Peter Norlin design; he drew about six of Albin's models. The Nova 33 is something of a overlooked model, although it fills a spot between the Ballad 30 and the Stratus 36. Norlin liked a little zip in his designs. While they tended to handle fairly well, they could (like most bots of the era) become a bit loose downwind if you drive them hard. The rudder on the Nova always looked undersized to me; don't know if it proved so on the water.
Fractional rig, decent boom length, so should be easy to balance and the headsails will be manageable. Like most Norlin/Magnussen Albins, you can expect some rolling deep downwind, a bit underpowered on a reach, and an utter freight train to weather. Albin's reputation for windward performance is stellar; build quality generally good. I've seen Novas listed for $25-50k in North America; higher in Europe, where they are better known.
These Northern European boats tend to be smallish inside compared to newer designs, with volume sacrificed in the name of fine bows and low freeboard/coach. They are conservative in layout (except Scanmar), a bit dark, and often lacking ventilation for warmer climates. Much of our work to date on our Albin Ballad has been devoted to brightening and airing out the cabin. Fixed ports and minimal deck hatches were the rule. Some Novas came with teak decks, IIRC.
I've never been sure about the Nova's quarter berth. Is it an oversized single? A really tight double? Meant for one tall person and one midget? Like most Albins and nearly all Norlins, the Nova is a stunner to look at.
I owned an Albin Cirrus 7.8 also a Norlin design. I owned the boat for 15 years and sold it 6 mos ago. It was a fabulous boat in every way. I would not hesitate to by the NOVA. Hedll, I'd even consider buying it sight unseen. They build a tough boat with good detailing.
Only 500 were built; most of those remain in Scandinavia, where people tend to hang on to them. So not a model frequently seen on the boat market. And not a huge owner's group out there, so issues are hard to learn about. Most Albins were solid FRP hulls with Divinycell cored decks. Many came with Volvo Pentas, tho the Nova seems to have got a Yanmar. That's a point in its favor. Semi-balanced spade rudder set well aft, with tiller steering: should be responsive and easy to maneuver.
Small & shallow cockpit, but that's good at sea & creates more space below:
Looks like decent headroom down the centerline. Norlin was good at creating lots of handy little stowage areas. Looks like the whole stairway pulls off, so engine access should be very good. Settees would make fine sea berths, head is basic but about what you could hope for in a 33' boat. (It is amazing how much bigger the Nova looks than our Ballad, only 3' shorter.) As a 1984, the boat you are looking at was built in Sweden. We've found the hull quality on our 1972 Ballad to be good, though the deck construction had some issues, primarily involving hardware penetrations and core reinforcing around stressed areas. You may find some areas of water intrusion. No biggie -- the foam does not rot like plywood or balsa. Some idjit put riftsawn fir planks under the genoa tracks on our boat, however, and these came out with a spoon. The fixed portlights on the Nova look familiar; expect them to leak, unless they have been overhauled already. The rubber channel around the glass gets brittle over time.
Otherwise, if there was a Nova available we would have grabbed at it; the Ballad is simply a more common boat at a bargain price. Both are splendid examples of the type & very well regarded by those who know them.
I worked.on a Albin getting it ready to head south and I agree with BP it's a solidly built boat and craftmanship below was beautiful
The guy that owned it was from sweden, had brought it in Seattle and sailed singlehand down to San Diego. He was a weird bird but his boat was incredibly equip with state art goodies including lithium batteries
He made it to Mexico where he got shell fish poisoning and died, word is he insulted the wrong person/culture
This particular boat would have had you looking for all available options to buy it, a true "ready to cruise " boat. He intended to ship this one home (as once a year he would fly home for the summer there ) and buy a Tayana 52 to finish his cruise, at one point I had him convinced he was loopy but that lasted about 5 mins.