Topic: Pre-1980 vs post-1980: How do they compare?

I've sailed several Contessas of varying ages and I do think the later ones have a different 'feel'.  But I would have a very hard time explaining exactly what the difference is or saying which ones are 'better'.

The post-1980 boats - about No. 300 - have more headroom, a skylight, an anchor locker, a lead keel and more finishing touches. They also seem a little sleeker and little more stable.  But it's hard to say whether they are any better or worse.
It's a topic that comes up a lot in my circle, but I have no firm answer. Perhaps other members would be more articulate than me???????

Re: Pre-1980 vs post-1980: How do they compare?

Doesn't look like anyone responded, so I'll take a shot.  Any of the additions to the later model boats wouldn't make a difference as far as feel goes in my opinion.  The lead keel allowed an unnoticeable 1" increase in head room and dropped the center of gravity of the keel by 1", but still unnoticeable in my opinion.
Interesting to note that the many if not most of the  pre-1980 boats that I've seen, have had most of these later additions (skylight, anchor locker, etc.) added at some point.