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Home / Forums / Internal Fixtures and Fittings

Forums, Internal Fixtures and Fittings

Questions about the internals of your contessa (water tank, cooker, heads, floor, etc)

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08:07 23 March 2024

Heads/ Forepek 1 Reply

Gave just bought a Contessa 32 as a retirement project most of the serious work has been done and I’m looking at a solution for screening off the forepeak from the heads ? canvas door.

Grateful for all ideas/solutions


Ainsley Reid

19:28 16 October 2023

Composting toilet 2 Replies

rogerfg7 at 20/06/2015 17:25:23
My boat is in Sweden and this year Sweden has introduced a ban on waste discharge from boats. Rather than fit a holding tank, I have taken a look at the AirHead composting toilet which is available in the UK and can be shipped to Sweden. They do two shapes, one straight at the back and one with a cut-out to accommodate the hull if required. I cannot recall whether my heads would require the one with a slope or the straight version. My boat is a 1978 one with the diagonal wash basin on the right.

Any information would be very useful.

Many thanks

Roger Graham
Wight Wizard
CO 612


19:27 16 October 2023

Blakes sea cocks 4 Replies

Zoom 495 at 02/05/2015 20:37:30
Hello all and happy Beltane.
I need to refit all my Blakes sea cocks as they are either seized or leaking.
I am sure they need lapping or some such attention. Does anybody have a heads up on this job?
Is using sea cock grease critical? I seem to be coming up short looking for it and perhaps there is a substitute? Thanks,kris


09:45 16 October 2023

Vent Trims 1 Reply

moongirl at 02/12/2018 20:50:55
does anyone know how the wooden trims on the Galley and Heads Vents are fixed? No visible fastenings below deck.


09:45 16 October 2023

Water System 3 Replies

davidleech at 11/07/2018 23:27:25
I see some boats still keep a foot operated water second outlet in addition to the pressure outlet in the galley. Given the small area worksurface is there merit in this?


09:44 16 October 2023

sink pump out. 0 Replies

davidleech at 09/04/2018 21:42:55
Any advice on sink pump out? In fitting a pressurised system I now have a gusher foot pump potentially spare which someone said to use. I’m thinking a: It’ll probably clog and b: i’ll be pretty slow! I’m not keen on refurbing the original Whale hand pump as it won’t fit into the work surface plan well. Macerator pump almost seems an overkill for a small sink!


09:44 16 October 2023

Galley Refurb advice 11 Replies

davidleech at 18/02/2018 22:25:05

I’m planning a galley refurb.
I have a ’79 with a U shaped galley.
I note the existing formica covered top extends into the cupboard and is glassed to the hull giving considerable rigidity to the boat. My aim is to end up with a finished galley comparable to a production boat rather than a DIY retro fit finish. I wish to incorporate a pressurised hot/cold water system with sensible sized sink and also like the idea of fitting an Isotherm BI41 dual to allow incorporation of a neat well insulated lid under a resin type work surface. I would also like to utilise the small amount of wasted space available and avoid compromising any rigidity of the current structure during the process.

Has anyone any information/photos or advice that might be useful in my workup of an action plan towards this project?

Many thanks in anticipation.


09:42 16 October 2023

Wobbly Table 2 Replies

Alastair D Pugh at 21/08/2017 10:13:38
Marisca has the single telescopic supported folding table. The base tube has become wobbly and it is not obvious to me how it is fixed to the boat. Before I start removing the cabin floor can anyone give me a clue as to what I may find, please? I suppose my fear is that the base is bolted to the hull by through bolts (heads hidden) and doing nothing is not a good idea. Ideally, reassurance that it is best left well alone would suffice!


09:42 16 October 2023

installing holding tank 2 Replies

jojo at 20/03/2017 10:58:35
Did anyone ever install a holding tank in their Co32?
Perhaps that is not an issue in GB but it is very practical to have here in Norway, as I usually anchor in natural harbours without toilets.

It shouldn’t be to difficult to fit one, but if anyone already has some advice from hard earned lessons I’d be very happy to hear about it.


09:42 16 October 2023

How to remove table mounting? 3 Replies

SealionK5199 at 16/03/2017 18:39:43


Any tips for removing this type of saloon table mount? I think it is cast aluminium and may be corroded onto the stainless screws. I can undo the port side nuts – these bolts must be glassed in? But I cannot move the two screws that are closer to the centerline.

I’d like to take it out and clean it and repaint it as all the paint is flaking off anyway.




09:41 16 October 2023

Water tank conversion 0 Replies

Zoom 495 at 17/01/2017 02:44:28
Hello all, and happy new year.
Has anyone successfully converted the keel water tank to another use? Zoom has two nice stainless water tanks fitted forward port and staboard. I would rather use the old water tank for storing diesel with just a small day tank located in the port cockpit locker. A small electric fuel pump would continously fill the day tank.
This would free up a lot of space in the port cockpit locker. Any thoughts on how the keel tank may handle fuel?


09:41 16 October 2023

Lee cloth construction 3 Replies

Gepke IV at 27/06/2016 21:43:47
Dear fellow sailors,
In the next few weeks i will be preparing my contessa for a crossing from the Netherlands to Norway and back. That means we will be sailing for a few days non stop. My boat has no configuration for a good and safe sleep in the saloon bunks. Does anyone have a tip or some pictures to construct a lee cloth in the most clever way? :)

co 489
Gepke IV


09:41 16 October 2023

Heads sink level 2 Replies

Speedwell at 13/02/2016 19:26:02

Was stuck with head in the heads learning about the plumbing this afternoon and got me wondering how high above the waterline is the sink drain in the standard moulded unit (1980 vintage)?

