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Home / Forums / Mast, Rigging and Sails

Forums, Mast, Rigging and Sails

Problems or questions about your mast, rigging or sails

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19:44 22 April 2024

Sails for sale? 0 Replies

Hi I’m looking for second hand sails for my 32. Cruising sails preferably but interested in anything in good condition. Main and Genoa. Please message me back if you have these available

Jez Rake

20:00 17 March 2024

Complete Rig available this winter 1 Reply

waratah912 at 14/10/2020 19:48:30
Is there a project boat out there that could use a complete rig? On the basis I plan to keep the boat and keep sailing for as long as health permits, I’m changing the rig to get the benefit of the new one, rather than change it and have to give up sailing a couple of years later. Kemp Furlex, Quantum main and cruiing roller genoa, all standing and running rigging. Can be seen in operation in next couple of weeks before winter layup


09:53 3 March 2024

U-bolts, do they have to be JR’s 1 Reply

Hello, I am new to this as I have just recently purchased a Co32. I want to change the u bolts as I think they are at least 15years old and I’m going to change all the standing rigging. The u bolts on the Jeremy Rogers website are really expensive and I’m wondering if anyone has bought similar marine grade u bolts for a much lower price. Surely the same strength? *I’m speaking specifically about the bolts for the lowers, I will buy JR uppers. Thanks

Sean Nee

08:42 6 November 2023

Deck rings 3 Replies

Magic Dragon at 04/12/2017 18:28:49

I’d like to replace my original Kemp mast with the ZSpars unit.

The problem I have is finding a deck ring for the turning blocks which will fit the coach roof without cutting off the moulded lip. I’m interested if anyone has achieved this by either finding one or having it made.


19:27 16 October 2023

Raymarine ST2000+ Autopilot 2 Replies

Ian.S at 21/07/2021 09:08:12
We have a ST2000 Autopilot fitted to our Contessa. We had a bracket made to fit the tiller by Sims Marine and that was done elegantly. However because the tiller moves up and down vertically the tiller drops when underway and connected to the autopilot. This either pulls the Autohelm out of its, brass male/female plug on the cockpit seat or it simply disconnects from the tiller. Somebody must have cracked this issue as it renders to autopilot totally unreliable except for very short periods when watched. We’ve tried tightening the tiller to make it move vertically less, but this doesn’t crack the problem. Ian S


19:26 16 October 2023

Older boats - lower shroud U-Bolts 0 Replies

waratah912 at 06/09/2020 10:26:46
want to replace the lower shroud U-bolts this winter, but can’t find any that are 50mm centres with a welded plate. JR’s are 60mm centres and made to order.If there are others needing new u-bolts on 50mm centres it might be economic to have them made vs the pain of filling and re-drilling the deck.Any interest? Angled or straight?May be we could persuade JR to stock them too?
Edited: waratah912 on 2020-09-06 10:27:33


19:26 16 October 2023

Mast Wedges/Chocks? 2 Replies

Stargazer at 18/03/2020 23:25:41
Evening all,
I’m a newbie to the Contessa fleet and want to know what other owners use to wedge their masts ….
I’ve been offered rubber ‘wedges’ by Jeremy Rogers – they supply 10mm or 20mm rubber blocks which can be trimmed to size. The blocks aren’t tapered, they’re just a slab of rubber either 10mm or 20mm thick. (I tried to load a picture, but can’t get it to load). The price seems rather steep though – £33.74 for the 20mm block, £28.32 for the 10mm block, and £18 (!!!) for delivery. Does anybody use these?
It seems to me that hardwood wedges would serve the purpose just as well for a fraction of the price. (e.g. 50 hardwood blocks, 100mm long x 20mm wide x 15mm tapering to 2mm from Amazon for under a tenner)
Or am I missing something?
Thanks, Simon


19:25 16 October 2023

Contessa Mast height 5 Replies

BobBraithwaite at 25/01/2015 21:08:31
Can anyone confirm the mast height on a C32 measured from the deck ?

Thanks in advance


19:24 16 October 2023

Mast Foot 1 Reply

doug at 15/01/2014 11:16:46
I was weighing up my mast step position before taking it down this Autumn and it seemed to me it might be a notch too far forward at the foot.

I have not noticed any dreadful effects on the trim or sailing of the boat.

Should I put the foot back one notch to the rear?

Here are snaps of the position:

Edited: doug on 2014-01-15 11:22:34


19:24 16 October 2023

Mast down 2 Replies

eric clubley at 14/01/2014 08:59:29
I’m sure this is an old one, but here goes; do you take your mast down over-wintering, on the hard, in a cradle? And if so why? Is it an Insurance thing? Is it about loading the chainplates…?




