Hey Gill.
Join the facebook group, share some photos.
The Lake Ontario Contessa Association has some spreadsheets about other boats that were built around that time, we may be able to narrow it down.

The identification plates were placed in various places.  On my 1983 JJ Taylor / CO26, the plates were located at the top of the transom on the starboard side (viewable from aft) and also on the bulwark of the transom on the port side (viewable from in the cockpit).

Both list a number that shows you when it was built and the hull number.


(1 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

The page seems to have a PHP error... but your test message is somewhat received.

I have a similar design traveler on my Contessa although, it appears to be a few inches aft of where yours sits.  I survived a storm that was easily 45-55knots in lake Erie an 15' waves.  The original traveler was an aluminum pin-stop traveler and it pulled the aluminum pins right through the track.... The Track, pins and car were garbage after that event, but the design of the traveler was/is solid to this day.
I replaced it with an identical traveler system like you have... I would expect it to be better suited to the task.

Of course, I can't speak for a knock-down.  All bets are off if you are hit that hard.  But for wind and waves exceeding 50+ knots, you should be fine.

Make sure you have appropriate backing plates under the stainless legs and that the metal, itself, is strong enough for the task.



(3 replies, posted in For Sale)

Mine is on a plate on the inboard side of the transome bulwark on the port side.


(7 replies, posted in Technical)

Well, I suppose I should have updated this a while ago.

I upgraded my mainsheet about 5 years ago... I can't remember but I believe it is 10mm.

I just received some new line (yet to be installed)...

I am changing out my 3:1 boom vang with a Harken 4:1 carbo block fiddle & becket.  Not that I require the extra purchase, but I wasn't sure if it was 3:1 or 4:1 so I chose to err on the side of caution.  It is now 6mm Samson MLX3 which I believe is a spectra core.   I think I will be very happy with this new setup.

I replaced my jib sheets.  I hemmed and hawed between 8mm and 10mm and went with the more expensive 10mm Samson MLX3 (spectra core I believe) lines.  These are massively overkill for the boat... I'm still not sure if 10mm is going to be too big or if I'm going to regret not going with 8mm sheets.  I guess I'll find out if we ever launch this year.

Hi Landon,
My Contessa was rigged by a previous owner, so I can tell you how it is presently setup and what I'd prefer.

My current mast runs internal halyards with exit sheaves at the very bottom of the mast.  The halyards run to turning blocks on deck and back to the cockpit, passing through individual clutcesh and lead to winches (main halyard to port, Jib & spin to starboard)
The boom topping lift is internal to the mast and exits about 4' about he deck through a keyhole shaped hole (a stopper knot is used).
We have a winch on the mast, under the boom, for the outhaul and 2 reefing outhauls; All three are run through the boom, around turning blocks to the appropriate clews.

Here's where the opinions come in...
1.  Running the halyards back to the cockpit is safest as I don't have to send crew or myself around the dodger to raise the main or jib.  However, this setup does induce friction because of old sheeves and turning blocks but does allow them to be properly tensioned with a winch.
2.  Internal halyards that exit at the base of a mast are a nuisance and I don't like them.  When working the foredeck of race boats, I can tell you it is much easier to jump a halyard that exits the mast above head height so that you can use your body weight to hoist quickly with full range of motion.  Halyards at the base of the mast require that you are trying to grasp the line and pull up, using your back instead of your body's gravity.
3.  Having the Outhauls at the mast and the halyards in the cockpit is at odds & evens.  Why would they do this??? it makes no sense for a single handed person to try to lower the halyard in the cockpit, race forward to put the tack rings on the hooks, race back to the cockpit to raise the halyard, then get back to the mast to tension the outhaul.  It is far too many fore/after trips and should be re-rigged so that it can either be all done at the mast OR all done in the cocklit.

The answer, for you, is going to depend on your boat, your philosophy and your budget.
a.  Are your halyards run internally or externally?  Do they exit above deck or at the base of the mast?
b.  Do your halyards exit both sides of the mast or only one?  Do you care about winches (i.e.  Do you require 0, 1 or 2 winches on the mast?)
c.  Do you prefer all lines run to the cockpit or do you like to keep everything off the deck and at the mast?
d.  Are you single handing or will you have crew that can go forwards while you steer?

