I am familiar with a few models of Contests and communicate occasionally with the architect of most of them Dick Zaal. I have owned a 36s for 23 years and sailed it off shore, done a delivery
and lived on mine in the Caribbean
and now cruise
in NE waters.
The 36s was voted 15 best yacht over the past 100 years of yacht by the UK magazine Yachting Monthly
The 36s was one of the most popular designs for good reason. It was a fast boat, a strong boat, a comfortable boat and an attractive one. Dock
Zaal was one of the first designers to employ the wing keel
in his designs.
Conplyex, in Holland
,began with smaller boats and over the years has moved to larger more semi custom designs.
My hull and deck
are balsa cored with solid GDP at all area of stress. The thinest lay up of solid glass parts
is over 1/2" thick and the areas at the mast
step are 2 1/2" and at the keel are 3". The 36s hulls were built to a heavier build standard than called for on the architect's plans and have a Lloyd's certificate.
The joinery is excellent with up to 11 coats of varnish
, rubbed effect in most areas except the head
. All bulkheasds are properly tapped to the hull to the core
of the plywood
The keels are cast iron and the the hull has a recess to accomomdate a flange atop the keel casting. My deep fin has 8 pairs of keel bolts
which distribute the loads far better than CL bolts.
is fully skegged and the shaft is protected in a "log" or faied out structure so their is no vulnerable strut as seen on many boats.
The head room is min 6'2 thoughout. It has a large U shaped galley
and a full size separate nav station. The cockpit
is quite large and well protected with Whitlock pediestal and rod steering
are constructed of monel or stainless steel
. The 36 comes with a handy stern boarding/swim ladder.
The rig is by Selden and is Deck stepped. The standing rigging
on the fractional version is very stout. Mine is 3/8" thick. The 36 is offered in 3 keep configs and 2 sloop
configs, fractional or masthead.
The companion was has wide easy to climb steps. The boat has sufficient handholds throughout. It comes with leeboards for all bunks
OEM auxiallary are Volvo
Decks are available in teak
or non skid GRP. The 36 has a large anchor locker
Contests are noted for their wood rub strake and large stainless steel
stem fitting. The rub strake covers the deck to hull joint. The deck is formed with about a 1' high section of the topside. This makes the deck very rigid and the deck to hull joint very strong and waterproof.
The 36s is a flush deck without a traditional "dig house". It contains ports
set into the 1' sectioned mentioned above. This adds lots of volume to the interior
and makers for more usable/manageable real estate on deck.
I dont know if Shiva is the exception or the rule
but she has no osmotic blisters
after being in the water
for 23 years.
The 38 ketch
rig has a similar underbody and build at the 36. The center cockpit
design provides a full stand up aft stateroom unlike the 36 which has only a small stand up area and an 80 x 80 berth. The 38 has a smaller galley
and head as well as the plan has been compressed a bit to fit forward of the cockpit
I've been aboat a few other Dick Zaal designed Contests beginning with the 31 HT. All had beautiful interiors and the same sort of features described above.
These are great yachts, little seen in the USA but admired in Europe