John G. Alden

John Alden, Studio founder
It is necessary to create such yachts in which the owner can go far out to sea without causing anxiety to those who stayed on shore.
John Alden
Studio founder

Designer description John G. Alden

The history of the brand

John Alden was born in 1884. He spent his childhood on Rhode Island watching boats and fishermen. In the early 1900s, he worked for some time in the Starling Burgess office before winning an internship with Bowdoin B. Crowninshield, a prominent Boston yacht designer of the time.

In 1909 Olden founded his own design office and this design business lived without a year for 100 years. By 1917 business was on the rise, and in 1920 he was able to expand his design team.

During those years, Alden created the concept of a small schooner that was perfectly suited to the new trend of offshore racing in terms of its simplicity and speed. His yachts dominated the Bermuda Race for a decade. He was the first skipper to win a yacht of his own design three times. Alden first won the Newport Bermuda race in 1923 at Malabar IV and then repeated it in 1926 at Malabar VII. In 1932, his Malabar X won and Olden's schooners came in fourth place. All these yachts were less than 100 feet, although at that time ocean sailing was unthinkable for such small boats.

Philosophy .

Alden's approach was to discuss his requirements with the client and make initial sketches, and then hand the work over to the engineers for completion. Each boat had its own individual features and was available at an affordable price.


Alden Design has been building classic sailing and motor yachts. During his career from the early 1900s to 1955 Alden and his team built more than 1,000 boats for a variety of purposes - boats, tugboats, trawlers, schooners, sloops, yachts, caches.

Cooperation with shipyards

The company collaborated with the shipyards Elco, Hodgdon, Pendleton, Abeking & Rasmussen, Lawley, Morse and in later years with Palmer Johnson, GraafShip, Royal Huisman.

Landmark projects.

Alden has created many well-known projects, some of which are still on the move today. Among them are Puritan, Bagheera, Wendameen, When and If, Trade Wind. Some of Olden's projects have already been used to build yachts in this millennium, such as Meteor, Borkumriff IV, Wolfhound.


Alden retired in 1955 while still racing, and died in 1962. Alden Design's office was headed by architect Niels Helleberg until 2008.