In Summer of 2015 I was invited by Alpha Yachts out of South Shore Boatyard in
Patchogue, NY, to come visit them and sail their Alpha 42. I arrived on a sunny
morning and was met by Steve Nocita, head of Marketing for Alpha and, later that
morning, by Marc Anassis, the builder and owner of Alpha Yachts. Marc has a very
impressive record, building 850 boats in the last 35 years and was owner of Atlantic
As soon as I walked over to the Alpha 42 i was immediately impressed by her high
bridge-deck clearance, nearly one meter (38 inches), her beam, and her reverse bows.
I had a quick tour of the boat and then it was time to go sailing.
We hoisted the big flat-topped main and then rolled out the self-tacking jib and
started upwind. The boat felt well balanced with a hint of weather helm and we were
making an easy 6.5 knots in the light 10 to 12 knot wind we had. We were very
underpowered with just the jib but I wanted to push her through a few tacks to see
how she did. She tacked well and after an hour of sailing upwind I dropped the bow
down onto a reach and let the genoa out.
We jumped up to 7.8 knots and I got to
feel how the reverse bows helped keep the the pitching motion to a minimum. Her
helm position gave me a great view all around the boat from a comfortable double
seat. All the control lines and sheets were led to the bank of jammers and then to
an electric winch, so single handing the Alpha was easy from the comfort of the helm
position. I played around with the trim with ease and soon had the boat up over 8
knots in the light airs.
Her weight gave her momentum to glide through the light
spots and back into the pressure with ease. The day was running away from me and
although I was having a ball, I sadly turned to Marc and asked if we could drop
sails and do some motoring so I could get an idea of how she went under power.
easing off on the main sheet and heading down onto a run it was very easy to roll
the genoa, and after the jib which i had been using as a staysail to create another
slot between the main and genoa. We spun head to wind and released the main halyard
and the main came smoking down into the stack-pack. This is a very important ability
on multi hulls as often we have to get the huge power of the mains gone when
approaching a big squall. The last thing any sailor wants is to be fighting to get
the main down in 40 knots.
With the sails stowed and all lines onboard, we raised
the RPMs to 2300 and were able to achieve 7 knots. The alpha feels like a Cadillac.
She is very forgiving in a seaway where her weight – 10 tons – again helps her
dampen the motion created by the waves. Once back at the dock Marc handed over
control so I could dock her and get a feel for how she manoeuvred. Her electronic
controls were smooth as silk with none of the usual resistance felt in cable
controls. Another nice aspect of her weight came to light here also as the small
gusts of wind which would have effected a lighter cruising cat had little to no
effect on the Alpha 42.
Once tied up in our berth, it was time for the factory tour. Marc took me through
the three boats he has at varying degrees of completion. Alpha Yachts’ choice of
resin is not polyester but the much stronger vinylester. No balsa is used in the
hulls or decks. The hulls’ core material is Nomex honeycomb, and the decks have
1-inch thick Nydacore. The first boat was just out of the moulds and her deck had
not been mated to her hull. Here Mark showed me just how well built the Alpha 42 is
and explained he wanted to build a boat which did not suffer from the deflection and
twisting most multihulls suffer from.
He wanted a boat which could handle the
riggers of world cruising and the heavy use of the yacht charter industry. The Alpha
is SOLID. After looking at the internal structure we went on the the next boat
which was having the interior put in. Again at this stage strength was the
objective and Marc walked me through his use of internal structure to further
stiffen the already stiff boat. The taping on the bulkheads were double what I have
seen on comparable sized French built cats.
I began to see Marc’s vision. He was
not trying to build a boat to hit a price point. He was building boats to last. We
then moved onto the third boat in the factory which was having her components
fitted. It was immediately obvious Marc had spent lots of time on boats. He knew
the things that sailors have problems with and had thought about how to access them
in a comfortable and efficient way. Everywhere I looked on the Alpha I saw
attention to detail. These guys are building an American product and take a huge
amount of pride in that fact and it showed.
I left tired but very content having spent an amazing day out sailing on a really
lovely boat with very knowledgeable people. Marc and Steve have a simple mission
for Alpha: build great boats.
The Alpha 42 is conservative, well built, functional and fun to sail. She is a blue water cruiser made to last and will transport you and your family safely and comfortably.
Length (LOA): 42’1”
Beam (max): 24’2”
Draft (foil keel): 3’6” (optional daggerboard): 28” up/6’8” down
Air draft (mast above water): 62′ (US Intracoastal Waterway capable)
Displacement: 9.2 T
Mainsail: 569 sq. ft.
Self-tacking Solent jib: 369 sq. ft.
Genoa: 428 sq. ft.
Reacher on furler: 1,076 sq. ft.
Engines: (2) x 30 hp Yanmar 3YM diesel (40hp option)
Concept & Interior Design: Gregor Tarjan, Aeroyacht Ltd.
Naval Architect & Engineering: Marc Anassis NA, Alpha 1 Composites
Builder: Alpha 1 Composites, Patchogue, NY
Standard sailaway price: $434,000 delivered New York
http://barefootyachts.com/beta/wp-content/uploads/06.29.2015.png788940Philip Barnardhttp://barefootyachts.com/beta/wp-content/uploads/new-logo-ver8-80.pngPhilip Barnard2018-01-25 13:33:312018-01-25 13:33:36New York City