Sailing yachts

55′ John Alden Yawl

(REF: 17897)


  • Designer: Alden, John
  • Builder: Boothbay Harbour, USA
  • Year: 1930
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Length on deck: 55'
  • Beam: 12'6"
  • Draft: 7'9"
  • Tonnage: 29TM

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this 55′ John Alden Yawl

Drawn by the great American designer, John Alden.  Built by Reed-Cook Construction, Boothbay Harbour USA in 1930

Classic John Alden yawl with spoon bow, long keel and a short counter stern.

This yacht sailed into Plymouth in the early 1970’s, was chased by the police for suspected drugs offences and went up on the rocks in Plymouth Sound.  She was taken to Mashfords Boatyard in Plymouth where she lay for many years as a hospital project for the yard.

The interior was removed in the drug search.

The damaged planking under the stbd bilge was replaced.

The yacht was reframed all through and refastened.

The heavy galvanised floors were all replaced.

The yacht was bought by the present owners some years ago and finally underwent completion of the rebuild at Gweek Quay Boatyard. She was launched in the spring on 2010 with some finishing work still to do.

55′ John Alden Yawl

In the Gweek Quay refit, the deck was replaced in yacht-laid teak on a ply sub deck.

All new deck joinery was built to original plans.

All original deck fittings replaced.

A new cock-pit was built.

New wheel steering on Mathway pedestal carries a chart plotter in a varnished box on the pedestal.

Original octagonal glazed compass binnacle top fitted to the pedestal.

New engine installed on hydraulic drive.

New tanks and plumbing.


A new interior designed and fitted with:

One double cabin aft with ensuite heads and shower

Two twin berth cabins forward sharing separate heads and shower

2 pilot berths in the saloon (in addition to saloon settees)


Planked in pine, caulked and payed with exceptionally fine finish to the topsides.

External iron ballast keel.

New, wonderful sweeping teak deck with lots of clear, uncluttered deck space to work the rig.

New coach-roof, close to original design with varnished teak coamings set with oval bronze port holes, the coach-roof deck paid in scrubbed teak with varnished teak margin boards.

Original capstan windlass on the fore deck.


Bermudian yawl rig to original John Alden design on new varnished masts and spars by Collars.

All new polished stainless steel mast fittings

All new stainless steel rigging.

Internal galvanised steel chain plates.

Cutter headed with masthead stay to the end of the bowsprit, inner fore stay to inside the stemhead, single standing backstay to the main back to the counter.

Twin spreaders.

Twin lowers, uppers and cap shrouds.

Mizzen with single swept back spreaders.

Twin lowers and caps.

2x new Lewmar self tailing winches on mainmast

2x Lewmar self tailing primary sheet winches

2x Lewmar self tailing secondary sheet winches

1x Lewmar self tailing mainsheet winch

2x Lewmar top action mizzen halyard winches

All new sheets and halyards

New Harken sail tracks on both masts and genoa sheet tracks on deck

Complete suit of sails
approximately five seasons old


Yanmar 4-cyl, naturally aspirated diesel engine, flexibly mounted under the stbd side deck in the aft cabin with hydraulic drive to centre-line 3-blade bronze prop.

Single lever controls.

New fuel tank opposite to port.


All new accommodation with 8 berths.

Large fore peak stowage for sails and cordage.

Passageway aft to port through a twin berth up and down cabin.

Aft again through a heads compartment with sea toilet, hand basin and shower.  Door to saloon.

Opposite to stb, a twin berth up and down cabin with door to the saloon and a door to the heads.


Large saloon cabin. Twin doors forward, to stbd into the twin berth cabin, to port into the fwd heads and through the port twin berth cabin to the fore peak.

Port and stbd settee berths in the saloon with pilot berth up behind under the side deck to port.  Lockers above the berth to starboard.

Companionway to deck on the centreline aft.

Chart desk to port of the companionway ladder.

Galley to stbd with Wallas 87D diesel fuelled hob and oven – the latest and one of the smartest yacht cookers. Twin stainless steel sinks. Pressurised H&C.  Built in fridge/freezer.  Good locker space.


Passage past the galley aft to the aft cabin.

Large double berth reaches back under the cock-pit well.

Engine under the side deck to stbd.

Lockers under the side deck to port.

Door to port into the ensuite heads compartment with 12v electric sea toilet, porcelain corner hand basin and shower. Lockers under the side deck.


Fresh water tanks in the midships bilge and under each saloon settee berth.

Black water tank in the midships bilge

Calorifier tank under the double bunk aft with 240v + engine cooling water heating.

Showers and hand basins drain to a collecting tank in the midships bilge with auto float switch pump-out overboard.
A spacious, light and airy cabin with fine joinery and some exceptionally nice features like the corner cupboards in the forward corners of the coach-roof and the marquetry inlay on the chart desk.

Steering compass in original brass pyramid binnacle.
Simrad chart plotter/radar
Furuno GPS
Icom VHF
Furuno Navtex
Manual capstan windlass
CQR anchor and chain


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These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.