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Technical queries that do not fit the other technical categories

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19:41 16 October 2023

50th Anniversary 2 Replies

doug at 12/02/2018 16:10:20
Very early I know, but has anyone heard when any Golden Anniversary festivities might be held?
I think the 26 was 50 years after the design date in ’65.


19:40 16 October 2023

Acknowledgement etc 6 Replies

Gillian at 09/11/2017 20:28:51
Since joining the association on 29th August 2017 I’ve not received an acknowledgement or been given a username and password. I left a message on the contacts form a few weeks ago but have had no response from that either.
Without a user name and password I cannot update the ownership and location of my boat nor access other pages on the website.
Please could someone respond !
Thank you
Gillian Strugnell
9th November 2017


19:39 16 October 2023

Cheap Contessa? 1 Reply

doug at 02/08/2017 10:14:07
I was alongside this sad Contessa in Vannes this summer:

IMGA0365 by OldGoriot, on Flickr

There is a writ attached:

IMGA0367 by OldGoriot, on Flickr

I investigated at the marina office and the matter is said to be “complicated”. Nevertheless there may be a cheap boat coming up at some stage…it would have to be very cheap and you would need to be very brave, but the basic boat looks sound. Bonne chance.

Edited: doug on 2017-08-02 10:18:39


19:38 16 October 2023

Coppercoat Anti-foul 6 Replies

CO923 at 13/12/2015 19:27:00
There was a discussion in 2009 about copper coat and ultrasound anti-foul. I wondered if there was any update on experience since then.

We had copper coat on the Hunter Medina 20 we kept at Granton for several years, and it worked very well, though we started to get some barnacles and there was a bit of flaking off in the last year we used her, before we acquired our Contessa (CO923 Peak Flow) and sold the Medina.

We are contemplating copper coating Peak Flow and wondered if there was more experience now about benefits and pitfalls. Has Tiptoe replaced her faulty copper coat and is the new coat OK? Anyone else?

Best wishes

Hilary Sillitto/Peak Flow, Granton


19:37 16 October 2023

Buying through a broker 10 Replies

Oreb at 03/12/2015 18:27:09
Hi there!
My plan is to fly over to the UK early spring next year and look at a few Contessa 32s, and hopefully be well on the way to owning one when flying home to Stockholm again. I have read up a bit on the purchase process over there, so that is no problem. What I don’t know is – How long does it usually take (after money has exchanged hands) before I am in posession of the boat? Is there some waitingtime for transfer of the title etc. The reason I am asking is because I want to leave the boat with Jeremy Rogers yard for a partial refit, and it will probably be easier to book a yard spot if I have a general idea on when they can expect the boat.
(And sorry for the swenglish)
Jan T


19:35 16 October 2023

Beware UV damage to floating rope 3 Replies

Richard Ritchie at 15/04/2015 22:43:56
You are advised to check any buoyant ropes attached to rescue slings or life rings.
The yellow rope attached to mine degraded to dust in less than 2 seasons, at the sunlight exposed part where it was tied to the pushpit.
This was far from obvious, so is potentially dangerous.
Baltic were very helpful, but have alerted me to a line in their instructions advising that the end of the rope is cut off each season and a new part attached, to avoid this problem. (I had not been aware of this)
My experience shows this to be an essential piece of maintenance. This floating rope degrades fast in sunlight.


19:35 16 October 2023

Calibrated s/s anchor chain 1 Reply

Nick Howes at 11/04/2015 21:57:15
I am thinking of biting the very expensive bullet and buying s/s 8mm chain to make life easier! Can anyone recommend a supplier of good quality calibrated chain ? Thanks, Nick


19:35 16 October 2023

New bad leak -- any ideas? 3 Replies

Tazling at 04/12/2014 19:25:06
I have been slowly restoring my beat-up old 1981 JJ Taylor (Canadian) Contessa 32. This year’s big project was to fix some obvious damage at the place where the rudder post passes through the hull (by way of a tube with a stuffing box at the top). The area where the tube meets the hull, on the inside, was a mess of old gype that looked like it had been flung more than smeared (highly suspect) and whenever I sailed in following seas the bilge would fill up :-) you could see the trickle of water coming from under the gype, so it’s been on my fixit list ever since the my cruising season with the boat.

So this year I gritted my teeth and put her into a local yard where there’s a good fibreglasser, and asked him to grind all the mess away and find out what the heck was going on in there. Answer: the tube terminated in a flange which was (I emphasise the past tense) glassed to the hull. The glassing had partially failed (!) and he said I was lucky it hadn’t come adrift entirely. I saw a British CO32 last year that also had a snakes’nest of gype at that same spot, so I’m thinking this may have been a weak point of the original design. Can anyone confirm that this is a trouble spot for old 32’s?

