Contessa 26 Tech Notes

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Steve Stewart's "Maiden Voyage"

I’m happy to report that my maiden voyage on Vittoria went very well after some minor mishaps raising the rig. I launched in Anacortes, Washington in late July and knocked about everywhere from Victoria to the Octopus Islands for about 6 weeks and 500 miles. It was a great trip and the open wound on the top of my head from rushing below with a baseball cap on and smacking the mast support arch is almost healed. I returned to San Francisco bay in time for my wife’s birthday (this behavior was in my best interest). I have launched and had time for a little San Francisco sailing. If I’m lucky, the wind machine will continue to work here for another 50 days or so. I have learned a few things so far. 1. water ships into the cockpit @ 55 degrees of heel. 2. At 60 degrees it comes in fast enough to go on into the cabin if the hatch boards are not in place. 3. The aft arch supporting the mast is quite unyeilding. 4. My 15lb. hi tensile Danford drug once and fouled once but my 35lb. CQR just works.

Roger, You folks have some of the nicest cruising grounds I can imagine. I enjoyed everywhere I went and everywhere I stopped. I even caught the Marine Holiday at Comox complete with parades, live music, and fireworks. The Sea Cadets were really something. They seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. Victoria was beautiful but it is hard to communicate with the harbor forks when your boat is named Vittoria, it seemed to cause no end of confusion. I saw another c26 at Gibson but no one around and no name on the boat. Roger, You mentioned a woodstove installed in a c26 that was for sale. I am interested in hearing from anyone on a safe instillation of a heating stove in the contessa. I can’t seem to figure out a place to put it that would not be a major hazard for burning off ones hide. After the third low streaming into the desolation sound area I was pretty soggy and would have much appreciated a way to dry things out a bit. Have a good sail.

Merrill, I must have missed some email, what is happening in the U.K. next July? In my boat the inner liner was crazed badly under the port lights. This was caused by compression of the window fasteners. It was not a problem except being very unsightly. When I made the replacement frames for inside the cabin, I made the bottom web much larger than the rest simply to cover the crazing. It came out looking O.K. If there are any folks out there looking for a c26, there might be one available in Berkeley California. I heard a rumor while I was launching there. If there is still anyone looking for a contessa on the West Coast let me know and I will look further into the matter.

P.S. Merrill, I kept the pointy end forward most of the time. The Pacific Northwest, however is sprinkled with rapids that often exceed 10 knots. White water sailing is a regional pastime which is down right frightening to the beginner and can somewhat cloud the definition of forward.

Good Sailing Everyone,
Steve Stewart