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Old 08-11-2017, 23:44   #1
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Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

I have been on the lookout for a 35-45ft bluewater cruiser for some time & nearly pulled the trigger on a C&C Landfall 38 last week, but have come into a position where a friend is offering up her father's Contessa 39 for peanuts. $15k where the main issue is the headstay needs replacement, and possibly is in need of some updated rigging. The boat sits at port and is cleaned periodically by a diver. The engine was replaced a few years back with virtually no use (life changes took them away from sailing for a number of years).

In researching online, I'm finding details & owner reviews elusive, so thinking this is not a common boat. Anyone have experience on the Contessa 39?

Would like to cruise around the PNW, with some overnight & extended weekend trips at first. From what I gather, they have had success in racing & have been used for trips out to Hawaii, across the Atlantic, etc. That said, seem to offer less accommodations & creature comforts in order to focus more on sailing performance.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:03   #2
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Doesn't really help you with the Contessa, but I have sailed alot on a Landfall and it's a great boat. Fast, comfortable, tight. C&Cs are good upwind boats, too.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:04   #3
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Gat in touch with the designer & builder Jeremy Rogers: Boat Repair, Boat Maintenance, Yacht Refubishment | Jeremy Rogers Limited

I don't know the 39, but the 32 is a fine boat: a friend of mine bought a famous one "Gigi" which formerly did a round the world trip... He owned her several years and sold her last summer
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:54   #4
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

@Souzag818 - that seems to be the common sentiment on that boat, so thanks! I have read that the Landfall has a bit of flex in the hull that leads to unexpected leaks that need to be carefully looked after; any experience with that?

@pupuce - I did see that site, but the info ends at the 32. I'll shoot them an email to see if they have anything to offer on the 39. The 32 has a rich sailing history, so hoping the 39 doesn't disappoint!
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:05   #5
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Being a doug peterson design from the 70's it's probably a good sailing boat. Although it may be a bit of an IOR design, not sure. Do you know if it's cored hull or solid? For use in the PNW and with a near new engine it seems like a good deal.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:46   #6
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

They are a very nice boat and that is cheap for one in the UK you would be looking at 45 to 60K very seaworthy perhaps dated but a real looker. It won't be common at all in the States as they are not that common in the UK

CONTESSA 39 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

1981 Contessa 39 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:19   #7
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Also there was a version called the Dawn 38 /39 better fitted out.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:32   #8
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Cockpit mainsheet - might make an enclosure for our PNW winters somewhat 'dodgy" You get all the amenities of a newer 36 foot boat in a mere 39 feet. Looks very nice. While sailing is nice, and it looks like it will, sailing is not a prime time contender for my recollections of my first season cruising here. A new engine? WOW!!!n That's what you really need. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:07   #9
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

The 2 links that Vancouver Pete posted seem to show a very different deck pattern. The one for sale appears to have a small trunk and huge cockpit. Nice for day sailing or hard core racers, but not much living space. J.C. Rogers builds good boats. I sailed my Rogers built Contessa 26 to Tahiti and back and other than a drop or two from a port light, it never leaked a drop. _____Grant.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:23   #10
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Have you seen this: CONTESSA 39 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Any boat built by Jeremy Rogers in the 70's was very well constructed. The Contessa 32 is a classic with a rich history of ocean passages, etc. Notably one came through the infamous 1979 Fastnet race in good shape. The 39 is more racer than cruiser so be sure that is what you want. Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:33   #11
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

As long as the survey doesn't turn up anything too expensive u have found a good boat at a very reasonable price. Heck, a new motor installed these days is worth the asking price alone.
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Old 10-11-2017, 13:54   #12
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

Quote:
Originally Posted by Souzag818 View Post
Doesn't really help you with the Contessa, but I have sailed alot on a Landfall and it's a great boat. Fast, comfortable, tight. C&Cs are good upwind boats, too.
In looking at the plans for each, they seem somewhat close in hull dimensions, but the Contessa definitely lacks the creature comforts & cabin layout of the Landfall. It would not be hard to convince myself to splurge the extra $10k for it...
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Old 10-11-2017, 13:56   #13
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

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Originally Posted by bobmcd625 View Post
Have you seen this: CONTESSA 39 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.comThe 39 is more racer than cruiser so be sure that is what you want. Good luck!
that is an important detail - the one up for sale on yachtworld seems to have been tuned even further to racing, but the standard design might be modified to better suit cruising.
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Old 10-11-2017, 14:01   #14
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

The Dawn was a very capable cruiser. Some more details:

Ocean Home & Yacht
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Old 10-11-2017, 14:57   #15
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Re: Contessa 39 - rare boat, lacking details

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Originally Posted by vonderlust View Post
In looking at the plans for each, they seem somewhat close in hull dimensions, but the Contessa definitely lacks the creature comforts & cabin layout of the Landfall. It would not be hard to convince myself to splurge the extra $10k for it...
If you consider the C&C, make a deal with your surveyor to inspect the bottom first and walk if it's bad. Many of these older C&C's with balsa bottoms are problematic. Last one I was involved with was a $60k bottom recoring repair which I advised against.
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