Preview: Aboard a Classic Alden Motorsailer – TRADE WIND

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September 12, 2013

The 1938 Alden Motorsailer TRADE WIND, rebuilt by Rockport Marine in 2011, is a stunning example of the shipwright’s art, a virtual Faberge Egg of a boat, yet at the same time a sturdy ocean going vessel capable of offshore passages.  Step aboard to explore the alchemy of her re-creation.

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18 Responses So Far to “Aboard a Classic Alden Motorsailer – TRADE WIND

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    Jonathan Margolis says:

    I was aboard Tradewind at the Antique & Classic Boat Festival a couple of times. She is even more stunning in person than in this presentation. A truly wonderful boat, a great credit to the Alden office, Rockport Marine and the owners who restored and upgraded her so beautifully.

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    William Hammond says:

    A beautiful boat!! Stunning in every detail. Would love another half hour Aboard her again!!

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    Mark Grady says:

    I was given a tour of Trade Winds by the owner at the antique and classic boat festival in Salem Ma. This past august. What a truly spectacular restoration by Rockport Marine.

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    Jim Farley says:

    WOW. What a beautiful vessel and the craftsmanship is superb.

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    Vance Scott says:

    What can you say…… I was hooked from start to finish.

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    Matt Howard says:

    Absolutely stunning. Thank you for capturing this wonderful vessel.

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    Brendan Riordan says:

    And this reply came in from Ben Allen who knows much more about propellers than I do. I think the part about high efficiency at low thrust coefficients speaks to the lightly loaded blades of a powerboat that is also moving through the water under sail.

    Thanks Brendan,

    These look similar to a set of designs originated from the NSMB (Netherlands Ship Model Basin) which were the newest industry standards then. (1937 to 1965) There is a 5.45 series that looks similar. It is a 5 bladed prop with an expanded area ratio of 0.45. This series goes up to 7 blade. They are know for skinny blade forms, and high efficiency at low thrust coefficients. See section 17 on propeller design in the Principles of Naval Architecture.

    Without knowing any further info, this is mostly speculation. Maybe check with Alden for more info.

    Hope this helps,


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    Brendan Riordan says:

    Hi all. Many thanks from all of the crew at Rockport for your kind words. This was a great project to be a part of.

    The short answer to Dave’s question is that I cannot speak to the thinking that went into selecting these propellers because these are the original propellers that were fitted when the boat was first launched. I cannot presume to speak for Mr. Alden but it is worth noting that Trade Wind’s model underwent thorough testing at the Stevens Institute, so one may infer that efficiency under sail and power was pat of the conversation between designer and client. I can offer that I have always guessed that, as a motor sailer (which is about simultaneous motoring and sailing as opposed to alternating between the two) it was preferable to the Alden office to find propellers that would offer an exceptionally smooth ride keep vibration and noise originating from the drive train to an absolute minimum. Interestingly I note that a number of early submarine propellers present a similar planform and wonder whether anyone else can speak to the engineering behind that similarity. I can say with absolute certainty that the owners of Trade Wind had an opportunity to operate the boat before undertaking the restoration and that the experience of the smooth, vibration-free drive train, was part of what convinced them to take on the project. I think I will forward this inquiry to my friend Ben Allen to see what he has to say on the matter. Ben is both a classic boat enthusiast as well as a Senior Engineer at the Applied Ocean and Physics & Engineering department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We have talked props and cort nozzles in the past and I think he would add a level of expertise to the subject matter well beyond what I can offer.

    Best regards and congratulations on another fine effort and engaging addition to OCH.

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    Steve Zimmermann says:

    I’ve made several passages aboard Trade Wind (Marcy Brenner is my sister) and I can tell you that she’s a stunning achievement: a supremely capable and comfortable blue water cruiser, while at the same time a floating showcase of furniture-grade joinery and the shipwright’s art, all made possible by the serendipitous coming-together of visionary and knowledgeable owners with a yard possessing the uncommon skills and exacting attention to detail necessary to pull off such an ambitious and uncompromising restoration. Thanks for the beautiful video, which perfectly captures the result of so much care and effort. And might I suggest that a second episode, exploring Trade Wind’s systems and engine room, might also be of interest to OCH’s membership?

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      Steve Stone says:

      Hey Steve. Good idea. Would be cool if Brendan Riordan (designer at Rockport Marine) or one of their systems crew led us through, eh?

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        Steve Zimmermann says:

        There’s an idea, Steve. Trade Wind is at Rockport Marine right now for seasonal maintenance…just sayin’… :)

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    William Boulden says:

    What a stunning work of art and function! Truly a masterpiece in it’s own right.

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    If I’m not mistaken both props on TRADEWIND have five narrow blades. I’d love to know the thinking behind that.


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