Diva is a 1977 Alajuela 38 MK I Cutter in above-average condition that has improved with age under the loving care of her knowledgeable and experienced second owners since 2001. This bluewater cruiser is a true ocean voyager with classic styling, sweeping full keel for sea-kindliness and speed at sea, unsurpassed accommodations comfort, and quality built to take you anywhere with timeless unpretentious styling. Designed by Collin Archer and William Atkin and built in California with American Pride (and without the typical Taiwanese quality issues associated with electrical, plumbing, tankage, hull coring, and teak-decking), she is powerful, rugged and enduring.
In a recent book by John Kretschmer, delivery skipper and author he recognized the Alajuela 38 on a very short list of what he called “sailboats for a serious ocean.” Kretschmer, who reviews boats for Sail Magazine and whose most recent book “Sailing a Serious Ocean” details why the Alajuela and a dozen other bluewater sailboats warrant the attention of any serious sailor who wants to cruise the oceans of the world. Here are the boats Kretschmer suggests: Contessa 32, Pacific Seacraft 34, Pretorien 35, Cape Dory/Robinhood 36, Valiant/Esprit 37, Prout Snowgoose 37, Alajuela 38, Privelege 39, Freya 39, Passport 40, Caliber 40, Baba 40, Hallberg Rassy 42, Taswell 43, Hylas 44, Norseman 447, Beneteau 456, Outbound 44, Hylas 46, Kaufman 47, Tayana 48, Hylas 49, Amel Maramu 53, and the Sundeer 60/64.
Here's what Kretschmer has to say about the Alajuela 38 on his Website: "Alajuela 38 - The pedigree of this boat traces an arc through Colin Archer, Wm Atkins, the success of the West Sail 32 and finally through Don Chapman and Alajuela Yachts in S. California. Three things are true about the Alajuela 38, it's beautiful, it's surprisingly fast, it's well loved by a cult following and yes, did I mention it's beautiful? It is. Some have called the A 38 a refined Westsail 32. That's not quite right. Sure it's a double ender but it is a different animal. It's lean and graceful, not stout and pugnacious. Don't get me wrong, I love the Westsail 32, truly, but the Alajuela will sail circles around it. Always interesting boats on the used market - and that's not always a good thing. The kit boats on the market undermine value but that also means that there are some steals out there. So much for not liking full keel boats."
Cutter-Rigged with roller furling systems for the headsail and staysail, and a Mack Stack Pack Mainsail system, this bluewater cruiser displaces 27,000 lbs.. Diva has a total working sail area of 880 sq. ft.; giving her an impressive sail area to displacement ratio of 15.7, very similar to the Valiant 40, another well-respected performance bluewater cruiser. Following a marine survey that was done in mid-2017, the Sellers remedied all but a few minor recommendations from the experienced and competent marine surveyor; so we do not expect any surprises at Diva's next survey.
In addition to all of the inherent built-in bluewater features and renowned qualities of the 38 Alajuela, her owners have made the following thoughtful and practical improvements and upgrades that make Diva, the only Alajuela 38 Cutter you should consider if you plan to use her as a serious extended cruising home. The only major, (really minor) repairs she needs soon include a new cutlass bearing and some minor headliner repairs in the forward cabin area, caused by condensation, not leaks. These are the highlights of some of her notable upgrades, so if you like this short list; you’ll love the detailed specs and additional equipment and features you’ll find further in this listing:
If you are looking for a proven bluewater cruiser outfitted for a couple to easily handle with all the right stuff to ensure safety and comfort, then call today to schedule a personal inspection. This 1977 Alajuela 38 Mark I Cutter will not disappoint you!
Lee has been a Licensed and Bonded Yacht Broker in the State of Florida since 2004. He is a lifelong boater who enjoys helping clients find the right yacht that meets their cruising and investment requirements. He is experienced in operating, repairing, and selling a wide range of boats, both power and sail, and believes in developing long-lasting relationships with his clients.
Lee continues providing advise and service, well after each closing, believing that referrals are his measurement of success by always providing honest and straightforward advice. His vast knowledge of yacht construction and onboard mechanical and electronic systems, as well as his analytical skills and knowledge of market values are invaluable to his clients in helping them determine whether to make an offer on a specific yacht.
With over 36 years as a marketing executive, award-winning advertising & PR copywriter, and educator, Lee has proven skills in marketing yachts he lists for sale, writing detailed and accurate descriptions that motivate buyers. It is not uncommon to see Lee onboard a boat he recently sold, helping the new owners get oriented to the systems and learning how to safely operate their vessel.
This 1977 Alajuela 38 Mark I Cutter has significant professionally-done custom features to make her ideally suited for extended bluewater cruising. The current owners have been cruising and living aboard since 2001, constantly making improvements to make their home safe and comfortable. Most noticeable is the cold-molded hardtop Dodger and Bimini, added in 1995, providing shelter and protection from the elements, contributing to an expanded living area as well as to ensure that the companionway area below stays dry and clean. The enclosed cockpit area is spacious, considering the teak cockpit seats are over 6’ long with durable removable cushions, a custom storage cabinet aft, and a folding cockpit table. There is a dual set of companionway Teak Hatch-boards, one solid and one with vent openings.
