(4 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

I too have the ball sockets, the 80s boats must have (Kristin is '83? I am '84.just starting to examine all my rigging...Kristin do you mean "should" they be replaced, and when?!  I too wonder....anyone?  I read that you can just clean the ball sockets...but what if they are fatigued/cracked?


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

I use the newer "golden color" Cetol.  Once a month I lightly sand and do all teak...got compliments just yesterday!  Keep the Cetol in a sealed yogurt container or similar, and then set THAT in a plastic bucket while working on deck, use a small brush, and then you don't have to mask and get it done quick...before knees or back give out! ha ha!


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

Thanks for all the sharing! ;-)  I will check my poopdeck cowls...never did trust them after I saw stanchions with NO backing washers from factory, SHAME! Yes, they must have used pure fibreglass at side stanchions on later boats...just that little triangle bit on the side decks, mind you, NOT the pushpit or pulpit stanchions...and duh, where we need the strength the most...I have just the two pushpit ones left...and will rebed the bow ones again in spring...they were hardest...as that pulpit is so unwieldy...and everyone asks you what you are doing, and then they LEAN on the pulpit while talking to you while you are working RIGHT ON IT!!!  Sheesh!!


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

Hi Cole!
My old owner pulled "my/his" boat out and thought there was pox, turns out too it was only a bit o' paint and blistery-like stuff, he however epoxied hull, (bonus for me! ;-)  and the guy doing the job said he had never seen such a good hull on such a little boat!  Yup, we have great ones.  See you and Polaris at our Rendezvous on Sept. 17 on Bowen Island?!


(15 replies, posted in Technical)

What are people using for a tiller "brake"?!  On port tack, she sails herself, and stbd. she just needs a touch of the finger to hold her there, so a tiller brake...would be ideal!  Did you make it?!  It's more than a bungie cord, I figure, as bungies are too jumpy for our heavy tillers I find.


(5 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

Hi Marc;

I have three reef points in my Contessa 26.  There are no cleats on the boom.  It's a cinkel boom, and the lines run from the reef points on sail down once around boom, then to aft end of boom, through the sheaves at end of boom and inside boom until they get to mast, then out bottom of boom to jam cleats (mine) or similar at that end.  I have a winch under boom side (aft side) of mast, and so far has worked fine for 1st and second reef and outhaul.  For third reef, I will rig something with the outhaul, as I don't want 50' of line hanging from sail for 3rd reef point which I won't use that frequently, but when I do, will likely not need outhaul for awhile!  I will take some pics for you if you'd like.


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

Oh yuck!  I found a tiny bit o'wet when I rebed my bow pulpit. I let it dry out completely, and then re-drilled and epoxied and drilled a hole again...just like the book by Don Casey "Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair" tells you too.  And yes, I will re-do it again next year, as the first time one does it, it is not a perfect job, as you are learning.  I also re-caulk my chainplates at deck regularly, and pour acetone in first to chase water away from them...will rebed them in the next year during a major haulout...I agree, rebed often!  Side Stanchions are easy, as there is no core there.   But, pulpit & pushpit have no backing plates! Hard to believe!  I use either a backing plate or large washers on each one.  I do it all by myself, so it's tough with a backing plate, washers are easier to time and manage. 
Good luck, pray for sun.  I also put a bulb underneath with a yogurt dish on top of little holes to warm and dry them during our crappy weather here on the Wet Coast!


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

Hey Adrian;
I have two "normal" size 24 batteries below my sole in the "battery area"of the bilge, just forward of companionway steps.  I like them there weight-wise, but have tied them down and will also put a plastic sheet? or cover or lid of some type over them to prevent them from getting soaked in a pooping or water in bilge sloshing over them. (I leave comp.way slats in always, but ya never know!
When you have two in bilge, one is only about 25% accessible, as it sits farther forward than other one.  Can take pics if you like!


