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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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  #31  
Old 11-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
Jeff is very knowledgeable about boat designs and has worked as a designer. Since he has personal experience with Contests of the era of yours you should listen to what he has to say. One caveat, he has a much higher appreciation of modern designs than the traditional, but the reality is that for many people the cost of a modern, quality cruising boat is just not in the ball park so the question becomes, which of the older boats is best.
I prefer to describe my preferences a little differently. It is true that I am a big fan of many of the newer design trends, but I am also genuinely a fan of traditional working watercraft and the designs which faithfully derive from them.

What I am not a fan of, is the CCA and IOR race rule distorted designs which came in the period (1950's, 1960's, 1970's into the 1980's) between the era of traditional sailing craft and the present. I am also not a fan of some of the so-called 'character boats' which pretend to be traditional designs above the waterline but offer none of the virtues of either modern designs or the traditional, while retaining the liabilities of both. I know that some people would refer to these CCA design (and to a lesser extent IOR designs) as traditional, but I do not. I see these distorted designs as an aberation from the millennia long, trial and error evolution of wholesome design principles which resulted in the better working water craft, as well as, earlier purpose built cruising designs.

My criticisms of older boats are often misunderstood. I completely understand that not everyone can afford to buy a modern design to go distance cruising. The real point of my comments is not to suggest that only new designs are suitable for cruising. My real point is to suggest that if one wants to voyage under sail cheaply, one should search for one of the more suitable designs of an era.

The cost difference between buying a well-designed and well-constructed boat of any specific era, vs something less suitable is negligible. But the inherent seaworthiness, sailing ability and robustness of the better boat will reduce the inherent risk, as well as the costs to upgrade and operate the boat. This is especially true as these boats are now 40-50 years old and so the impact of poor build practices are more likely to become apparent when these boats are subjected to the stresses of being fully stocked during an offshore passage.

I would also note that I am highly skeptical of the 44% ballast to displacement mentioned. Based on the Contest 25 and Contest 29's of that era, I would expect the ballast ratio to be down around 35-36% or so. That is not especially good for a narrow, shoal draft 30 footer.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 11-28-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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  #32  
Old 11-28-2011
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i do agree with him im one to air on the side of caution id rather listen to somone pointing out the issues with it rather than listen to everyone else ive seen on forums talking about how seaworthy they are then get caught out in something and have the hull smashed in, i was just thinking it might be more economically feasible to modify the structure since it does have a good amount of glass im sure reframing the hull would be able to fix the structural defects, as for the keel that may not be abvoided i just dont think ill have the money to own two boats and fix the hullmaster up with whatever it needs and since its difficult to sell a 40 year old obscure boat i think im stuck with the contest also in terms of the 29 and the 30 bothe the 29 and the 30 mark 1 were designed by luyten whereas the newer 30s were designed by zaal and essen but mine is the early 30 so in that way we do have some indformation. in terms of the bilge pumps i think i might as well get the henderson so i have less things i have to hunt for used. As for the fiance i will give it some thought i figured id essentially be singlehanding but shed be there for altternating watches and in case of emergency i figured she could do things that require no real previous experience like pumping the bilge while i manned the helm. and i do understand offshore is a totally different bird, ive been thru a few squalls on the great lakes but im sure thats nothing compared to a gale in the atlantic, but i figured going to bermuda id get a sense of the difference while being close enough to land to have a sense of security and the ability to be rescued if the boat ends up on the ocean floor in terms of albergs i always thought the albergs were the best designs especially the 30 didnt the guy who invented the cape horn gear circumnavigate in jean du sud which was an alberg 30 although the contessa 32s seem to be rather espensive here as in 50 000 and over. anyways if i absolutely have to get a different boat i guess i could try to sell the contest and if not ill have to put off the trip till i can afford both boats and storage and whatnot for both which i really dont want because id like to just have one to worry about
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  #33  
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i think i get what u mean since the contest is not a full keeled boat it does not have the advantage a full keel has yet ist still has the bow and the beam of a full keeled boat and also the under body is almost like somone just snapped of the forefoot and cut off the back quarter of the keel which obviously causes turbulence which most likely causes the aeration ive talked about but im more concerned less about the rounding up which cvan usually be corrected by adjustments to the helm as the load transfers from the keel but in all fairness i think you should advise whoever is writing that offshore boat list on this forum to remove the contests of this era from the thread because it is misleading, i also was mislead by the fact that it feels much more solid compared to say a catalina or a benetau but i suppose i was fooled having never really had experience on older boats i just assumed because it seemed rugged it was and having heard of many people who did offshore work with them as well as ppl praising the design on this forum but i guess that those ppl must have not encountered heavy weather as you can go anywhere in anything with the right conditions although it doesnt give you the peace of mind im looking for in being able to heave to and know u wont be blown to peices by a large breaker
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  #34  
Old 11-28-2011
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I agree with Jeff that you need to have the best boat within your budget range. Contessa 32s are advertised in the low to mid 30k range on Yachtworld. Those who are asking 50k are living in a time warp and think it is still 2007. Not saying that this is the boat, just that I prefer it to an Alberg 30. The fact that someone did xxx voyage in a particular boat does not mean the boat is a good choice for the trip. There is a boat surveyor in Brisbane who circumnavigated in a 12 footer of some type - he did it, would you want to?

