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View Poll Results: Do you think this boat is up to the tasks i set for it
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no 1 100.00%
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2011
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You have the absolute wrong boat if you would "like to be able to take a 120 foot breaking wave broadside and survive". My family owned a Contest of the same era as your boat. While Contests were beautifully finished inside, from a build quality standpoint and mopre specifically from a structural viewpoint, they were very poorly engineered and constructed. While some of the built in defects may have been corrected by prior owners, and some of the could be corrected with a massive rebuilding effort, there is no work around for the poor handling characteristics of these boats.

And while this is true of many boats of this era, structurally, the internal framing of the Contests consisted of softwood framing poorly glassed into the hull. These elements included ncluded the tranverse frames which transfered the keel loads out to the hull.

Another questionable structural element was the mast support. On our boat, the mast would compress the deck to the point that if you chose to close the door to the forward cabin, the deck would compress making it impossible re-open the door again until sheets were eased and the point of sail altered sufficiently to take the strain off of the mast support.

Other build quality issues which may have been corrected by now, included a dubious electrical system which would cut out, and short out at random, black iron fuel tanks and iron engine exhaust systems.

During the time that we owned our boat, my father remedied as many of these built-in defects. The rest we lived with.

But the sailing characteristics was the worst thing about these boats. These were early fin keel-spade rudder boats. The hull forms were such that as these boats heeled over, they would jack up out of the water, and suddenly and unpredictably reach a point where they would aerate their rudders and round up without any warning. I have been on other boats with this same issue, but these were the worst that I have ever experienced. In many boats with this problem, there was some kind of clue that this was about to occur, and you would learn to watch for that clue such as limiting the heel to a maximum heel angle that was safe to prevent the round-up. In the case of the Contest in gusty conditions, this happened so suddenly, and without a 'tell', that you could not play the sails quickly enough to prevent the round up, and the round up could be so quick that it can throw you onto the other tack.

In constant wind and wave conditions this was not much of a problem, you could tweak and feather, but in the larger waves encountered offshore, and with the difference in wind strength between the trough and the crest, these boats would quickly wear down a crew.

For that reason, while these boats might make reasonable coastal cruisers, they would be somewhere near the bottom of a list of boats that I would ever think of making an offshore passage in.

Jeff
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies

Last edited by Jeff_H; 11-29-2011 at 10:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2011
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i was unaware of the rounding up, seing as i only sailed her twice so far having bought her at the end of the season for a relatively low price, i was under the impression that the bloaty feeling would lead to relatively higher comfort offshore and durability, my forward door does close but that might just be coincidental but i thought mine had a skeg so im not sure wether that means mine will round up to im more used to production boats so i figured the sluggish motion would have increased safety offshore so maybe i should reconcider i kind of bought it under the impression that it was a decent offshore boat seing as it has simmilar lines to an alberg 30 and a good capsize ratio, but having heard this i think i may just refinish her and sell and mybe buy a different boat for the bermuda trip instead not that theres much chance of hitting 120 foot waves between here and bermuda at the right time of the year but my number one priority is safety
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Old 11-27-2011
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its a shame i hadnt hear this stuff before i bought or i might have opted for the contessa 26 i was looking at for the same price but alas with boats like these its hard to find information....which model was urs btw
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Old 11-27-2011
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ALERT .I was amazed at how my big whale gusher deteriorated over time. Both the castings and the rubber parts. If you haven't done so recently, check it out before you REALLY need it.
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Old 11-27-2011
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oh so maybe i willl go with the henderson one instead of whale because that doesnt sound very promising, but atm i am rather perturbed by the previous comment it does not instill faith in my boat in me because i was under the impression they were very stoutly built fir the north sea as every forum i had consulted before buying had said and how she felt told me but having not done any offshore work and only being familiar with beeneteaus and jenneaus and the like i just noticed she looked much more hevily built than them but now i am having second thoughts and im not sure i bought the right boat hmm
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Old 11-27-2011
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With all due respect, there is no resemblance between the below the waterline lines of a Contest 30 and an Alberg 30. While I am not all that great a fan of the Alberg 30's, the Albergs were more of wine glass shaped hull while the Contest had a much harder turn of the bilge, and shallow vee'd bottom, which caused them to jack upward out of the water, and round up. The Alberg has a longer keel than the Contest (although that is somewhat offset by the Contest's more efficient detached rudder).

As for the issue of the capsize screen formula, as I have explained many times in the past on this forum, (and I am about to explain yet again) the capsize screen formula and the Motion Comfort Index tell almost nothing about the reality of a boat's likelihood of capsize or its actual motion comfort. In fact they provide so little indication of a boat's behavior that to rely on them in any way borders on the dangerous.

