The last boat (but not least) that won a award was the Contest 42 Cs and I cannot be happier with the choice, firstly because I am sure it is a great boat and secondly because it marks the return of Contest to the “affordable” market.
Contest is still today one of the cruisers that is more searched in Europe as an old boat in the used market. The boats, then designed by Dick Zaal, had a very good and deserved reputation in what regards quality and seaworthiness, only comparable today with Halberg Rassy. Then they changed to the big yacht market and stopped to make “small” yachts, being the smaller in the line a 45 footer and are more known by big yachts (bigger than 50ft) that very few can afford.
The 42 CS, a Georg Nissen design, like the others, seems to point to a return to his first market, the one of smaller sailboats. Not that the 42 is an inexpensive boat, probably the prices are similar to the ones of Halberg Rassy, but the quality is not inferior.
This one, with the Saphire 27 were the two boats that deserved a consensual opinion as being the best in their class. It is very impressive the global consensus about the fell, quality and sailing performance of this boat.
I would say that if someone is looking for a high quality cruiser 42/44ft boat, like the Halberg Rassy, Malo or XC, it should also have a good look at this one: I don’t believe so many knowlegeable testers can be wrong in what they say about this boat and all say the same: A superyacht feel and quality with a very good performance. Impressive!!!
The British from Yachting World:
Once again on this category many interesting and good quality boats, with the candidates showing very different interpretations of the luxury concept. ..The Dutch presented a rather modest oversized family yacht that knows how to shine consistently. And they have managed to maintain their typical brand benchmark in what regards seaworthiness and quality construction. This give to it the aura of their much larger semi-custom vessels. The 42 CS provides nimble sailing performance, a variety of expansion options, a protected cockpit and a well-styled interior. Everything about it exudes class.
The Dutch from Waterkampioen :
This is a new direction for Contest Yacht. Old Contest still can be seen in around with a high quality design and built quality. This one is a boat from 2014, but with a pedigree of nearly half a century of Contest yachts. A very spacious and luxurious interior for a 42-foot boat. A very nicely designed cockpit. A stunning cabin roof in combination with an amazing deck. Regarding this size and this segment this boat is really something new. All this with a very high standard of build quality.
The Norwegians from Seilas:
From the interior the contest looks like a 50 fter, but is only 42 feet long. The standing height with well over two meters, the large windows and bright interiors give the boat a "wow" feeling. It sails surprisingly well and looks beautiful on the water. The Contest 42 CS will be the new benchmark in the lower size of the luxury yacht segment.
The Swiss from Marina.ch :
With its size, the Contest is at the lower end of this group and shows that luxury is not just a matter of size. …even among the larger competitors … the contest offers superyacht feeling on 42 feet sized boat.
The Italians from Fare Vela:
The contest is an elegant semi-custom approach to a sport-cruiser with the aim to please two audiences: those who wants performance, as well as want comfort for the family. They have achieved both goals. The contest offers several cockpit and rigging layouts with which you can adjust the boat individually. .. The cockpit looks very tidy and well suited for sailing. The rear cockpit is well protected ..At sea, the CS 42 is powerful, and sometimes you forget you are sailing on a relatively heavy cruiser.
The Austrians from Yacht Revue :
A truly stunning boat in this category, a variable cockpit concept with two control wheels, good sailing performance, modern design, different layouts below deck, very good build quality and a sensitive control system.
The Danish from BadNyt:
An impressive hull number 1 was tested in Southampton. Except for a few a few blemishes, the finish was overall excellent and the boat exudes luxury, not only from a distance, but also at a closer look. It works well and proved itself as serious sailing yacht. It has "only" 42 feet, but on board it feels much larger. Very luminous due to various “windows”, it is pure pleasure to use the salon in port or at sea.
The Swedes from Segling :
Great design, the highest level of construction quality combined with outstanding performance and excellent maneuverability characterize these Dutch wonder. Despite being an aft cockpit boat you feel safely protected on long passages. The illumination system with the touch screen contributes to the ultra-modern impression.
The French from Voile and Voiliers:
The contest won the award not only because of its high build quality and outstanding finishes of but because it is also a boat on which you dream of blue water trips done without the need of a professional crew. We were very impressed with the quality, thoughtful Deck equipment: a sailboat easy to sail and easy to trim, with real comfort for the crew.
The Spanish from Nautica & Yates:
High quality, luxury and excellent craftsmanship in an aft cockpit boat, which is rather unusual on a brand specialized in center cockpit boats. Three very well thought cockpit layouts are aimed at three different types of owners and sailors. Good looks and excellent sailing characteristics complete the package.
The Deutch from Yacht.de:
The Contest 42 CS is the smallest of the five fabulous candidates in the luxury category and yet feels and sails the a maxi-yacht, only more compact and much easier to handle. The cockpit rigging provides plenty of options being this more of a semi-custom than a series yacht. Great looks and fine craft work appear here as a matter of course. If one is willing to spend for a fully equipped boat over 500,000 Euros, you will hardly find better. Choosing for a true connoisseur!