If you want to keep your Contest then you are going in the right direction of trying to get rid of as many uncertainties as you practically can. A trip to Bermuda can be a millpond where the most important thing is your fuel capacity or you can get a terrific blow.We went NYC to Bermuda on Niagara 35 in 4 1/2 days including one day of 191 miles, which is one mile short of 8 knot average which is more than hull speed - we had some favourable current and 25 to 35 knots (with gusts) broad reaching. Spent the day trying to slow down with no obvious success as you can see. So you just have to be well prepared.

One hint, once you get things somewhat sorted out, go sailing on those boisterous September days when no one else is leaving the harbour (just make sure you can get in and out safely - some harbour mouths get really nasty). Practice reefing and unreefing a lot. Spend your money on the things you rely on routinely like strong sails, sail handling gear and the right nav things rather than the stuff you read about online or in the books like storm jibs and the like. We have a storm jib, a trysail, a parachute anchor and they have never been used, although I am going to make sure that the trysail is in the track and lashed on deck before we start heading from Mauritius to South Africa.

let us know if you have any other questions.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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  #35  
Old 11-28-2011
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Yachtworld lists one Contessa 32 in Ontario for just over 39k. There are only 2 less expensive and both are in the UK. The rest are between 41k and 72k except for a 4 year old one at 165k

A good boat certainly but not an inexpensive one.
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  #36  
Old 11-28-2011
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tbh im not looking for a new boat because the reality is im not going to be able to sell my boat and if i did i cant think of any suitable boats because my budget is more like 15 or 20 (assuming its fully equipmented out) not 40 50 grand so instead of telling me how the boat is hasrd to control when it heels tell me how to steengthen the frame because it did seem pretty sturdy when i took it out in a small craft warning breeze and sluggish even so im guessing these flaws only present themselves in say a 35 knot wind, but since your the expert im sure you could give me some pointers ars to what to strengthen instead of just pushing me towards boats i cant aford. if i were to buy a boat in the 50 000 dollar range id go for a steel hull anyways and if the deep keel boats are so superior for durability why do u always hear of them losing there keels in the southern ocean (not that id ever plan to go there in anything short of a tallship) but back to reality and bermuda, i was wondering though if i were stuck in a full gale and i had no drogue or storm jib what would i do lay a hull with bare poles, run before the weather streaming warps. To be honest i wouldnt circumnavigate in a 12 foot boat but i have heard of contest 29s and 30s that have sailed from the netherlands to the us virgin islands so i assumed they were up to it but i suppose it may not be ideal due to the comments made but any boat can be made safer for example a catalina 27 circumnavigated and im fairly certain my boat is much stronger just from a raw fiberglass point of view even if the internal bracing was not as good but im sure if i add some stringers and a few compression posts i should be able to correct that. in terms of reefing i do feel rather happy that the boat has both slab reefing and a roller boom bith of which i have plenty of experience with, in terms of sailing in 25 to 35 knots while we dont have 35 knots often i have bbeen in 25 once or twice in lake huron crewing on my friends c and c 27 im going to post a lit of my ideas for a list of what i need to do for the boat it would help if you could tell me what my priorities are
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Old 11-28-2011
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Priorities

