Coquina012

Contenders

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I love wooden boats (I have built ten) and I came across a Contender that is haunting my dreams.  Anyone have any experience sailing these?  Are they considered a two man boat?  I am not interested for racing.  I am interested for recreational sailing on a local lake that has close to a four mile fetch with a beam wind coming and going almost everyday of the year.  I had been kicking the idea around for a Force 5--but they are plastic and I would enjoy owning it, but prefer the wooden boat such as above.  My wife had a two year injury that is now healing and she is returning to sailing...

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"The boat won the 1968 Olympic selection trials, but for a variety of reasons was never adopted as an Olympic class. This was probably something of a blessing, as the class has thrived ever since."

Quote from British Contender Association website. 

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Contender is strictly a 1 person boat.  The boom sweeps low over the deck so you need to duck deep.  They're probably easier to sail than my RS700 as I see that they are stable at the dock.  It is still a trapeze boat with a lot of sail area, so requires some degree of experience.  You could sail it without the trapeze, but only in lighter winds.

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I sailed a Contender for over ten years and only left the class for the faster IC/AC. Bought one after watching them sail on SF Bay. The wooden one I had was built in 72 and I sold it in Canada after winning the NA's. Could not give it away here in Texas because of the supposed maintenance. It is a single hander. I took people at times but the low boom, vang  and mainsheet tower get in the way. So much better than the Force5 and trapping is a lot of fun. The wooden IC is the only better option. 

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Yes, while I really enjoyed my (wood) Contender, it was a challenge for a crew, even a kid, to get under that boom. Ironically I, too, sold it and bought an International Canoe. Oh to be so young again.

On the other hand, in the late 1970s I saw a wood Contender hull over a fence while I was sweeping a chimney in NE Georgia. I knocked on the door after getting done with the job. "You want it? 100 bucks and take it away! It was my ex-husbands." So I bought it without a rig. Put a Windmill rig on it. Always beat the Contender handicap, and the boom was higher. Dave Ellis

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22 minutes ago, sailwriter said:

Yes, while I really enjoyed my (wood) Contender, it was a challenge for a crew, even a kid, to get under that boom. Ironically I, too, sold it and bought an International Canoe. Oh to be so young again.

On the other hand, in the late 1970s I saw a wood Contender hull over a fence while I was sweeping a chimney in NE Georgia. I knocked on the door after getting done with the job. "You want it? 100 bucks and take it away! It was my ex-husbands." So I bought it without a rig. Put a Windmill rig on it. Always beat the Contender handicap, and the boom was higher. Dave Ellis

A 505 friend of mine used to singlhand the windmill on a trapeze .Said it was a whole different boat. Like a contenda!

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9 hours ago, fastyacht said:

A 505 friend of mine used to singlhand the windmill on a trapeze .Said it was a whole different boat. Like a contenda!

The windmill is an excellent contender for a trapeze!   It’s a phenomenally uncomfortable boat to crew in, and a trapeze would power it up significantly, in addition to resolving the comfort issue .  An A sail would also be amazing, though the performance is remarkable with just the jib.   

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Oh yes the Windmill was really quick with a trapeze. But that Kenyon 'A' mast section was not up to the task. 

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Crew area on a Windmill was designed for kids aging out of the pram, predecessor of the Opti. I'm ancient, 5' 10" and had no problem crewing. Prefer being skipper though. Dave Ellis 

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15 hours ago, sailwriter said:

Put a Windmill rig on it.

The main only, or the full rig?

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I put the full Windmill rig, main and jib. 119 square feet, very close to the Contender's sail area.  I found that I planed upwind better with that rig on that old boat than I did on a newer wood boat 15 years later with the official rig. That's also where i found that the Kenyon 'A' mast section was too flexible with trapeze use. Scary, but never did break.

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Contender would  be a nice lake boat if you get the sailmaker to move the clew up 6 inches or so.    Two people fit OK but it will be slow.   If your lake has 8 kts you will be stretched out on the wire upwind (assuming180 lbs).

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Got a soft spot for the Contender, (mainly where the mainsheet tower got me during gybes), but being a skinny 470 sailor never had the weight for them on the sea, though they gave some great sailing especially Hayling harbour and bay. The new Hartley ones look really nice. 

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Remember meeting Tony Smith on a trip to England in the early 80's. He shook my hand and said loose 2 stone. I weighed 195lb at the time. Did get me first around the Weather mark one race at Brixom in a huge fleet though. Really a fun boat in a breeze. oh and I did beat John Browett once, Highlight of my career. Outstanding young man.

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