Like Stephan' Contessa, my hull to deck joint is made with rivets and the purpose of the rub rail is purely cosmetic.
You can look at the website of Stephan for pictures of the joint.

And no you will not rip the deck because a poorly bonding of the rub rail.

The aluminium rub rail is only for cosmetic purpose. In my case the rub-rail was fix with stainless steel screws.

For the leaks: I suggest that you remove the aluminium rub rail, clean the hull to deck joint and fill with 3M 4200 and re-install the aluminium rub rail with screws, clean the excess 4200.

Co # 158

Mine is the no. 158, I don't have an eyebolt. I tie the rode on a piece of wood. The only purpose of the eyebolt or in my case the piece of wood is just to make sure that the rode don't fall in the drink. In the past i used a bucket too.


(9 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)


For the tape: It's a rigging tape, i use the tape for the boots at the end of the spreaders. When you put the tape you strech it and it will stick by himself.



The damage look superficial on the picture, if the damage was extensive, the gelcoat will had show more spiders cracks. It's like the boat had punch something. The Contessa don't have balsa  in the hull around that place, so the fiberglass could be repair easily.

For the chainplates, it's not so easy, the Co is surely delaminate around them because of the presence of balsa between the  layers of fiberglass. Do you have to repair or not  depend of you but for sure you can't lost the mast because of the failure of the  deck, the chainplates are fix inside the hull so the deck his not the risk.

And, yes the pops rivets are from factory.



When i redid my Co i faced the same problem for the batteries. I choose to make my tray and fix it on the bilge floor  with somes pieces of hard woods and 3m 5200 and then i  screw the tray on the wood and i put fiberglass each sides of the tray and the hull.
I'm not an expert but i would'nt touch anything that could comprise the integrity of the iron keel i would not be so chicken if the keel has been  made with lead.



I put a "whale super sub pump 650" into the bilge, the pump is small enough to use thes access near the prop shaft. This pump as is own switch. I clamp the hose on the hull by gluing somes pieces of wood with 3m 5200, on the pieces i screew a clamp. the exaust of the hose is in the high of the transom.



I understand your point of vue, maybe he will not be able to recoup his cost. I refurbish mine and it cost me a way lot more then 23,000$, at this level you do it because you want.

What is the "natural" cost of an old Contessa: 10,000$ in bad shape, 15,000$ in good shape. So again you have Little Minute that you can possibly bargain to 18kto 19k the differancial is more or lest 4k to 8k and you have nothing to do than go sailing. The cost range of a new 26 feet sailboat is around 80-100k, and fiberglass is not eternal but not far away when you take care of it.   It's really not to argue with you that i said that, it's only because this boat is a bargain at that price. The cheapest price on an old boat become often a nightmare of expenses.

For 4500$ you got a trailer(2500$) and the plywood(2000$), the boat is free. It's another way to look at it.

For Little Minute:
If you take the time to look at Little MInute, the price is more then fair for what you got, a paint job is at minimum 10,000$, take the time to decorticate the price. You will see that the price is more then fair.


You could try at Guité Marine. They installed my 1GM10 this winter.

Guite Mecanique Marine inc

630-1ère Avenue,
Lachine QC,



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


Like you a have a new 1GM10 with the prop 12 inch. 3 blades but in my case when the rudder is push hard (port oe starboard) the blades touch the rudder.

If you want to try a 13 inch. blades, even if it seam to fit, test the rudder for make sure if it's ok.


I have a 1GM10 and my prop is a 3 blades 11x10rh.  It's a new prop and like you i wonder if 3 blades is a good choice...I will see.



(5 replies, posted in Technical)


I'm sorry for the delay, i was out for my vacations.

Yes, the support is fiberglass. I made a patern in wood, made a mold with it and i made two block of fiberglass, it was easy for me because i had all the stuff that i need for the job.

For the base:
In my case, i had to removed the balsa and i lay only layers of fiberglass at this area so the blocks have a good base and yes the cleats and the blocks are thru bolt and i used 3M 4200 too, liked i said a welder made the bolts for me.



(5 replies, posted in Technical)


I am rebuilding my Contessa and i add the mid-ship cleats. I post 3 pictures of that. Don't worry for the bolts. Go to a welder shop and they will do it for you.

