Alerion Class Sloops to be Built in Maine

The Alerion Sloop is a popular one-design racing fleet in Nantucket.Courtesy of Sanford Boat Company

It's a match made in Maine. Sanford Boat Company of Nantucket has struck a licensing deal that will let Steve White and the crew at Brooklin Boat Yard take a step into the world of production boat building.

Kithera Just Before DeliveryCourtesy of Sanford Boat Company

True, we're not talking about a boat factory going up on the shores of Penobscot Bay, but for Brooklin, it's an opportunity for the yard to branch out from its repair services and highly customized new-boat projects.

Cold-molded construction is used to build an easy-to-maintain wooden sailboat.Courtesy of Sanford Boat Company

The Sanford Boat Company built its first cold-molded 26-foot Alerion Class Sloop in 1977; 22 were launched by 1983 and a handful more have been built since then by other licensees. The Alerion was said to be designer Nathanael Herreshoff's favorite personal sailboat. Though Sanford sold the boats to customers around the country, today, 25 of the 29 Alerions built have found their way back to Nantucket, where they are raced and used as daysailors.

With its self-tending jib, the 26-foot Alerion Sloop is a spirited daysailer.Mark Krasnow photography

In a release announcing the deal, Brooklin Boat Yard owner Steve White said he's wanted to build a production boat for some time now. "The Alerion Class Sloop is a proven boat - her design, construction and pedigree have been well established. She will reflect well on Brooklin Boat Yard."