Anyway, a month (this delay was due more to a lackadaisical rigger than to the glasser) and several thousand CAD later… the tube is rebedded, the stuffing box repacked, the rudder re-hung, and a custom plate with a proper bushing installed in the cockpit floor to take the side-loading from the tiller so that the tube base won’t be stressed. Wow, was I glad to motor away from there feeling that my leak problem was fixed at last.

Now for the bad news. New leak problem! Tazling was in the yard for over 30 days and there were several sub-freezing nights (-10 or so), and I’m guessing this has something to do with the ghastly realisation, after getting her home (3 hrs in pretty parky conditions), that she’s taking on water faster than I’ve ever known her to do. Filling the bilge in 12 hours! Dismay, alarm, consternation. Good thing I dropped by w/in 24 hours to check on her! The bilgewater was over the top of the water tank when I arrived.

Needless to say I’ve been hunting for that leak everywhere, and so far am utterly mystified. The driveshaft stuffing box is dripping about once every 40 seconds - hardly enough to account for the water accumulation. The water tank (and hence the ballast chamber in the keel) was suspect for a while because it was full of saltwater, but a very simple test (draining both water tank and bilge and checking after 6 hours) made it clear that the bilge overflowed and filled the water tank (there’s a cheesy round access cover on the top that is far from watertight), not the other way around. The top of the skeg does have a slow seep, but it’s not enough to account for the influx The “v” bottom of the hull is bone dry from the stem all the way to the water tank; all the through hulls are bone dry, not even a sweat or a seep to be seen.

My last reasonable theory (one that doesn’t involve Ancient Egyptian Curses or gremlins, that is) blames the bilge drain plug. This (to me dubious!) feature is often found on East Coast Canadian boats because they haul out all winter for dry storage (to get out of the ice). To avoid freezing in the bilge and possible damage, and to obviate personal attendance for bilge pumping (or relying on auto pumping all winter) they have drain plugs.

I’m wondering whether anyone else’s CO32 has a drain plug, and whether you have ever seen it spontaneously start leaking after (a) drying out for 4 weeks and/or (b) sub-freezing conditions on the hard. I’m thinking maybe thermal cycling, or a bit of ice expansion, or some sikaflex that got brittle or shrank…? getting desperate here for an explanation of this unprecedented leakage, and how it’s related to the long haulout which seems to have started the problem. If I can keep the old girl afloat till Spring, on my next routine haulout I’m going to remove that plug and glass it over :
) just on principle.

Today I’m going to try to clean out the ridiculously deep bilge, scrub some old fossilised engine oil off the bottom, and try to see if there’s water coming in from below. Nasty, mucky, cold, wet job, but I just can’t stand not knowing. If it isn’t visibly coming in there, then I’m completely flummoxed. If anyone has had a similar experience — long haulout, drying out, cold conditions, then a sudden new and fairly rapid leak — I would surely like to know what you finally found to be the cause.


19:34 16 October 2023

Handbook/Newsletter. 2 Replies

doug at 26/11/2014 20:44:07
Now I am not the quickest but I detect that I have not had either for some years.

Has the magazine gone? I used to enjoy it best.

Always kept the latest Handbook on the boat as well.


19:33 16 October 2023

Bart's Bash - 21st Sept 1 Reply

Alastair D Pugh at 18/08/2014 09:53:18
Only 2 CO32’s out of the 700+ built are registered for this, the world’s biggest ever sailing event, and neither of these is from England (Cornwall has seceded, hasn’t it?). is the website – find the start nearest you and join in.

If you don’t know who Bart was or what this is about then you really need to get out more!



19:33 16 October 2023

Mons Meg 2 Replies

christophe at 29/07/2014 18:45:56
anybody who has the contactdetails from the owner of Mons Meg?


19:33 16 October 2023

Portsmouth SC Weekend 0 Replies

moongirl at 27/06/2014 19:57:23
Due to damage to Muscadet it looks like we won’t be racing her at what is effectively her Home Club. If that is the case I would probably be available as Crew if anyone is short handed. Old but effective plus invaluable knowledge of the local area from winning the Autumn & Spring Series for the last 3 years.
My details are in the Members Section.
Colin King


19:32 16 October 2023

AZAB 2015 12 Replies

Colin Pritchard at 17/12/2013 08:46:17
The idea of doing AZAB 2015 in Rampage of Lymington has been floated. Rampage is a 1981 boat and the rig and equipment are generally, I think, up to the job and would meet the Race requirements. What troubles me are the possible changes needed to the hull/structure to meet the race rules and glancing through the rules suggests quite a few alterations which I would have to attend to.

Contessas are regular participants in the AZAB so I would be really grateful for any thoughts that other members have on what the main changes have to be to get the hull/structure race ready.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Colin Pritchard


10:56 16 October 2023

stern tube and rudder post issues 0 Replies

Galatea at 28/08/2023 15:24:07
I have heard some rumors that Contessa 32s suffer from “stern tube” and “rudder post” issues. I haven’t seen any indication of problems in these areas on Galatea, but perhaps I just don’t know what to look for. Would someone care to educate me as far as symptoms and remediation?


