First and foremost, in case you are unaware, the link below will take you to a website dedicated to the Contessa 26
The Contessa Corner - A site for Contessa owners, sailors and dreamers.
I own a 1979 Contessa 26 myself. A wonderful boat that handles the heavy weather very well and surprising swift in the lighter air, no club racer but no dog either.
The main complaints with the boat are obvious when you see one
- small for a 26 footer
- No sliding hatch
- no standing head room for most people.
Clearly you have been on the boat and the above does not concern you.
Beyond the above the boat does not have any known serious problems specific to the make/model, beyond limited issues with the gel coat, see below for more details.
Most of the defects/problems that you list are easy enough to address, the cracked window would be a concern but fixable if you are at all handy. I say this with out seeing the window. A close inspection of the cabin around the window would be in order to ensure the damage is limited to the window its self.
The yanmar is a plus, assuming it is in good working order. Most co 26's were equipped with a 7.5 hp ferryman, a reliable but obnoxious engine, inferior to the yanmar. Any idea how many hours are on the engine?
A couple of things to look for/keep in mind
- For several years the cdn built co26's were made with too heavy a gel coat causing cracks in the deck surface. I would hazard to guess that if there are no/minimal cracks now then you should be ok, something to keep in mind.
- The pintles/gudgeons do wear over time, it is a common problem with the boat. Inspect the rudder to ensure there is not a significant amount of play, if there is they will need to be addressed at some point. Getting an exact replacement for the pintles/gudgeons are a hard find. I currently have this problem and until I get around to addressing it I shim up the gudgeons with a brass shim. It won't be easy to do in the water but take a look if you can.
- A new main sail will cost you 1100-1800$ cdn depending on wither you go with a local sail maker or with a Hong-Kong based company. I replaced my mainsail this year for 1100$ cdn, Lee sails out of Hong-Kong and am quite pleased with the results. The only outstanding concern will be how long the material lasts.
- Hank on head sails can be purchased used, online, quite cheap.
Price - you did not say wither this is cdn or US$, regardless 8600$ is a decent price for a co26, The boats tend to bottom out at 6-7000$ list price most of these with outboards and in need of some real attention. 8-10000$ seems to be the bottom end, list price, for a co26 in decent shape with an inboard.
If you get serious about the boat an inspection(marine survey) would be in order, ideally with the boat out of the water.
Hope the above helps, good luck
edit: just read saltmonkey's reply; agreed on the low free-board and large'ish cockpit. It has yet to be an issue for me but a design flaw, IMHO, non the less. Agreed on the internal chain-plates as well, as far as I can tell they are robust enough, but given they are internal they should be inspected. I have read of soft foredecks and have been one at least on co26 with them but am unware that they are a known issue with the boat. With that said saltmonkey's advice stands true, well worth inspecting.