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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
My husband and I just bought a 1977 Contest 34. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a Dutch built boat that is quite seaworthy. Is there anyone else out there with a Contest 34 or someone who knows about them? We have started extensive work on the boat incuding replacing all through hulls, the complete fresh water system, parts of the sewage system, all standing rigging, sail are at the sail loft, new prop...need I go on? It would be nice to have someone familiar with this boat to talk to. We are doing as much ourselves as possible. I just finished cleaning and painting the bilges after removing the 33 yr old fresh water lines. Yuk! My husband just finished removing all the through hull fittings. We are on a quest to find the best replacements and the best way to replace them.

Redhairgal
 

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Aeolus II
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Contest 34

I came close to buying one of those a couple years ago. The owner couldn't decide to actually sell her so, eventually I moved on. But it looked like a great boat. I visited her several times while negotiating. It was well built. I contacted the mfg in Holland only to learn the records for older boats (<1990) were lost in some business disaster (may have been a fire, this was 2 years ago). The worst part I could say about his boat was the crazing in the gel-coat, that was not a deal breaker for me. I think you have a good choice for a boat!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both. Joe, I see you're on the Chesapeake. We bought our boat from a man on Kent Island. I'm curious, where was the boat you looked at? I wonder if it's the same boat, it's been painted.
RHG
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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My father has had a 1972 Contest 30 for many, many years and it's been a great boat. Even though he hasn't upgraded much over the years ( re-powered last year) the boat has real class and charm and sails like a dream. It's quite fast ( ask Bubb ) for it's size and structurally he has never had a problem with it. I really like the lines of the Contests, I think you picked a great boat.
 

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If you are stil out there - had ours for 7 years and is just planing for a big overhaul started by minor enginfaliur - so why not fresh up the whole boat, with new engine, electronics, water etc. It is a great boat for family use and we are very fond of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I haven't written in a long time but I thought i would write to let you all know how the boat is doing. We ended up moving to the boat yard in Maryland anf living in a shack for 4 months while we refitted the boat. Here is a partial list of what we did:
new thru hulls, new sea cocks, new standing and running rigging, sails reworked, completely new plumbing system, completely new electrical, new electronics, fiberglass work including building a new sole hatch for the cockpit and sea hood cover, rebuilt the mast step, and reinforced foredeck, added Vetus cleats, painted new waterline and topsides, added removable solet stay with Johnson lever, reinforced bow pulpit, added water heater and new water tanks, removed and cleaned fuel tank, completely serviced engine, raw water intake and exhaust system, replaced fuel lines and added Racor dual fuel filter system, added and replaced lights including foredeck and steaming lights, ham radio, VHF and back stay antenna, new dodger, rebuilt the steering and beefed up a bulkhead to mount actuator for a new below decks auto pilot system, new diesel fired heater and stack, rebuilt propane plumbing for the original stove...

This year we added more electronics, New radar, chart plotter, depth sounder transducer, electric anchor windlass, more powerful higher out alternator, Zantrax voltage management system took out and re-bedded all hatches and made new frames, Rebuilt the cockpit locker covers, added new drawers in aft cabin made new engine box cover with two storage compartments, more wiring and troubleshooting, added new VHF radio at helm...

As you can see the boat needed a great deal of work and money! Now we are having the bottom peeled so we decided to have the topsides painted professionally. I rolled and tipped them last year, good at 10 feet but since we have to peel the bottom we decided to go all the way. When we had the bottom soda blasted we were unhappy to find the gelcoat is very thin with surface cracking all over and very small blisters all over. We found the fiberglass laminate very thick and solid even though the moisture readings were very high. The repairs we did last year, (repairing larger blisters) are completely intact so it repairs well. We found the aluminum casting of the mast step was terrible, a classic 'cold shut' casting where it shrank too fast and caused cracking as the casting cooled. We found cracks in ht e casting. Bad foundry technique and bad quality control. We found this in a Contest 31 we looked at as well.
My biggest decision is whether to stay with white or paint her dark blue.

On the plus side the boat does not leak a drop and the decks are solid fiberglass so no wet cores. The previous owner did very little to this boat but whatever he did we had to rip out and do over. The boat is structurally sound aside from the gel-coat. She sails well, though not the fastest. She is stable and steady on her feet. Rides big waves and comes right up the other side. With the combo of a 45 HP Volvo and new 3 blade prop she's an unstoppable motor-sailer and burns no more than 1/2 gallon an hour at 2500 rpm.
The cabin has lots of head room and the bunks are nice and long in the main salon. The head space in the aft cabin is low.
We're planning to sail to Nova Scotia next year. Looking forward to that.
RHG
 

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i have a contest 32 mid cockpit sloop. very well built and commodious in general.seems to be a well balanced rig. i just came 800 mi. across the gulf of alaska. mine has a glass hardtop cockpit which is nice in this part of the world. good luck on the refit. mine was gone thru pretty well in 2000, although thru hulls need attention and electrical is as always screwy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That sounds like a rough sail across the Gulf. Is there a lot of fog? What was your trip like? I'd love to see a picture of your boat. I didn't know Conyplex built a mid cockpit. When was it built.
RHG
 

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rhg-contest 32

well my motor across the gulf of alaska was fine-20hrs. of daylight help. there was not much wind and my time frame didn't allow me to wait for wind. i fished commercially in the gulf for 10 years so i know what that body of water is capable of. from yakatat to seldovia i think is 430mi. or so and that was the only offshore work we did. big greasy swell and 10 kts. of wind. not much fog in the gulf. you find more in the inside passage with lots of rain-and cruise ships. the scary thing about crossing the gulf is the amount of deadheads out there and the occasional container gone wild.if you continue north from yakatat you hit prince william sound which is the place to cruise....my contest was built in 1986 and the bottom and rigging were redone in 2000. not being an experienced sailor i can't say much about the rig but the boat in general is strong and sea kindly and just seems to sail itself so far. i will find out i guess. have fun with yours.
 

