to go, 47' ketches currently for sale.
    And you will be able to purchase one for a fraction of the cost of completing that Alden hull.

    I did a quick search on Yachtworld for sailing yachts 45 - 50' on the Northeastern Seaboard - here are a few that are ready to go, and are better bets than your Alden hull any day.
    A Hinckley for US$ 295,000 :
    1976 Hinckley Sou'wester 50 Stoway Yawl Sail New and Used Boats for https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1976/hinckley-sou-wester-50-stoway-yawl-3718621/

    An old, wooden Alden 47' ketch for US$ 99,000 - she will be a lot of work to maintain, but much less work than finishing a bare hull.
    1964 Alden 47 Ketch Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1964/alden-47-ketch-3131948/

    A custom designed Al Mason 47' ketch for US$ 88,000 :
    1974 Custom Ketch 47 Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1974/custom-ketch-47-3586193/

    A Phil Rhodes designed aluminium 45' ketch for US$ 195,000 :
    1968 Abeking & Rasmussen Full powered auxiliary aluminum ketch Sail New and https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1968/abeking-rasmussen--full-powered-auxiliary-aluminum-ketch-3728960/

    If you really want to install an electric engine, you could put one in the ketch that you buy - but if she already has a good working diesel engine, why change?
    IMHO, for a circumnavigation you ideally want to have a long range capability under power - unless you want to sit wallowing on the days in your ocean passages when you have no wind at all.
    And for long range you need a diesel - even if you metaphorically fill the boat with batteries they are not going to give you the range under power that a diesel engine will, with an 'average' fuel tank capacity.

    At first I thought that the hull might be ferrocement, as it looks a bit rough - but Allan Vaitses is not known for ferro, but has a good reputation for fibreglass boats - he is the author of this book :
    https://www.amazon.com/Boatbuilding-One-Off-Fiberglass-Allan-Vaitses/dp/0877421560/ref=sr_1_4
    Hence I think she must have a fibreglass hull.
    But even so, it will take you many years and a few truck loads of $$'s to convert this hull into the object of your dreams.
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It's an amateur built boat that has been deteriorating in the weather for 4 decades. They don't say if it has a solid fiberglass deck or plywood which could be rotted. A boat like that would be cut up and carried to the dump if it was at a marina. Scrap lead is about $0.50/lb if you take it to the recycler, so the value is maybe $3,000 minus the labor to take out the ballast and cut up the rest of the boat and transport it to the dump. That makes the market value of the boat at most $500. If they allow you to keep the boat where it is and work for a couple of years, it could be more attractive.
     
  5. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Rumars Senior Member

    Ketch: no problem, just hire a NA to design you a new rig.
    Electric: no problem as long as you have the skills to sail engineless around the world.
    Comfortable: depends on what that means to you. A pipe berth, a bucket for a toilet, another for the dishes, plastic storage boxes for the rest, water in jugs, is perfectly doable, cheap and fast.

    Forget the obscene amounts of work, think of the obscene amounts of money needed. But yes, bigger boats than this have been home buildt successfully, it just takes a lot of money, time and skill, plus having the boat in a barn behind your house.
     
  6. Aart
    Joined: Mar 2021
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    Aart New Member

    1970s Alden Design No 1024 GRP hull like Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 pic 1.jpg

    1970s Alden Design No 1024 GRP hull like Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 pic 2.jpg

    Very rough on the outside GRP hull, which will drag down the speed and the value of whatever you build out of it. There's no cabin to be seen in the ad pictures, so there's probably also no cockpit and no deck yet either. From her looks my guess is this hull was DIY built by using the info from the books of Allan H. Vaitses, and not built by Allan himself as the ad says.

    The project needs deep pockets in time and money, and also a lot of highly skilled labor, which skills all can be learned if not already available, and it also needs people who rather like to spend their time building than sailing, as good second hand similar boats nowadays can be bought for a fraction of the time and money needed to finish this project, that is if the hull is still sound, otherwise she's scrap anyways.

    The in 1973 built and now in Bristol*, Maine for sale rough GRP hull looks in size and shape like an John G. Alden Assoc. Design No. 1024, of which about 13 were built in the 1970s as Dolphin 47 GRP Staysail Ketches by Hodgdon Bros. in East Boothbay*, Maine, USA.

