I noticed today that they have a video interview from the Discovery Channel on their site:
All exaggeration aside, it must be tough living on a Contessa 26 for so long (three years so far), but I admire their high spirits in the interview. It also sounds like they are continuing, at a pace they enjoy.
Great video about a good story and two people who obviously have their "sailing" act together. It is interesting to see their gear, sailplan, and cabin modifications (at least what we can glimpse during the video). They are certainly realistic about their plans, and I think they are taking the correct approach of keeping things simple. Unfortunately, my tendency on a small boat like this would be to overcompensate with electronics and other expensive gear. They have even taken the engine out, and are using only a wind vane. They picked a good boat, well suited to the trip for such a small vessel.
You have to be short to enjoy a Contessa. Great sailing boat, and I admire their seaworthy design attributes, but for an over 6ft guy I can't see anymore that weekending in one. and 2 people? I guess some people like that "cozy" feeling
I agree with the six-foot-plus issue...but a Contessa is safer on the ocean than many larger, more "open" designs precisely because it's narrow and snug, with handholds and bracing possibilities in all directions.
My full keeler has a seven foot height in the saloon, but because I have a collision bulkhead and only 12.5 feet of beam, it's not much bigger than a 35-footer's saloon. There's an aft cabin and a pilothouse and a workshop where the V-berth would be, but we feel that it's safer on blue water to fall through the least amount of air possible before you hit the furniture!
I agree with the six-foot-plus issue...but a Contessa is safer on the ocean than many larger, more "open" designs precisely because it's narrow and snug, with handholds and bracing possibilities in all directions.!
There's a Contessa 26 in our marina, and it is a surprisingly small boat. Very low to the water. Even the 32s have little freeboard, but they are tough. We looked at several 32s, but they were pretty tight inside. Some of the new ones, and the fully restored ones, are amazing.
I think the Bika story might also be about a calm and competent crew, who happen to have more time to focus on their seamanship than taking care of systems. I kind of like that idea.
I saw a big sailing cruiser leave the marina the other day that had it's stern festooned with various energy collection/generating devices to support all of the electronics onboard. Get a little VHF radio and a GPS unit and call it good. You can't "buy" safety or fun.
It was amazing seeing BIKA on TV - As someone also sailing a red Contessa 26, virtually on the same route as them (I'm not copying; promise!) it was so much fun seeing the TV piece on them. I'm not as tall as Henrik, but, at just shy of 6ft, the Contessa 26 is awfully low... I can't imagine sailing with anyone else on board though, I have enough trouble on my own!
I saw that boat in New Orleans just a couple weeks ago. It was obviously set up for long range cruising, but I did not know the story behind it. The owner's were not on board at the time - too bad, it would have been good to meet them.