Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-02-2015 Thread Starter
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Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

So the Alerion 33 seems to have it all for the weekend-type, mostly daysailing retiree: setup for singlehanding with a nice big wheel, rig that's balanced on the main, electric winches,etc. Basically, a boat built for retiring baby boomers that sail out of their weekend house on a nice day and like the comforts for a long day or overnight to the islands. Sounds perfect for a cool $250k (new, but used boats seem to command near-new prices. Yacthworld had one for right under $200k and it was gone).

Granted, it's a really nice boat. It's a pretty boat, and a fraction of a Hinckley, Morris, etc. But those are truly trophy boats- and the Alerion is something of a middle ground for someone who's spent a life working hard and has socked away some.

So, here's the qustion: what's an alternative? A J100 is a nice boat for sure, ~$80-100k for a nice used boat. But it's not setup like an Alerion 33. Tiller steering, manual winches, cockpit traveler. A really nice boat (especially for a daysailer!) but can it be retrofitted moving the traveler, pedestal steering to cleanup the cockpit and make it more of a comfortable daysailer for a getting-older type of fella?

Basically, the Alerion 33 is in consideration (don't want to spend that much dough, but can afford it if I have to). Would like a viable alternative $100-125k over the Alerion's $190-230k which it appears they go for- do they really go for that much used?). I may wait a few years before pulling the trigger- so maybe more Alerion 33's will come off the factory line and establish more a used market? Seems like there won't be a huge downward pressure on price given where the markets are going!?

I've never bought a depreciating asset over $28k (maybe? a used car!), and have managed to do ok with money. But now, my 36ft 84 Pearson is just a bit much for sailing, and the Alerion looks like a (steeply-priced) great option for sailing off a mooring around MDI.

Thoughts? I have a local yard with great folks that can do excellent retrofitting work. I'd love to give them business over a broker out of Newport, RI or something like that. But jeeze, those Alerions sure are nice, streamlined boats. Alerion really hit the nail with aging baby boomers who sorta-sail and want a boat that is easy to work with- at least it seems. A jury-rigged option for ~$100-120k would be even better! Can a J100 or the like be bought for $80-100k and be retrofitted for another $20-40k?

Gotta say, the talk of spending more than four figures for a daysailer- let alone six-figures- still blows my mind. But life is short, and having a nice 30-35' boat that sails well and is easy on the body is a real inspiration. Aesthetics are not really a driving motivation.

Last edited by gorillavape; 07-02-2015 at 11:00 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-03-2015
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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

A few years ago we looked seriously at the Allerion, then the Morris, then the Hinkley... All of them are great boats, but the price just wasn't worth it to us. For all their refinement we just couldn't justify the cost for a daysailor. I really wish Beneteau or Hunter would build something in this market, but for now... Well we bought the Beneteau 381 instead. I can't rally say it is comparable, it just isn't, and has far more 'cruising' accommodations than we will ever need or want, but it gets the day sailing job done for far less.

I would probably stay away from the J-100 and swear you towards the J-105 or the J-95 instead. The 105 is a pretty popular one design racer, but very easy to set up for short handed sailing. The 95 is much more of a day sailor, but is new to the market and is going to be hard to find used.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-03-2015
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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

Have you looked at the Sabre Spirit? If I were in the market for such a boat, I think that one would be at the top of my list...

the Alerion 28 is one of my alltime favorites, but to my eye her larger sisters don't quite match those perfect proportions. Have never been aboard the 33, but I checked out the Spirit when it was introduced at the Annapolis Show years ago, and the interior seems quite a bit nicer than the Alerion. No surprise, of course, as she is almost 4 feet bigger, but seems like quite a bit more boat for the money, to me...


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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

I'm really like the Alerion. My favorite (biased writer) builder also builds the M29 at a similar price point. Expensive and beautiful options.

I'm thinking you want reasonable performance and ease of use. More cockpit than cabin. There's s lot to say for day sailing, when you day sail, you don't motor into the wind for hours or tack half way to Europe to fetch your destination on the east coast . You go where the wind blows you, and you sail or you don't go.

I like the idea of retrofitting a smaller cruising boat or race oriented boat to fit the bill. Here's ideas along that line:

1. Power winch for the main halyard, good fully battened main with lazy jacks that drops quick into the cradle.
2. Lead the halyards and reefing lines aft. I know, many will say too much friction, etc, but if you do it right you can make it work particularly on a smaller sized boat where the loads are less. We aren't doing the southern ocean here.
3. Do a double ended main sheet so the helmsman can easily trim the main.
4. Smaller jib, like a 100%, time it right and no need to crank at all (so no power winches here)
5. Bigger extrusion section roller furler (like Scheaffer for example) to rolls nice and easy.
6. Minimum electronics, one MFD, maybe no radar depending on where you are, wind instruments optional, VHF, or nothing
at all depending on how you use it.
7. Minimum aux motor
8. Ice box, no fridge
9. Fresh water shower on deck for rinsing off after swimming.
etc.

You could take any number of boats and do this sort of stuff, and end up way under the cost of new. Maybe even the boat your have?

I've sailed on heavily tricked out Morris, Hinckley, and Fontaine designed day sailors. IMHO they put too many so called simplifying systems, and cause more trouble than it's worth. I've seen furling lines lead under the deck thru cockpit lockers to reduce clutter, bow thrusters on small easy to handle day sailers, boom main furlers that are tricky to get to wrap right...etc. The other thing about these boats is builders show them without life lines, because they look great. IMHO you're better off with life lines, especially as we get older.

