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  1. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    [Note, 14 April 2017: This is a long ramble that eventually moves quite far from original theory! I will soon post as concise as possible an interim summing up.]

    Presently for sale at St Simons Island, GA is a Molich-finished Caravelle yawl that I've had difficulty identifying. Named West of the Moon, she has wood masts and spars. According to the broker her build date is 1969.

    By a process of elimination I can only place her as 992C, which according to the research for my listing post was completed in 1965 as a sloop named September Song, at some point based in MD. Yet this boat looks as if it has always been a yawl... Perhaps an early conversion...

    As far as I can see there's been no check-in from 992C/ September Song/ during the life of this forum. However in the Alden company listing for 992H, now Pearl, there is a question mark against a supposed former name, "West O' The Moon". But there can be no confusing 992C and 992H as 992H is an all-fibreglass Halmatic hull and deck finished by Morse.

    Any ideas?

  2. Whit


    Joined Sep 13, 2004
    93 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 30_88-94
    US New Orleans LA
    Interesting that she has the Concordia star on the bow?

  3. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    Indeed, and the crescent moon at the stern... Probably just symbolising her name which may come from the song East of the Sun (and West of the Moon), popularised by Frank Sinatra.

    The more I look at this the more I think that part of my Alden Caravelle listing may require another rejig... Watch this space!

  4. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,425 posts, 1,093 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    She is a beauty just waiting for a little TLC.

  5. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    My developing line of thought on this vessel is moving towards that she must be 992H, the only Morse-finished Caravelle. The broker states that she's a Molich-finished boat, but details of her wood finish don't agree. (The "Concordia" star and crescent moon may have something to do with the fact that her first owner (as TRIUMPH), according to Alden records, David L. Heilner, had owned Concordia yawl #15 as his first(?) ABRI prior to commissioning Alden Challenger 949J, also ABRI, now ARIA.)

    This leaves in tatters my 2006-2009 theory (that Neils Helleberg went along with) that the all-fibreglass Caravelle, PEARL (ex SERENITY) was most probably 992H. Apart from being very beautiful and in great condition, PEARL (ex SERENITY) is a fascinating Caravelle because of her Halmatic fibreglas deck, yet Hodgdon word of mouth provenance, and no record of her being launched as SERENITY in the Alden archive.

    Both interesting conundrums that I'm working on various story lines to resolve in partnership with Caravelle "Class Captain" Scott Kraft (992A, BOUNDING HOME), and PEARL's owner. All input most welcome.

    Will report back with an update early in 2017.

    Perry Mason

  6. Stormalong


    Joined Jul 8, 2016
    22 posts, 2 likes
    PEARL is an interesting puzzle. In addition to the other interesting details about her, she also seems to be the only Caravelle with a stepped doghouse. If the information is accurate, Hodgdon also would have built her 2 years before they built boats the other boats in the Caravelle 71 Class which all seem to have the normal straight cabin tops typical of Caravelles.

    Looking around, I did find this site which provides information on boats built by the Hodgdon Bros. which includes their hull number for PEARL and the later boats in the Caravelle 71 Class:

    Hodgdon Hull No. / Alden No. / Original Name / Type / G.T. / Length / Year Delivered / Disposition

    4201 / ???? / Serenity / Sloop / 19 / 42 / 1969 / Now Pearl
    4202 / 992N / Chaser / Yawl / 19 / 42 / 1971 / ????
    4203 / 992O / Carim / Sloop / 19 / 42 / Jan-71 / Later She, Rambler, now Kalimera
    4204 / 992Q / Lady Alice / Sloop / 19 / 42 1973 / ????
    4205 / 992P / Chic / Sloop / 19 / 42 / Aug-73 / Later Sara Sea, now Bonnie Ann

    SOURCE: ... odgdon.htm
    (Alden Design Numbers added by me, there is additional info on the website.)

    Do you suppose PEARL might simply have been inadvertently left off of the Alden Registry?


  7. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    Re Serenity now Pearl deck and trunk/ house moulding:

    There were at least two Caravelles finished with the Halmatic deck and house moulding - or three depending on where Serenity now Pearl fits in.

    The reason I say that Serenity now Pearl's deck/house is by Halmatic is that it's identical to Caravela of Exe's (992J). Caravela was all moulded by Halmatic; I am very intimate with her deck and house. A 2006 online brokerage advert for Serenity now Pearl with large photos made it clear to me that her house was Halmatic; I'll try to find them and post here, but the images linked to from Pearl's name in the listing aren't bad. The only difference is that the larger windows in the raised part have been reduced in height on Sincerity now Pearl, an adjustment to the Halmatic moulding that would most probably have been done by the finisher.

    Re stepped fibreglass trunk/ house mouldings in general:

    This is one area where the Alden archive material - which I was able to peruse in the early 2000s thanks to the late Niels Helleberg - was very strange. It stated that all of the Molich-finished boats had this configuration which is clearly not true. This was one of the things that led me to think that Sincerity now Pearl could well be be 992H, because of the consecutive numbering and that 992H was not finished by Molich. I am now pretty sure that she is not 992H and pretty sure that West of the Moon presently for sale with Gray and Gray, will prove to be 992H.

    So where does that leave Serenity now Pearl's provenance?

