Carl Schumacher: His legacy lives on
Published on December 18th, 2019
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
My wife had been doing what she does well, which is to investigate online whatever was in her sights. She’s an engineer, so everything tends to be well thought out, which is handy when married to someone who is less so.
The latest target was a keelboat and the Alerion Express 28 had gotten on the radar. There were a few in our harbor, though we’d never been on one, and my familiarity with the brand was largely due to them being a client.
One morning we went paddleboarding, and unbeknownst to me, though I contend to this day it was her plan, our route went alongside an Alerion that had been listed. She made a comment about the boat, and I fell in love at first glance.
It was perfect. Enough interior for the two of us, easy to sail shorthanded, sporty enough for the race course but with classic lines. We never in our lives had daysailed, and now we go all the time. I’m still not sure if we’ve ever taken it out without someone complimenting her looks.
Anyway, it’s been three years and we remain a fan, and are exceedingly pleased the brand is in good hands. On how it all began, here’s the story by Sutter Schumacher:
The Alerion Express 28 was designed by my father, Carl Schumacher.
It was initially designed in the late 80s as a custom boat for Ralph Schacter, who sailed primarily on Long Island Sound. Ralph was the kind of client every naval architect dreams of — actually Dad had a number of those! — and it was Ralph who foresaw the market for a production version of the boat. With Ralph’s support and blessing, molds were made and the AE28 took wings, so to speak.
Dad passed back in 2002 suddenly and far too young, but thanks to the wonders of modern boat building and well-designed boats (not that he’d ever have said that publicly about his own work), his legacy lives on.
Although the change of builders over the years — I’ve lost count how many — means my family no longer receives design royalties, it’s heart-warming to read and hear the lovely comments from admirers and owners near and far.