Quote:
Originally Posted by duchess of montrose View Post
tbh im not looking for a new boat because the reality is im not going to be able to sell my boat and if i did i cant think of any suitable boats because my budget is more like 15 or 20 (assuming its fully equipmented out) not 40 50 grand so instead of telling me how the boat is hasrd to control when it heels tell me how to steengthen the frame because it did seem pretty sturdy when i took it out in a small craft warning breeze and sluggish even so im guessing these flaws only present themselves in say a 35 knot wind, but since your the expert im sure you could give me some pointers ars to what to strengthen instead of just pushing me towards boats i cant aford. if i were to buy a boat in the 50 000 dollar range id go for a steel hull anyways and if the deep keel boats are so superior for durability why do u always hear of them losing there keels in the southern ocean (not that id ever plan to go there in anything short of a tallship) but back to reality and bermuda, i was wondering though if i were stuck in a full gale and i had no drogue or storm jib what would i do lay a hull with bare poles, run before the weather streaming warps. To be honest i wouldnt circumnavigate in a 12 foot boat but i have heard of contest 29s and 30s that have sailed from the netherlands to the us virgin islands so i assumed they were up to it but i suppose it may not be ideal due to the comments made but any boat can be made safer for example a catalina 27 circumnavigated and im fairly certain my boat is much stronger just from a raw fiberglass point of view even if the internal bracing was not as good but im sure if i add some stringers and a few compression posts i should be able to correct that. in terms of reefing i do feel rather happy that the boat has both slab reefing and a roller boom bith of which i have plenty of experience with, in terms of sailing in 25 to 35 knots while we dont have 35 knots often i have bbeen in 25 once or twice in lake huron crewing on my friends c and c 27 im going to post a lit of my ideas for a list of what i need to do for the boat it would help if you could tell me what my priorities are
I can't comment on reinforcing the hull since I don't know the boat. Ask around at the marina you are in - there should be someone who knows enough this to offer reasonable advice. Did you get a survey before purchase? If so, ask the surveyor, you paid for professional advice on such matters.

I doubt you will use the rollerboom. This was an older idea that died out for good reason - it did not work very well. As you rolled the boom, the boom got lower (because of the geometry of the sail) and the sail shape was lousy. Make sure your slab reefing is really sound and have a particular look for any source of chafe on the blocks or sail cringles.

Experiment a lot with heaving-to. Every boat does it differently. Some need both jib and main, some only a well-reefed main (if your main is in really good shape you might want to get a third reef point installed - often the second reef does not reduce sail enough). Running off is quite hard to do since it requires a lot of skill in really bad conditions and an iron constitution to keep it up. Moistessier was a proponent of this approach and the man is like a god (better than Eric Clapton - sorry different thread entirely ) both in what he accomplished and his capabilities. You can make a series drogue if you have access to a sewing machine. Haven't used one but had a friend who did twice on his way from the Galapagos to Chile this year - both times in 40 to 45 knots and pretty large seas. He loves it.

Interested to see your list. BtW, I don't consider myself an expert - but the more you sail the more you learn and the more you realize that you still need to learn.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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  #38  
Old 11-28-2011
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the marina operator actually told me the boat was as strong as a bull on steroids hence why i was so confused when i heard jeffs opinion but then my marina operator doesnt design boats he just repairs and works on them and also happened to cross the atlantic by boat when he moved to canada in his cutter i did not get a survey because i figured i paid 13 grand for the boat i might as well put the 1 grand into equipment rather than a survey and knowing there was no coring i figurede there was nothing that could go wrong or rot and obviously the marina operator would know if it had osmosis because he put on new antifouling at the beggining of the season i figured id use the rollerboom if i needed a very tiny peice of sail as in smaller than the smallest jinb i had so i could heave to and in that regard how mmuch would it cost me in raw materials to build a series drogue and my main is 1 year old so its pretty decent shape although it is kmuch smaller than the original sail was so that contributs to the sluggishness its about half the size of my 150 genoa and reef number 2 makes the sail about half the size of that of the 420s i sailed as a 7 year old so not sure if i should put any reef point higher than that or one in the middle because the jump between reef one and 2 is enormous in terms of blocks im replacing the traveler blocks and the cleat but the rest are all new as are the winches so heres my list btw
storm jib
jacklines
bilge pump
replace all clevis pins and have rigging inspected
upgrade travveler blocks and cleats
make storm hatches for doghouse windows
drogue
add compression post slash any needed strengthening
make colision mat out of an old yaga mat with grommets (heard it works wonders)
make a plate to fit to all dorade vents incase of knockdown
buld water jug locker in old inboard engine room
put spare ground tackle in box and store it in locker near center of boat to prevent it becoming a projectile
solar panels
set up sheet to tiller steering and look for windvane in my price range
add latches for all lockers and hatches
replace waterproof gaskets for all external hatches and lockers and bulkhead door
test rudder bearings the keel is encapsulated so need to worry about bolts
buy a barometer and an hf receiver any other ideas
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Old 11-28-2011
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oh and add cockpit scuppers and create a thick weatherboard that swings in front of the companionway to create a sturdier closing for heavy weather to prevent a breaking wave from destoying the weatherboards and floodiing the cabin
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Old 11-29-2011
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Some reactions

