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post #15 of Old 10-22-2010
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I agree with most of what you say, however have a few comments (see below).

Originally Posted by bobmcgov View Post
They are obscure in North America, particularly on the West Coast of the US. That is where the prospective buyer is, and where sale/resale price will be determined. RColes is knowledgeable about sailboats, yet he came here for opinions because Contests are not frequent on the docks. If he wants a fair resale price, he is welcome to sail his Contest to Europe to sell it, where the boat will be appreciated and fetch a higher price.

In the US, you either wait years for the rare buyer who knows and values the brand, or you accept a price discount. *shrug* How many Europeans really know Morris Yachts and would be willing to pay premium for them -- over and above a known European quantity like Bavaria?
I think many Europeans know Morris Yachts, but You're right, we're not buying loads of them.

Look, I'm a huge fan of Scandinavian boats little known in the US -- Albins are my favorites, along with Omega, Scanmar, Sweden Yachts, and English permutations of Nordic design like SHE and Sigma. And of course Contessa -- but Contessas were built in North America for a while, they are a famous name much written about by Americans (Kretschmer, Aebi), and everyone knows a Contessa 32 survived the '79 Fastnet when larger yachts did not. No one knows a SHE of similar size also finished that race in good form. So even in Europe, Contessas sell quicker & fetch higher prices than SHEs -- the Fame Premium. Here in the US, the Contessa 32 commonly sells for $35-40k USD; the similar Albin Ballad sells for under $12,000 -- commonly $8,000, and I tried to buy one in Seattle for $1000 USD, no kidding. This same boat has been listed at $48k in Denmark.
I honestly believe you've seen the price in Danish Kroner, which is pretty close to $8k, which is what an Albin Vega could have brought you a few years ago, but I doubt today - A Ballad would be twice that.

So don't get your back up, dude. "Obscure" is not an indictment of Conyplex or Contest or their yachts (tho their early product line was uneven and they did build some dogs), but rather a commentary on how ignorant we in the US are of many old, established, and well-regarded builders in other parts of the world. And how that affects sale and resale prices.

(And vice versa. I'm sure the worthies present could rattle off dozens of boutique North American sailboat marques that have been building top-notch craft for 100 years -- and you would never have heard of most.)
I agree that they built some dogs - many of the Contests are built as two half-hulls and then joined together - the first 36 also had issues with keel fastenings, I would also argue that most of them are not fast boats by any stretch of the imagination (too slow for me).

Watch great footage about the story of one manís slow odyssey around the UK:
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