I'm near you if you want to see them.



I have repower this winter with a Yanmar 1GM10. The propeler is  11x10 RH, it's supose to be a Michigan but i'm not sure now because i did'nt the name on the prop.



It look like it's the cutlass bearing and it's support.

The bearing is the internal part and it could be remove, the external look fine.

When i removed my cutlass bearing i used a metal rod of the same size and punch it until it was removed. TAKE NOTE that the cutlass bearing is (usually) fix to the external part with 2 to 3 smalls screws and the screw could be remove with an allen key.

So, first unscrew the bearing, punch the bearing out the sleeve, and buy another bearing. It's strange that your local boat shop did'nt know about this.

Before going to a marine store, measure the diameter of the prop shaft and bring the bearing and the support with you. The clerck at the store will need the parts for ordering the correct size of the bearing.



(10 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)


I have a 1976 and the boom is 11 feet, 1 inch.



The area around the shaft is solid fiberglass, you can fill with epoxy after you clean the area. You could use a dremel and sanding paper (grade 40) for cleaning, you must sand until you get clean fiberglass, do'nt use paper above #80 because epoxy need to grip at the old fiberglass.



When you said :
"Cut through the deck, remove the core and I would think it very unlikely the boat would go back together again neatly.  I would be very concerned about deformation of that remaining thin skin before the repair can be completed."

I agree with you that if you don't pay attention when you redo the fiberglass work you will end with a deformation. I did the recore by removing the top layer of fiberglass, i (we) just finish to laminate the fiberglass. If someone want to do it(I discourage them, i think the epoxy filling can do the job) the key to succes is to take your time. My sequence was: Remove the top layer, remove the wood, grind the remaining of wood, put at most two layers of mat, wait until it's dry, THEN in my case i put a layer of corecel glue with polyester resin, wait until dry, then 2 layers of mat, 1 layer of roving, 1 layer of mat, 1 layer of mat, 1 layer of roving, 2 layers of mat. All 8 layers was put 1 after 1 after one in the same time, we worked ( me and my helper) fast. We rolled only when all layers was put on the boat. I can confirm that it's a doable job BUT I did it only because i hired a specialist, my helper is a professionnal and i'm the amateur.

Even if you recore the deck with the epoxy way, take your time, don't go too fast because you will for sure deform the liner inside the boat, the skin is so thin, it's unbelievable.

I have a lot of pictures of the work, i will try to take the time to send it on the pictures gallery

So the key to succes is patience, take your time.



I actually remove the fiberglass on the deck, my deck was bouncy and the fiberglass guy told me to redo the laminate. Well!!!, it was not a good idea, the laminate at the deck is (from inside to outside) a small fiberglass liner, a sheet of plywood and 1/4 to 3/8 inch of fiberglass.

The problem was not the infiltration of water but the outside fiberglass was not laminate (glue) to the plywood. A costy repair for nothing. My advise is remove all the hardwares at the deck, look if the core is good, the water can only come there, repack the hardwares with sikaflex 295 or 3m 4200 and leave the deck like it is, if you can't tolerate a bit of flexing if i was you, i will drill somes holes around the flex area deck and fill them with epoxy.



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

My Contessa is a 1976.


1.308 inch diameter.
.122 thickness
30.5625 (30 9/16) length including the aluminium cap.

There is a aluminium cap at the end of the spreader
cap = 0.75 inch length
the groove begin at 5/16 of the end of the cap
the grooves are 1/4 width and it cut  in 2 ways.

Do you need a picture?



(26 replies, posted in Technical)


If you plan to paint next year, it will be easier for you if you avoid silicon wax. When you will be ready to paint,
dewax first and do the sanding after, this way you will make sure that the sanding will not engrave the wax on the hull. The sanding will be 75 to 80% of the job.

Spring is on the corner smile

I will be in MA this summer, i will participate to the Melonseed Solstice Regatta. I will stay in Plymouth and Hyannis. It will be my fourth year at the race, you live in a beautiful place. I plan to sail before and after the race. I hope to go to: Wellfleet Harbor, Pleasant bay, Independence Pt, Hyannis Harbor and Barnstable Harbor.

I will be there with my Melonssed, it's a small catboat and you could see what it's look like at the site.