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hi everyone,
we have a contest 34, bought 3 years ago. We had sail during summer mainly in norway and sweden.
We didn't make a lot of refit espacialy compared with you. waouh! what a work you did. I"m really impressed.
During these 3 years we had only one serious problem. The starboard chaineplate ( not really the chaineplatte, the metalic piece inside the boat between the chaineplatte and the hull, i don't know the name in english)broke while we cross the north sea. Hopefully the boat is sturdy, and the deck did resist pretty well. so we kept our mast .

But i advise you to check carefully these pieces in your boat. the portside one did have tiny crack also.

For the rest, we had only minor problems.
Old sails torn => we learn to sew
diesel tank pipe broke => 100 liters of diesel directly keel trap

But now , this winter i will have more time for working at the boat.
I'm wondering about many things to add or refit.
I'm very curious about your solent stay... is it easy to handle? what jib do you put ? how did you manage the deck fitting and the mast fitting?

best regards
 

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new and proud of it
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Don't know if anyone is still reading this thread but I am looking at a 33 Tomorrow. If I have a response I will let you know what I thought of the old girl.
I believe it is a 1972 so I will look for a tag or a plate someplace to take down the numbers.

Fair winds.
 

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good luck on the contest. let me know how it goes.

The owner canceled on me last minute but I managed to track the old girl down in her slip at the marina. I was wondering about the mast on her it looks like it folds down.
It needs new Halyards, Sheets, Blocks, It's missing a chock, and I have yet to see the salon. The cockpit looks a little small but if it is just me that's fine.It has a tiller and would need to be changed to wheel steering in time.The owner also said the engine doesn't run.
How hard is it to get a rebuild kit for a volvo penta if that is what the boat has?
 

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Telstar 28
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The owner canceled on me last minute but I managed to track the old girl down in her slip at the marina. I was wondering about the mast on her it looks like it folds down.
It needs new Halyards, Sheets, Blocks, It's missing a chock, and I have yet to see the salon. The cockpit looks a little small but if it is just me that's fine.It has a tiller and would need to be changed to wheel steering in time.The owner also said the engine doesn't run.
How hard is it to get a rebuild kit for a volvo penta if that is what the boat has?
This boat sounds badly neglected. The engine alone could cost more to repair than the boat is worth, given the other problems you've observed casually. Also, a neglected boat will have other serious issues and can actually have a NEGATIVE TRUE DOLLAR VALUE--in that it will cost more to make the boat sailable that the boat could ever be worth.

If you want a boat with wheel steering, BUY A BOAT WITH A WHEEL. Buying a tiller-steered boat, when you want a wheel steered boat, is just stupid. Converting a boat to wheel steering can be a real PITA. The cockpit isn't large enough to have a large wheel to give you decent leverage, it adds a lot of weight aft, and the cockpit sole may need to be reinforced to handle the loads of a steering pedestal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Buyer beware

To add to what Sailing Dog mentioned the boat is likely to have blisters. As I mentioned in an earlier post our boat had blisters and after peeling we saw they were much worse than suspected. In the 70's builders did not know what they know today about fiberglass. If you have a void because the glass is not completely wetted out you will get blisters. We would have been better off to buy a newer boat for the money we have invested so far. Caveat emptor (sp?).

Redhairgal
 

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My main reason for looking at the boat is I want a cruiser that can go anywhere. Contests seem to be up to the task.
I don't have to have wheel steering a vane would be just as good as a wheel long distance. I was mostly thinking about auto pilot and ease of cruising.
The bottom and decks need to be repainted but that's something that has to be done anyway. It also allows me to change the color to what I want.
I have to think that blisters this far down the road have been attended to. But if not I will just grin and bear the problem with a grinder in one hand and a fiberglass repair kit in the other.
the engine is a problem but I can always add a outboard and use that to move her into and out of port.

Thanks Guys I will let you know what the interior looks like i am supposed to see it Sunday. That to me is the real deal breaker here. If I have to replace it all then I will pass on the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Blisters

One more thing about blisters. We bought our boat in January while it was below freezing. We had a surveyor who used a moisture meter, he did not find blisters. We found a few later on and ground then down etc. After we had the bottom blasted it became evident that we had more blisters. We bought a moisture meter and low and behold in warmer weather there were many more. After the peeling we found the bottom was covered with small blisters some of which went quite deep. The bottom is as thick as 1" in some places, its a good thing it is. I suggest you not be so cavalier about the bottom. It may be fine but don't assume you can take care of it yourself. Find out where the boat has been. If it was kept in the water year round for many years expect blisters. Our boat was a live aboard for 8 years in the Chesapeake.
Redhairgal
 
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