(4 replies, posted in Technical)

Hmmm....is the raw water intake seacock itself in the way or just the angle of the hose?  The hose angle can be changed, as can the actual seacock...just get an "L" or angle shaped adapter.

My engine mounts are flexible...could you screw flexible properly fitting mounts onto the mounts you have now...might raise the engine a bit, but you could build a higher rim around cockpit opening...

Just my thoughts!


(15 replies, posted in Technical)

I have an old autohelm 1000.  It has a little 4" or so high pedestal just aft of the coaming, stbd. side - basically to keep the autohelm level with the top of the tiller.  The power plug is right on the outside back edge of the coaming.  I also tie it on to my traveller bracket!  The tiller pilot is old but still works and I don't want to buy another one yet! I don't use it if it's raining or water splashing onto stern.
Can also send you pics.


(8 replies, posted in Technical)

I teed in a seacock on the raw water intake hose and do freshwater flushes.  Any point in doing this?  My engine was rebuilt a few months ago, and Farymann has re-designed the cooling "jacket", which was actually useless, and now has a cast compartment...so hopefully I won't have another hole in my cylinder?!  I bought a new cylinder, which is one hp larger, so also needed new piston and new head!  quite the shock, but feel better as the engine is almost "new".
So, I have been fanatical about flushing.  Opinions?


(28 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

The monitor website does have at least four Contessa 26s showing the Monitor.  BJ Caldwell had a  used one.  I personally would likely chose a Monitor, as it's proven for a Co26.  However, if another manufacturer also had Co26...it would be another comparison project before I bought one. And I do want one, am leaning to Monitor...but not for another year or so at least....am still paying for engine rebuild...OUCH!


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

Any pictures?  I think Tania's boat had a re-inforced engine hatch too.  (there's one picture where it looks more squared off then mine, and my boat is only six boats earlier than hers.
I also like to feel that I have quick engine access: both to get in and also to re-cover...I also like to check the engine after each outing, and some kind of clips/dogged latches (in addition to screws for offshore/heavy weather) would make it quick.  Also - after hitting a log or something, one always wants to be able to see the prop shaft quickly and you can't do that with the dozen bolts.


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

Hi Adrian;

I too have an aftermarket alternator...and can send you specs and literature of mine.  It's great - and I can turn mine on and off - but it only works when engine is in gear, as it runs off the prop shaft by a belt.
It's a 25 amp, and does just fine on my two batteries.
There is a small regulator as well.


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

You should "t" your electric bilge pump into your manual bilge pump hose, right near where it exits the boat.  And yes, this exit should be above the waterline, as if it isn't, water will just be able to run back in.
Your deck-side drains sound really strange!  And yes, dangerous!  I think you should have what the later boats have: a open space about three inches (or so) square, right under the toe-rail at deck level -called a "scupper".  I can take a picture of mine - it's where you see the water running out the side when someone is sailing on along close-hauled (boat over on its side!)
And yes, all through hulls near waterline, and especially below waterline should always have seacocks...you will at some point need to close them...and mostly just for maintenance...to replace a hose you need to close off the hole!  Again, I can send you pics of mine.
And always double hose clamp everything below the waterline.


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

I have three factory pintles on my rudder..and I bough factory bronze bolts to replace the warped ones....mine are bronze, so make sure you do bronze with bronze...I agree, take off your old one (tie your rudder on WELL to the boat! 
I don't know that you would have room for four...remember they have to go through the hull, so you will have four attachements through the hull.


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

Bika, the red Contessa starting their circumnavigation this week just dumped their old Farymann and put in an outboard. They have one picture...see what they say.


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

Take some pictures as you do it.  And are you doing it by yourself or do you have help?  And doesn't the track double as the hull/deck joint at that part?!


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

Hi Octavio;

I have two beautiful Lewmar 16ST (self tailers) for the Genoa winches...they are awesome. I will replace my coachroof ones with the same when I need to.