Basically, at cheapest you CAN get away with nothing more than a few cleats on the mast.  You can get more expensive with 3 halyards run to the cockpit, 3 outhauls run to the cockpit, you'd need 2 x 3sheeve turning blocks, 6 clutches and two or 3 winches...

My personal opinion is that having 4 - 6 winches in the cockpit is best.   You never know if one jams up and you need to run a line to a spare winch or maybe you're flying a kite, then you can use a lazy-sheet setup.  And having someone grind you up the mast on a halyard is possible with a winch, but not if you are merely jumping the halyard by hand.


(2 replies, posted in Cruising)

Excellent.  :-)

Hi All,

The LOCA has been dormant for a few years now.  I thought I would reach out and refresh our contact database.  If you would like to join the LOCA mailing list, please contact me.  The best method is through email...

Jordan at Omato dot com

Or you can try sending me a Private Message... mind you, I may not see it for a while.

I am planning a quick get together at the end of August, so make sure you're up to date so you get notifications!



(3 replies, posted in Boat handling / Performance)

Hi Brian,
I have hove to for lunch breaks and the Contessa handles that just fine.

In the one major storm I was in where we SHOULD have hove to, we actually ran for it...  About 105nm in 15' waves and, somewhere between 40 and 55 knots of wind.  We blew apart two snatch blocks rated at 2,000lbs, and it pulled the pin stops through the aluminum traveler.  We ran downwind for 18 hours, while at some point our boat speed hit 15.6 knots SOG in a truly unpleasant sail.

Looking back, we probably should have been hove to until Lake Erie settled down.  It would have been safer, more comfortable and resulted in less damage.



(0 replies, posted in Technical)



(0 replies, posted in Technical)

Well... I just got some fragmented news when I contacted Farymann.  I contacted them to find some information about the K34 engine and received a one line reply telling me they had no technical information for the K34 engine.  Seeing as it is the same as the 15w I posed the question again for the 15w engine.  They, again, told me they had no technical information for the 15w engine they sell!

I asked to be put in touch with someone who sells the 15w engine...  and the info person gave me a one-line reply with some finality to it, "Engines are out of production and Farymann factory has closed for good."

I am trying to find any sort of news since the web sites in Germany and the US are still operational.

I know many of us still have the reliable Farymann's in our boats.  If you need any spares, replacements or what not... now is the time (or maybe even past the time) to go and buy them.  Stock up if/when you can I guess.


(10 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I would not attempt to put it outboard, high and aft... that has a number of problems to it.  Keeping the weight central and low is much better.

By the time you have davits, tackle and the boat suspending, you are really leveraging a lot of weight back there.  Think of it like a teeter-totter...
(Also, if you have a few adults in the cockpit, I'd be curious to see how far out of the water your cockpit drains are once you add that weight back there.)

Beautiful boat.  Welcome.

Hi Scott,
Yes...  it did.  We were quite active for a while.  We met up several times for sails, beers and even a dinner with Tania Aebi when she was here at the boat show.

The last couple years have been quiet as I had a baby and haven't sailed much at all.  I know John sold his boat and he was one of the real drivers for the group.  But Oliver, and I and several others are still around.  Contact me by email or PM and we'll get you on the mailing list... if I can find it.

Hmmm... what is your budget?

I have a personal dislike for outboard engines, particularly on our boats as you just don't get the shaft long enough to get down into the water when you're in heavy waves (often when you need the engine the most is in bad weather or choppy waves entering a harbour)

You can get new replacement Farymann's from the USA, as well as other similar engines here for not a huge amount.  (Maybe check Entec West as they might have used ones from their generators?)

If you're hardcore, there are boats like Bika where they removed the engine entirely.  I wonder if their blog is still online?  You can reach out to them to see how they did it.

I would avoid doing an electric motor in our boats as the weight for the batteries will be much greater than the engine that it replaces.... unless you go lithium, but that will be far more expensive than a new tiny diesel.

