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Contessa 32

8289 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  chris_gee

Contessa 32. An English design. But apparently some built in Nth America by a Canadian firm.
The one I am looking at built in, and sailed from England. Current owner is her second owner.

Does anyone know much about this design as far as her build quality goes?

She looks a sweet boat. Cramped, but who cares. I look at todays designs and see that the "floating apartment" has come into force big time.
Even though I can afford it, I really want no part of modern designed boats.

Vendor told me he often sails past contemporary designs...and they have a look of disbelief as he does it. That may be a bit of bravado from him...but we will see.
He did admit she was wettish in a short chop, but will plough through while the other boats quickly turn back to the yacht club to avail armchair sailor stories.
As an aside: It is amazing how many miles are sailed around the yacht bar. A good reason I have avoided them for many years.

Mind you, he ripped out his motor, filled in the aperture - so that must be worth a half knot or more to weather, and has some nice sails cut.
If I do buy, I will consider refitting with a motor, but I learnt how to sail as a youngster on small keel boats without motors, so no problem there, even though I have taken a 15 year break from sailing.......apart from the odd weekend sail on a friends Alberg 30 (another very fine boat indeed).

He is only selling as he is 72, and he is moving down in size.

But if anywone out there in cyberspace has one, how do you find she has held up, build wise, over the years. The one I am looking at appears sound, but would be good to get opinions from other owners of these vessels.

Thanks in advance.
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Jeremy Rogers and Taylor

The Contessa 32 is a great boat. You can find tons of information by searching on the Internet, but start here: &
They are well built boats, but a few have had osmosis. I've sailed one, however currently own a Contessa 35 which is a different creature (but also very well built). The Canadian Contessa's were built by JJ Taylor.
You could also contact Jeremy Rogers limited by e-mail, they're extremely helpful and nice.
Hope this helps!
Thankyou sir,

Will do, Will get my son to do it. He is sitting next to me right now.
I retired at 40, and have never really had to have the inclination to learn to use a computer properly!
:) On second thought, get a survey, negotiate the right price, and buy the boat :D
While your son is at it, ask him to show you the videos on YouTube of Contessa 32's..
Hope it is in great shape, and that you buy it :)
I'd buy that ride. Kretchmer took one westabout Cape Horn; his review HERE. As tough a little boat as you will ever find. English ones are a bit less modern below. All have solid GRP decks: no core to delam or rot, but they feel less stiff underfoot. Plenty strong, tho. Excellent stability, decent motion comfort, one hell of a boat. Tend to be expensive relative to other boats of their vintage -- $45000 US for a 30-year old boat that size? Yep. And unless it's already been beat to pieces, it'll probably outlast a ten-year old Hunter.
I've been in several, and had the pleasure of meeting the builder, Jeremy Rogers:

Jeremy Rogers Manufacturing. Contessa 32 Yachts and Accessories, Atlas Carbon Davit Manufacturer, Composite Mouldings.

The one thing, though... These are surprisingly compact yachts on the inside and out. The 26 in particular, but also the 32. Even a couple might want to spend some time aboard thinking about cruising plans and space.
They're excellent little boats, and still being made on a semi-custom basis IIRC.
I have one. Sailed through 33 knots average wind against a 3 knot tide on the delivery in about 4.5-5 m steep seas with a single reef and partly furled number 2 and it went well.
The build seems quite good and the design very secure. However it is cosy and not very comfortable sleeping wise. Try getting in the quarter berth, or the v berth. It depends what you want it for. It will go anywhere but a lot more time is spent at the dock or anchor.
There are days and times eg docking when a motor is virtually a necessity.
In that the boat is probably over 26 years old you may well find that you need to spend close to half again on refurbishment more with a motor.
I won't go into the details but they are items based on age, not problems apparent on survey. It may be though that an older owner has systematically kept up.
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