new guy looking for info on Alden "Saltwind" schooner in FL

I am brand new here. Looking to buy / refurb a sailboat and leaning heavy toward a "real" wood schooner. Found this J. Alden vessel, but don't know what I am getting into. I can get it for a song, but trucking up to KY where I can work on her then keep her laying at my docks in the Ohio River for 3 seasons.

I appreciate wood, good craftsmanship, classic lines and a simpler way. Bad wood does not scare me, but an unworthy place to put my labor does. Tell me what you know about this old schooner. Ad claims 1926 John Alden design / built by Harry Stoumann. Any leads, info, old news, trucking outfits that can handle this also helpful.

Roger Jahn 606-796-2660 rjahn(at)

Schooner Salt Wind

The Alden Book lists one 1926 auxillary centerboard schooner, design number 275 B as 45'3" x 35'3" x 13'6' x 4' draft, built by Henry Stowman Company, Dorchester NJ in 1926. Original name was Delight.
Perhaps the same vessel. If the boat is reasonably intact, e.g., has binnacle, original hardware, spars etc. she would be a very worthy project even if requiring a new hull. Alden schooners are highly revered and becoming rarer by the day. Find out how she is planked, hopefully long leaf yellow pine. If long leaf don't worry too much if she was iron fastened. A vessel this age is likely to require significant structural work even if bronze fastened. At some point the problem becomes that these boats are simply old and wood only survives so long, depending on original construction and degree of care and maintenance over their lives. Are they worth rebuilding? - absolutely. Good timber such as angellique, oak, wana, purpleheart, silverbali are all readilly available. For a look at similar aged Alden schooners under restoration see Blackbird, Revenge, and Splendid on the schooner page. Go to the links page and contact the Alden office, Neils Hellenberg, the chief naval architect at Alden will have any historical information on the boat that was forwarded over the years to their office, and should have the original plans which can be purchased. Neils is a wealth of information on the Alden boats. Contact Jim Bregmann for thoughts on trucking. He had splendid trucked from WA to CT.

Good luck and welcome aboard. Feel free to contact me 207-865-9459 if I can be of any help. We own Blackbird.

Peter Thompson

Saw her laying in FL, now I am in love

Everything about her spoke to me, her woods, her lines and her soul. I am hooked, now working on trucking up to KY to be gone over for the next year. I hope to get her out in 09 and stay gone a while.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

SALTWIND and Stowman's

Curiously enough, A.J. MEERWALD was also built at Stowman's in Dorchester, in 1928.

Greg DeCowsky
Chair, Schooner CASHIER Restoration
Bayshore Discovery Project
Bivalve, NJ

Her cockpit and binnacle


Lets see if this pic posts....after looking at the rebuilding of the Blackbird and other Alden schooners, I decided to buy Saltwind closing in Dec. Pulling the engine to rebuild and motoring her here to KY for refit.

Best of luck and please file

Best of luck and please file updates with pics on the project so we can enjoy, learn from, and support your efforts

Saltwind is hauled and waiting backhaul to KY

Here are some pics being hauled out. She is up on the hard in Indiantown FL. Spars stripped down for shipping. Wheel, binnacle removed and safe at home. Rigging all tucked away. Good sail inventory of main, gaff fore, several jibs including storm and light airs. Most sails rust stained, but good krinkle and plenty of life remains. The squars'l yard is present, but no sail for it. Steering linkage is frozen with rudder to stbd. Engine is waterlogged. Has really nice inlaid woodwork in the cabin floor/sole and a unique binnacle table with bronze latches and beautiful compass rose inlay.
Having trouble getting the photos to post, guess you have to copy and paste into browser to see pics.
binnacle table

