Alden Yachts 44 FB EX
Yachts 44 FB EX — By Capt. Ken Kreisler — December 2002
|Designed and built using a simple philosophy, each Alden Yachts 44 is tailored to her owner’s tastes.|
"The principal philosophy in everything we do is to build good, straightforward offshore boats," says Alden Yachts president Dave MacFarlane, with satisfaction in his voice and confidence in his body language. There's good reason for both his statement and demeanor, considering the boat he's speaking of is a custom 44-footer, available in both express and flyingbridge models, that is moored at the dock outside his office. "Secondly, we build boats that have a classic sense of proportion in a traditional package that will stand the test of time," he continues.
I am at Alden Yachts's Portsmouth, Rhode Island, yard where MacFarlane's office overlooks Narragansett Bay. I've just spent the better part of the day on those waters aboard Tonic, an Alden Yachts 44 Flybridge Express, with Ray Lavoie, the company's production manager, and Jim Ewing, the company's operations manager.
The 44 FB EX joins seven other Alden yachts, including a 40, 44, 46, and 50/56 express; a 50/56 motoryacht; a 50/56 pilothouse; and a 60 tournament express. And while each boat is different--every owner has great leeway on layout and configuration--all share common traits: craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the attention of the entire Alden Yachts staff. "The owner works with the entire team from day one in the building process," explains MacFarlane. "There is a special relationship that forms throughout, right up to the launch and christening. It's quite meaningful for everybody."
The 44 that I've spent the day on exemplifies this and then some. "This particular owner is rather tall, so, for example, we had the refrigerator configured with a cabinet underneath to get the unit up as high as possible," says Ewing as we examine the port-side galley-down area prior to taking Tonic out. "That's the way he wanted it, so that's how we did it," he adds as he opens the stowage space, which I notice is quite deep and easily accessed. The rest of the galley provides a suitable amount of Corian-topped counterspace, beautiful teak and holly sole, deep stainless steel sink--its Grohe faucet with pull-out sprayer is an option--three-burner electric stovetop, microwave, and plenty of drawer and cabinet space. There is also a full-size pantry opposite the galley.
Another well-thought-out touch I notice involves garbage--actually the placement of the ubiquitous galley garbage pail that usually takes up space on deck, where it is constantly being knocked over. Beneath the middle of three steps that lead from the saloon to the galley is a place where a pair of garbage pails easily fit side by side, with room to spare. When they're full, the entire affair--all three steps--lifts up on hinges with the help of a pair of gas-assisted rams for easy removal.
Why do I bring up this seemingly small point? Because I believe that if the Alden Yachts team took the time to devise this distinctive solution for a mundane problem, there are no limits to what they'd do to make this 44 special. One look around convinces me I was right.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.