Review of Alajuela 38 Mk II

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Alajuela 38 Mk II is a sailboat designed by the Norwegian maritime architect Colin Archer together with William Atkin from United States of America in the late seventies. The Alajuela 38 Mk II is built by the American yard Alajuela Yacht Corp..

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The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season.


The interior is like most other boats made of teak. Teak has the advantage of being naturally very oily and therefore water-repellent, which is suitable on boats.
The boat is equipped with 2 cabins, 5 berths, a galley, 379.0 liter fresh water capacity, toilet facility and 40.0 liter waste water capacity.


The Alajuela 38 Mk II is equipped with a long keel. A long keel provide a better directional stability than a similar boat with a fin keel; on the other hand, better directional stability means also that the boat is more difficult to handle in a harbour with less space.

The boat can enter most marinas as the draft is just about 1.71 - 1.81 meter (5.61 - 5.91 ft) dependent on the load. See immersion rate below.

Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Alajuela 38 Mk II is 1.54, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - be accepted to participate in ocean races.

Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 7.6 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.

Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Alajuela 38 Mk II is about 233 kg/cm, alternatively 1307 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 233 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 1307 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.

Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for Alajuela 38 Mk II is 46.7.

Low High 99% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 99% of all similar sailboat designs. This is a comfort value significantly above average.

L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Alajuela 38 Mk II is 3.30.

Wide Slim 54% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 54% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a slightly more speedy hull design.

Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Alajuela 38 Mk II is 37%.

Low High 34% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 34% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) just below average.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Alajuela 38 Mk II is 348 which categorizes this boat among 'heavy cruisers'.

Heavy Light 14% 0 50 100
14% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A heavy displacement combined with smaller water plane area has lower acceleration and is more comfortable.

SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?

The SA/D for Alajuela 38 Mk II with ISO 8666 reference sail is 16.5, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 19.6.

Low High 42% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 42% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.

Over- / underrigged

Low High 54% 0 50 100
The Alajuela 38 Mk II has more rig than 54% of all similar sailboats, which indicates that the boat is slightly overrigged.


Bottom Paint

When buying anti-fouling bottom paint, it's nice to know how much to buy. The surface of the wet bottom is about 26m2 (279 ft2).
Based on this, your favourite maritime shop can tell you the quantity you need.

Note: If you use a paint roller you will need more paint than if you use a paintbrush.


Dimensions of sail.

mainsail specifications headsail specifications

Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale

If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.

Guiding dimensions of running rig
Mainsail halyard 38.5 m(126.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard38.5 m(126.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Spinnaker halyard38.5 m(126.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib sheet 11.6 m(38.0 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Genoa sheet11.6 m(38.0 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Mainsheet 29.0 m(95.1 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Spinnaker sheet25.5 m(83.7 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Cunningham5.5 m(18.0 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Kickingstrap11.0 m(36.0 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Clew-outhaul11.0 m(36.0 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

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