Thanks for the feedback, all, and the contrasting pics, Cat Man Do.
I can't get anywhere with the manufacturer code on the hull number, but thanks to those who passed it along.
The rudder-post/prop-shaft configuration rules out Pearsons, including the Ariel (I thought Ariel at first, too). It seems to also rule
out most or all other US production boats (Cape Dory, Columbia
, Tartan, Chris Craft...).
The closest I've come in terms of deck/cabin layout is the S&S Gulfstream 30 (http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=4777
). It is described as a "fin-keel" but the diagram shows a full-keel and the rudder post rising through a large lazarette. The cockpit
is small and the cabin layout matches the "Triton" I examined. Alas, it looks like it has combing boards and a prop centered behind the rudder.
The story passed along about the boat making a passage
via Cape Hope suggests a possible origin outside the US.
I also found an interesting description of John Dockrell purchasing
a S&S 38 mold
it to England
to start a production facility there in 1972 (http://sailboatdata.com/view_builder.asp?Builder_ID=364
Is there a UK cruisers chat group that anyone can recommend?