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December 26, 2009

Allied XL-2 42 Review: Overbuilt Dainty CCA Design

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 11:44 am

Allied 42 PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

She’ll cross an ocean if you will. – Allied Boat Moto

In 1960, Thomas Gillmer (later of Southern Cross fame) designed a 30′ sailboat in this new fiberglass material. The design caught the builder’s eye, Lunn Laminates. After building the design for the purchaser Rex Kaiser, Lunn Laminates shopped around for funding to do a production run of these boats. On February 2, 1962, they partnered with Northrop & Johnson, a brokerage, and Thor Ramsing, a wealthy racer to form Allied Boat Company. Headquarters and yard were in Catskill, NY on a nice property on the water. Allied’s reputation grew with the famous circumnavigations of Alan Eddy and Robin Lee Graham. In 1964, Apogee, an Allied Seawind, became the first fiberglass sailboat around the world. In 1970, an Allied Luders carried the first solo fiberglass circumnavigator home. Sparkman & Stephens designed the Allied XL-2 42. Four different ownership groups built her from her launch in 1969 until Allied went out of business in 1982. One owner explaining her attraction says, “You know what the attraction is? She’s the equivalent of a 1960 Corvette.”

First Impressions
This Sparkman & Stephens Allied is likened in look to the Hinkley Bermuda 40. With her long overhangs, slim beam, and gentle sheer, the 42 XL-2 is an eye catcher. The prettiest lady in any harbor. If you are looking for the classic designs of the CCA era, look no further. The nice wood in the cockpit makes her look warm and inviting inside. The Allied 42 is a true classic.

Sail Plan

Sail Plan

Construction and What To Look For
Do not let her fine lines fool you though. Allied had a long reputation as a serious offshore boat. They first produced a 30′ Seawind design. In 1964, hull #1, Apogee, became the first fiberglass sailboat to circumnavigate the globe under the command of Alan Eddy. Eddy also wrote a article titled, “So you want to Sail Around the World?” Soon everybody wanted a Seawind to sail around the world. Allied took on the motto, “She’ll cross an ocean if you will.” With an unquestionable reputation for build quality, they contracted famous designers (Robert Harris, Bill Luders, Britton Chance) for surefire hits. In 1964, Northam Warren purchased the company. In 1969, Warren introduced the Sparkman & Stephens 42 XL-2. In 1970, Robin Lee Graham finished his solo circumnavigation in a Ludders 33 becoming the youngest to sail solo around the world and the first of any age to do so in a fiberglass boat.

According to their owners association, Allieds are impervious to grounding, reefs, and whale-attacks. You’ll hear some great stories of durability. For example from the Allied Boat Owner’s website, “John Russell’s Seawind washed ashore and destroyed a building, resulting in minor hull damage.” Now, that is a heavily laid up hull. They have centerboards which at some point switched from aluminum to bronze or vice versa. Centerboard up she drawls only 4’2″ while 8’4″ down. You should make sure the centerboard is workable and rebuilt. In 1981, they built Dauphine, the only 42 with a fixed keel of 5’11”. These are now 40 on year old classics, so only the few are well maintained.

Layout

Layout

On Deck and Down Below
Down below, the aft cockpit interior has a saloon table that lowers, a V-berth forward. Her design makes for a clever as you can but not a roomy interior. These are wonderfully beautiful but woefully practical boats. If you are looking for a liveaboard, an Island Packet would be a more logical choice.

Allied 42 Hauled

Allied 42 Hauled

Conclusion
In 1969 with the introduction of the 42, also the company began its decline. Oil prices quadrupled, the key ingredient in fiberglass. In 1973, Rotham sold to Robert Wright who renamed the company Wright Yachts. In 1977, Wright sold to International Cruising Yachts who sold to CFG Yachts in 1979. In 1980, former manages reformed the company for one last hurrah. In 1982, they closed up. They built the 42 Allied XL-2 to the very end. While liquidating, they dumped the molds on an old farm in upstate New York. The molds according to the Owner’s association site are possibly still sadly abandoned in the farm field. Allied 42 XL-2’s hold value and generally sell for more than their 1975 factory price list of $68,000. In 2010, Dauphine, the famous fixed keel 42, is for sale on the west coast. She is a dark hulled, one owner boat.

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