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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

I think the Alajuela 33 has the ideal layout for cruising with 2 kids, 2 quarter berths give everyone their own space without disrupting the salon etc. I sailed my 33 up and down the east coast twice along with countless hours on the Chesapeake and was always impressed with her speed & motion, she has a longer waterline length when compared to similar boats like a Pacific Seacraft 34 which makes a big difference. I've sailed lots of boats as a former broker in Annapolis and always walked away glad I owned the 33.

Known issues include many of the items listed by John V. I replaced the water tank which is failry involved as you have to cut up the cabin sole in order to remove. In addition I re-glassed the top of the holding tank, replaced rigging/spreaders, lots of electrical work.... The fuel tank which is located in the bilge always made me a bit nervous but I never had a problem. Other big project was having the rudder rebuilt. The core boat is built very well and most work/updating was due to old systems. I did notice some rot on the bottom insided edge of caprail which i never did address other than a fresh coat of paint.

Biggest problem is finding one!

All the best,

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Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

Ben--Mind saying what necessitated your rebuilding your rudder? There's a lot of stress on them, judging from the feel of the tiller.

One design issue with the boat that's occurred to me is the cockpit.
In some respects, it's elegant--the well sides flare out at the bottom and the sole cants up at the sides, so on a heel, you have a flat place to stand. The opening portlights in the well ventilate and light the q-berths. But, the cockpit is too big, I think. I hate to imagine what would happen if it filled with water. And if it were a foot shorter and ten inches narrower, you could still sleep in it but also wedge your feet against the lower seat, and that extra room could have made a longer cabin.
But we should all have such problems. The Southern Cross 31's and PSC Mariahs I looked at had tiny cockpits. Overall, it's a stellar boat.
John V.
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Old 05-09-2012
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Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

Hey John,

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.

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Old 05-11-2012
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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.
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Old 11-25-2012
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Alajuella 33

Funny that you should mention looking for a Alajuela 33 We know of a fantastic one currently for sale and looking for her next adventure after a circumnavigation, cruising the Med, South America and Malaysia and the South Pacific.

Sure she's in Australia but think of all the koala's you could cuddle!

Check out our vid on youtube - Alajuela 33

fair winds,

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