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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Alajuela > Looking for an Alajuela 33.
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Thread: Looking for an Alajuela 33. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-26-2012 12:24 AM
Mico
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,


Mico
05-11-2012 01:46 AM
JVallely
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.
John
05-09-2012 11:36 PM
dana2455
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.

Ben
05-08-2012 02:29 PM
VallelyJ
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.
05-08-2012 11:41 AM
dana2455
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,

Ben
05-07-2012 07:36 AM
JVallely
Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

Snider, I bought a somewhat neglected but sound A-33 about 2 1/2 years ago.
I've done lots of work bringing systems up to date or upgrading--new hoses, second battery bank and all new high-current DC wiring, new water tank, lots of cosmetic catching-up, the list is several pages long, actually.
But it was really all stuff that just was outdated or too old. I haven't found any big weaknesses common to the boats that come to mind. But don't underestimate the effects of time. I've found some minor, isolated manufacturing shortcuts that probably relate more to the guy who was working that day than to the boats generically. I have no regrets so far.
I have sailed it on Lake Champlain for 2 years and motored on rivers and canals. I've not sailed it on the ocean; that comes this year.
There is some weather helm. I presume it's related to mast rake but am not certain. The rudder was made for a wheel, but I chose to switch to a tiller (a quick, bolt-on change except for adding new engine controls). The tiller is heavy, but I still prefer the simplicity and aesthetics.
It seems pretty fast for a boat its size, and I've found it pretty manoeverable in tight spaces. I single-hand it without any problems, though obviously some moves are always easier with a crew.
The inside is roomy and the quality of the joinery is impressive. The deck hardware is all chrome-plated bronze and first-rate. The overall construction and the rig is quite heavy and solid, and I've found no deck core problems or blisters to date. The Westerbeke 27 has been plenty adequate.
Hope that answers some of your questions.
John V.
Upstate NY
05-06-2012 02:27 PM
snider
Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

Do you think you could do an extended cruise, say 6 months with the two kids on the Alajuela 33? I've been looking at the Alajuela google group, which I just found, for common issues with the boats. The only common problem I came accross fir the 33 was the holding tank lid and maybe some wood rot down by the cap rail. Anything else that you are aware of? I'm also really curious as to how she sailed comoared to the other boats you've owned or sailed on.

I like the Dana, there's one at a marina near me thats been sitting for the last 6 years at least, with what looks like little use. I contacted the owner awhile back and he had planned to possibly sell the boat but as far as I know it's still there.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dana2455 View Post
Hey Teresa/All,

Hope all is well......

It's Ben, the guy who put together your kite cam setup.

I actually lived aboard an Alajuela 33 for 5 years or so, really regret selling it. Makes no sense, I owned the boat as a single guy and now that I'm married with 2 kids we have a Dana 24!

Anyway, loved the boat and happy to answer any questions you have about them.

All the best.
05-05-2012 05:13 PM
dana2455
Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

Hey Teresa/All,

Hope all is well......

It's Ben, the guy who put together your kite cam setup.

I actually lived aboard an Alajuela 33 for 5 years or so, really regret selling it. Makes no sense, I owned the boat as a single guy and now that I'm married with 2 kids we have a Dana 24!

Anyway, loved the boat and happy to answer any questions you have about them.

All the best.
04-28-2012 12:58 PM
snider
Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

I haven't had any luck finding the group either. Teresa, good luck. 'I've read through you and Bens blog a few times, it's a good read. Back when I was single and even married before kids we always dreamed of a BCC, however with a little one we would like a little more room. I like the 33 a lot. I think I saw you guys boats when you were in Charleston a few years back. Good luck
04-28-2012 12:28 PM
snider
Re: Looking for an Alajuela 33.

I'm still looking. The only one I've seen was in MD a couple of years ago. I'm a few years away from buying a larger boat but when the time comes hopefully I can find one to at least consider. I've been looking and comparing designs for years and the Alajuela 33 seems like a good fit for our family, plus my wife loves them ;-) It just stinks thqat they are so few and far between.
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