19:24 16 October 2023

ISAF Cat 4 and Class Racing rules - Sails 0 Replies

George Isted at 25/04/2013 14:52:13
Hi all, I was just helping a new owner with a question around sails, the class rules and the ISAF requirements having measured his boat earlier in the week and I thought he same info may be of interest to other owners. A question came up about this at the Cruising seminar a few weeks back so this may be a timely clarification for skippers that race. For info, the Class rules have always required that boats conform to Cat 4 and this required all boats to carry a No 4 jib (which qualifies as a ISAF “heavy weather sail";). So this IS NOT something new that has come in following the rule changes. I hope this is of interest. All the best. George Isted Co32 Class measurer ******************************************************** From: George Isted
Sent: 25 April 2013 14:30
To: *******
Subject: RE: Contessa Measuring Hi XXXXX You have made me go and check the rules to confirm my understanding and check for changes, which is a good thing as the rules are updated every few years. I have also been comparing the requirements for Cat4 against the full Cat0 rules. For Cat 4 you need to carry what they called a “Heavy Weather Jib";, Class Rules also state that a No 4 must be carried. It is therefore convenient that a Contessa No4 is the correct size for a ISAF “Heavy weather Jib";. For Cat 4 you DO NOT need to carry what they specify as a “Storm Jib"; or a “Trysail";, these are only necessary for Cat2 racing and above. It is just the Storm jib that must have a “highly visible colour"; patch or be made from similar material. (I had Peter stick an orange blob onto my storm jib). So a plain Dacron No4 is just fine. One ISAF requirement of note is… “for each storm or heavy-weather jib, a means to attach the luff to the stay, independent of any luffgroove device. A heavy weather jib shall have the means of attachment readily available. A storm jib shall have the means of attachment permanently attached"; What this means is that IF the sail is designed to go into a foil such as that on a roller-reefing system it must have a separate means of attachment to the forestay. A common but not easy to use solution is to have grommets (holes) down the luff such that short lengths of rope can be loosely tied around the forestay every couple of feet or so. The reason for this is that under high-loads it is not uncommon for a luff-tape to pull out of a foil/furling system. For info. My No4 and Storm jib are set on an inner forestay that simply uses hanks, this does not require a secondary means of attachment because hank-on sails are pretty fool-proof.


19:23 16 October 2023

Roller Furling 8 Replies

Nick Howes at 23/04/2013 23:22:47
I am looking for reccomendations on which roller furling to fit for cruising use ?

Thanks, Nick


19:22 16 October 2023

various rigging costs 3 Replies

Nick Howes at 13/04/2013 21:57:02

Refit costs.
I am looking at several boats, trying to chose which one to buy. All need various different refits doing. Could any one give me an idea of the following costs ?
Supply and fit:
standing rigging
running rigging
roller furling
stack pack
lazy jacks
new suit sails
2nd forestay

Thanks for your help,

Kind regards, Nick


00:34 16 October 2023

Mast Sheaves 0 Replies

Brigitte at 21/04/2019 16:46:29
We’ve enjoyed our first shake down sail of the season but our elderly genoa halyard sheaves (the lower ones) have finally given up the ghost. Frankly the squealing could have woken the dead so replacement is long overdue.

There is nothing wrong with the sheave boxes but I am having a bit of trouble sourcing a replacement sheave (38mm/1.5″ × 13mm/1/2" with a 10mm hole or larger). It’s a Kemp mast and they are aluminium with a Tufnol bush on a 10mm steel pin. I can’t believe we’re the first with this problem, and it would appear the other mast sheaves have already been replaced with plastic (acetal?) so any advice and/or suggestions out there? Plan B is to make them but I’m hoping for an easy way out

I’ve also posted this on the Facebook group; apologies if you are getting deja vu


00:34 16 October 2023

Rigging a Spinnaker 2 Replies

Inara at 13/05/2018 08:42:10
Hello everybody, first post from me, though I suspect there will be many more to come.Smile

I have recently bought Inara and hopefully she will be on the water soon. She currently having all new standing rigging, new running rigging and lots of hull and sail tlc.
I would be very grateful if any of the racers on here could explain or even better upload some pics of how they have set up the various blocks etc for guys/sheets/pole topping lift/downhaul etc. Also how they have run the downhaul back to the cockpit.
I’m about to fit deck organisers and new clutches so would be interested to know which ones others have found to work well.

Also interested to know whether you dip pole or end for end, and whether you tend to use sheets and guys or just sheets with barber haulers etc.

Another question somewhat unrelated, how do you attach halyards? With knots to captive pin shackles? Spliced shackles? Soft shackles?

Many thanks in advance for your help.



00:34 16 October 2023

Masthead Fitting 4 Replies

Wizard at 26/02/2018 22:38:16
I have just found that the 4 sheeves at my masthead are either seized or worn and need to be replaced. I think the mast is the original. To remove the sheeves I guess I have to lift the top plate/fitting. There appear to be 2 bolts on the sides of the mast and 2 nuts on the top plate. Do I just remove them and lift it off. Any advice welcome.


00:33 16 October 2023

Wire rigging diameter 4 Replies

Sandy at 23/11/2017 14:29:25
What diameter rigging wire does everyone use?

