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Alden Challenger 38
centreboard yawl




A LeCompte Co Inc. N.V., Jutphaas, Holland, on hull/deck mouldings by Halmatic, Portsmouth, UK.






38' 6"

Sail area

670 sq ft designed sail area *

Brief details


27' 0"



A genuine classic yacht, this Alden yawl has a Halmatic-moulded GRP hull and deck, with a timber coachroof and cockpit. She was a very high quality build when new, and this shows in her present condition. The GRP hull was stripped, dried, epoxied and coppercoated in 2002/3 with a respray above the waterline, and at the same time the original Perkins engine was replaced by a Yanmar. For sale now due to health reasons, she offers an incredibly pretty yacht with the benefit of shallow draught and far lower maintenance than an all-wood yacht of similar vintage.


11' 0"


Forecabin and saloon


4' 3" to 7' 0" with centreplate down




7 tons **


Yanmar 3JH3E diesel


2.5 tons ballast (fixed lead ballast plus 350 lb bronze centreboard)



Keel type

Fin keel and spade rudder

* Sail area probably calculated at 100% foretriangle working sail - actual sail area is probably greater. ** Displacement originally quoted at 14 tons Thames Measurement but T.M. is not a weight-derived figure

The Alden Challenger 38 was designed by John G. Alden shortly before he retired in 1956. It is one of the last designs John Alden designed personally just before he retired in 1956. A few were built in timber before the hulls and decks were moulded in GRP by Halmatic, and fitted out by quite a number of yachtbuilders in the USA and Europe. About 50 in total of the GRP-hulled boats were built. This example was built in 1960 and launched in 1961.


Born in 1884, John G. Alden founded his yacht design office in 1909 after serving an apprenticehip with Starling Burgess. The design office closed whilst he served in the army during the First World War, but his name was made when his 'Malabar' design won the 600 mile Newport-Bermuda race in 1923, 1926, and 1932, all with Alden at the helm. In 1932, all four top finishers were Alden designs. John Alden himself retired in 1956, by which time his design office had a workforce of 90. The John G. Alden collection of designs is now in MIT's Hart Nautical Collection.


The builder of this yacht was LeComte-Holland, N.V., a company set up in 1954, with premises in Jutphaas in Holland and New Rochelle in New York, USA. They build a number of Alden designs under license, originally in wood, but later switching to composite and then all-fibreglass construction, with very high quality timber interiors. LeCompte closed down building yachts in 1994.

The Challenger 38 is a pretty, classic yawl, which as was common with US East Coast designs has a shallower draught and wider beam than many contemporary British yachts Her centreboard makes her a very versatile yacht, and gives excellent sailing performance when required.

Alden Challenger 38 classic yawl for sale

Yachtsnet photographs July 2013

Alden Challenger 38 classic yawl for sale

The Halmatic-moulded GRP hull has a single-skin (no balsa sandwich) deck, and is stiffened by both wooden internal frames and stringers and encapsulated steel sections - the early 1960s being the early days of GRP and quality builders were reluctant to dispense with traditional strengthening.

The underwater hull was gel stripped to the waterline in 2002, and Hotvac dried, before being relaminated with 5 layers of mat and polyester resin, then filled and faired with epoxy, followed by 5 coats of Blakes SFE epoxy, on top of which were put two coats of Copperguard epoxy antifouling.

The topsides were spray painted with Hempel two-pack paint in 2003. The coachroof and cockpit structure are in timber, mostly mahogany, with some new woodwork at the aft end of the coachroof bulkhead in 2012/3.


The yacht was Part I registered when first commissioned in 1961 and the present owner has very full documentation dating back to original building plans.

Alden Challenger 38 classic yawl for sale
Alden Challenger 38 classic yawl for sale

The internal layout is almost exactly as in the plan above, except that a solid fuel stove has been added built in to the locker space just aft of the heads.


She has a two-berth forecabin, open to the chain locker apart from a curtain, with an enclosed heads compartment to port.
The keel-stepped mainmast foot is just inside the heads.

In the saloon she has two settee berths, which both pull out to make a wider berth, and pilot berths above.