Both of these formulas were developed at a time when boats were a lot more similar to each other than they are today. These formulas have limited utility in comparing boats other than those which are very similar in weight and buoyancy distribution to each other. Neither formula contains almost any of the real factors that control motion comfort, the likelihood of capsize, or seaworthiness. Neither formula contains such factors as the vertical center of gravity or buoyancy, neither contains weight or buoyancy distribution (of the hull both below and above the waterline), the extent to which the beam of the boat is carried fore and aft, and neither contains any data on dampening, all of which really are the major factors that control motion comfort or the likelihood of capsize.

I typically give this example to explain just how useless and dangerously misleading these formulas can be. If we had two boats that were virtually identical except that one had a 1000 pound weight at the top of the mast. (Yes, I know that no one would install a 1000 lb weight at the top of the mast.) The boat with the weight up its mast would appear to be less prone to capsize under the capsize screen formula, and would appear to be more comfortable under the Motion Comfort ratio. Nothing would be further than the truth.

And while this example would clearly appear to be so extreme as to be worthy of dismissal, in reality, if you had two boats, one with a very heavy interior, shoal draft, its beam carried towards the ends of the boat near the deck line, a heavy deck and cabin, perhaps with traditional teak decks and bulwarks, a very heavy rig, heavy deck hardware, a hard bottomed dingy stored on its cabin top, and the resultant comparatively small ballast ratio made up of low density ballast. And if we compare that to a boat that is lighter overall, but it has a deep draft keel, with a higher ballast ratio, the bulk of the ballast carried in a bulb, its maximum beam carried to a single point in the deck so that there was less deck area near the maximum beam, a lighter weight hull, deck and interior as well as a lighter, but taller rig, it would be easy to see that the second boat would potentially have less of a likelihood of being capsized, and it is likely that the second boat would roll and pitch through a smaller angle, and would probably have better dampening and so roll and pitch at a similar rate to the heavier boat, in other words offer a better motion comfort....And yet, under the Capsize Screen Formula and the Motion Comfort Index it would appear that the first boat would be less prone to capsize and have a better motion when obviously this would not be the case.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #17  
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im not disagreeing with u its just rather upsetting to me having done all this reasearch hearing all thses things about how its stoutly built and suited to offshore work and then seeing the boat and noticing the sluggishness and figuring that because it feels almost like a suv of boats it must be heavier bult and therefore less likely to smash to peices, but i will agree that there were some amazing benefits to the way race boats today are built for example the lift of a deep bulb keel and the negative drag it creates is definitely a safety feature because it actually reduces capsize rishk and everyone whos passed high school physics understands that the farther away a weight is on a fulcrum the more leverage it has although it also makes it terribly unprotected in groundings, but so i guess im just not quite sure which end to beleive on the contest side wether the enormous percentage of the total displacement that is ballast would actually help in terms of preventing a knockdown and in the case of a 120 foot breaker im fairly certain any yacht would be knocked down im more intersted in would the superstructure survive i mean obviously the rig would be toast u say that all the 60s 70s boats were like this does that mean if i decide to sell and buy a new boat i shouldnt look at alberg 30s or contessa 26 or 32s either and yes im aware the alberg and contest have different underwater lines i was talking about the way they look in water. and does the skeg provide any stability advantage over a spade rudder or is that what causes this rounding up which might be rather frightening when trying to heave to which i havent tried on this boat yet not that it works terribly well on any fin keel boat anyways
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Old 11-27-2011
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Is this the Contest 30 you have? It is the only Contest 30 listed, built starting in 1974

From Sailboat Data:
Attached Thumbnails
Contest Yachts-1.jpg   Contest Yachts-2.jpg   Contest Yachts-3.jpg  
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Old 11-27-2011
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nope there were to very different versipn of the 30 that version is the modern layout mine is the contest 30 mark 1 sailboat data doesnt actyually have it but in essence it is a contest 29 that had an alumium mast and an l shaped sett instead of an i sahape and 1 foot more length and 1 foot or so more beam as well as some other nonimportant details like a hatch at the stern, a slihtly different forward hatchumm the door to the forward cabin is also ofset to one side of the mast as opposed to directly beneath it that may be why i havent noticed the hjamming of it when sailing but it is more like the 29 than the 30 that u can see on sailboatdata in fact the 30 i have was a vey limited production run it was almost just a different version of the 29
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Contest Yacht Owners Club if you go to the model overview and scroll down to contest 30 mk1 it was designed by gerard luyten as opposed to vsan essen or zaal as the other thirties all in all there were about 4 or 5 fdifferent contest 30s built, all by different designers but yes this is essentially the 29 but modified and having an offset bulkhead
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