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Icarus: The Boat and it's Designer John G. Alden

Photo: Patrick Lester Copyright ©2018

Icarus. It's the home, retreat, and fortress of solitude for Nick Thomas in the novel Flat Broke in Paradise. The yacht was built in in the 1930s and won by Nick's grandfather in a high-stakes poker game. Icarus is a floating masterpiece designed by John G. Alden. In the book the boat is a 57 foot yawl and a comfortable live aboard. (A yawl has a small (mizzen) mast perched on the stern and is a good boat for heavy weather. 

John G. Alden was an American naval architect born just after the turn of the 20th century. In his career he designed over one thousand boats. Alden was known for elegant and stable craft that could be sailed single-handed. Many of his designs were fast—his Malabar design dominated the Newport-Bermuda yacht races in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Alden Designs was in business for 99 years and closed its doors in 2008. You can still buy Alden's designs and build one of his boats.  Most of his designs were scanned and are available at the M.I.T museum.

Take a look:

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