The John Alden schooner, WHEN AND IF, coasting into the Eggemoggin Reach.


Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
John Alden design # 669, built in Wiscasset Maine for General George Patten in 1939.
She's in the charter biz and was recently purchased:

We were sailing out of the Reach on about 8 knots of breeze when they passed, close by.

There is a maze of toggled buoys here. A strong current was stretching them out, I couldn't avoid going between many toggles and buoys in this stretch.

With our centerboard down 8'; the line between toggles and buoy would ride under our stem, gradually lowering along the ballast keel, then the line to the toggles -riding along the side of the hull- would meet the front edge of our centerboard and shot under water with a "ploosh".

Gone...then a second or two later the toggle would pop out of our wake with another loud, "ploosh".
When and If  (1 of 1).jpg

Until one didn't,...pop back up, shortly after the When and If passed.

No panic, we were under sail. The toggle, I knew caught a prop blade below(so very rare).

With full sail, dragging a set of traps along the bottom, Xmas lost way. Sails stayed full but stalled as the boat slowly turned,...and turned downwind and down current. I knew what she was doing.

I could see the toggle and warp streaming aft from below the counter. Still turning, Xmas was now pointed downwind, we gently jibed onto Starboard, and then,...finally another,...."ploosh"!

We were free.

I let her go and she came into the wind once more, sails shook as she pointed to windward, we fell off,...sails again filled, and we were on our way.
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Likes: CaravelaofExe
Oct 2, 2008
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Had a similar experience years ago with our Catalina 30 through the Eggemoggin. Passed several windjammers then boat slowed to a halt. We could see the line beneath the boat but couldn't shake it off. BoatUS got us free.

All U Get
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
When the crab post are covering the bay up here, I look for a large power boat and get in her wake... No crab pot issue.
Jun 9, 2004
Catalina 385 Marquette. Mi
What a great idea of using a belowdeck AP (my first) as an E-tiller. I bought bolt cutters today. Should have had a pair long ago. :(