    (* Note: Bristol and East Boothbay in Maine are very close together)

    - Hodgdon - Vessels Since 1816 http://hodgdonyachts.com/

    - https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/dolphin-47-alden

    1970s Alden Design No 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 GRP Ketch drawing.jpg

    - Alden Yatch Designs Since 1911 - Niels Helleberg Yacht Design Designers of Fine Yachts http://www.aldendesigns.com/99years/detail.php?ID=2159

    1970s Alden Design No 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 GRP Ketch.jpg

    - http://www.aldendesigns.com/99years/rawimages/1024_Dolphin 47.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    bajansailor likes this.
  7. Aart
    Joined: Mar 2021
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    Aart New Member

    Just for info, every now and then there's one for sale of the 13 known finished ones, but there are many similar boats to choose from :)

    - Price Reduced on MARGUERITE 47 Alden Dolphin Ketch | David Walters Yachts https://www.davidwaltersyachts.com/blog/price-reduced-on-marguerite-47-alden-dolphin-ketch/302

    Alden Design 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 hull 8 MARGUERITE.jpg

    " Jul 18, 2014: Price reduced on MARGUERITE a 47' Alden Dolphin Ketch 1973. Now asking $109,900.

    She is located in Jacksonville, FL.

    Marguerite is number 8 of 13 Alden Dolphins built and all 13 are still actively sailing. The original owner sailed her to Europe earning the New York Yacht Club Cruising Award in 1988. Her second owner was a retired Marine Corps officer who cruised her extensively from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas. "
     
  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    @agencyone the link in Aart's post above is a much better idea, when compared to that hull that you found on Sailboat Listings.

    They are asking $110k, and the odds are that you could get buy it for a fair bit less.
    You have a choice - buy a boat like this one or similar for say $100k, or buy a hull, and spend the next 10 years (or more) fitting it out, while spending probably $400k (or more) in the process.
    I think that a dilemma like this is called a 'no brainer'........ :)

    There are two other Dolphins being offered for sale on David Walters' site -

    1973 Alden Marathon, FL | David Walters Yachts https://www.davidwaltersyachts.com/Sail/47-Alden-1973/1860

    1974 Alden Annapolis, MD | David Walters Yachts https://www.davidwaltersyachts.com/Sail/47-Alden-1974/1847

    Edit - I added my two additional links above at the same time that Aart was posting his links below.
    I think that it should be fairly obvious (after viewing all these fine yachts for sale), that building a 'new' boat nowadays, especially one from a hull that has been sitting in a field for many years, does not make any sense at all, unless you are only interested in building, rather than sailing, and you have lots of money to burn.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021

  9. Aart
    Joined: Mar 2021
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    Aart New Member

    Post #7 is an 2014 ad, there are currently 2 Alden 1024 Hodgdon Dolphin 47's built from GRP listed on YachtWorld, one asking $ 95 K and one asking $ 200 K.

    Alden Dolphin boats for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/boats-for-sale/make-alden/model-dolphin/

    Asking $ 95 K: 1973 Alden Dolphin Ketch for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1973/alden-dolphin-3076971/
    1973 built Alden Design 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47.jpg
    1973 built Alden 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 asking $ 95 K in 2021, don't know the date of the pic and if it represents the current state of the boat.

    Asking $ 200 K: 1973 Alden Dolphin 47 Cutter for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1973/alden-dolphin-47-3718727/
    1973 Alden Design 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47-1.jpg

    1973 Alden Design 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47.jpg
    Above 2 × the same 1973 built Alden 1024 Hodgdon Bros Dolphin 47 asking $ 200 K in 2021, don't know the dates of the pics and if they or which one represents the current state of the boat.

    P.S.
    Boats for Sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/boats-for-sale/?keyword=Hodgdon
    gives right now 10 Hodgdon related boats, but only one is an Alden 1024 Hodgdon Dolphin 47, that's the one asking $ 95 K which is already mentioned above

    Boats for Sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/boats-for-sale/?keyword=Alden
    gives right now 72 Alden related boats, of which only 2 are Alden 1024 Hodgdon Dolphin 47's, which are both already mentioned above
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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