Alerion 20 number 99 Whim arrived at Eastern Yacht Club just as Marblehead Junior Race Week was about to get underway. After waiting patiently for the conclusion of the racing, and for the 300 visiting dinghies to pack up and head home, Whim launched on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Alan and Michele Bell accepted delivery of Whim just as they returned from a two-week cruise aboard their Alerion 38, Maia. The cruise took them from Marblehead to the islands off Maine and back again. The Bells are the original owners of Maia, hull no. 4, which they purchased 20 years ago. “We’re cruising now, but we used to race with Eastern Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club,” says Alan. “We did pretty well. It’s a fast boat, particularly in what our sailmaker calls ‘Maia conditions’ – light to moderate winds on a course with lots of broad reaching.”

Whim sits on a mooring near Maia; in fact, Whim is painted to match Maia down to the gold leaf name and custom bottom paint color. The name is “Whim” but Alan confesses that he’s wanted an Alerion 20 for a long time. “Michele would say that we bought it for the grandchildren to learn to sail. But that’s in the future – one is 15 months old and the other is due in January. I got it because I wanted something I could singlehand easily. I can singlehand Maia, but the 20 will be much easier to take out for a daysail during the week.”

The grandchildren belong to the Bells’ daughter, Charla. We asked if Charla’s looking forward to her children having an Alerion for their sailing lessons: “I don’t know,” says Alan. “I’ll have to ask her.”