Anything else might be a tad oversized...and you will need heavier supports.


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

Yup, Ivan, I did the exact thing Merrill said, but I have not taken the chainplates out yet...I used my Dremel tool and totally cleaned out the caulking that was there around the plates...and you'll then be able to see down right into the boat...clean from the inside too...acetone is great as it chases water away too that may be hanging around. 
I had the same leak, and it stopped after that.
By the way, I will be doing mine every year.  Better to spend a couple of hours to save lots of water from trickling in full time!
Plus, everyone always wants to "help" me dock (I sail solo) and they always grab the shrouds!  I had to yell at some huge firemen "No thanks!" who were wanting to pull the boat in by her shrouds!  I got surprised looks from everyone but that's the way it goes!  ;-)


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

I have a good quality boarding ladder on mine: Roger Myerscough installed it when he owned the boat.  It's a great one...I can send a pic of it...come to think of it, I think the picture is somewhere on the Pocketcruisers website?  Either way...I'll check out the inner hull installation and will take a pic and let you know.  It's a folding one, and I keep it up with a bungie cord I can pull off if in the water for some reason! ;-)
By the way, I remain tethered on to my boat 100% of the time, as I sail solo.  The minute I leave the dock, I clip on. (flat webbing jacklines on both sides and various padeyes throughout the boat.)  And I wear my inflatable PFD full time too, and if it gets really  hot, I will just wear my heavy duty chest harness and double tethers - overly cautious? Probably, but, in otherwords, I plan to never fall off.  That is my biggest nightmare...being in the water while she sails away...and she will sail away with your super windvane!


(11 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I do think both Shackleton and his lifeboat were amazing: Shackleton and his men for their skills and the boat for holding up through it all! 
I realize it is the skill of the sailor, but also a bit of luck here and there, (and God too?!)- certainly in my case...as well as the boat...yes, Dave & Jaja Martin can circumnavigate in a Cal 25, but I wouldn't be able to, I need a Contessa 26 that will take care of me while I make mistakes! ;-)


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

Handrails - ie: stanchion bases, and yes, they do leak.  Also, the chain plate opening into deck, depending how your boat sits, the water will run down to the strangest places.  If you don't want to powerwash, etc. get a bottle of Fantastik or mildew remover, and a sponge and a bucket, and wash, wipe, wash more, wipe, etc...until  you can eat off the surface...every bit of the surface.  I use a toothbrush for hard to reach areas, not kidding! You must be thorough!
And then, you MUST ventilate the boat.  Mildew will NOT grow if you have fresh air!  I keep my hatches open all year, and have either a heater (when I am on boat) or the special low-electric mildew heaters (plugged in at dock) Also, keep all your cupboards, open, prop up your cushions, and move your locker lids to the side, "circulate, circulate, circulate" that air! :-)  I also keep my engine hatch under the steps open so cool air from cockpit gets pulled in/out....I don't use a "Dri Z Air" and pellets thing, as when it collects the moisture, it just evaporates right back into the air if you don't empty it all the time.  I have no mildew problems, and keep all my stuff on my boat all year here in the Pacific Northwest, and we have VERY RAINY weather - all the time!


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

If you have cracks of any kind around a stanchion: use that as another excuse to re-bed that stanchion...1/2 of mine have been rebedded, and the ones that haven't: I can tell they leak because of the rusted bolts and wetness around base of the nuts (yes, contorting arms and using mirrors and lights is a fine art!) ...and water and leaks and cracks are not good for anybody or anything!


(11 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

Re: about the double hull #: it's Jose whom you've seen on the forum who has the second hull #324 - I got all excited and so did he when I first e-mailed him yelling:  "DO YOU KNOW WHOSE BOAT YOU HAVE?!!" He then discovered there were two hull #s...who would have thought that, of all the hull #s to double up on!  And mine is hull #318, so I am almost famous by association to Tania's boat?! ;-)