1973 John Alden Custom Staysail Ketch

US$ 345,000
San Diego, CA
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Interested in this boat? Toll-free: 888-564-9649
Tel: (619) 269-0800
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Amazing World Cruiser!

Engine/Fuel Type:
Single / diesel
Located In:
San Diego, CA
Hull Material:
Current Price:
US$ 345,000 


Famous John Alden / Phil Ross design and built by Salthouse Boatyard in New Zealand

5 layer cold-molded Kauri hull enclosed in 3 layers of 10oz Fiberglass

Turnkey - Start World Cruising Tomorrow!

This boat is amazing and anyone that knows boats can tell just by knocking on the hull. In the family since conception, the father of the current owner had the boat made to withstand a hurricane, pitch-pull, and anything else the elements have to throw at it. As an example of the thinking that went into this ship: the aft bulkhead on the deckhouse in cockpit is double reinforced - Sylvia can take a giant blue beard over the stern and it wont hurt anything.

Best of all, the timeless John Alden design shows a century of boat building expertise with an expansive and incredibly intuitive layout.

Kauri wood from New Zealand is one of the most famous woods in the world for shipmaking and the Salthouse Brothers yard is the best yard in New Zealand. The yard spared nothing on making this incredible boat as seaworthy and beautiful as it possibly could be.

This a boat that attracts heads and people ask about when you pull into harbor after a day of sailing off of the coast. It has beautiful lines and a classic design that only someone as gifted and famous as John Alden could design.

 Further, the owners upgraded the boat when needed, including replaced teak decks and an ENTIRELY hauled out and redone Lees Marine Ford Diesel Engine! (As a note to the quality of construction, the new deck-layer stated that he had never seen a more symmetrical deck, there wasn't even a fraction of an inch difference from side to side!)


Just walk up to the boat and you will appreciate the timeless design, from the wonderful lines to he golden stag's head of the Salthouse yard. She is one to appreciate and marvel at. She is the youngest boat to race in the classics series, but she looks as if she should be right in there. Step into the cockpit that surrounds the mizzen mast and you will notice the space and the ease of setup for serious sailing. Aft of the cockpit as a large lazarette and raised deck along the transom that give space for gear, laying out, and enjoying the sun while casting a line off of the stern while cruising for six knots.

Yacht Sylvia is a Staysail Ketch and she boasts two furling headsails, a wonderful mainsail, and then a mizzen in the cockpit. All of these sailplans have working lines and gear, and the mainsail itself is set up with extra stainless mast-gate stations for crew support during heavy storm operation (it's also a great place to hang bumpers while underway), as well as ratlines that run up half the mainmast. These not only come in handy when spotting for a distance, but they also are incredibly useful navigating shallow coral reefs and bays in Fiji, Indonesia, the Bahamas, and Galapagos.



Words that come to mind: Comfortable, Luxurious, Well-Appointed, Spacious, Intuitively-Designed.

This is a vessel for long term cruising without feeling like you are in a sardine can. It has a very open layout for the size.

Upon entering the cockpit, a small gangway on the starboard side leads to a well appointed salon and galley. The Galley has a drop in freezer and a combo refrigerator with tons of space. Opposite that counter is a U shaped counter with a double stainless sink and entirely stainless countertop, a gimballed 4 burner stove and over, as well as ample storage space. Further in, hidden in the cabin wall is a series of closets that hold the interior electronics, like the Furuno radar and GPS setup. A large, 8 person dinette stands off to the port side. It is beautifully varnished and ready to entertain! Best of all, though this is not a full pilothouse vessel, it has a setup for interior steerage and a hidden helm in case of inclement weather!

Another testament to design and build strength: the deckhouse has ¾ inch fiberglass enveloping the whole deckhouse from underneath the deck over house and underneath deck on the other side. There is no vulnerability from the house separating from boat. You wont find that type of construction in a Jeanneau or Beneteau.

Further forward, a small step leads to a double berth appointed with a sliding divider, a series of bunks, and a large wooden armoire that screams of thoughtful design -these types of things do not come on a lot of boats of this size. I have never seen space designed so maximally to take a couple or even a family around the world. In a word, it is comfortable. The inside feels like home.

Further forward on the port side is a full shower/head combo with amazing marble countertops. This roomy head feels more like a home private bathroom and less like something you might encounter sailing on similar vessels. The marble sets it off and the shower has two different showerheads in a full standing space.

After the head there is a v-birth with more locker space and two twin beds. These beds are for full sized people and not to be confused with what you might find on a Catalina.



Sails: 2 roller furling headsails, one mainsail, one mizzen, various extra storm sails.

2 Dinghies: 1 Achilles RIB with a Yamaha 4hp 4 stroke engine, 1 Lapworth Guppy Sailing Dinghy with centerboard and rowers.

Electronics/Nav: Furuno 32 mile radar, mulitple GPS's, CD Player and speakers, working lights and fans, ICOM single side band radio, ship to shore radio, Redundant navigation system – top running lights and lower ones. Redundant compasses (3 total).

Electrical: Electrical hooked into engine alternator and has a 500 amp battery system – charged off the grid by the 110 generator that turns on a 100 amp smart charger – after smart charger is the 75 amp alternator. (Typically, the owner just ran the engine and used the smart-charge system to charge batteries).

Galley: New Hot water heater. Fridge system is redone, new system by Captain Frost – has a freezer temp of 0-10 and a fridge temp of 50. Adjustable. Redone with super-insulated-panels (sips) vacuum panel – R50/60 insulated. Fridge door both vertical and horizontal. Refrigerator system was rebuilt.

Powerplant: Ford Diesel, LEES MARINE Rebuilt 6cyl 120HP engine. STRONG! This engine was hauled out and rebuilt on a new block in New Zealand by the best tech in New Zealand. Best of all, the boat utilizes a day tank – its about a 3-5 gallon tank that the fuel pump that gravity pumps the fuel into the engine. The purpose of the day tank is that there are no gauges on the boat – sight gauge on the daytank tells when you are empty. This ads redundancy and safety - if there is ever a problem with the fuel pump, you still have 5 gallons of fuel to get to shore or someone else. The engine burns about about 1gal an hour at 1300 rpm for 7 knots of speed, giving you a good three to four hours of time.

Fuel Tank: 400 Gal

Range: 2000 Miles (5knts @1250RPM)

Water Tank: 300 Gallon Stainless

Head: Lavac head – very good French manufactured head – super simple and very problem free.

Watermaker: 20gal/ hour water making system at 250ppm that is hooked up via pulley system to the front of the engine. This provides another redundancy as engines are commonly more reliable than electrical systems. The owner ran engine at 1500rpm and the water pressure was taken up to 800lbs per square inch through the membrane and produced potable water while driving out of the harbor. It also ensures that people do not make water while docked (this is notoriously bad for membranes).

Autopilot: Roberston autopilot – Norwegian fishing boat autopilot – and the motor is a Bendix electrical motor set up to a metal keel. Very stable autopilot and extremely strong, located directly under cockpit. Robertson went in 2004/3.

Prop: Bronze 2 Blade (after multiple prop failures with newer folding props, the owner switched back to the most reliable model).

Additional: 2 Bow Poles, coolers, stoves, a MOB device off of transom, too much to list.




Please contact Mike Stanton at (619) 269-0800

Interested in this boat? Toll-free: 888-564-9649
Tel: (619) 269-0800

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