10:56 16 October 2023

Down at heel 1 Reply

Speedwell at 06/11/2019 21:37:24
Speedwell sits low on her stbd aft quarter leading to fouling above the water line and I’ve never been able to figure out why. Standard configuration with the fuel tank in the port locker and a 20L calorifier under the chart table seat but nothing heavy in the quarter berth. 2 large batteries under the stbd saloon berth but they are midships. On the port side galley, stove, fridge etc. Mast is straight so far as I can tell. Does anyone have the same problem or can suggest anything else to check? Many thanks.
Edited: Speedwell on 2019-11-06 21:46:21


10:56 16 October 2023

The Longue Route 2018 2 Replies

doug at 30/11/2018 17:27:57
I don’t know if this has been mentioned elsewhere but Pierre-Andre Huglo seems to be doing rather well in this event:

There is a video of him departing on YouTube, search – Longue Route 2018


10:55 16 October 2023

Contessa35 across the North Sea in winter 0 Replies

SealionK5199 at 03/03/2017 10:46:56
hi All,

You might enjoy this video of a crazy Viking sailing across the North Sea in January:




10:55 16 October 2023

Cheap Contessa 0 Replies

doug at 06/08/2016 20:31:13
Laid up in Cornwall and described as being in a “sorry state”, see here:

Asking £11.000, probably cost a fortune to make serviceable but someone may be looking for a cheap boat..


10:55 16 October 2023

Outboard Petrol Storage 2 Replies

marisco at 28/07/2016 22:37:20
Where/how do owners tend to store petrol for the outboard ?

I have a 5 litre plastic container. I’m not sure if it will fit in the gas locker ? I read on another forum that storage in the other cockpit lockers and anchor lockers could lead to fumes going into the bilge. Am I being paranoid ?! paul


10:54 16 October 2023

VAT 7 Replies

Tessa65 at 27/06/2016 10:38:16
help!! Am hoping to enter Ella in the Classic Channel Regatta next year which of course means crossing the Channel to France and hence the declaration of VAT
Ella was the Paris Boatshow model in 1980 and then bought by a French model who kept her in S of France until she was shipped back to the UK circa 2006. JR thinks that she was built in 1979/80 but has no record of VAT receipt. VAT must have been paid at some point but her previous owners have no record. I have tried the Gov website Notice 8: sailing your pleasure craft to and from the UK but it’s all getting v complicated. Section 4.2 states: ‘Certain vessels that were in use as private pleasure craft prior to 1/1/85 and were in the EU on 31st Dec 1992 may be deemed VAT paid under Single Market transitional arrangements’. Although in the light of recent events it may all change!!
Does anyone have any information about the best way to proceed in this matter??
Edited: Tessa65 on 2016-06-27 10:41:30


10:53 16 October 2023

Level of production? 2 Replies

doug at 23/09/2015 10:13:13
Does anyone know how many boats have been produced since new production re-started in the 90’s?

And, maybe roughly how many are produced per year now? One, Two or less?

I am not, sadly, considering a new boat. No reason whatever for this, just curious.
Edited: doug on 2015-09-23 10:13:44


10:53 16 October 2023

Chocolate 3 Replies

Keny at 21/06/2015 19:59:10
Anyone out there with a chocolate brown hull?
Would like any information that may have been acquired on colour matching the gel coat.
Ken Young


10:52 16 October 2023

Danbouy stowage 2 Replies

Brigitte at 04/03/2014 13:36:49
We’ve taken delivery of a new danbouy and I’m rather taken aback by the sheer length of it.

We’ve strapped the customary piece of drainpipe to the pushpit but how to deal with 2 m of whippy fibreglass pole other than strapping it to the back stay? I am already pretty bemused about how I’m supposed to launch the danbouy, horseshoe, light, drogue and kitchen sink within a mile of the MOB.

Any cunning solutions out there?

PS, should have said, we’re not keen on attaching it to the back stay because it could get caught up in the wind vane lines.
Edited: Brigitte on 2014-03-04 13:38:15


10:51 16 October 2023

Hard tender / rigid dinghy 4 Replies

Silver Harmony at 26/02/2014 22:34:03
Has anyone successfully carried (not towed) a rigid dinghy on their Contessa 32?

What make/design?
Where did you carry it?
How did you launch it?
What (if any) problems did you have with it?



10:51 16 October 2023

Moulding Co32 hulls 3 Replies

doug at 20/09/2013 10:33:38
As the 32 hull has a slight tumblehome I’m thinking that it would not come out of a one part mould.

So is the hull moulded in two parts and then bonded together or is the mould split in order to remove the finished hull?

I think I have seen a photo of a new hull in the mould – but can’t think where it was.

……There is no practical or sensible reason for me wanting to know this!


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