Phil Friedman

3 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Alaskan Yachts Redux - Updated

Alaskan Yachts Redux - Updated


Seattle Northwest Yachts’ acquisition and re-introduction of the Alaskan brand is based on our strong belief in the durability and resilience of market demand for sensible, seaworthy, long-range cruising yachts in sizes and configurations that are suited to owner-operation.

There are numerous yachts on today’s market that claim to be “trawlers”, but the fact is most of them have almost nothing in common with the trawler-yacht genre.

In contrast, Alaskan is truly an icon in the trawler-yacht niche. And Seattle Northwest is building on that legendary tradition to produce the Alaskan Mark II series.


The re-introduced Alaskan line of yachts shares with previous Alaskans a dedication to the same set of core characteristics primarily a seaworthy and sea-kindly semi-displacement hull form that, with appropriate powering, can operate at higher speeds for convenient alongshore cruising and island hopping, while retaining the ability to run fuel-efficiently at lower, displacement speeds for long-range passagemaking.

We are paying extreme attention to developing and maintaining key characteristics, such as a relatively low profile that yields a low center of gravity (VCG) for both improved stability and a better range of positive stability. We’re also making sure that Alaskans are built to construction standards that yield a rugged basic structure that can take whatever the sea has to mete out.

We’re building Alaskans with heavy-duty solid laminate bottoms and doubled-reinforcing all along the yachts keel, forefoot, and stem; a fully watertight anti-collision partition forward; doubled areas of reinforcing for installation of rudders and prop shaft supports; and ultra-durable hull-to-maindeck and house-to-deck joints that employ both high-strength adhesive and mechanical bonding for fail-proof durability under even extreme use.

And take it from me, these aren’t just bullet points created by a marketing copywriter. They are key elements of a design and engineering philosophy that defines Alaskan Yachts, past and present, and which carries forward the Alaskan legacy.

A “first principle” of good yacht design is that it is, in most cases, evolutionary. Designs are tried and tested. Lessons are learned and put to work in new designs. That is precisely what we’re doing in the re-introduction of the Alaskan trawler-yacht line.

The navigational (on deck) beam of the new Alaskan family of hull forms is on average about 12% greater than in the older designs. For example, the older 66 had a nominal maximum beam of approximately 17’4”, whereas the new 66 Mark II is designed with a beam of 19’6”. The effect of this increased beam on in accommodations volume is significant and fully in line with contemporary standards. Of course, we’ve kept her waterline beam sufficiently narrow to help her efficiency numbers underway.

The new Mark II Alaskans also take advantage of improvements that have been made to marine diesel propulsion engines during the last decade or so. These changes provide more efficient performance over a broader range of operating speeds.

For efficiency and to minimize navigational draft, propeller semi-tunnels are fitted to the new family of improved hull forms, as they were in some of the later Alaskans of the previous generation.

To sum up, the modernizing of Alaskan yachts has a lot to do with refinements achieved by means of improved design and engineering approaches, including advances in performance modeling, as well as advances that have transpired in materials and equipment since the older Alaskans were first designed and built.

We’re offering the new 66 Mark II in both “flush deck” and “raised pilothouse” configurations both of which take advantage of the 12% beamier hulls to bring megayacht style accommodations to this vessel of moderate length overall.


As to schedule, we expect to be tooling for the 66 Mark II before the end of the second quarter 2018 and to be delivering the first of this model by the end of summer 2019. No doubt, that is an aggressive schedule but the new Alaskan design and construction management team affords clients more than a century of combined hands-on yacht building experience.

For more information on the Alaskan 66 Mark II, including optional accommodations layouts, deck plans, specifications, and scheduling, contact:


For a free copy of Ten Golden Rules for Successful New-Build Projects, sign up to follow the YachtbuildAdvisor or email with eBook on the subject line.


About the author, Phil Friedman With 30 some years background in the marine industry, Phil has worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boatbuilder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, boating magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. He was for several years president and CEO of Palmer Johnson Yachts, during which time more than a dozen world-class luxury megayachts in the 30- to 50-meter range were built and delivered under his direction. His most recent completion was an 80-foot Offshore cruising yacht built in Taiwan for a Texas-based client. He presently functions as New-Build Manager for Seattle Yachts of Seattle and Anacortes, WA and Jupiter, FL.

To read more of Phil's views on yachts and yacht building, see

For more information about The Return of Alaskan Yachts, see

The Alaskan trademark is the property of Seattle Northwest Yachts, LLC, of Anacortes, WA.


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Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Thanks for the update Phil Friedman, and much success with the re-introduction of the Alaskan trawler-yacht line.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #5

Thank you, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, for the kind words. Yes, I think the expression "engineering philosophy" implies a tinge of transcendental consideration of engineering, for example, a search for some "first principles" concerning maximizing value in any solution and understanding that often achieving 95% of the target at a cost of x may be preferable to reaching 100% of the same target at a cost of 10x (provided, of course, that safety is not compromised). Or that sometimes a lower cost, less elegant complete solution -- e.g.a Roman-style stone arch supported bridge -- may be preferable to highly technical suspension cable modern structure, in some applications. Cheers!

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #4

Phil, I learn a little about a subject well beyond my Midwest roots each time I read one of your pieces on yacht building. Lada suggests an interesting follow up. I'd be interested in that as well.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 years ago #3

Phil, I don't know if I am one of the "usual suspects" who comment on your posts, but I like to read your articles on yacht building experience. :) First, congrats on the success of your e-book and excellent reviews. While reading your post, the term "engineering philosophy" caught my eye. My understanding is that it implies the engineer's capacity for questioning and critical thinking in order to find the best solution. I would like to hear from a person who studied and taught Philosophy and has long experience in marine engineering, what means to apply philosophy to the engineering practice.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #2

They are the nautical equivalent of a Rolls Royce they certainly don't like a Nissan Micra :-)

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

3 years ago #1

Nice piece, Phil Friedman. If I weren't such a landlubber, I'd be thinking seriously about one of these Alaskans. They look great and highly functional.