Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.
The rudder had obvious symmetry issues and was overall very unfair in shape. I think it was a classic case of a saturated rudder with winter haul-outs and freezing. This was one part of the rebuild that I had a hand with as I did not feel comfortable at the time with this type of fiberglass work. Basically the the glass was cut out on both sides leaving a small perimeter to maintain shape, the foam core was dug out and replaced with new before re-glassing and fairing, the rudder post connection to the framework was still good so nothing had to be done here.
My boat had wheel steering by a company called Don Allen, I was always tempted to remove and go back to tiller but never got around to it.
Certainly valid points about the cockpit, I never had a situation where I took on enormous amounts of water to give much feedback here. My boat did not have the portlights in the quarterberths.
I've been looking for bigger boat options for a while with no luck to date, at least in my price range! I went way outside of my normal traditional realm and looked closely at a C&C Landfall 38 but at the end of day the cored hull and a whole host of other issues freaked me out! I looked at a Contest 35S which was a cool boat, 6' draft makes me a bit nervous. Maybe an Allied Princess....
Anyway..... Always fun to talk boats.