Topic: Contessa "milëages"

Contessas have been known to cover good offshore distances, sometimes as much as 140-150 NM per 24h. However, these are rare instances with strong, consistent winds over a relatively flat sea. Contessas have also been known to keep up with bigger yachts in the 30 foot range, sometimes beating these larger sisters to the next port. Because of their relatively narrow beam and their wine glass shaped hulls offering less resistance through the seas, Contessas sustain surprisingly good 24-hour speeds with minimal drift.
Last summer I covered 350 miles in 4 days, but one day was a 50 NM day as the winds were light or non-existent. The reality of offshore sailing will teach you that the wind comes rarely from the direction you want, and they're rarely of the the strength you would prefer. They usually drive you crazy with their absence, or surprise you in the middle of the night with a real blow-me-down.
That's why the "ideal sailing conditions" are so memorable.

Re: Contessa "milëages"

I would be interested to hear about the distances that a Contessa 26 might be expected to cover in a day of sailing in "fair" winds. I am aware of the many variables involved, but I would still like to hear about your experiences with distances covered.

Re: Contessa "milëages"

Back from a summer Falmouth --> Porto Santo --> Azores --> Falmouth run,

Best day was 134nm (the day after a gale, broad reach with a F6-7 rushing along), worst was 18 or so.
Particularly suffered in light airs - F2 was too little to run the self steering and so the boat drifted whilst asleep. It takes at least a good F4 to fully power up the rig, when one is laden down with all the necessary weight for blue-water work.

The general average seemed to run between 70 & 80nm per day; a rather pitiful 3kts!

I think the best way to improve the speed would be to get rid of any internal engine, and serious consider weight distribution.

Re: Contessa "milëages"

Yes i do the same with mine. On long trip (More then 4 days) i got a average of 3.5.
Some day I do 7/8 knots for 24 hours, but other time at less then one.
I did 7.5/8 knots at cap hatteras for 20 hours thinking 'Damn i will be there fast' (I was heading for New England) and right after i was becalmed for 36 hours. Sail down totally no wind. After drifting at 1.5/2 knot until New Jersey under full genoa and 5/7 knots wind downwind.

Its sailing, no hurry, go with the flow wink

Re: Contessa "milëages"

My averages this summer,to the Charolottes in heavy wind,3.9 and return,3.2 in mostly light wind plus some on the nose.The boat really slows down in the troughs.Flying the chute I would have returned quicker in the light wind,with more consistent average speed.There is much tidal current but I could not fidgure out the set.

Re: Contessa "milëages"

After sailing a fat 19 foot woodie for 17 years, I am proud of my Contessa's performance. The few races I've run in Heather Noelle found us faster than some "brand name' 40 footers.
Ideal conditions, rare as they are, are memorable the more if we are lucky enough to own a boat that sails like a witch.

The cutworms are in the hollyhocks, again!