I’m replacing the standing rigging on Solan Goose, and it looks like we’ve got 6mm 1×19 wire all round. But in the rigging schedule for the Contessa 32 on the association website it specifies 5mm for the lower shrouds?

Our u bolts for the lower shrouds have noticeably pulled the deck up, though they have now been reinforced with steel plates under the deck. I had the thought that perhaps they had been over tensioned with the larger wire.

I was considering compact dyform wire, partly as an upgrade and hopefully as it would feel nicer on the hands, but not sure if it is a good idea, or if I could downsize the lower shrouds at the same time.


00:32 16 October 2023

Inner Forestay Fixing 8 Replies

moongirl at 16/02/2017 19:06:19
I seem to remember someone ‘posting’ a bit about making/fixing a stronger inner stay fitting but cannot remember where I saw it. Anyone know?


00:31 16 October 2023

Halyards 0 Replies

moongirl at 22/01/2017 16:15:54
Does anyone have a record of halyard lengths (assumed with clutches and led aft) I need to replace Main & Genoa & am comparing prices in Norway against UK.


00:31 16 October 2023

Choosing new mast 8 Replies

Resolute635 at 15/12/2016 14:56:47
I’m considering a new mast rather than expensive repairs to old one. I found Zspars provide a considerably cheaper mast than Selden and I was told that several Contessas have recently had their masts replaced by Zspars.

It would be helpful to hear from anyone who has dealt with Zspars and also any words of wisdom about their masts compared with the Selden.


00:30 16 October 2023

newbie rigging question.. 8 Replies

marisco at 22/05/2016 17:16:41
Ive just bought a 1977 boat – Contessa of Wight – love it !

May I clarify as a newbie how the sails are configured ?

I have a large genoa on a roller fuller. If I need a smaller jib or storm jib, is this usually hanked onto a second forestay ? And if so, I can see two possible deck attachment points, one foreward and one aft of the anchor locker. Which one to use ? Also, there is a wire cable which comes to the bottom of the mast which I assume to be a second forestay, which has a Highfield lever at the bottom end – is this usual ? If so, it is too short to connect to the deck padeyes – would need an intervening strop – again is this standard ?

Secondly, I would like to use a code zero on a torsion rope/Karver furler as my only downwind sail, for ease of use. Do other owners have this or is the additional area over a genoa not worth the effort ? And if a code zero is useful, where does in attach to the deck end, in the absence of a bowsprit (it looks like the it would get caught up a bit on the pulpit) ?

Many thanks, sorry for so many questions !



00:29 16 October 2023

Dodgers by Easter 2 Replies

Confusion at 16/03/2016 21:11:52
I need some dodgers before easter. I think I’ve found a company that will do them but does anyone knoe the best length? I’ve never owned a pair before but i guess the length is from the end of the pushpit to the first Stanchion. Also if you know of anyone that can do quick delivery that’d help too just in case they’re cheaper.




00:29 16 October 2023

New Selden Mast Section 5 Replies

samourai at 08/03/2016 16:27:43
Hi everybody ! I just bought a CO32 build in 1976 in Lymington. She is fitted by J.R. with a Kemp Mast (KS7250) 2 m (6ft6") longer than the normal size inlcuding a roller boom which is also 40 cm (1ft 3&3/4")longer than the original. The boat used to race on swiss lakes but also went around the Med.
Anyway, the mast itself looks fine except some electrolysis around the step. The mast is also thicker than the original Kemp section which was normaly fitted by J.R. (KS 6746), with only one set of spreaders ! At the moment I am considering a new mast in order to recover the original sail plan.
Does anybody who has changed his old Kemp mast to a new Selden one can help me on this subject.
I am looking to find the exact Selden section for CO32 and of course all the measures needed for ordering a new mast….
This CO32 is now lying in Greece and my easiest choice is a Selden mast.
Looking at the Selden website I found these 3 different sections: C175/C193/C211.
The only problem is that the hole throught the deck is bigger because of this original taller & thicker Kemp mast….what would be the best choice ?

Greetings from Corfu Island Wink


00:28 16 October 2023

Winch handles 3 Replies

Speedwell at 05/02/2016 19:14:02

Have just had cranked stanchions fitted so looking to buy some grown up winch handles.
Has anyone got advice on which is the best locking handle for a Contessa with older Lewmar 42ST winches?
Edited: Speedwell on 2016-02-05 19:16:34


00:28 16 October 2023

port genoa sheet abrading cockpit coaming 13 Replies

Saoirse at 25/01/2016 14:32:51
Saoirse’s port side genoa sheet abrades on the cockpit coaming. Doesnt happen on the starboard side becuase the lead there is to the outside edge of the winch whereas the port side sheet leads to the inboard edge of the winch.

I have noticed quite a few Contessas showing this wear pattern on the cockpit coaming. Short of trying to obtain a genoa winch that goes round the other way, has anyone got any suggestions?

Many thanks

David Holtby


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