All posts by stevecole

Steven Cole (Economics, MBA - University of West Florida) - 40 years of sailing and cruising experience.

Contessa 26 Sailboat / Sloop Specifications – Draft, Beam, Displacement

The Contessa 26 is a heavily built masthead sloop capable of crossing any ocean.  It has gained notoriety mainly from two circumnavigations.  One is by Tania Aebi in Varuna and the other is by Brian Caldwell in Mai Miti Vava’u.  Both using Canadian versions of the boat.  Pre-owned Contessa Yachts sell for between $8,000 and $18,000 used.  There are normally a few on the market at any one time.

The Contessa 26 design was a collaboration between Jeremy Rogers and David Sadler in 1965.  It was designed in Great Britain. The Contessa 26 has been built in both the UK and in Canada.  400 of the yachts were built in the UK between 1966 and 1978.  About 400 of the boats were produced in Canada.  Production ceased in 1990 and none have been built since.

For information on where to purchase a Contessa 26 Click Here.

Here are the specs on the Contessa 26.

1974 Contessa 26 specs –

* Hull Material: Fiberglass
* Builder: JJ Taylor , Canada
* LOA: 26′
* Beam: 7’6″
* Headroom – 5′ 9″
* Engine(s): Yanmar 1GM10 Diesel
* Engine(s) HP: 8
* Cruising Speed: 5
* Max Speed: 6
* Fuel: 6 Gallon
* LOA: 26′
* LWL: 21’0″
* Beam: 7’6″
* Displacement: 5400lbs
* Draft: 4’0″
* Ballast: 2300lbs Yanmar 1GM10
*3 blade Prop , Flexible Coupling and support bearing.

Adding Passive Reflectivity to your Sailboat

Being on the water at night in a sailboat is much like driving through a busy parking lot at night with your lights off and hoping not to get hit.  There seems to be no rules as to how to avoid a collision with other boats.  Being seen is crucial to your safety on the water.  The red and green running lights provide a little visibility but these lights tend to disappear into the background given how small and dim they are.

Passive reflectivity is the solution.  Reflective tapes can provide a clear outline of your boat when hit with a flashlight or spotlight from another boat.  SOLAS reflective tape by Oralite is the most popular way to make your boat light up at night. And this method is especially effective when your boat is at anchor or unattended.

Passive reflectivity.  SOLAS coast guard approved marine tape on a sailboat

Buy placing a bright reflective tape in multiple places on your boat you can reproduce the outline of the boat so that approaching watercraft will be able to immediately tell that what they are seeing is another boat.