Sunday, June 12, 2016

Alden 44 Dinghy Arrangement

We were asked about dinghy storage on an Alden 44, so here is what we do.

We lift it on deck with a bridle and a spare halyard. Then we turn it upside down and jam the pontoons around the life raft valise. The nose of the dinghy is on deck just forward of the forward hatch, lashed down to the stanchion bases.

The dinghy doesn't interfere because the staysail can't be sheeted in that far and it's slightly above the dinghy anyway.

We rarely use the staysail, but have found that it balances a double reefed main quite nicely and we used that configuration a lot in the Windward Islands.
We often raise the dinghy so we can open the forward hatch to get ventilation, but it doesn't prevent rain coming in, so we frequently open and close the hatch several times a day. When we will be anchored in one place for a while, we set up a little awning over the hatch which keeps the rain out better.

Above you see how the pontoons fit around the life raft. You can also see how we stow the outboard on chocks just forward of the mast. Again, we use a lifting harness and the spare halyard to get it on deck. We can get both motor and dinghy on deck and stowed in 10 minutes. I'm only 5' tall and I do all the winching while the Captain guides the motor into the chocks. The self tailing winches on the mast make it easy.

The blue canvas is the dodger over the midship hatch. We LOVE this feature! It stays open for ventilation all the time and only once (in very rough conditions) did water get around that dodger.

Hope this helps. The Alden 44 is a wonderful cruising boat and you will love sailing her on ocean passages.
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