The boats built in the 80s had a lowered floor which necessitated the installation of a lead keel to gain the space. Also the 80s  boats had a raised cabin roof; and anchor locker, and the halyards are installed within the mast and taken back to the cockpit. Nautical Mind bookshop has several copies of the Contessa 26 book at their Boat Show stall.

Contessa 26 50th Anniversary Book

As many of you know we are producing a book to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Contessa 26 in 2106.  The contents of the book have now been agreed and set up and there is no possibility of any further copy; however we have decided to produce an appendix listing all the members and where applicable the names of their boats. We are lacking photographs of boats and need some interesting and high resolution photographs.

The appendix will also include a few lines about anything significant the owner has achieved e.g " sailed round Britain in 1977 and 5th in Round the Island Race in 1990”   -  but it can only be two or three lines otherwise we will end up writing another book and apart from anything else we have not the budget to meet the extra cost!! If you no longer own a boat then please let us know the name of the one you owned and for how long so we can also include this in the appendix.

As always we need this information fairly quickly and certainly not later than two weeks after you have received this email.

In summary therefore we would like a short synopsis of any major achievements; any high resolution photos you may have of your boat and for those who no longer own a Contessa but have in the past, the name of the boat and dates of ownership.

Please email this information to me at  Many thanks.

Also just a reminder that there AGM is on Saturday 15 November when the arrangements for the Anniversary will be finalised so it would be nice to see you the there and get your input. Details are on the website

The mainsail on a Contessa 26 is small enough to allow single line reefing that can be done without leaving the cockpit. There are lots of examples on the internet.

What gybe-preventer do you use?

Interesting ideas. Photographs would be helpful.

Thanks for posting this.
This is important enough for us Contessa owners to be on the home page of this site, not buried here. Would you agree?

Thank you Oliver for a great article.Thank you Jose for the photographs. Thank you Adrian for creating and maintaining this valuable web site.

Sounds exciting. As the owner of Free n Easy, sail number 315, I would be very interested to see photographs of your new boat.

Happy New Year to you all, with a special thank you to Adrian for keeping this important site alive.
With new members coming on board, I am hoping that we can have a very active sailing association next year. Has anyone ideas for cruises or meetings you would like to see happen? Let us get active.
All the best for the coming season.
We hope to see you on the lake.
Lesley and John
Contessa 26 #315

The London Boat Show was much the same as the Toronto Show.
The Contessa 32 class association had a booth. I told them of our  efforts to form a Co26 association around Lake Ontario. Turned out  that one of the reps sailed a co32 made by JJT in Toronto. They  suggested that we contact Declan Mackell who lives in the Toronto  area and has sailed around the world in a co32. He would likely be  able to put us in contact with other co32 owners in our area. Does  anyone know him? Can someone get in touch with him? Sounds as he would make a good speaker for a future meeting. Is he the fellow on the poster in Genco's  store? Let me know if anything comes of this. I would like to see  some co32 sailors join us.
Miracle of miracles, Lesley and I managed to get through the boat  show without spending a penny, which was a relief.


(9 replies, posted in Non-Contessa Chatter)

Wow, she looks great. Well done Adrian, can't wait to see her. Where are you going to keep her? The National we hope.
Lesley and John

It will not be long before we are getting ready to put our boats in the water. Happy New Year everyone, look forward to sailing with you in the spring.

Like the fun race, maybe round the island?
Like to do a cruise.
Like to do a long cruise to Niagara on the Lake and take in a nice meal and some theatre.
I am happy with almost any lecture topic. I'd even come for a beer and Contessa talk.
A fixed night makes it easier to remember and plan for.
John F
I'd like to hear what Wayne has to say about the Toronto harbour, but sadly we won't be around.

Joining in the LYRA races is a wonderful idea, but we need to know how many Contessa owners are interested in participating. It would be helpful if interested racers lurking on this list would identify themselves so that plans can be made.

Hello Adrian and all,
Kevin is on board.
Welcome Kevin.
Free 'n Easy

George, Kathy and Jeffrey. Thank you for hosting last nights meeting and sharing with us your fantastic refurbishing of Branwin.
You have taken a 40-year old Contessa 26 and with 2000 hours of work you have turned her into masterpiece of small boat design. Congratulations.


(0 replies, posted in Wanted)

Looking for an 2-person inflatable roll-up dinghy.

At 7:00PM this Thursday August 30, there will be a meeting at the Alexandra YC where George and Jeffrey Gurr will talk about the refurbishing of their Contessa 26, Branwin. This will give us an opportunity to learn from each other and share our experiences.

Wow, congratulations on your new sailor's safe arrival. Welcome to the Contessa family.
Lesley and John
aka jff

At the end of July 2012 we have 15 boats listed for the newly formed Lake Ontario Contessa 26 Association (working title).
I am sure that there are a number of owners that we have yet to reach. I was wondering if we could have brief "news" feature on the home page of this site inviting owners to join us in forming this new association.
The gathering at Ashbridges Bay YC is still on for September 8 - 9. See you there.

You do an amazing job of maintaining this valuable web site. It is greatly appreciated.
I am hoping that we will get a chance to meet and one of  the Lake Ontario Contessa 26 Association meetings.
All the best,

Please ignore my last message, I was looking for the association before sighning in.


(2 replies, posted in Site Support/Comments)

We seem to have lost the Lake Ontario Contessa Association material. Am I missing something?
We think that this is Important enough to have its own section.
Can you get back to me on this please?

I would be happy to look over boats with you. I can also recommend a good surveyor.

Hello Everyone,

Having always had the lone Contessa 26 at QCYC, and having always admired the camaraderie of all the Shark, Alberg, C&C, Nonsuch, etc. owners at my club who get to compare notes with owners of their same design of sailboats at QCYC, it was fun and educational to sail around the Toronto Islands and chat before and after with Jordan Harkness and his girlfriend Feng and John and Lesley Flanders. Watching their sailboats, Vixen and Free-N-Easy, sail close to the Outward Bound, I learned much as to how to improve my sailing skills from closely observing their excellent sailing abilities.

As the Contessa 26, with its elegant sheer and low freeboard, is one of the most beautiful sailboats on Lake Ontario, having three of them sailing together was a most rewarding site for those in the lake fortunate to see us sailing.  I look forward to more of us participating in the next sail to Ashbridge's Bay, so that we'll have an even more impressive presence on the lake.

I very much appreciate our new Contessa 26 gatherings. My sailing season is so much more fun now.


Russell Sergiades