Enter the companionway down a removable teak ladder with 5-steps and built in grab rails and the U-Shaped Galley is to Starboard with plenty of storage below, above and outboard of the counter-tops behind the SS Gimbaled Stove & Oven. A Custom Teak trimmed dish & glassware rack storage cabinet is mounted above the forward section of the Galley and provides a partial separation between the Galley and the Salon area. Behind the removable ladder is the hinged door to access the engine room and a custom Battery Storage Box contains six 6-Volt Batteries plus two additional batteries under the Nav Station Seat totaling 740 Amp-hours. A Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger is conveniently located above the batteries.
Opposite the Galley to Port is the forward-facing Nav Table with storage under and electrical panels and gauges on the outboard wall. The gloss-finished Teak & Holly Floor is ¾” thick, over ½” plywood throughout the light and bright traditional Herreshoff-style varnished Teak-trimmed white panel interior. There are multiple hatches in the floor providing excellent access to the bilges and tankage below. An Ocean Breeze 6,500 BTU A/C with heat system is vented to the V-Berth and Salon.
Moving forward, a large Teak-trimmed Butterfly Opening Hatch above the center of the Salon, two deck-mounted Dorade vents, plus a total of 8 opening bronze ports with chromed interior surfaces throughout the vessel provide plenty of light and ventilation. The Salon settees were customized to be deeper than the originals by removing the pilot-berths that were originally outboard and above each of the Salon Settees. The result is two wide berths when needed and deep seats for comfort and lounging. In place of the pilot-berths, there are bookshelves and cabinets with varnished teak doors.
Another Custom feature of the Salon is the folding bulkhead-mounted table with one Drop-Leaf and a mirrored hinged cover and light fixture that conceals the table when stored and adds to the spacious ambiance of the Salon. There is additional storage under and behind the Settee cushions. Ceiling-mounted 12V lighting fixtures generously spaced throughout this vessel provide excellent night lighting and there is a wall-mounted flat-screen TV & Sony Stereo with Pioneer Speakers in the Salon. To compensate for the shorter Starboard Settee, there is a cut-out in the Galley/Salon counter to expand the length of the settee as a berth, or for extra storage as shown in the photo.
Forward is a passageway with the private Head to Starboard with a large hinged waterproof seat that covers the Toilet when showering. The vanity, sink with pressure H/C faucet & separate shower controls has plenty of storage above and below the counter. Opposite the Head is a hanging locker, and additional cabinetry and drawers.
Further forward is the spacious V-Berth with a teak-trimmed Opening Deck Hatch, cabinet drawers under and additional storage cabinets to Starboard. The hull walls are lined with varnished teak strips and two quiet and efficient Hella 12V fans are mounted forward. Two louvered varnished Teak doors provide access forward to the electrical junction box for the Windlass and access to deck fittings when necessary. There is additional storage under the V-berth.
The well-equipped U-Shaped Galley of this bluewater 1977 Alajuela 38 Cutter features:
The Hull of this 38 Alajuela Cutter was made in 1977 of hand-laid up solid fiberglass that is between ½’ and 1” thick. 10,000 pounds of lead provides most of the ballast deep in the full keel, supplemented by fuel, water and waste tanks that are all below the cabin sole in the bilge.
The Cold-molded hardtop with solid opening hinged Plexi windshield was built in 1995. It adds comfort and styling with traditional good looks. There is no need to stand your watch in foul weather gear and you can enjoy expanded cockpit living in all climates, protection from some wind and salt spray, and increased privacy at anchor.
Eight opening trademark bronze ports; large 24"x24" forward deck hatch and large butterfly teak hatches offer cool comfort in the tropics. The Companionway has two sets of Teak Hatch Boards, one ventilated and one solid. Other features of the Hull & Deck are:
Bluewater-equipped, this 1977 Alajuela 38 Cutter has integrated navigation equipment and systems. Navigation and Entertainment Equipment includes:
Cautious and prudent experienced mariners, the current owners replaced the standing rigging, 3 primary sails, and lifelines in 2006, and have successfully avoided stressing themselves or their beloved Diva by carefully picking their weather windows for major passages. Therefore, these critical items do not show their age and should provide many more years of cruising to the next stewards of this experienced passage-maker. This 1977 Alajuela 38 Mark I Cutter has the following sail inventory and sail-handling equipment:
Although the hull, rigging and sails of a bluewater cruiser needs to be able to handle all that the sea can throw at you; a powerful and reliable engine is also necessary to get you safely into port when the winds, seas and tides are against you. This 1977 Alajuela 38 Mark I Cutter has been re-powered with a 56 HP Diesel engine; nearly twice the HP of some of the others on the market today. Following are the Mechanical features of Diva:
The Electrical system of this 1977 Alajuela 38 Cutter has been optimized for self-sufficiency when off-the-grid enjoying the peace and tranquility of being offshore or anchored out. Diva’s Electrical system features:
Excluded are personal and other items found onboard during inspection or shown in photos on Central Listing Agent's Website that are not specifically described in text of the Listing Specifications. However, all safety items that are onboard during inspections that are required by the USCG, as well as a minimum number of dock lines, fenders, and boat hooks to safely operate and dock the vessel are included, whether identified in the Web Description or not.
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