Jean Alden

In Festival Boats 2018, Festival Boats 2019, Festival Boats 2021, Festival Boats 2022, Festival Boats 2023, Festival Boats 2024

Jean Alden uses the traditional catboat configuration to achieve the objectives of a weatherly pocket cruiser that maximize my available shop space while still fitting on a trailer. Mostly I built “by eye” with little attempt to follow a plan other than to steal some hull sections from Phil Bolger’s twelve foot Bobcat. My shop is large enough for a fourteen foot hull, so I scaled up Bolger’s design by two feet. I also wanted a traditional tumble home bow and a small cabin. This required changes to the forward hull sections and a different deck layout. Construction is basic stitch-and-glue using mostly 9mm Okoume plywood. The deck and coach top are straight grained Douglas Fir laminated over 6mm plywood. The cabin sides and coaming are ¾ inch tongue and grove staves capped by an Iroko rail. All three spars are hollow, assembled using birds-mouth joints, and stuffed with aluminum foil to reflect Radar. The sail plan is adapted from the Breck Marshall – a Crosby catboat in the Mystic Seaport collection. I made the original sail one Christmas vacation using a conference room at my job for a sail loft. For luck I put 150 pounds of lead in the bilge. The three-year project ended with her launching in 2000. The result is a sweet sailing pocket cruiser that has brought our family much joy and satisfaction.