Three years of restoration work and the intense commitment of owners Michael and Marcy Brenner culminated in the relaunch of the 62-foot Alden motorsailer Trade Wind at Rockport Marine in Maine.
Designed by naval architect Ralph Winslow and launched in 1938, Trade Wind was built at the Robert Jacob yard at City Island, N.Y. An article in The Rudder magazine called her a “motor-sailer for ocean cruising” and stated, “Alden designed this yacht for a Great Lakes yachtsman who wanted ‘a floating home for two people — able to go anywhere.’ ”
Click play to watch an Allison Langley production of the restoration of Trade Wind.
When the Brenners bought Trade Wind in Newport, R.I., in 2008 it was time for a well-deserved refit. As Michael Brenner noted at the May 19 launching, “Trade Wind had been in continuous service for 70 years straight and she had started to show signs of fatigue, if not resignation.”
The refit at Rockport Marine included the yacht’s interior, exterior and rigging, and a systems redesign. Jeff Morse and his crew also made structural improvements, such as repairing or replacing oak frames. They also replaced about a third of the original Burmese teak hull planking, laid a new teak composite deck and built new wooden spars.
Rockport’s design office worked closely with Niels Helleberg, who had worked with John G. Alden Naval Architects for 36 years. He was head designer when the company closed in late 2007 and now has his own firm, Niels Helleberg Yacht Design, based in Salem, Mass.
The original owner’s idea of using Trade Wind as a second home clearly resonates for the Brenners. The yacht has two staterooms forward, an owners’ cabin aft and a spacious main saloon. The saloon was designed to provide a comfortable space for Marcy, a professional musician who plays the viola da gamba and other instruments, to practice on board.
Trade Wind measures 62 feet overall and 56 feet on the waterline, with a beam of 16 feet. She draws 5 feet, 9 inches, and has a displacement of 90,000 pounds. She is powered by twin 1950s-vintage 671 Detroit Diesel engines that were rebuilt by Billings Diesel and Marine of Stonington, Maine.
Her equipment list includes a generator, watermaker, diesel heating stove, full galley and Raymarine electronics. She carries two tenders on the aft deck. The lapstrake motor launch (also an Alden design, No. 608) was built by Tim Watson and Glenn Pease at Rockport Marine. The rowing tender was built by students at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, R.I.
Much of the bronze hardware was custom-made by Rockport Marine and William M. Lowe, a specialist in high-end yacht hardware based nearby in Rockland. Sailmaker Nathaniel Wilson of East Boothbay, Maine, provided a suit of panel-constructed, diagonally cut sails.
“This was quite popular in the ’20s and ’30s for the mizzen and main,” Michael Brenner says. “Nat was the first sailmaker I met that not only agreed to build them, but actually suggested to do it that way.”