PRICE £10,000-£20,000 YEAR 1978-1991
Sarah and Andy wanted a boat shorter than 30ft, but with an expressed interest in club racing, this is too good to pass up! There are some smart 33s out there at good prices. There are also many that have spent most of their life chasing, and being chased, round harbours and buoys – and it shows. The latter are easy to spot and should be avoided. As the Sigma is a popular one-design racer, it’s possible any boat might have been raced in her past. Inspecting the chainplates and around the mast base is a good place to look for any deformity or movement. Also look under the floor – racers aren’t renowned for keeping boats dry and the keel bolts are susceptible to corrosion.
She has a similar layout as the previous two boats: vee berth forward, followed by the heads and saloon. The saloon table is fixed, (with a leaf to starboard) and L-shaped seating outboard to port, while to starboard there’s a long seat, above which is a narrow pilot berth; this could be converted to stowage if needed.
There’s a small Lshaped galley at the base of the companionway to starboard. To port is a goodsized chart table, forward of a good, wide quarter berth.
As you’ll expect from a David Thomas boat designed for racing, she can be tweaked for good windward performance and although not as light on the tiller as some boats, will give Sarah and Andy a solidly built boat that won’t limit them to one genre of boat ownership. Once they have found what they enjoy the most, they could do that or get a boat more tailored to their needs.
A 33C cruiser has a shorter rig and a longer, shorter fin keel. For racing, she’ll benefit from a crew of seven, but can be cruised with just two.
I think the extra space offered by the Sigma might be worth it, but I’m not the one paying the extra costs of a larger boat.
The Sigma 33 can be raced with six crew, or cruised in comfort by two Try to find a Simgma 33 which hasn’t been raced hard