A New Alerion Express Promises to Make a Splash

Call it a daysailer that you can enjoy well into the evening, or longer. From "Past the Spindle" for March 31, 2008

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Pearson Composites of Warren, Rhode Island, is wrapping up the design of the latest in its line of Alerion Express sailboats and will begin tooling for a 45-footer in the next six weeks, says Pearson's Scott Bryant.

Due for a Spring 2009 launch, preliminary drawings suggest the new 45 will carry the stately lines and powerful sail plan that make her smaller siblings, the 33 and the 38, standouts on the waterfront. This includes a 7/8ths carbon-fiber, two-spreader rig; a North 3DL full-batten mainsail with lots of roach; and a non-overlapping 3DL jib set on a carbon-fiber Hoyt jib-boom.

But the additional waterline and size of the hull means the 45 will be the first in the Alerion line to have standing headroom, and along with it, overnight accommodations that include fore and aft cabins, both with double berths, and long settees in the saloon that can serve, when needed, as bunks for additional crew.

According to the designer notes compiled by Clive Dent, the interior will be fitted out in the owner's choice of raised panel cherry or teak, or a combination of wood and white painted bulkheads. The galley, to starboard of the companionway, will include stove, fridge, and a deep stainless sink; opposite, the head has a separate, circular, enclosed shower. There's a fixed, drop-leaf table between the settees in the saloon, and farther forward are folding doors, that when closed, give the V-berth privacy, but when open, are intended to give the interior a sense of airy spaciousness.

The Alerions have all been designed around a large cockpit that lets guests lounge comfortably, while the helmsman has all the controls at hand for the enjoyable job of sailing. On the 45, that task will be made easier with a pair of Lewmar 54 self-tailing electric winches.

Forward, the 45 will sport an anchor roller that folds back in to a locker that also houses a windlass. This sort of arrangement has proven popular with other designers recently because it keeps the foredeck clear and doesn't detract from the boat's looks. On the stern, the drawings depict panels just aft of the mainsheet traveler that fold up to reveal two steps that lead down to a cool looking fold-down swim-platform transom that will also make boarding from a dinghy easier.

And when the breeze fades away entirely, there'll be a 75-horsepower Yanmar and saildrive to get captain and crew safely back to port.

The Alerion Express 33 and 38 have made good of their promise to be easy on the eyes and a lot of fun to sail. I'd expect the 45 will too, while also providing an owner with a comfortable place to enjoy that good night sleep he's earned after a day on the water.

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