While I usually agree with Jeffs assessments of boats and respect his obvious knowledge on most things regarding boats, I have to respectfully disaggree with his assessment of the Contest. While I don't doubt his own experience with his contest it is entirely the opposite of my own. I have owned a 1967 Contest 29 for many Years and have sailed it extensively and have been in some pretty heavy sea with it during this time. I have never had a problem with oilcanning. It is interesting that another boat that alot of people feel to be a well made boat, the Cal 2-29 which I also owned for several years and sailed quite a bit between the hawaian islands I found to be terrible in regards to oilcanning..even had the bulkheads come adrift during some nasty passages in the alanuihaha channel. In similar conditions my Contest 29 was stiff and solid. So perhaps it is just particular boats of the same type where an occasional one might not be asl well put together as its sister boats.? AT any rate, I found the Contest to be well built, and far ahead in terms of construction as other boast of her era. Conyplex had been a pioneer in fiberglass boat building and even back then used temperature controlled indoor curing facilities, and used a lot of structural stifeners in the hull rather than just heavy glass work. The hulls were built to Loyds A1 offshore standrds and my Contest ha a certic ficate attesting to that as well as a copy of the hull and deck plan I have of it with the Loyds A1 rating and signature. Also, the hulls and deck are totally uncored and of solid glass so no core rot/delamination issues. Instead, the hull and deck is stiffened by forms and a completely fully tabbed and bonded wood interior. They do use a liner for the overhead. The hull deck joint is very tough and never has leaked a drop or given me any issues. The deck has a molded in toe rail and the hull is actually inserted into the hollow on the underside of this toe rail which was filled with mishmash basically epoxy
resin and fillerboding the two together, then the whole thing is glassed together on the inside with a heavy layup of glasss. The hull has a teak rub rail that is then riveted with monel rivets mechnically fastening the two together, this is actualll done before the interior glass is apllied on the joint so the rivets are completelt sealed on the inside. The exteriorhard ware such as the stanchions are installed with stainless backing plates and then these are also glassed over on the inside. Since it is not cored even if there are bedding leaks ths is not a big issue though of course like all exterior hardware one should maintain a good bedding on the hardware. The good part is that this is the driest boat I have ever owned as far as interior leaks from hardware, toerails, hull /deck jopints, etc go. The glass work also was all done very well, clean, smooth, without any sharppieces or edges. ALso , all the hardware was made of electroplolished stainless steel and it has held up beautifully. The interior joinery was very high quality mahogany and mohagany ply, as well as a solid teak sole. Granted, the blocks were made of tufnol, but at the time that was considered state of the art in that it was lite, but strong, and I still have most of the original stuff and it is stilll in excellent condition although due to upgrading I am sure alot of it could be replaced. Also, I have to agree with Jeffs opinion of the wiring... it was truly bad...zip cord!! and that is one thing that did have to be replaced. ALso, If the teak rubrail needs work it is alot of trouble to replace as the rivets have to be drilled out. I have to say all in all, my contest was one of the best boats I have owned, it sailed remarkably well, did great in heavy weather and had a beautiful,if somewhat small interior. I also have to point out that this is just my experience with this one particular model ie: the 1967 29' but I believe most of the others of this vintage were all builtg pretty much the same way.
I still have it too but have now moved up and onto my Freedom 33 which I live aboard so I do have an interest in providing another view of these fine boats as I would like to sell it