Topic: I just bought a Contessa 26

Is this board still active ! I have a few questions about my boat.
Bob

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Try us. We're still here despite the ice and snow.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

I'm told the vessel is a 1970. I've been unable to find any kind of number on the hull. The hull has been painted. Is there any place on the inside of the boat I could look ? I just bought the boat so I have not seen the sails, would the numbers on the sails tell me anything.
It does not have the original engine, it has a 2003 Yanmar 1GM10.
Is there a document that describes adjusting the shrouds tension ?
Thanks, Bob

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

That's an easy one.

To identify yr boat look at the hull number that is embedded in the fibreglass on the outside of the starboard quarter of the hull. This was embedded when the fibreglass was laid down.

A hull number such as SN ZJT 03 308 0885 stands for:
SN - I don't know
ZJT is JJ Taylor Toronto, which built the Canadian boats from 1969 on using modified British molds
03 is the Contessa 26
308 is the sail number. That would fit the year it was laid up, which was
0885 - August 1985.

A boat built in 1970 would have a sail number of 50 or less.

Some early boats did not have numbers, but they made detail changes through the years so you might be able to compare your boat with other early ones.

The Yanmars did not come along until much later. My 1975 boat has a Petter diesel.

5 (edited by Lanarkwanderer 2017-01-21 15:04:40)

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

thanks ! I've looked at the hull carefully and can't see a number on the aft corner. The hull has been awl-griped, so not sure if that wiped it out. Would there be any other spot I could look ?  I've owned a few sailboats so do know what I'm looking for.

I'm told the Yanmar is a 2003, and that makes sense from it's serial number, also it is a 1GM10 not the earlier 1GM1, so it is the 9 HP version.

The boat has been modified and upgraded. It has the additional hatch added between the mast and companionway and 4 opening ports. Also the cabin sole was lowered and teak/holly installed. Raised cockpit floor, and drains moved forward. Interior cabinets were replaced, new light fixtures, and new Bluesea DC and AC breaker panels were installed. The ice box has been enlarged and has refrigeration.

It has the stainless tube over the tiller with a Harken traveller, Harken furler, feathering 3 blade prop.  It appears to have quite a bit of stress cracking in the deck gel coat.

I've not been able to go through the sail bags yet. I may have the original main sail, do you suppose it would have the hull number on it ?

At this point I'm washing the cushion covers, halyards etc.

It has a Natty dodger but the cover is done. I'm looking at sewing a new one, I have a sailrite machine and have made bimini's etc. in the past. The dodger looks like a bit more work ! The boat also needs a sail cover.

The mainsheet rides along the boom on two yellow rollers held in an aluminum cage. Is this a stock item ? I don't understand the advantage of a setup like this ? I've never seen one before. The pictures that I've seen it appears the Contessa's all have end boom sheeting ?

The boat has a very good full batten mainsail. It uses a boltrope on the foot. I would like to switch to slugs, any idea what the size is on a Contessa ?

Bob

6 (edited by bertinol 2017-01-23 08:50:08)

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Bob
This is getting out of my area of expertise. Some of the mods you mention sound like a post-1980, post-300 boat.
These later boats had different hatches, a hatch behind the mainmast, a lower floor and so on. Do you have an anchor locker near the bow? That would indicate post 1980.
I'd check the mainsail and jib to see if there is a sail number. That would help a lot.

I'd also call up some of the other Contessa owners so you can compare boats.
Where are you located? There is quite a group in Toronto who would be more than willing to show you their boats, particularly after the winter tarps come off...

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

one more thing, sorry.

How many pintles on the rudder.
My boat is a 1975. It has two pintles.
Later boats had three.....

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

from a friendly Contessa owner...

"Hmm... an anchor locker or sail number would clinch this. The lowered floor would be factory installed, he says his has been lowered? Interesting."

He suggested you check out the photographs in the Contessa history, currently on sale at The Nautical Mind bookshop and its booth at the boat show.
The Contessa 26: The First 50 Years

It's a lovely book and well worth buying....... Definitely a keeper.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

thanks for the information....
The rudder has two pintles, no anchor locker.
I was told the former owner hired ex factory workers from JJ Taylor to add 4 opening ports, lower the cabin sole, install teak and holly and add the hatch aft of the mast, install Yanmar etc. .
The head is not enclosed at all, no door in the bulkhead. There is a small sink and refrigerated ice box to port, a two burner cooktop to starboard.
The vessel is in Kingston ON, I live an hour north of Kingston. The boat has a red hull, name is Crusader, home port "Oakville".