Speedwell’s drains direct to seacock and I’m interested in how susceptible it would be to filling / flooding while heeling?

Is it necessary to close the sea cock at sea to prevent this or is it usually fitted with a non-return valve? or just not a problem?

I see the new boats are fitted with foot pumps as per galley setup.


08:33 16 October 2023

Stiffening the hull 6 Replies

Gepke IV at 15/11/2015 21:29:04
Hello there,

My 1976 contessa is one without stringers in the heads section. In heavy seas you can feel the hull flexing. Last summer the bonding with the bulkheads broke sailing upwind in +30knots in Scotland. Now i am thinking of stiffening the hull behind the toilet to lead the forces the proper way. Has anyone done this before and can give me an example?

Cheers Robin
co489 Gepke IV


08:32 16 October 2023

Raw water intake 3 Replies

BobBraithwaite at 15/04/2015 10:56:09

My raw water intake and combined strainer is leaking (Stuart I believe). Does anyone have a recommendation for a replacement and knowledge of the hole diameter.


08:31 16 October 2023

Internal Lighting 5 Replies

Tessa65 at 27/03/2015 08:29:21
Hi – as none of the original sliding internal lights work on Ella I should like to replace them with brass or similar led lights. Does anyone have any suggestions? I think George Isted posted re some lights that he had found. Am thinking of angular lights in the each corner of the saloon etc.
Edited: Tessa65 on 2015-03-27 09:25:37


08:30 16 October 2023

Interior Veneers 0 Replies

doug at 22/02/2015 13:37:56
In case anyone is looking at refreshing their internal woodwork, you might like to know that the veneer thickness on my boat (1979) is 1.1mm (3/64in .046")

I have sanded mine and even lightly wire brushed it to remove black engrained staining. You are not likely to go through, unless someone has been there before or you are really aggressive.

To put this in context, Yachting Monthly reviewed a half million pound boat this month, proudly announcing that the internal veneers were .8mm thick.


08:30 16 October 2023

Vessel lifting point 8 Replies

Zoom 495 at 02/12/2014 00:41:30
My 1977 vintage Contessa has a vessel lifting point that extends up from the keel through the "water " tank and terminates at the cabin sole with a female thread which can accept an eye bolt.
Do all Contessas have this fitted?
As I wish to fit a bladder tank ( hopefully) to the above keel space, does anybody have some input on removing this hardware?


08:29 16 October 2023

Hot air heater ducting 25 Replies

George Isted at 28/10/2014 15:25:28
When fitting a hot blown-air heater (Webasto, Eber, etc) and you want to have heating outlets in the middle and forward cabin do you run the ducting down the port side or the starboard side of the boat?

I’m assuming the heater is fitted in the larger port-side cockpit locker as that makes fuel-in and exhaust-out easy.

If running the ducting down the starboard side I guess it will either run from the heater through the engine bay or around the stern of the boat before going forward.

Running the ducting up the port side would be easier but would require cutting holes in the GRP galley locker/cool box liners and I don’t really want to do that.



08:25 16 October 2023

Galley - sliding doors 2 Replies

doug at 19/10/2014 16:48:23
Mine need a spruce up. Can’t see how they are fixed, has anyone removed them without damage?


08:25 16 October 2023

keel water tank 1 Reply

Zoom 495 at 12/10/2014 23:09:06
Has anyone ever installed a bladder in the keel water tank? Is there any other method of making this space clean enough for potable water again? Is the lifting point that passes through the tank really strong enough to raise the vessel?
Thank you all for a very informative forum. My new boat is already befitting!!


08:25 16 October 2023

saloon table clamps 6 Replies

Brigitte at 06/02/2014 14:34:58
I am in the process of machining a new clamp for the old post style saloon table banjo as we only have the broken off thread of one of them. I know the diameter of the thread is about 8mm but I stupidly forgot to bring the stump home to confirm what flavour of thread I’m dealing with. I called JR and they said it would be an imperial thread, but couldn’t be more specific

I am currently some distance from the boat and not expecting to go back for a couple of weeks so I was hoping that somebody here might be able to enlighten me? I really want to get on with the job.

Any help most gratefully received!


08:24 16 October 2023

New Cooker 6 Replies

Nick Howes at 28/01/2014 15:04:48
I am looking to replace the 23 year old cooker in Quest, any recommendations would be very gratefully received !! Thanks, Sue Howes


08:23 16 October 2023

Foot pedal 3 Replies

Colin at 19/08/2013 20:27:40
CryOne of my crew has managed to break the brass foot pedal for the water pump. Any ideas where we could source a replacement?


08:22 16 October 2023

Keel water tank, off-taste...? 5 Replies

Tazling at 15/07/2013 02:08:37
Love my CO32 but her integral water tank (in-keel, below the cabin sole) seems to impart a funny taste to the water — not really potable, even with a filter inline. It is crystal clear, just tastes strange.

Inspecting I see a couple of things: there’s stuff growing on the tank walls; the gelcoat is cracked in many places; and the inspection port lid (a 6.5 inch diam threaded plastic dealie in about an 8 inch dia plastic flange) is not watertight - when I overfill the tank, water comes seeping out around the allegedly secured port. I also see that there’s a baffle between the fore and aft portions of the tank, making it (ahem) “challenging” to clean more than a tiny portion of it.

Other than dumping some bleach in and living with chlorine taste in addition to strange off taste :
) does anyone have suggestions for cleaning out a tired old integral water tank?




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