Alden O - Boat by John Alden
The current tendency today, when introducing youngsters to sailing, is to provide them with one of the numerous, ultra-high-performance planing dinghies as a learning platform. While that is all well and good, we can’t help but think that there is also something to be said for a more relaxing, well-mannered, and commodious boat for this purpose. Maybe different kids need different boats. The O-Boat will teach all the basic skills of sailing and boat handling without biting you too hard when you screw up. In the imagination of a young person she can be an America’s Cup racer, an offshore cruising yacht, or a Spanish galleon. Several kids can go off together in the same boat, with picnic lunches, and spend a day dubbing around without the boat demanding so much attention that the experience is only about keeping her under control. She is beamy enough to be stable, and has both ballast and flotation. She offers satisfying sailing, but also reassurance. With wide decks and a cockpit positioned well aft, she is relatively dry. While she is far too heavy to drag around, she could land on a sheltered beach without difficulty.
Most boats have their place, but few are loved as much as the low-key, simple and comfortable family boats that just keep delivering good days, year after year, and generation after generation. That’s what the O-Boat was intended for.