(0 replies, posted in Wanted)

I seem to have misplaced the tips for the spreaders on ,y JJT Contessa 26,#320 from 1984.

I would like to buy replacements new or used in good condition.

Update: I found that US Spar, supplier of Z Spar parts, has the new style ends for our Z 95 profile tapered spreaders.  I ordered two today.


(5 replies, posted in Technical)

Vince, Thanks for the reply.  I did as you recommended with a shop vac and I got the bilge reasonably dry. 

My concern relates to water that might enter during the winter so I am building a frame to support a 30 x 20 tarp to keep the snow off and the water out.

Is there anything else that I should be doing to keep my boat safe during the cold weather?


(5 replies, posted in Technical)

I recently relocated from Florida to Minnesota and I need some advice.

My boat is on a trailer and the drain plug has been removed but there is still a little water in the bottom so I was thinking of adding some anti-freeze.  Is this a good idea?

If so, what type of anti-freeze is best for keeping the water that collects in the bilge from freezing?


(6 replies, posted in Cruising)

Deb,  Thanks for that explanation.  I plan to go a bit overboard myself.


(6 replies, posted in Cruising)

Good to hear the 25 b. plow works well. 
I still have my 25 lb. CQR and some aluminum Fortress Danforth-type anchors that work well in sand so I should be covered.


(6 replies, posted in Cruising)

I will be sailing my Contessa 26 in the Great Lakes for my first time next year so I am interested in hearing what others are using for their anchoring systems.

I have been planning to use a combination of 3-strand rope and chain but would consider an all-chain set up if I install a manual windlass to lift it. 

My questions are:

What sizes of rope and chain do you use?

Do you use all-chain or a combination of chain and rope?

What size and type of anchor do you use?



(3 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)


That was very interesting.    It was especially relevant that they conducted their tests in high winds on a Contessa 26.  I have been considering adding an inner forestay like the one used in the test for use with my hank-on storm jib.  Thanks.


Thanks for mentioning Entec West.

The K-34 is a nice motor little motor. I can start it by hand if the batteries are low, it barely uses fuel, and I would like to keep my boat as original as possible.

I had been hoping to find a source for a new Yellow River diesel motor but Farymann USA said they were no longer importing the single-cylinder diesels and parts were scarce. 

I just checked the Entec West web site and saw a notice that Farymann is discontinuing manufacture of replacement cylinders for the K-34.  I called and was told that they have the parts in stock now so I placed an order.  They will be sending me a new head, cylinder, piston, and top end gasket kit. 

My little motor will be all freshened up and it should last a while now that it will be kept in fresh water.

Thanks again


(27 replies, posted in Technical)


(0 replies, posted in Technical)

I have the original documentation that came with my 1984 JJT C 26 from the factory.  It includes the layup schedules for the various parts of the boat.  The layup schedule for the rudder is as follows;

Spray - Gel Coat
Skin Coat - Chop Strand Mat  One Application @ 1.5 OZ/SQ'
Layup - Fabmat 18-05  Three Applications @ 2.5 OZ/SQ'
Continued Layup - Chop Strand Mat - One Application @ 1.5 OZ/SQ'
Stiffener - Coremat 4 MM
Finish Layer - Chop Strand Mat  One Application @1.5 OZ/SQ'
Imbed Pintles - Solid Chops
Filler - Q Cell

This explains the weight and stiffness of our late-production JJT rudders and it confirms that all three pintles are stoutly imbedded in solid fiberglass.

The "wobbly pin" that is found on the lower pintle is simply a bolt that is inserted into the lower pintle from above and then glassed into place.

The good news is that the lower pintle is imbedded in solid fiberglass so the "wobbly pin" can easily be removed and replaced with a removable pin.



(27 replies, posted in Technical)

Another image showing one of the phosphor bronze pins I made up to go with replaceable bronze bushings and HDPE bearing washers.

The double nuts allow me to adjust them for a snug but smooth fit.

The cotter pins keep them from getting lost.

The HDPE bearing/washers were cut from a plastic bucket lid.

The replacement bronze bushings are from ACE Hardware.


(27 replies, posted in Technical)

A few more images of the exposed bottom casting;


(27 replies, posted in Technical)


This is what I found when I removed the fiberglass that captured the "wobbly" pin inside the bottom bronze casting.

The bottom bronze casting appears to be identical to the other two castings so I am guessing that it is just as strongly anchored inside the solid fiberglass rudder.

It was easy to cover the area where material was removed with a few layers of fiberglass to give a finished appearance.

Now I have a strong rudder attachment with smooth action.

My bronze bushings can be renewed easily and at little cost.

I consider this to be one of the best improvements/modifications that I have done for my Contessa.


I had considered inserting a Vetus bladder type tank that would fit inside the existing tank structure as a support/enclosure.  That would have allowed me to remove the whole thing for cleaning.

