The Alden 54 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Alden 54 is a 16.5m monohull sailboat that was designed by the renowned naval architect Niels Christian Helleberg and built by Alden Yachts in the USA.

It is is a classic cruiser with a centreboard keel, a cutter or ketch rig, and a spacious and comfortable interior. The boat is known for its elegant lines, solid construction, and excellent sailing performance in various conditions.

An Alden 54 - this one's a staysail ketch, but they were also produced as a cutter.An Alden 54 staysail ketch departing Prickly Bay, Grenada

Published Specification for the Alden 54

Underwater Profile: Centreboard keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 54'1" (16.5m)

Waterline Length: 40'0" (12.2m)

Beam: 14'4" (4.4m)

Draft: 10'6" (3.2m) centreboard down; 5'6" (1.7m) centreboard up

Rig Type: Staysail ketch (but also produced with a cutter rig)

Displacement: 36,500lb 16,556kg

Designer: Niels Christian Helleberg

Builder: Alden Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1985

Year Last Built: 2002

Published Design Ratios for the Alden 54

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.8

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 41.1

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 255

4. Comfort Ratio: 36.

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

The Alden 54: A Few FAQs...

Based on the published design ratios for the Alden 54, how is the boat likely to perform under sail?

Based on the above ratios, the Alden 54 is likely to perform well under sail, as it has a reasonable amount of sail area for its displacement, a high ballast ratio that provides stability and stiffness, a moderate displacement that allows it to carry cruising gear without compromising speed, a comfort ratio that indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat, and a capsize screening formula that suggests a safer choice for ocean passages.

Is the Alden 54 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Alden 54 is not in production anymore. Production ended in 2002, after 17 years of building this model. According to the Alden Yachts website, there were 25 Alden 54s built in total.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Alden 54 were built and what are the differences between them?

There were two main versions of the Alden 54 built: the centre cockpit version and the aft cockpit version. The centre cockpit version has a larger aft cabin with an ensuite head and shower, while the aft cockpit version has a smaller aft cabin with a separate head and shower. The centre cockpit version also has a smaller cockpit and a larger deckhouse than the aft cockpit version.

Both versions have similar layouts in the forward part of the boat, with a V-berth cabin, a head with shower, a saloon with settees and a table, a U-shaped galley, and a navigation station.

How many people can sleep on board an Alden 54?

Depending on the version and the configuration of the boat, an Alden 54 can sleep up to seven people on board. The centre cockpit version has a double berth in the aft cabin, two single berths in the V-berth cabin, and three more berths in the saloon (one on each settee and one on the pilot berth). The aft cockpit version has a double berth in the aft cabin, two single berths in the V-berth cabin, and two more berths in the saloon (one on each settee).

How did the sailing press review the Alden 54?

The sailing press generally gave positive reviews to the Alden 54, praising its quality, beauty, comfort, and performance. For example, Sailing Magazine described it as "a superbly crafted yacht that combines traditional styling with modern technology", Cruising World called it "a handsome yacht that sails well and offers exceptional comfort", and Sailboat Cruising said it was "a classic cruiser with an enviable pedigree".

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Alden 54?

The Alden 54 was originally designed with a cutter rig, which has a single mast with two headsails (a jib and a staysail) and a mainsail. However, some owners have opted for a ketch rig, which has a second, smaller mast (the mizzen) behind the main mast, with a mizzen sail and a mizzen staysail. The ketch rig offers more sail area and more flexibility in sail trim, but also more cost and complexity.

What keel options, if any, are available for the Alden 54?

The Alden 54 has a centreboard keel, which is a type of keel that can be raised or lowered by a mechanism inside the boat. The centreboard keel allows the boat to reduce its draft (the depth of the hull below the waterline) from 10'6" to 5'6", making it easier to navigate shallow waters or anchorages. However, the centreboard keel also adds more weight and moving parts to the boat and requires more maintenance and care.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Alden 54?

The average cost of a secondhand Alden 54 varies depending on the year, condition, equipment, and location of the boat. According to YachtWorld, a website that lists boats for sale worldwide, the current asking prices for Alden 54s range from $295,000 to $695,000 USD.

How does the Alden 54 compare to other similar sailboats in its class?

The Alden 54 is comparable to other similar sailboats in its class, such as the Hylas 54, the Hinckley Sou'wester 52, the Oyster 53, and the Swan 53. These boats are all high-end cruising yachts that offer similar levels of quality, comfort, performance, and style. However, each boat has its own strengths and weaknesses, depending on the preferences and needs of the owner. For example, some boats may have more modern features or designs than others, some boats may have more or less draft than others, some boats may have more or less sail area than others, etc.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

Other sailboats in the Alden range include:

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