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Old 11-12-2017, 04:27   #1
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Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Hello
My partner and I are looking for our 1st cruiser.
We come from dinghy sailing and would like to have a boat to sail and learn the basics of cruisers before I retire in 5 yrs time and move up to a bigger boat and cruise the med.
That's the plan.
I would like to keep the boat on the crouch and be able to cross the channel and sail the coast of England and France on occasion.
Mostly spending 4 days on the boat on my days off and the odd weeks cruising.
Dilemma: contessa 28.. good safe boat limited room
Beneteau first 32 roomy AWB.
Budget 16000.
I'm 50/50 as I would like some performance and space but also a stable safe boat.
The contessa is cheaper and a little less draught.
Any thoughts plz....
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:04   #2
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

I did weeks Baltic rally in one 30 years ago called Pochard. At the time the Army had a fleet of 12 stationed at Kiel all named after wildfowl. They used the names again on the later HR replacements.

Sadly it wasn't a good week, although no fault of the yacht. Instead the skipper thought it was normal to hold the tiller up to his chin to overcome the weather helm with the rudder angled at 45 deg, the sails winched fully in though we were on a nice beam reach oh an flying the No 1 when everyone else had a No 2 up. The result was we were doing a grand job of sailing sideways and last of the 12 boats. I learnt more about how not to do it in that week that at any other time.

Anyway with 5 big blokes on board it was a bit tight in the cockpit, I had previously sailed Nic 55s. There wasn't a lot of room down below either but the weather was kind so we lived outside.

I would have some confidence in that the services at the time will have chosen to buy 12 Contessa 28's for sail training, looking for a safe, reliable yacht with reasonable performance. You could tell by the bumps and scratches that they had all done some serious mileage in novice hands over the years but still could be made to go well subject to the skipper. Would I have one, yes if there was a really nice one at a good price.

However, found this by chance, so how about a cheeky offer before Xmas, you can only ask, be upfront and honest about your budget and they might say yes.

Clarke & Carter Interyacht Ltd. (Ipswich, Suffolk, Suffolk)
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:26   #3
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Oh boy.. the sky just got dark.. is that a sh** storm coming this way?

I had a Contessa (32) myself and I was also once in your situation. My advice to you is buy whichever seems like it will need less maintenance and you think you can sell again easily and without fuzz (and that depends on the specific specimen you are looking at, your neck of the woods etc). The reason is that if you do like cruising, you will sooner than you think probably want to move up (trust me.. I thought I was set for the first 5 years.. I didn't last half of that). And if you don't like cruising you will want to sell her so .. there you go. Either way you will want to sell this boat at some point not too far in the future

Contessas are awesome boats to learn on, solid no nonsense and are usually easy to sell. Downside is they are tiny.. like.. ridiculous. The 32 was built by leprechauns I tell you. And the 28 is smaller.. oh my.

If the small space will be detrimental to your cruising fun (i.e. because your partner might hate it if it is too cramped up in there) I can see the First would offer more "immediate gratification" .. so that is a factor to consider. Only you know what is best for you. But yeah.. I would focus on resale as a paramount aspect. Don't worry so much about being able to cruise the southern sea in it.. odds are you will just do some coastal cruising in the beginning and then sell it either way as I said above.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:13   #4
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

A Contessa 32 was the only yacht in the small boat class to finish the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race.

Twenty four boats were abandoned, five sank, 170 were rolled over and 15 lives were lost. That has to mean something.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:11   #5
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Yes but I'm looking at a contessa 28 not a 32 which is quite a different boat.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:14   #6
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

then Im curious why the Beneteau 32 gets a run but not the Beneteau First 28
Im sure you see what I mean
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:23   #7
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbikes1 View Post
Hello
My partner and I are looking for our 1st cruiser.
We come from dinghy sailing and would like to have a boat to sail and learn the basics of cruisers before I retire in 5 yrs time and move up to a bigger boat and cruise the med.
That's the plan.
I would like to keep the boat on the crouch and be able to cross the channel and sail the coast of England and France on occasion.
Mostly spending 4 days on the boat on my days off and the odd weeks cruising.
Dilemma: contessa 28.. good safe boat limited room
Beneteau first 32 roomy AWB.
Budget 16000.
I'm 50/50 as I would like some performance and space but also a stable safe boat.
The contessa is cheaper and a little less draught.
Any thoughts plz....
I'd rather have the Contessa in a blow and the Bene First in most other weathers.