The galley is to port, and a chart table with icebox below to starboard.

Alden Challenger 38 for sale

The timber rudder was rebuilt in 2012/13. She has a three-bladed Darglow feathering prop.

Photographs July 2013

Alden Challenger 38 for sale
Alden Challenger 38 for sale

She has white painted alloy masts, the mainmast being a 1987 replacement, and varnished Sitka spruce booms and spinnaker pole.

In the photo below the outlet for the solid fuel stove is seen aft of the port dorade vent - a mushroom ventilator is fitted when the stove is in use.

The centreboard is raised and lowered with a handle inserted into the socket next to the two B&G displays on the cockpit bulkhead. This operates a S/S wire which is led along the saloon deckhead, and down a S/S pillar through the saloon table. The centreboard case itself is entirely within the keel, and does not intrude into the cabin.

Yachtsnet photos July 2013,
owners photos various dates

This is a really nice example of a classic yacht, that with a GRP hull and deck (and no laid deck) is not too maintenance-intensive.

Equipment List:

Engine details

Yanmar 3JH3E 40 hp diesel, fresh water cooled, installed 2002 with all new sterngear and run 528 hours

Fuel tank capacity

40 gallons


three bladed Darglow feathering prop on shaft drive


2 x 180AH service batteries and 105AH engine start battery

Battery charging/electrics

80 amp engine alternator with Adverc smart regulator

Sails and deck equipment

Rig details

Yawl rig, painted alloy masts and Sitka spruce booms. S/S standing rigging dated 2003. Inner removable forestay on mainmast.


Lucas Sails, roller reefing


Lucas sails roller genoa

Genoa furling

Profurl - new 2007



Mizzen staysail



Cruising chute by Crusader with snuffer - new 2007

Storm jib


Primary winches

2 x Lewmar

Secondary winches

2 x Lewmar

Bower anchor

35 lb CQR with 160 ft 3/8" chain

Kedge anchors

25 lb Danforth type with 10 ft chain and 90 ft warp, also a 10 Kg Danforth type anchor with 150 ft warp.

Anchor windlass

Lofrans Cayman 1200 electric windlass




Raymarine ST6001 auto pilot with S1G linear drive to quadrant, installed 2007

Steering compass

Plastimo Offshore 135

Warps & fenders

6 warps and 6 fenders


Cockpit sprayhood, cockpit cushions, dodgers, cockpit table, clock & barometer, various spares.

Navigation Equipment and instruments


Raymarine colour LCD with 2 x RL70C displays/plotters - one at chart table and one at helm


Raymarine colour LCD with 2 x RL70C displays/plotters - one at chart table and one at helm. Chart cartridge for English Channel


Brookes & Gatehouse H1000

Depth sounder

Brookes & Gatehouse H1000


Brookes & Gatehouse H1000

VHF radio

Icom with DSC

Radio receiver

Sony radio/CD player

Safety/emergency equipment




Horseshoe with floating light

MOB equipment

Kim MOB unit

Radar reflector

Visiball - mast mounted

Bilge pumps

manual and electric, also engine driven pump




Cabin layout

Forecabin, heads and saloon

Cabin heating

Solid fuel stove


6 berths, all 6' 6" plus

Water tank capacity

40 gallons


Eno 3-burner and oven, gas


Refrigerated coolbox under chart table - NB - needs new fridge compressor







Avon 9 ft hard transom, roll up floor


2 hp Yamaha



These particulars are believed to be correct but cannot be guaranteed and are subject to confirmation by the purchaser subject to still being available.

For further information or to arrange a viewing,

please contact Yachtsnet on 01326-212234


The particulars detailed herein are intended to give a fair description of the vessel but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. These particulars are not a part of any contract or offer, and are supplied on the understanding that all negotiations shall be conducted via Yachtsnet Ltd., who are acting as brokers for the vendor. The vendor is not selling in the course of business unless otherwise stated. The prospective purchaser is strongly recommended to check the particulars, and where appropriate, at his own expense, to employ qualified agents to carry out surveys, structural and/or mechanical & electrical checks or tests

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