    Could it be that Franz Furrer, Viareggio, Italy, commissioned the completion of the all-fibreglass 992K from Halmatic, but for whatever reason did not complete on the deal? Was 992K then sent to Hodgdon Bros to become Serenity? Nothing was heard of 992K as Trotolla (Tortolla?) by the Alden design office or has been in the life of this forum. What's against this is that 992K is listed as a sloop, and we do not know for sure whether or not Furrer took delivery.

    If she is not 992H or 992K, could she be 992N, listed by Alden as a 1971 Caravelle MkII yawl moulded and finished by Hodgdon? The Alden date for her is 1971, but that could be completion date. What if she was actually all moulded by Halmatic and finished by Hodgdon, and was used by Hodgdon as the plug for the MkII mould? The Alden office had no correspondence for 992N 'Chaser' and we haven't heard anything from her here. Presently the provenance is unknown for the 1969 date for Sincerity, which I've seen in brokerage adverts back to 1982. It could be that the hull was received by Hodgdon from Halmatic in 1969...

    Interestingly, the forward cove line finish of the Hodgdon boats Banjo Girl (992P) and Bonnie Anne (992R) has a break in the moulding. While Serenity now Pearl's does not, just like my Halmatic hull and as seen here with Cythera.

    Maybe we are getting as close as can be by "desk work" to saying that Serenity now Pearl is a Halmatic hull, deck and house finished by Hodgdon... Perhaps originally Chaser, 992N. However, both Serenity and Chaser are shown with original owners names at Tim Colton's Hodgdon list...

    Re the lists

    The Hodgdon numbers shown in my Caravelle Listing come from an earlier version of Tim Colton's lists. Note that some of the numbers have changed as you can see by comparing with the Hodgdon Caravelles at my listing which I haven't changed yet pending consultation with Tim. I think that most of the information for Alden designed yachts of our group comes from the MIT site linked to from the Alden design numbers at my Listing post. Any time I've written to Tim he has not responded but I believe has eventually tweaked his list from my suggestions. Serenity now shows in both his list for Hodgdon and for Morse... I've written to him again re the provenance for his Hodgdon list entry for Serenity; interestingly it contains a first owner name.... I hadn't noticed Serenity in his previous version and do believe his site has gone through a major revamp in recent years...

    Regarding the appearance of both Serenity and Chaser there, perhaps one or other came from a Lloyds Register of American Yachts rather from a Hodgdon provenance document...

    All nicely intriguing!

  8. Stormalong


    Joined Jul 8, 2016
    22 posts, 2 likes
    The amount of research you've done is quite impressive, Iain!

    I think you're probably right that it's hard to go any farther without some firsthand information from the boat itself. Knowing whether it has a Halmatic number somewhere inside the hull would definitely help. That is a rather keen observation about the cove stripe indentation on PEARL in comparison to the other Hodgdon-built hulls. It seems odd that Hodgdon would have changed that little detail after building her.

    Hopefully, time will yield some new information to clear up this mystery.


  9. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    Thanks Adam. If there's a conundrum to be solved I can get a bit dogged!

    Have now established that the "original owner" of Serenity/Pearl shown in the shipbuildinghistory Hodgdon list was not in fact the original owner. This from an archived email received from him in 2003 in which he stated that he'd owned her for 20 years - so since 1983. This equates with a magazine brokerage advert for Sincerity from 1982. Now trying to re-establish contact, if possible, to try to get some earlier provenance.

  10. Warse


    Joined Apr 14, 2017
    1 posts, 0 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    Ne Monnickendam
    I would like to let you know that since last year I am the new owner of the Bonnie Ann.
    It is very interesting to read above analysis. I am also very much interested in other information and experience about these boats.

  11. SFS


    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    1,550 posts, 488 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    @CaravelaofExe - This is a fascinating story, and I admire your level of research. I read post #7 above with great interest, and quickly became confused. In that post, there are numerous occurrences of the each of the following phrases:
    "Serenity now Pearl"
    "Sincerity now Pearl"

    I was left wondering (though doubting) that there may have been two boats, both renamed to Pearl. I suspect you may be the victim of an auto-correct feature. Any chance of a careful proofread (and potential edit) to set the record straight, as you continue to untangle this mystery?

  12. CaravelaofExe

    CaravelaofExe Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jan 24, 2006
    221 posts, 3 likes
    Alden Caravelle 42
    UK / Northern European waters
    You are right... it has become a bit of a ramble! I will come back with a concise update.

  13. Mannavesta1967


    Joined Aug 2, 2018
    1 posts, 1 likes
    Seafarer 36c
    Sapphire Un Holiday Point Marina Edgewater
    I know where September Song is lying. She's for sale for $10k usd maybe a little less., and in need a complete restoration. She's a sloop with solid glass decks. Engine is gone and galley is disassembled. The "owner" was a complete MORON.
    He quit paying and the marina owns her now. She has an aluminum mast and boom. There's a sail inventory in the v berth but unknown condition.
    I can put you in touch with the Marina owner. He is 90, still sprite and has a propensity to cut up boats for the lead.
    How much lead is in her keel? Thats how he came up with the $10k price.
    I told him she was rare and to let me know if the idiot owner got behind and she should NOT be cut up.
    I can't take her on as I already have an International Folkboat, an Atkins Eric Jr. and my Seafarer I live on. Thnx, Kevin

    shemandr likes this.

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