I'll try to add a couple of pictures, Bob

Post's attachments

_DSC5876.jpg
_DSC5876.jpg 78.1 kb, 5 downloads since 2017-01-23 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

inside view

Post's attachments

Contessa_5.jpg
Contessa_5.jpg 35.54 kb, file has never been downloaded. 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

hatch

Post's attachments

_DSC5902.jpg
_DSC5902.jpg 77.41 kb, 1 downloads since 2017-01-23 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Yanmar

Post's attachments

_DSC5877.jpg
_DSC5877.jpg 130.82 kb, file has never been downloaded. 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

cabin aft port

Post's attachments

_DSC5887.jpg
_DSC5887.jpg 60.65 kb, 1 downloads since 2017-01-23 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

cockpit

Post's attachments

_DSC5899.jpg
_DSC5899.jpg 113.73 kb, 1 downloads since 2017-01-23 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

I ran a magnet along the bottom 6" of the keel.....no attraction........does this tell me the keel is lead ??
Bob

16

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

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.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Very interesting. You seem to have a 70s boat with lots of 80s mods, all of them improvements. Sounds like you got a good boat.

Lowering the floor would be very difficult becos it was a one-piece mould.
The traveller is new, a common add-on. The motor sounds good too. The standard head door is a very tight fit so many were taken off. Don't remove the bulkhead though. Several people have, to their instant regret.

I'll put a magnet on my keel sometime soon to see whether cast-iron attracts.

But enough talking. Time to go for a sail --- once the ice melts.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

My mainsail has the number 20 on it along with the logo for JJ Taylor, so I'll assume it is hull number 20 !
Bob

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

That IS early. It would have been laid down in 1969 or 1970 at the JJ Taylor yards at the bottom of Stadium Rd in Toronto. But it seems to have many mods from the post-1980 era.

The owners were Jack Martin and Al Scott, both gone. Jack's son, Roger Martin, is still around and still running the fibreglass truck body factory on Laird Ave in Toronto.  It is DEL Equipment Ltd. You should say hello next time you are in Toronto.

If you head over to England, they are still making Contessas 32s in Lymington, a small yacht town just west of Southampton. They are a friendly bunch.

20 (edited by JordanH 2017-04-09 18:16:51)

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Interesting... this definitely looks like an older design than mine (1983 #312).  The additional hatch looks to be an aftermarket mod.  It looks like the engine was replaced, stanchions were replaced, and a traveller added.  The cockpit access hatches are an interesting idea... not very sightly but they look functional.

It also looks like he's moved the sternline chocks to an incorrect / inconvenient location... they should probably be moved to the port and starboard sides instead of the stern.  That's something easily done though.

A big difference in the interior is that it looks like they extended the engine compartment *into* the cabin.  The stock engine compartment is flush under the companion way.  The steps are removable with nothing below, yet in your image, I can see that they've extended the engine box into the cabin, and put steps over it.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Thanks for your comments. I think the chock positions were selected because of the mooring situation, kind a Med-moore set-up. I agree they would foul on the backstay chainplates.

The cockpit access plates are to access an Espar diesel fuel furnace, there is a fan etc. in there. The boat has heater air vents running through it. The Espar heater itself seems to be missing. These hatches are very weathered and will be replaced.

I was recently told the previous owner had the deck re-cored. It appears to have been painted with Kiwi-grip type product.

It seems to have a number of water leaks. I have not been in the boat in the rain, but there is water inside every time I do see it. I think the stantions need to be re-beded.

I have not started the engine yet, we are scheduled to splash on Saturday.

thanks for the comments, Bob

JordanH wrote:

Interesting... this definitely looks like an older design than mine (1983 #312).  The additional hatch looks to be an aftermarket mod.  It looks like the engine was replaced, stanchions were replaced, and a traveller added.  The cockpit access hatches are an interesting idea... not very sightly but they look functional.

It also looks like he's moved the sternline chocks to an incorrect / inconvenient location... they should probably be moved to the port and starboard sides instead of the stern.  That's something easily done though.

A big difference in the interior is that it looks like they extended the engine compartment *into* the cabin.  The stock engine compartment is flush under the companion way.  The steps are removable with nothing below, yet in your image, I can see that they've extended the engine box into the cabin, and put steps over it.

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

I went down to the boat on Thursday and took a picture of a secondary location where the hull number can be found.
On the stern, high on the starboard side, just under the teak is another plate that contains the serial number.

A picture says a thousand words:

http://unguardedsleep.com/photos/misc/I … 550193.jpg

Re: I just bought a Contessa 26

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out on my best visit.
Bob


JordanH wrote:

I went down to the boat on Thursday and took a picture of a secondary location where the hull number can be found.
On the stern, high on the starboard side, just under the teak is another plate that contains the serial number.

A picture says a thousand words:

http://unguardedsleep.com/photos/misc/I … 550193.jpg