• Designed by David Thomas, well-known for cruiser / racer designs such as Sonata, Impala, Sigma 33 and 38, as well as the Hunter 707.
• The original concept was to design a 35 footer to compete for acceptance at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 1978 Offshore One-design Conference, which was to select three one-designs to promote in substitution for the then-prevalent IOR system. The three chosen were the Impala, the 101 (designed by Jan Kjaerulff) and Jeremy Rodgers’ OOD 34. Sensing that the 33 foot 101 was too Scandinavian for British tastes, David Thomas decided to scale down to 33 feet. His intention was to design a moderate displacement yacht that would look racy and be competitive under IOR, but be tractable and easy to sail to near optimum speed.
• Initially the class was named the Skua 33, but when a Scottish fleet advised that they were already called Skuas, the name was changed to Sigma 33.
• Built by Marine Projects (Plymouth) Limited in Devon. (Tel:01752-203888)
• Total number built - 364
Starting in December 1978 with hull no. A3001
Ending in December 1991 with hull no. A3364.
(In addition, approximately 44 Sigma 33Cs were built between November 1981 and April 1985, with hull numbers between A4001 and A4212. These have a shorter, masthead rig and a longer, shallower draft keel.)
• Builder’s Dimensions:
L.O.A. 32’ 6” 9.88m
L.W.L. 26’ 3” 8.00m
Beam 10’ 6” 3.20m
Draft 5’ 9” 1.75m
Displacement 9,200lbs 4,182kg
• Construction is straightforward GRP with foam-cored floors and integral bulkheads. Early boats had off-white hull gel coats with either blue or cream decks; later ones had white hulls and decks plus aluminium window frames and go-faster stripes along the coachroof. The interior joinery was also altered.
• Class sails are by Elstrom Sails, HYS, Port Hamble, Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 4NN. Tel: 023 8045 0430. The class has adopted relatively high-tech Genesis Platinum sails which incorporate kevlar fibres.
• Price when new in 1979 was £16,790 plus VAT. By 1990 this had risen to £37,475 plus VAT.