A tight little boat is arguably safer in bad weather...not as far to fall. Also easier to single-hand, although a great deal of that depends on setup and crew competence.

Much would come down to the survey or at least a through look-see. Both boats are 30-40 years old, and have probably seen several owners, so it would come down to maintenance in my mind as much as the fact that the Bene will be a knot faster in a breeze. Note they have nearly the same ballast ratios, but the Bene has a far greater SA/D measurement, meaning it will keep going when the Contessa will wallow in zephyrs. Now, that said, while I think well of the First line, but they are not quite as ocean-capable as the Contessa in my opinion. Both are pretty solid choices, however, for a first boat. Another consideration is dockage...below 30 feet is often cheaper than above, and it's said that buying the boat is easy: it's paying for its upkeep that needs to be considered.

Take a hard look at stowage, upkeep and condition of the motor and rigging to make your call. Clearly, the smaller you are, the more the Contessa won't bother you.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:57   #8
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Thank you.. a fair bit to think about
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:02   #9
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Before buying a boat which you plan to use as an introduction to cruising and buying something bigger in 5 years I would recommend an additional step:
Get to sail on some boats of similar size and performance so you both gain some experience and can chat to owner so you know what questions to ask when looking to buy.
Doing this might be a challenge but consider short charters (OK they will probably be newer boats but try to find similar sizes), or go to a local yacht club and "sell" yourself as crew. With dinghy experience you will be popular!
This could significantly influence your choices.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:40   #10
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Both boats have their strengths. So really, you should think about what you will be doing on the boat!

Do you plan on spending weekends at anchorages, or maybe at a marina exploring a new town? If you want a moveable condo, then get the B32.

However, if you want to sail...put on some miles and go places. Then the C28 would be better.

There is no perfect boat, just the best boat for YOU. And only YOU can decide. Personally, I go by price. I don't choose the boat, the boat picks me. I look at whats available in my region, and in my budget, and go from there.

The two boats you are comparing are extremely different...perhaps you could look at whats availabe in your region thats more moderate than these 2 extremes.

Good luck, and please let us know which one you choose, and how it goes...THANKS!
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:09   #11
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

I nearly bought a Contessa 28 in 1978, about the same time as this one was built. They are extremely well built as were all of Jeremy Rogers' boats. The 28 is a Doug Peterson design so more towards racing than cruising. Having said that, it never really caught on as a one design class. The 32, however, has it all. Great lines and proven pedigree. If you could swing the 32, go for it, but otherwise the 28 would be my preference over the Beneteau. IMHO of course. In any case a good survey is needed for any old-ish boat.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:48   #12
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I'd rather have the Contessa in a blow and the Bene First in most other weathers.
This sums it up nicely. The average cruiser spends 3% of time in a blow, the rest is moderate winds sailing, at an anchor or in a harbor. So for the average cruiser, I would recommend the Bene. But you may be a heavy weather sailor only - only you can decide.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:48   #13
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

We live in Australia and wanted a boat for the EU canals and UK. Bought a very nice Contessa 28 with a mast in a tabernacle in Eindhoven about 2 years ago for 15000 euros. It was a really great boat and very well built. A very pleasant surprise. Was a shame to sell it but we are not going back. Market has dropped and because we were not there and had to sell we sold her very cheap. Less than 30% of what we payed. We never saw another one in The Netherlands that was from there, only some that had sailed over from the UK.

I would definitely buy another Contessa, and the 28 has a fair amount of room for a 28ft boat not like the Contessa 26.
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Old 11-12-2017, 13:33   #14
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

In addition to a lot of mud are you limited to the maximum keel depth sailing on the R Crouch?

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Old 11-12-2017, 13:42   #15
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Re: Beneteau first 32 v contessa 28

Too be honest I'm still looking at moorings.
I live in North London and would like somewhere an hours drive away.
I believe there are a lot oggy deep keel boats at North Fambridge where I was looking .. 2meter or so.
But as I have only sailed dinghys at southend I was looking at find keel for performance and a shallow draught to make it easier to navigate the river.
I'm open to suggestions.. on boats and moorings...
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