The Boat

Our Alajuela '38 is called Impetuous II and was the 34th hull made by the Alajuela yacht corporation in California.  We don't know too much about her previous life except that she lived at a marina owned by a doctor for many years and then was owned by Greg Powell for at least 20 years who took her to Mexico, the Bahamas and oddly enough a lake in Arkansas.  He brought her to Texas in the 1990s with the intention of a total rifit.  She was stripped down and stored for work to be done on Roger's land in Dickinson.

Various inconveniences and troubles got in the way of Greg getting the work done he'd hoped to so he put her on the market in 2007.  During Hurricane Ike in 2008 the hull suffered no ill effects but much of the gear for the boat inluding the engine, the sails, the electronics and the stove got soaked in muddy water and many things got washed away from under Greg's house.  The most improbable of these was the 12ft long rudder weighing around 300lbs, but also one of two rudder cheeks, one of two bronze compasses, the hatch and lots of parts of equipment and plenty of bits of teak all were lost.  The mast also got terminally damaged as it was lying by the side of the house. 

This is how she was when we bought her.  Greg had tidied things up as best as he could and put remaining stuff in storage.

Duncan had seen three Alajuela 38's during his five years sailing in the Mediterranean sea on his 1959 Stella, 'Star shell', and admired them greatly.  He particularly recounted to me that a dutch couple with this beautiful boat were anchored near to him in Villefranche and he was itching to go and quiz them on the origins of their boat however they spent the whole time naked and his sense of decency would not permit! 

During an unaccustomed calm in his usually frenetic supply teaching in a school of country folk in the cotswolds, Duncan stumbled upon the advert for Impetuous on yachtworld.  Computer classes seemed to lend themselves to idle speculation on far off boats but when he saw this Alajuela he remembered it as the only boat he had ever covetted over the years.  When he showed me the advert exitedly I must admit, I had no idea what all the fuss was about nor could I see why this would be the 'one' when a simple search brought up to my illinformed senses several boats of similar size and price which were already in the water and in full working order.  However, Duncan was very clear that this was the one, so what the hell, why don't we go and see it?  Up until that day we weren't looking for a boat.  We decided that it would be prudent to visit a similar boat closer to home before booking the flights to Texas so we got in the car and went to Essex where we discreetly agreed that though this Alajuela was clearly solid and well built it wasn't nearly so nice (or cheap) as 'our' boat.  So that was it, we were off to Texas for a reccie safe in the knowledge that if we didn't buy a boat we would enjoy a trip to New Orleans whilst we were over.

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