Quote:
Originally Posted by duchess of montrose View Post
the marina operator actually told me the boat was as strong as a bull on steroids hence why i was so confused when i heard jeffs opinion but then my marina operator doesnt design boats he just repairs and works on them and also happened to cross the atlantic by boat when he moved to canada in his cutter i did not get a survey because i figured i paid 13 grand for the boat i might as well put the 1 grand into equipment rather than a survey and knowing there was no coring i figurede there was nothing that could go wrong or rot and obviously the marina operator would know if it had osmosis because he put on new antifouling at the beggining of the season i figured id use the rollerboom if i needed a very tiny peice of sail as in smaller than the smallest jinb i had so i could heave to and in that regard how mmuch would it cost me in raw materials to build a series drogue and my main is 1 year old so its pretty decent shape although it is kmuch smaller than the original sail was so that contributs to the sluggishness its about half the size of my 150 genoa and reef number 2 makes the sail about half the size of that of the 420s i sailed as a 7 year old so not sure if i should put any reef point higher than that or one in the middle because the jump between reef one and 2 is enormous in terms of blocks im replacing the traveler blocks and the cleat but the rest are all new as are the winches so heres my list btw
storm jib
jacklines
bilge pump
replace all clevis pins and have rigging inspected
upgrade travveler blocks and cleats
make storm hatches for doghouse windows
drogue
add compression post slash any needed strengthening
make colision mat out of an old yaga mat with grommets (heard it works wonders)
make a plate to fit to all dorade vents incase of knockdown
buld water jug locker in old inboard engine room
put spare ground tackle in box and store it in locker near center of boat to prevent it becoming a projectile
solar panels
set up sheet to tiller steering and look for windvane in my price range
add latches for all lockers and hatches
replace waterproof gaskets for all external hatches and lockers and bulkhead door
test rudder bearings the keel is encapsulated so need to worry about bolts
buy a barometer and an hf receiver any other ideas
Specific comments
  • Storm jib - could not tell from your postings if your 150 is your only jib and whether you have a furler - I would put a working jib (perhaps a 90%) ahead of the storm jib; not aware of used sail dealer in Canada but Bacon Sails in Annapolis has a huge selection that you can check online (bought my storm jib from them and sold some sails as well); their condition judgements are quite fair tending to conservative; if they something is 'good' it really is
  • I assume that the dorade vents are screw-ins; you should be able to find plates (bronze/SS/Plastic) that screw into the ring; yours might be metric which could make it tougher
  • As well as water jug storage you are likely to have extra fuel storage as well - not wild about gas below decks but it may be necessary; going up/down the Hudson is often motoring since summer winds are light and when they exist they are up or down the valley so you are beating or running
  • What is your ground tackle? Don't need a whole lot for St Georges harbour in Bermuda or the Great Lakes where depths are not too bad
  • experimenting with sheet to tiller only needs some shock cord, a bit of line and a couple of smallish blocks and is lots of fun; good luck finding the book
  • If you are singlehanding on the Lakes or down to NYC to go to Bermuda you will find a tillerpilot much more useful than a vane; the vane is really for long passages and you will not know about that until after the Bermuda trip so here is something you can delay until after Bermuda - unless you stumble on a really good deal which happens
  • Just give the rudder a good yank, up down and sideways and see if there is any play
  • As well as jacklines, check to see if there are strong points to attach your harness at the helm and just outside the companionway; I was in a race on Lake Ontario years ago where I man in a Shark was swept overboard in the middle of the night as he was coming on deck with his tether in hand; if conditions are really nasty you want to be attached while still in the cabin. You might be looking at at least two large padeyes with good backing. Each should be big enough to allow two tethers to attach.
  • Saw a nice idea for doghouse windows protection on a boat in Oz with quite large windows. They had attached a rectangular piece of plexi across the entire window and attached at either end - not fitted to the window shape at all. Makes sense because you are only trying to absorb the weight of a breaking wave before it hits the actual windown. This approach was simple and cheap.
  • sailrite.com sell a series drogue kit (along with everything else you could imagine in the marine sewing business); don't know if you could do it cheaper buying all the bits yourself
  • Surveyors do more than check for blisters. Do you have insurance? Did they allow coverage without a survey? Usually the insurance companies insists on a survey. I changed insurance companies after 18 months in the US because the company I had would not provide offshore coverage. Had to get a new survey because the old one was more than year old.

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