This won't apply to you, but for others' reference, my 1983 JJ Taylor 26  as a fibreglass tank under the v-berth; Primarily on the starboard side, it goes up and across to port.  It is awkward, difficult to clean, and a poor placement for heavy tankage.  I'd love to cut it out and replace it with something, but it is a complex shape and I suspect cutting under the v-berth would lose some lateral strength...

I have not replaced it and we normally keep it dry unless doing a very long trip.


(2 replies, posted in Technical)

Better late than never.  I ended up taking the shrouds off at the end of the year and having them replaced last winter.
The says, on the other hand, had been previously replaced with a larger gauge and swaged in place... so I can't remove them without cutting them!  Ugh.


(6 replies, posted in Cruising)

Hi Dave,
It depends on where you will be anchoring I suppose.
Lake Ontario with few things to hit and few hard bottoms vs Northern Georgian Bay with lots of rock?

Mine has a nice shiny Bruce anchor up front... never used in vain.
When we did our big trip around Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and back home, the galvanized Danforth anchor was all we used.  I have 40' of chain followed by 200' of 3strand rode.  I haven't had to anchor in deep water or in unprotected water so... it is more than sufficient.

Both Bruce and Danforth anchors came with my boat.  If I were to replace them, I'd buy a new generation anchor. Rocna, Manson or Mantus without hesitation.

FWIW, when you put your feet down into the v-berth, it's not much better... you still bang your knees on the cabin top.
The Contessa is not a boat with lots of cabin room... as they say, "It was built for safe sailing, not for safe sex."  Being in a tight seaberth is a good thing I suppose.

*** Please note, it has a cradle, not a trailer.  I misread your post and I was thinking you HAD a trailer, coming up here for pickup.


(5 replies, posted in Technical)

Hi Femke,

You sound like you may not be from North America;  Are you talking about the Jeremy Rogers Contessa or the JJ Taylor?
My JJ Taylor Contessa has a forward V-berth that is the same size as a queen bed across the shoulders, so for a single person, it should be quite roomy.  Where yours is split between a port and starboard berth, we have a removable plank with cushion that we can put in that space to make one space.

I have heard of some others that have built a similar platform in the center of the boat... essentially turning the walking space in the main cabin into a uniform platform bed... to me, this doesn't make sense unless you are long-distance cruising.

From a comfort perspective, the v-berth is fine in well-protected anchorages or at dock, but if the waves get up, then you're riding a pony.  Ugh.  My preference is the tighter (but longer) space in the main saloon.  "Wide sleeper" doesn't generally coincide with Contessa terminology!  Good luck.

As for the water-tank... Mine, too, is stored under the v-berth.  This is inconveniently placed both for maintenance and for carrying weight.  Ugh.  When full, it keeps weight in the bow for now good reason.  We leave ours dry unless we really need it for voyaging.  Ours has an inspection hatch in the top... but little good it does me as I can't reach in far enough to do much.  Random long instruments and acrobatics let me reach in and try to clean as much as we can.  At the end of the day, I bleached the hell out of it, replaced the hoses and called it "good enough" for washing hands and dishes but not for drinking.  I *could* cut out the tank... but I still don't want weight up there while I'm sailing.  My view is that you're better off with some big jugs of potable water.

I have heard of bladders that *could* go into the space, but you reduce quite a bit of tankage.  You see, the water tanks actually span the entire bow.  You can't reach them, or see them, but it is definitely a cavity filled with water. up there.  When you put the bladder in, you would only fill the cavity on the starboard side and no the rest... off-balance, weight in the bow. ugh.


(6 replies, posted in Technical)

I'm not sure if "huge" liability is the correct assumption... after all, an 18 year old girl managed to sail one of them around the world without killing herself.  I've never heard of anyone being 'pooped' to the point of destruction.  After 50 years, you'd think we'd hear about it?

The headroom issue, yes, I managed to get around that one.  My Contessa has plenty of headroom for even folks taller than you.  Merely step up out of the companion way into the cockpit and you've got all the headroom you desire!  big_smile