Probably bonding wires. Grounding the engine to the thru-hulls and maybe to anodes. google boat bonding and grounding.

I have two crossing on mine without any issues. recommended.

Mine has three. Used it many times. Do not need a storm main trisail. Better to have 3 and only need 2 than to have 2 and need 3.

additional pic

Radar, GPS, solar panel, 12v refrigeration, autohelm self steering, VHF, depth sounder, Yanmar diesel, triple reefing main sail, four jibs, spinnaker, two speed self tailing winches, Monitor windvane autopilot, dual water tanks, steel cradle, gimballed two-burner stove

This vessel went through a major refit in 2001. It is outfitted for solo ocean sailing. I spent 13 months sailing to Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean without an issue. It is setup to take you anywhere in any conditions. With a little preparation, you could be on your way to Europe in the spring or south to the Caribbean next fall.

Laying Lake Simcoe north of Toronto

2013 survey available
Price $8,800


(1 replies, posted in Repairs/Modifications/Upgrades)

I have a 1GM10 with the 2.62:1 gear ratio and a 12x13RH 3 bladed prop.

For $6,000 more you can buy mine. Ready to go with all accessories and a proven ocean history. It is easy to sink money into a boat that needs work and end up costing more that a more expensive boat that is already in the shape you want and equipped.


(3 replies, posted in For Sale)

The serial number is molded in the the transom on the starboard side just below the rail.


(12 replies, posted in Repairs/Modifications/Upgrades)

Mine (1971) had 2 or 3 set screws, buried under paint.


(6 replies, posted in Cruising)

I have a 25 lbs plow, 25 ft of chain and 200 ft of line. Never failed me. Could not really fit any more in the chain locker. The weight of an all chain setup may be a concern.


(9 replies, posted in Cruising)

I loaded mine up with a lot of stuff without noticeable change. Solar panel, self steering, 90L fuel, 160L water, food for 3 months cloths, charts and everything needed for a years voyage. I was surprised it even fit into the boat. The move from fresh to salt water helped.

I have repaired small areas by drilling holes in the deck and injecting glue, but if your plywood is damp that will not bond properly. Somewhere on this website is a thread that shows someone removing the liner and plywood from the inside and then replacing it. If you are just day sailing, then it is probably best to just leave it. It does not seem economical to fix it considering the cost of buying a better used Contessa.


(17 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

Do not forget about the dodger if you have one. My boom is close to mine. I do not see any other problem with lowering the boom down the track. Mine is held down with a pin that goes across the track. There are several holes to choose from.

When I was at the San Francisco boat show I asked several manufacturers who's gear mounted pole like similiar to capehorn about mounting off center. Some said "no, there are problems when the boat heels". Some said "no problem we just put on a longer paddle." They should know best, but they also have a conflict of interest. In the end I went with a center mounted Monitor.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I had a very small float that was useless. To retrieve the chute I had to lead the rope back to a jib winch in the cockpit and winch in 225 feet. But I would have been happy even if I had to cut it loose. When people climb out of a raft into the rescue ship and watch the raft float away, they do not think, "oh no I am losing expensive my raft", they are happily thinking, " that thing worked great and saved my life, I am going to buy another". Same with the chute. Its nice to get it back, but really it can be thought as a one-time-use disposable life saving item.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I am not sure if the paratech design has changed. I bought mine in 2002 and bought the one suggested in their chart showing boat displacement vs chute diameter. Make sure you have something to present chafing of the rope where it touches the chocks.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