So if you do it yourself, based on a reasonable sound design you like, you can get what you want, and I'll bet on your budget.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-03-2015
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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

I regularly sail on a friend's Alerion 28. It's a very nice sailing boat, but I find some things about it that are less than ideal. No lifelines (owner says they spoil the lines) and the narrow decks make getting forward a bit tricky. Before he removed the jib boom and installed a genoa on a furler, it was even worse. The boat is low to the water, and it's a wet ride if the wind and waves build up. And the accommodations below are a joke for a boat of that size and price.

I actually find my Cal 33-2 as easy (and in some ways easier) to daysail than the A28. It's far easier to get forward to release and pick up the mooring. My main is easier to handle (I have a Dutchman system - he has lazy jacks). And my boat is far better in heavier weather.

To me it would make more sense to find a used racer-cruiser in the 30-foot range that's in great condition and equip it to meet your needs.
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Last edited by JimsCAL; 07-03-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-03-2015
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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

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Originally Posted by gorillavape View Post

Gotta say, the talk of spending more than four figures for a daysailer- let alone six-figures- still blows my mind. But life is short, and having a nice 30-35' boat that sails well and is easy on the body is a real inspiration. Aesthetics are not really a driving motivation.
Go for Alerion 33. I think in used boats, the upfront dollars buy you the most. You're getting all the stuff you'd need-sail handling new tech- for a fraction of the new cost.

If your time frame of how long you own the boat(10 years?) is predictable, when you weigh your actual cost of use when you sell the boat(easy, it's popular), I bet you come out ahead.

Get what you want. Or order one of these, a brand new W-Class 46.

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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

Ditto on the Cal 33, or a Freedom 32, which is more similar to the Alerion.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-03-2015
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Not sure why you would want to drop that much into a new or nearly new boat when for a fraction of it you could easily retro your current very nice boat (assuming you aren't dumping it because something major is wrong with it) easily and for a fraction of the cost. Or is this just a midlife crisis thing like buying a convertible?
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Re: Alerion 33, or an alternative for the retiree?

Sailed against a W-46 on a friends boat this summer. That thing was FAST, pointed like hell, and looked like something out of the 1920's. The steering wheel alone made it the prettiest boat out of 200+ in the race. Can't imagine what that guy paid for it.

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Not sure why you would want to drop that much into a new or nearly new boat when for a fraction of it you could easily retro your current very nice boat (assuming you aren't dumping it because something major is wrong with it) easily and for a fraction of the cost. Or is this just a midlife crisis thing like buying a convertible?


The reasons are generated over about a decade of my current boat ownership experience. This boat has already been rebuilt/retrofitted after years of sitting on the hard- which I barely sail. It's a great sailing boat, but I'm not exactly young anymore (social security checks will be arriving sooner rather than later), and stepping into something purpose-built for someone like me, with quite streamlined operations- well, it has a draw for someone with back/hip/whatever issues that doesn't have the benefit youthful genetics or aging all that well.

I'm fortunate enough to be able to have a budget for such a boat, but it's by no means a mid-life crisis- that's for sure (I wish it could be, but well beyond that point in life!). I've never bought a new car, will never buy a new boat. But I'm not getting younger, and I've spent my entire life working and saving, and I've always lived frugally. However, a newer boat, that allows me to show up at the harbor and "go sail" without the baggage of 20-30 year old boat problems is a real pull. I'm 62 years old, and still working 60-70 hour weeks. A nice, clean boat for daysails- it's started to have an appeal. I haven't given up on cruising, but making the time for anything beyond a night or two hasn't happened in 15 years. So an overpriced daysailer that gets me out sailing without too many problems or demands on me aside from a checkbook- this is my logic.
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Last edited by gorillavape; 07-03-2015 at 09:24 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorillavape View Post
Sailed against a W-46 on a friends boat this summer. That thing was FAST, pointed like hell, and looked like something out of the 1920's. The steering wheel alone made it the prettiest boat out of 200+ in the race. Can't imagine what that guy paid for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seaner97 View Post
Not sure why you would want to drop that much into a new or nearly new boat when for a fraction of it you could easily retro your current very nice boat (assuming you aren't dumping it because something major is wrong with it) easily and for a fraction of the cost. Or is this just a midlife crisis thing like buying a convertible?


The reasons are generated over about a decade of boat ownership. My current boat has already been rebuilt after years of sitting on the hard- which I barely sail. It's a great sailing boat, but I'm not exactly young anymore (social security checks will be arriving sooner rather than later), and stepping into something purpose-built for someone like me, with quite streamlined operations- well, it has a draw for someone with back/hip/whatever issues that doesn't have the benefit youthful genetics or aging all that well.

I'm fortunate enough to be able to have a budget for such a boat, but it's by no means a mid-life crisis- that's for sure. I've never bought a new car, will never buy a new boat. But I'm not getting younger, and I've spent my entire life working and saving, and I've always lived frugally. However, a newer boat, that allows me to show up at the harbor and "go sail" without the baggage of 20-30 year old boat problems is a real pull. I'm 62 years old, and still working 60-70 hour weeks. A nice boat- it's started to have an appeal.
I get it. But I find it hard to believe that for 15-20k or (way) less you couldn't set it up to alleviate your issues. We retrofitted a Ty37 for single handing, and I converted my P35 as well (partially- no furling main) so it can be done. The furling main is the most expensive part. But if you've got the cash and the itch...
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