The Alden Challenger, where does it fit in?

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,671
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
And other boats of this vintage, the early transition from wood to fiberglass, are we simply in the Classic Plastic group? For that matter, what is the Classic Plastic group?

It seems our boats, and several others of this early transition, share alot of commonalities. Heavy construction in their fiberglass lay up no longer seen. A few with wooden superstructures and even decks. Most of all possibly, very, very classic lines. It is these classic, and proving to be timeless lines, that I think most set this class of early glass boats in a field of their own.

But I don't think these boats are getting their due. Wooden boats are off on their own-and can be duplicated in construction even today. Classic plastic makes up the rest and includes any glass boat in middle age of almost any lines, and we fall somewhat obscurly in the classic plastic class. This doesn't seem right. We're not wooden boats, and we don't want to be, but we're hardly an obscure classic plastic boat either.

Is their a smaller more tightly knit group of boats, never to be duplicated, of similar hull design, of the first fiberglass construction, some reaching 50 years in age, several built by Alden and other names of history in an era that was little more than a snap shot in time?

Where do we fit? Are we not different?

 

jsmall

.
Mar 25, 2005
41
Dufour 31 Seaford VA.
What are some of the boats one might include in this catagory? The Block Island 40, Tartan BlackWatch, perhaps even the Bermuda 40. Many of the early larger fiberglass boats seem to be glass knock-offs of "Finisterre".Some of the early fiberglass boats, like Alberg's Triton were designed, it seems, as if they could be made of wood.
Jimmy Small 949L
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,671
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I think you're right Jimmy.

The close proximity in the time to all wooden boat construction put the design of these early glass boats more in that older era.

I think the first designs are these Aldens, Challengers, Carravelles, etc... and then the ones you mentioned. There were other first glass boats such as the Rhodes Bounty, some in Europe such as the Nicholson 36.

Finnesterre certainly had an effect on the design of the Challengers and several other centerboarders of the day. Her sistership FIDELIO is right dow the hill from me and I've spent some time admiring and photographing that beautiful boat.

Boats like FIDELIO have taken off on their own as true classics and they are sought after. I think our early glass boats of this vintage deserve some of this same enthusiasm.