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Old 08-08-2009, 09:23   #16
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I would choose the Cape Dory over the Contessa unless I was specifically planning to cirumnavigate, in which case I might consider the Contessa for the trip, but I would trade it for a Cape Dory when the trip was completed.

The Cape Dory has more space, but more importantly, it has a real companionway. This means that you can rig a dodger, or purchase a boom supported temporary hatch tent, and have a space in your boat that you can stand up in easily when the weather is wet or dry outside.

The Contessa does not have a sliding hatch over the companionway ladder, so you are going to be crawling in and out on yor hands and knees. This can get old really fast.

Good Luck

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:42   #17
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"crawling in and out on yor hands and knees"... well I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. There is no sliding hatch over the companionway, but there is a "bubble" that looks to be maybe a foot high above the cabin top and the opening into the cabin is large enough so that it appears one only needs to stoop over a bit to get in or out.

I was failrly impressed with this video... love the motion in a good breeze and chop:

That mainsail reefing arrangement needs some work, however.

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:52   #18
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post

I am new to this forum and rather new to sailing. For the past year I've been looking for a small, sturdy boat in my price range and have settled on either a Contessa 26 or a Cape Dory 28. Assuming these were the only two boats in the world, which would you choose and why?

Thanks in advance. I'm very grateful for any advice or opinions!
What do you intend to do with the boat? Why only those two?
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:55   #19
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Just a suggestion from someone who is in a similar market for a sailboat, you might also want to consider the Albin Vega, which I believe is also a folkboat derivative and in a similar size and weight class.
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Old 16-09-2009, 21:36   #20
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Having sailed both, I'll say that the CD28 is more comfortable at anchor, and it has a better engine installation. The cutter rig is more versatile. The Contessa sails VERY well, faster than seems reasonable. It's a great single handing boat, but much more cramped than the CD28.
-Troy Scott, Laurel, MS
s/v IMAGINE, Cape Dory 36

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