Saltwinds recent past

I am very familiar with your boat, having worked on her over the last 10 years. She belonged to a very good friend of mine, and I have cralwed through every inch of of her, many times. My friend spent over $250,000 on her over the last decade, and she still was falling apart faster than he could throw money at her. Did you survey any of her internal structure? I have, and found the keel rotten enough to sink a knife blade in 12" just aft of the main mast. She will need a new keel, through most of her length, as well as many new ribs, as most of them were rotten in the bilge area. She will also need a new deck, as that one was rebuilt and glassed with the hogging already well advanced. The engine was much too small for her, and she did about 3-4knts under power. I did sail on her once (he only actually sailed her 2 times in 10 years), she was fair under sail, but since the centerboard was removed, not to weatherly. Alot of the bottom is riddled with worms, and patched over with epoxy or 5200. She leaked badly the entire time he owned her, and I remember many times having to go and put a fresh battery in, to keep her from sinking. On 4 different occasions she went low enough to flood the engine. She finally did sink, last year, in Palm Beach and was raised by Seatow, and eventually made it to Indiantown Marina, where you bought her. Her ex owner worked up north, and left the boat for long periods of time, so I had to look out for her, in his absence. I can't tell you how happy I am not to have to go deal with a half sunk, waterlogged, diesel filled hull, anymore. I hope you are a really fantastic shipwright, as she needs virtually everything repaced in the hull. I hope you dont think I am down on her, in general, just very realistic. I watched her last owner put his heart and soul, as well as a huge pile of money in her, and end up with a boat that was worse than when he started. I am also a antique wood boat owner (1928 Seattle built Motor Troller 32'), and am very familiar with restoring elderly boats. I am very pro wood boats, but some require a huge commitment, Saltwind is one of them. Do you plan on removing the deck, replacing the keel,stem, and ribs, and then replanking her? Her masts are good, as well as some of the rigging, and alot of the hardware is intact. Also, below the waterline there is alot of stainless steel screws, mixed with bronze for plank fastenings, so there is some electrolisys going on. The bobstay fitting is very weak, as the stem is not well attached, I remember them driving in 14" long lag-bolts, and only hitting soft spongy wood all the way in. I would be glad to answer any questions you have on her, or anything aboard, as I know her all to well. I wish you luck, and really hope you can restore her, as I would love to see her sailing again, but go in knowing it will take years of your life and $100,000's of dollars to do it.
Don Carson

wish me luck

Thanks for the info on Saltwind. Sent you an email full of questions.
I am encouraged by the other rebuilds I see here, the Blackbird and the Splendid, 2 fine examples. Those are the patterns I will use for the Saltwind rebuild. We have lots of inexpensive clear white oak, labor and storage here in KY. The only thing I have to pay wholesale for is bronze hardware. Roger Jahn

SaltWind Gaff Rigged Schooner


I lived, sailed, and worked on the SaltWind in the early seventies in Pensacola Fl. I worked at Runyans Machine and Boiler Works where she was hauled and repaired (1974-5) by my friend Marshall C. and his mate Carol; He raised her and owned her. Her sister ship the "Venus" was on the bottom of a marina near by.

We milled mahogany blanks from an Alabama ship yard to repair the planking and some decking, but most of the timber was Honduranian mahogany and not the best quality.
Although she was a beautiful craft, and well rigged for a short crew, I never got to enjoy the agreement I had with the owner for my investment, as he sailed away without notice and left us high and dry.

I searched for her for a few years (before the internet) but lost interest. I have extrememly fond memories of her and wish the new master all the best in her revival.

This 1926 Gaff Rigged Schooner was a world class vessel, she should be refitted and back on the ocean.

Good Luck;
Capt. Robert Leffew

missed the boat

Capt. R.O.Leffew
OMG...u'r still alive!! And exactly what agreement did u have With Capt. Chapman and Mate Carol?? U hightailed it back down south and I stood on the Bayou Chico draw bridge and watched them sail to New York Harbour for the 1976 broad daylight...nothing underhanded...but the sails u bought as a GIFT did come in handy!
Nice to hear u have rank now.
Good luck to u....

any info on Saltwind for me?

Vicki, do you have holes in the history you could fill in for me? Please read the owners page on the Saltwind link found on this site.
my email is found there if you don't wish to share openly...please reply when you have time.

Boat was missed

Hi Vicki;
Nice to see you’re doing well. Please give my love to Carol.
My most humble apologies to anyone offended by my memories. The only agreement I had with Marshall was that I could stay on the boat where ever it was docked.
I have photo album that belongs to you, do you want it back?
Best to you and yours;

saltwind centerboard

i worked briefly at runyans ship yard in pensacola when i got out of the marines in 69. met a guy there named roger who owned the salt wind. i helped him build a centerboard for her and also did some hardware replacement. wonder what became of him.

p.s'- there was also a group of people there during that period that had bought the carrie. b. wells (a schooner-smack), there were going to take it to california and fish for albacore. wonder how they did with her?