The Contention/ Petersen 33. The boat brings back fond memories.
For starters, if the boat you are looking at is sound, you will not drown with her.
Way back in the 1980's when I was a youngster, I had the full use of one for about three years as if it was my own boat.
We (4 of us) raced it trans-Atlantic, Cape Town
to Punta Del Este, Uruguay. That was downwind along the South-east Trades.
Afterwards I did a singlehanded return pasage with the boat, Uruguay back to Cape Town
, dipping deep into the South Atlantic, along the fringes of the Southern Ocean. 65% of that was with the wind
forward of the beam.
Down-wind under a big kite the boat is going to roll, as in ROLL. Get used to it and live with it. Take the kite down, put up a small kite and it is better. Poled out headsail and it is no worse than other boats of that era.
As said, for the solo return pasage, I had headwinds most of the time. Strong ones too. I was ill equiped for a solo pasage. No self tailing
winches, a racing
twin groove luff foil, and a Autohelm
which lasted about 24 hours, and a home made windvane
that was close to useless.
When the wind
was forward of the beam, I would balance the boat under sail and tie the tiller down with two strech cords. The boat would sail itself for days on end, only needing the odd tweak on the main traveller.
Storms, I rode
out two massive storms in mid Atlantic. Once kept going with storm jib
, leaving the boat to fend for itself, another one, just lay a-hull. Finally, sailing home along the coast but with two crew aboard rode
out a storm with winds well over 60 kts, running dead down wind, under storm jib
I had no problem in singlehanding
the boat, even doing headsail changes with the twin groove which meant you had to grab the sail as it came down, before the whole thing went over the side. It was before satnav and gps
and I was able to take sunights even on the roughest of days with the sextant
. All in all, a nice boat to sail, especially solo.
The boat can take it! You will be safe.
Longterm cruising? As the saying goes, "the best boat to go cruing with is the boat you've got".
A mate of mine and his wife left South Africa
to cruise round the world
with one of these boats. Three years later I found them in the Azores
. Now with two little todlers onboard too. And Dad was using the forepeak to build classic guitars! Another 4 years later they completed their circumnavigation
. The chap told me he would easily let the boat go under kite with an Airies windvane
doing the driving. And him having a snooze down below.
Thats about it, good luck with the boat hunting. Always exciting!