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Alden Challenger Sighting: COMPASS ROSE

Jul 8, 2016
33
Hi Gang,

I came across a new-to-me Alden Challenger by the name of COMPASS ROSE located in Stonington, CT, a few days ago, but waited until the auction was officially over in order to comply with the site rule about not posting items for sale. Now that the boat's been sold, anyone interested can check out the original listing and pictures at:

https: //www.ebay.com/itm/274461123373

EDIT: Added a space after the colon to prevent the link from turning into an ad.

To my eye, COMPASS ROSE looks to be a Challenger finished by Molich in Denmark. The only Challenger known to the Alden Registry to carry this name was 949-G, originally named ADVENTURE and based out of Port Washington, NY. That boat was indeed finished by Molich - but in 1961 - while the boat that just sold is identified by the seller as a 1960 Alden.

Anyways, hopefully the new owner will find thus forum!

Adam
 
Last edited:

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,648
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
It does look Molich finished although the pilot berths are cut different (straight top) than my 61 Molich finished Challenger. Hopefully, she found a knowledgable owner and we'll hear more about it.

Compass Rose Alden .jpg
 
Jul 8, 2016
33
She's a beaut, I'd have snapped her up in a moment!
A bit disheveled at the moment, to be sure, but a beauty nonetheless! With some now having 60 years behind them, those that are still with us have certainly had quite a life. Although I admit to being a bit of an originalist, who thinks the as-built "stock" Challenger design is darn near perfect, I still find it interesting to look for any changes past owners have made to these craft that tell part of that life story. I think COMPASS ROSE might be the first Challenger I've come across with a butterfly hatch added.

Adam
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,648
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
A bit disheveled at the moment, to be sure, but a beauty nonetheless! With some now having 60 years behind them, those that are still with us have certainly had quite a life. Although I admit to being a bit of an originalist, who thinks the as-built "stock" Challenger design is darn near perfect, I still find it interesting to look for any changes past owners have made to these craft that tell part of that life story. I think COMPASS ROSE might be the first Challenger I've come across with a butterfly hatch added.

Adam
That's the first thing I noticed as well. A butterfly hatch might be a nice addition, but few things require more expertise in design and craftsmenship than building a butterfly hatch, that doesn't leak. You can still get them built, good and bad. :)

Bolero decks hatches (1 of 1).jpg
 
Jul 8, 2016
33
It does look Molich finished although the pilot berths are cut different (straight top) than my 61 Molich finished Challenger.
Those sloping cut-outs on the berths are very neat detail in CHRISTMAS. Now that you mention it, though, while I've seen those same cutouts in pictures of Caravelles (maybe all of them?) finished by Molich, I'm not sure I recall seeing pictures of another Challenger that doesn't have a straight-top finish on the berths. I wonder if that is a special detail the original owner specified? In any event, it's a nice little detail.

Looking at the interior photo of COMPASS ROSE in your post, there are two finishing details that I associate with those talented craftsmen at the Molich yard. The first is that the cabinet forward of the berth has a frame-and-panel door, and the second is that you can see the reflection off the tops of the beveled edges on the four drawers directly ahead of the locker. While Molich seems to have framed all cabinet door panels with rails and stiles, and then used unframed solid panels with beveled edges for his drawer faces, LeComte appears to have done the exact opposite. Though my sample size of LeComte interiors is much smaller (having only my boat, and what I've seen of the inside of MOHAWK, ESSAY, and ODE TO JOY to draw upon), LeComte installed single panel cabinet doors without a frame, while putting mitered frames on every drawer face.

There are also a few outside details that support COMPASS ROSE being a product of the Molich yard that can be gleaned from the listing photos. She has the flush companionway hatch characteristic of Molich rather than the sharply angled hatch that rises toward the rear fitted by LeComte. Also, the backstay chainplate sits proudly on the face of the transom, while the LeComte Challengers all hide that chainplate internally.
Hopefully, she found a knowledgable owner and we'll hear more about it.
Most definitely! According to the listing, the new owner will have to tangle with the Achilles Heel of the Challenger since she needs a new cockpit.

Adam
 
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Likes: TomY
Jul 8, 2016
33
That's the first thing I noticed as well. A butterfly hatch might be a nice addition, but few things require more expertise in design and craftsmenship than building a butterfly hatch, that doesn't leak. You can still get them built, good and bad. :)
Those are some mighty fine hatches! Although I can't but help wonder what is going on aloft with so many craning their heads upwards. There's the man in the yellow-billed hat delightedly watching with his mouth hanging open, and then there's the gentleman in the hat next to him who is covering his face and apparently can't bear to watch!

Adam
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,648
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
And there's a guy on his knees taking a photo! Person aloft?
Looking at old photos, now I recall the reason. This was a re-launching in my harbor of the famous S&S yawl, BOLERO, after a major re-build. She is in the old travelift that was maxed out by her 70'. Usually they would launch a boat without the mast, and then step it in the water. But for the celebration they wanted the boat to go in fully rigged, which it did.

That created a problem as the forestay straddled the travelift beam:

BOLERO slings (1 of 1).jpg


The spectators must have been watching a bosun hanging from the crane, who had to swap the mast head fitting in the lift once the boat was backed out a bit.

Bolero stern.jpg
 
Jul 8, 2016
33
The spectators must have been watching a bosun hanging from the crane, who had to swap the mast head fitting in the lift once the boat was backed out a bit.
Well, that certainly explains it. Definitely looks like something that would cause me a cold sweat, but you can't argue with the results. BOLERO looks an absolute picture with her mast stepped ahead of time and your photos capture the moment wonderfully. Thanks for sharing them!

Adam