60 Tournament Express — By Capt. Ken Kreisler —
|The Alden 60 is the product of a veteran boater's dream and a builder's expertise.|
Defining moments. For those of us in boating, they were probably the first time we felt a need to be part of all things nautical that was as strong as the ebb and flow of the tides. Mine was the day my grandfather took me on a ferryboat ride that lasted barely 10 minutes from dock to dock. But to my five-year-old senses, that voyage was a grand adventure filled with limitless possibilities, a voyage that continues to this day.
Martin Ain, a savvy, veteran boater, says he experienced his defining nautical moment as he watched Ingrid, a stunning Alden 60 named after his wife, being launched at the builder's Portsmouth, Rhode Island, facility. Ain's experience was the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long process of building a semi-custom boat, and from the moment I stepped aboard, I could tell it was worth the effort. From her proud Downeast profile to her tumblehome transom to her meticulously fitted joinerwork, the Alden 60 is a nautical work of art that blends and balances the best of modern technology with the kind lines that never go out of style.
The 60, like all Aldens, was constructed in accordance with the American Boat & Yacht Council's guidelines for construction of small craft as well as the American Bureau of Shipping's guidelines for building and classing motoryachts. Her Baltek balsa-cored hull, with unidirectional and biaxial E-glass, has isophthalic neopentyl glycol gelcoat as a barrier to osmotic blistering. The Baltek has a Lloyd's Register of Shipping certificate enabling Alden to offer a 10-year unlimited warranty against osmotic blistering. Other notable construction features include four full-length Divinycell stringers encapsulated in FRP, S-glass at the waterline and bow for impact resistance, Corecell in the superstructure, and sole-bearing timbers of solid mahogany encapsulated in polyester resin. On top of all that, vacuum-bagging is used throughout for maximum resin saturation and minimum weight.
Such attention to strong, lightweight materials has another benefit. As I found out during my sea trial, Ingrid performed well for a big, fully equipped boat that Ain has loaded with many options: a 16-kW Northern Lights genset, a reconfigured saloon/dining area that can seat eight (the standard layout seats six), and a Davis home theater setup being just three. She was easy to handle around the dock, thanks to Caterpillar's slow-engine mode that drops idle rpm of her 660-hp 3196TA diesels by 200 turns. And even with a pesky breeze inside the marina on test day that could have played havoc with the bow, a touch of the Sidepower 10-hp thruster had us neat and trim whether leaving the dock or backing down into the slip.
While the calm conditions underway gave me no indication of her sea-keeping abilities, Ain reported that on his way from Rhode Island to Sag Harbor, New York, he faced a three-hour bout with white-capped four-footers that forced him to throttle back to 1700 rpm. At that rpm, he says, he still managed just under 24 mph. "And I only had to hit the wiper button three times," he adds.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.