However, I have taken a different path: I removed the head fixture and all related plumbing.  That enabled me to remove two through hull fittings and glass over the holes in the hull.

Now I use a porta-potty that is cleaned after every use so my boat always smells fresh and clean.

The tank space that was formerly used to store waste might now be used for other purposes.  I have considered an additional battery, a toolbox, chain anchor rode storage, and canned food lockers but no decisions on that yet.


(27 replies, posted in Technical)


(3 replies, posted in Technical)

I recently completed building a custom trailer for my C-26.  My previous trailer with its lighter capacity 3,500 lb. axles was, in my opinion, just barely adequate for yard use and short local trips at low speed. 

It has been built to higher specifications and has 6,000 lb. axles but the 6 bolt hubs I used drop their capacity to 5,200 lbs. so I end up with a 10,400 lb. load capacity. The trailer weighs 1,200 lbs. so everything works out fine with a margin to allow for gear, full tanks, etc.

My new trailer rides flat and is as stable as can be.

I would definitely recommend using the higher capacity axles and springs.


(1 replies, posted in For Sale)

E-mail sent.


(9 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I share your concern over getting the balance and tongue weight right. 

That is why, instead of welding the spring seats directly onto the trailer frame, I welded them to lengths of of angle iron that are bolted to the trailer frame with large U bolts.

This allows me to slide the suspension fore and aft to adjust the balance point to achieve a tongue weight of 600 lbs.

It also allows for adjustment to accommodate changes in weight distribution from full/empty tanks, extra gear, the dinghy, etc.

I recommend that you use "sliders" for your suspension mounting.

Hope this helps.


(1 replies, posted in Wanted)

Did you find a head to fix your motor?

If not, do you still have the unrepaired Faryman?

If you still have it I might be interested.


(9 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

Well, The trailer question has been answered.

I did get bids from several reputable builders but after considering them I decided to build my own.

The result is everything I could want;
galvanized 5" x 3" rectangular tube frame
suspension on sliders for easy balancing of load for correct tongue weight
leaf springs with equalizer bar
two 10,000# 3" drop axles
6 lug hubs with 2" electric brakes
6 upright supports with adjustments for post angle and adjustable pads for height

It was a real learning process and the result is everything I had hoped for.

However, I really did not save any money.  There are several trailer builders who offer a quality trailer for a Contessa 26 at a fair price so, if I were to do it over again, I would probably have one built to my specification with articulating upright supports, etc.


(10 replies, posted in Cruising)

I would like to know more about your wood stove. 

Did you make it yourself or is it a production item?

Also, please tell about the installation.


So far, the OEM arrangement has worked fine but, as a matter of principle, I like to have easy access to all the important parts.   

You are correct about the removal of the cover being a fairly quick process because I have replaced the screws with hex-head fasteners and I can remove them in a jiffy using a simple speed wrench and socket.

However, if a loose object, like a propeller shaft free of its coupling or an alternator broken free from its mount, damaged a drain hose in rough seas, seawater could flood the bilge faster than I could remove the cover and close the valves.

Also, I have replaced my other through-hull fittings with proper seacocks with flanges that are through-bolted to solid fibergalss backing plates and I have been seeking a way to do the same for my cockpit drains but maybe a mushroon fitting and a 90 degree elbow is good enough.

I am looking forward to seeing your solution.  It sounds like upgrading the parts in the current configuration might be the best idea.

Keep us posted.




(1 replies, posted in For Sale)

I went  over to the Hidden Harbor Marina in Sarasota and looked at the boat.

It needs a lot of work but it could be a way to get a start on rebuilding a Contessa 26.

It is floating but it needs a complete refurbishment.

If you have the time, know-how, and some cash for materials, it could be a nice boat.

I have located a Cradle Ride trailer, model P5500, that appears to be in excellent condition

It was made in 2004 and used to haul a Contessa 26.

The current price for a new one was $5,885.00 in June 2014.

In my other areas of interest I usually buy and sell stuff in excellent condition for about 50% of the cost of the new item.

Does that seem reasonable in this case or might I be overpaying if I offer $2,900?


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

I used 1/4 x 20 stainless steel bolts with stainless fender washers over rubber washers cut from EDPM.

To ease installation and removal I use a 'speed wrench"and a 6 point socket.

DZUSS fasteners are excellent for low load applications where ease of removal is the top priority. 

I used them to secure the fairing on a roadracing motorcycle and they worked great for that but I wonder if they would provide the clamping power necessary to achieve a water tight seal for the cockpit floor.

Tania had an angle iron frame made for the cockpit floor in Varuna that helped her keep seawater out of the bilge by providing a flat and strong surface support the cockpit floor panel.

I am planning a similar support for my C26 #320.