I''ve been looking at a Contest 27, an older (1970) Dutch-built fiberglass cruiser. I''d like to sail the coast of New England mainly but don''t know anything about this one -- does anyone have any experience with Contests??? Thanks!
I once looked at a Contest 31 in a yard in Belfast, Maine. Solid as a rock, Scheel keel (old man Scheel lived in Rockland) and beautiful African woods belowdecks. They''re built good. Do the tap tap thing all over to make sure the deck and hull don''t have any problems. The 31 was priced around $19,000.00 and went for less. Only problem I noted was significant crazing in the gelcoat on the deck. A repairable condition. Steal it. Don''t be afraid to lowball an offer.
I owned a 1970 Contest 30 for about 6 years (1974-1980). It had an Atomic 4 auxilary which was OK for the time, but a diesel would have been better.
The boat sailed very well, was easy to handle and very solidly built. It had a cast iron ballast, but I never had any problem with it. The interior was beautiful African mahogoney, but rather tight by today''s "floating condo" standards. (We had 4 kids at the time so we lived "close".)
I never had any blister problems. I did upgrade the sheet and haliyard winches from the originals which I found to be too small.
I''d take a close look at the hatches and hatch combings if they are the same wooden ones that I had. They are (at least on my boat) mahagoney rather than teak and prone to dry rot if not kept varnished.
I had to replace the A-4 when the block cracked due to a raw water cooling system. There wasn''t much choice at the time in small diesels so I replaced with another A-4. The only problem that I ever had with the boat was a failure of the starboard upper shroud chain plate. The insurance company rated it an unavoidable failure and I got a new mast out of it.
I still think very fondly of that boat although we are very satisfied with our C&C 36.
I have a Contest 27 (1969) Hull #2. SOLID as a rock!!! She has NO CORE, just solid glass. African Mahogany below decks. Well laid-out. I have a Universal 5411 11hp diesel in mine (Kubota base). Home port is Fairhaven, MA.
She sails VERY well, reasonably fast, and extremely close to the wind! Also, she is very stable due to the high (46%) ballast to displacement ratio.
Lots of room below. Berths are all 7ft long, with lee-boards. Full-sized chart table. Galley table is removeable for storage and is also used as cockpit table. A removeable stool is provided between the chart table and galley. Easy engine access. Turns on a dime in close quarter situations, and I've backed her (when set down on next dock's anchor platforms!) at near hull speed.
I paid 6k for mine, totally rewired her (running pvc electrical conduit) from stem to stern, with new electical panels. (email me for pics!) Current investment is about 15K.
Original wiring and switches were shot from exposure to salt air.
Cushions had been redone by previous owner.
Sails weren't bad, but main is on the replacement list. for next year.
Girlfriend did new curtains and drape for v-berth.
I have a newer 1981 Contest 31 HT. Sails well, lots of room down below, solid as a rock. Recently stripped the bottom paint off and found hundreds of gel coat blisters; only a small blister into the fiberglass. I will be working on that this month.
My friend has a 1970 Contest 30 with Atomic 4. His only problem was a cosmetic crazing of the deck. We both have small fresh water leaks. He put in 2 new bladders; I will put mine in this fall.