Topic: To save this Contessa or not?

First off, I want to simply have it in the water to functionally (but safely!) sail. Then fix up cosmetics and interior amenities after over the years to a decent quality. I have the space, time, general capabilities, and a few thousand for repairs up front.

Here is a link to pics and a video I took (apologies as the video rotates randomly, I don't know what I was doing).
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ … sp=sharing

The seller is asking $3500 CAD ($2,536 USD), I sense I can get it for less. It comes with the cradle, a main sail, two jibs, a genoa, cushions in new condition, mast/boom, and a 6hp outboard motor that is not seized (no inboard).

From what I see and know:
-It's been sitting for year outdoors (seller started building his plane).
-The boat appears to be a later model given the self-draining cockpit, second hatch, and anchor locker.
-The hull was repainted the last time it was pulled from the water and appears solid with the exception of slight spider-webbing near the bow.
-The rudder has cracks that appear easy enough to repair.
-It is dirty with mildew in the cabin, moss on the teak (and gravel from a snowblower, haha)
-The top deck and interior appear to have paint peeling off? From what I see the gel coat generally appears fine, but I'm new to  fiberglass.
-The wiring is rough. It may need rewiring in places to get running lights/radar/bilge pump working, I don't see that being the end of the world to fix.
-Uncertain of bilge condition or if any of the pumps work.
-The interior just appears dirty, slight mildew (no strong smell). Wood is structurally good but needs refinishing.
-Halyards on the mast needs replacing, other ropes were stored and in great shape.
-Mast/boom/sails appear fine.
-It was rigged to have an old school wind-operated auto-tiller (seems to be garbage).

Burning Questions:
1) With a little bit of work, is it a lost cause simply as a functional sailboat?
2) In terms of safety, should I be worried about the fiberglass on this boat?

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

It looks like the required work shouldn’t be an issue as long as you are willing to do it yourself.  Fiberglass does not really go bad with age and any cracks, if indeed they go past the gel coat can easily be remedied…  there are many tutorials on YouTube, etc.  Looks like she will clean up nicely and would be something to be proud of with some elbow grease.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but looking at some of the details on the deck, I suspect this is a pre-1984 changeover.  The anchor locker and mid-ship hatch may be a later addition.  You can tell for sure by the last four digits of the Hull ID number (month and date the boat was completed), located on the upper right corner of the rear of the transom.

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

By “wind-operated auto-tiller”, did you mean a wind vane autopilot?  If so, they are quite desirable.

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

Vince P wrote:

It looks like the required work shouldn’t be an issue as long as you are willing to do it yourself.  Fiberglass does not really go bad with age and any cracks, if indeed they go past the gel coat can easily be remedied…  there are many tutorials on YouTube, etc.  Looks like she will clean up nicely and would be something to be proud of with some elbow grease.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but looking at some of the details on the deck, I suspect this is a pre-1984 changeover.  The anchor locker and mid-ship hatch may be a later addition.  You can tell for sure by the last four digits of the Hull ID number (month and date the boat was completed), located on the upper right corner of the rear of the transom.

Yeah, that hatch was odd to me. I'm going to be going out to take a closer look and have an informal survey done, I'll try and get the hull I.D., thanks for the tip.

I also definitely agree, it would be something to be proud of. The boat and it's possibilities that come with it haven't left my mind since I laid eyes on it! Trying to remain as objective as possible so I don't blindly purchase a sinking money pit.

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

Vince P wrote:

By “wind-operated auto-tiller”, did you mean a wind vane autopilot?  If so, they are quite desirable.

Yes, that would be the one, forgive my ignorance. The seller said it never worked right for him. What exactly is it that makes them desirable?

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

OnTheLooseMoose wrote:
Vince P wrote:

By “wind-operated auto-tiller”, did you mean a wind vane autopilot?  If so, they are quite desirable.

Yes, that would be the one, forgive my ignorance. The seller said it never worked right for him. What exactly is it that makes them desirable?

They work without electricity and are relatively easy to repair if needed.  They are also relatively expensive to buy because there is a demand for them.

Re: To save this Contessa or not?

For $6,000 more you can buy mine. Ready to go with all accessories and a proven ocean history. It is easy to sink money into a boat that needs work and end up costing more that a more expensive boat that is already in the shape you want and equipped.