Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.
Ben, thanks for replying re the rudder. I'm glad to hear the issue wasn't with the internal metal frame. I discovered that my rudder was out of alignment with the tiller head, but I think it must have been sloppy manufacturing. I had to re-drill the rudder tubes anyway because of slop in the steering.
My Don Allen rack & pinion gear froze up once at a bad time (like there's a good time). Turned out an end tooth on the rack broke and jammed it. So I installed an engine control lever on the side of the well and a bulkhead compass. The original laminated tiller was still in the boat. Lots more room in the cockpit now.
I put a 3/8" polycarbonate lens in the hole left in the cockpit sole, permanently bedded into a bolted, 3/4" plywood donut, and covered it with a Beckson deck plate to keep dirt off it. The polycarbonate was from a scrap left over from a bullet-proof security booth so it ought to shed water. It lights up the area behind the engine beautifully when I have to work down there.
The tiller is a bit of work, but I think I just have to do a better job of balancing the sails, and I don't have to worry about another gear failure.
So far, the boat is plenty big for me, especially when it comes time to pay for storage.
I'm determined to put off-white wallpaper in the salon area to lighten it up, though.