Review of Alden 50 (1986)

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Alden 50 (1986) is a large sailboat designed by the American maritime architect bureau Alden Yachts in the mid eighties. Only a few boats have been produced. The Alden 50 (1986) is built by the American yard Alden Yachts Inc..

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The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season.


The boat is equipped with 643.0 liter fresh water capacity.


The Alden 50 (1986) is equipped with a centerboard keel. A centerboard keel is a pivoting lifting keel, allowing to sail both coastal and inland waters.

The keel is made of lead. Compared with iron, lead has the advantage of being 44% heavier, which allows a smaller keel and hence less water resistance and higher speed.

The boat can enter most marinas as the draft is just about 1.68 - 1.78 meter (5.51 - 5.81 ft) dependent on the load. See immersion rate below.


Alden 50 (1986) is typically equipped with a Westerbeke diesel engine at 70.0 hp (52 kW), which gives a max speed about 5.8 knots.

The fuel tank has a capacity of 568.0 liters (150 US gallons, 124 imperial gallons).

Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Alden 50 (1986) is 1.38, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - be accepted to participate in ocean races.

Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 7.7 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.

Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Alden 50 (1986) is about 240 kg/cm, alternatively 1348 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 240 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 1348 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.

Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for Alden 50 (1986) is 58.1.

Low High 99% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 99% of all similar sailboat designs. This is a comfort value significantly above average.

L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Alden 50 (1986) is 4.31.

Wide Slim 100% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 100% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a significantly more speedy hull design. This type of design is also referred to as 'needle'.

Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Alden 50 (1986) is 31%.

Low High 27% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 27% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) just below average.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Alden 50 (1986) is 459 which categorizes this boat among 'heavy cruisers'.

Heavy Light 0% 0 50 100
0% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A heavy displacement combined with smaller water plane area has lower acceleration and is more comfortable.


Bottom Paint

When buying anti-fouling bottom paint, it's nice to know how much to buy. The surface of the wet bottom is about 51m2 (548 ft2).
Based on this, your favourite maritime shop can tell you the quantity you need.

Note: If you use a paint roller you will need more paint than if you use a paintbrush.


If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.

Guiding dimensions of running rig
Jib sheet 15.2 m(50.0 feet)16 mm(5/8 inch)
Genoa sheet 15.2 m(50.0 feet)16 mm(5/8 inch)
Mainsheet 38.1 m(125.0 feet)16 mm(5/8 inch)
Spinnaker sheet33.5 m(110.0 feet)16 mm(5/8 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

This section is reserved boat owner's modifications, improvements, etc. Here you might find (or contribute with) inspiration for your boat.

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