Sea anchor off the front. It's a 9 ft diameter parachute shape, so you drift backward very slowly and the nose is held directly into the waves. This is important in conditions with breaking waves.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I tried main (3 reefs) in tight, headsail sheeted tight to windward and rudder half over. It worked ok, but the boat headed up to about 40 deg and then fell off to about 60 deg. There was nothing wrong with that, but I found that the boat was more stable with the storm jib sheeted tight and the boat pinched up to the point that the sail did not flog, but the boat just made speed for minimal steerage. There was no chafing due to the jib sheet touching the windward shroud. The boat pointed closer to the waves and more consistently. In this configuration there was also less sail area. I can see the Pardey main sail only working well as long as it does not fall off too much or round up to the point of flogging. Definitely worth experimenting. But do that when the conditions are bad enough to give valid results but before the conditions are too bad. The other thing I carried and used once is a sea anchor parachute from Para-tech. I got caught is a gale in the gulf stream on the way to Bermuda. It was a wind against current situation that produced 30 ft waves. The chute kept the nose directly into the waves for 36 hours.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I saw your pics on your website. The refit looks good. I read your FAQ page and thought I should pass along a few tips I learned on my voyages.
- An indoor head is next to useless at sea but still very useful in harbour. Especially at a crowded dock.
- While you may be intending on anchoring out to save costs, there are many places where that is not an option. Many places do not have sheltered bays, only harbours and there may be no place to anchor in the harbour. Other places like Horta have nice docks and still charge you to anchor out even though anchorage is terrible there. Meeting new people is one of the great things about voyaging (especially solo) and if everyone is docked...
- Do not rely on flying fish as a source of food. I only got them close to the equator and they were generally too small to eat. The larger ones quickly flopped back in the water or made it clear across the boat.
- An extra pump at the sink that is connected to a thru-hull is useful. You can pump seawater to rinse dishes and save fresh water without having to go outside and risk your life or the bucket by trying to dip for water while sailing at full speed.
- Others have told me that gathering rainwater is only practical with long showers with little wind. Most rain heavy enough to try to collect comes with enough wind to make it next to impossible.
- GPS can be a great tool other than just blindly following a line on the screen. It can tell you the current/tidal flow, alarm with you anchor drags, show the direction the boat is travelling not just where it is pointing. Sometimes you want to know exactly where you are. A day old fix would not have helped me when I has trying to enter the Straits of Gibraltar at exactly the right time to avoid 5 knot currents or approaching New York in fog while staying in the exclusion zone between the shipping lanes.
- An AIS receiver is a useful tool to avoid getting run down. Much cheaper than radar.
- Thieves on land or in an anchorage want to get away quickly and do not want to leave empty handed, so have a cheap bottle of booze and a second wallet handy. The wallet has lots of singles, expired credit and AAA cards.
- I found that rather than heaving-to, it was better to set the storm jib, pull it in tight and pinch up until you are just moving. This keeps the boat stable and the nose into the waves.
- Be flexible on your food. Each country has different things available. Many places, especially small out of the way places do not have any process foods (canned soup, sauces) only what we think of as ingredients.
- Paint the boats name on both sides at the bow. Other boaters will identify you mainly by your boat name. (ie The new guy in Maxed out. Drop by Maxed out for drinks at 4) and it is very hard to walk down a dock and find a boat with the name hidden on the stern. If people dingy through the anchorage they only have a 50 - 50 change of finding you. Of course it helps when you tell them you are the smallest boat. They remember that.


(27 replies, posted in Technical)

Here is a pic of a modification I made. I was worried that if I hit bottom with a bit of wave bouncing the boat, the cotter pin would shear and the rudder get pushed up and off. So I bolted an L bracket to the transom to prevent the rudder from moving upward. Now at worst, the bottom piece of the rudder will snap off leaving you still having steering.


(6 replies, posted in Wanted)

Here is another way to save money. You are going to need many courtesy flags. They normally cost $20 to $40 each. I found a guy that was selling 12" x 18" flags on a 2 ft stick for about $5 each. Same idea as a desk flag but bigger. They are silkscreened on to thin cloth and start fraying after a month, but you do not need them to last long. Just remove the stick and sew on a length of 1/8" rope. Should be able to get them at a good flag store.


(6 replies, posted in Wanted)

I have used Bellingham Chart Printers (Tidesend) about 12 years ago. No problems. Since the US does not copyright their charts they are allowed to photocopy them. They sell black and white copies on heavy paper. You can save a ton of money. You can buy individual charts or groups ( ie all charts for new york to florida) and save even more. They also sell the originals.


(3 replies, posted in Technical)

Here is another angle. I do not have a close up. If you need one, it will take a few days.


(3 replies, posted in Technical)

My scanmar monitor setup has cheek block on the cockpit combing. The attached picture was taken before the center chain was attached and the lines are just looped over the tiller. The cheek block are angled so they are lined up with the output pulley on the monitor. The output side of the cheek block is pointed at the tiller attachment point. In operation the tiller does not move that much off center so the angle does not change much and there is no chafe. I have 11,000nm on it and the only chafe has been at the blocks on the lower end of the monitor. I believe this was caused because I had to much tension on the lines. Whatever you do, use good low friction pulleys.


(3 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

I have never heard of one on a Contessa. With the Contessa's long keel and low windage, I do not think that is required. I have been on a drogue and at anchor in some good blows and have not had a problem with skating. If you are anchored in a current you can use your self steering gear to keep you straight.