The Alden 50 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Alden 50, a heavy displacement cruiser, was designed and built in the USA by Alden Yachts.

An Alden 50 sailboat at anchorAn Alden 50

Published Specification for the Alden 50

Underwater Profile: Stub keel with centreboard, and skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 50'4" (15.3m)

Waterline Length: 37'1" (11.3m)

Beam: 13'6" (4.1m)

Draft: max 10'4" (3.2m), min 5'6" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 38,000lb (17,237kg)

Designer: Alden Yachts

Builder: Alden Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1996

Year Last Built: 1998

Number Built: 3

Published Design Ratios for the Alden 50

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.5

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 42.9

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 333

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 44.7

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.6

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Alden 50

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 15.5 suggests that the Alden 50 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 42.9 means that the Alden 50 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 333, tells us the Alden 50 is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 44.7 suggests that crew comfort of a Alden 50 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.6 tells us that an Alden 50 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Other sailboats in the Alden range include:

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