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Contest 31



Contest 31 for sale




31' 4"


9' 4"


4' 9"

Keel type

Fin and skeg


Volvo diesel



A classic fin and skeg cruiser from the 1970s, from a high quality Dutch builder. Unusually for a traditional yacht of this size, many of thes e, including this example, have wheel steering. An interesting alternative to a Rival 31 or 32 or a Contessa 32, this yacht has Contest's excellent build quality, and has clearly been well looked after. She does not look anything like her actual age which is approaching 50 years.

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Contest Yachts was founded in 1960, and grew to become one of the larger European production builders, with a wide range of cruising yachts built. Like many European builders, the company eventually concentrated on limited production of larger models, their current range starting at 42 ft and going up to 72 ft in length. Conyplex and Contests have always had a reputation for quality construction.

The original Contest 31 was designed for Conyplex by Uus van Essen, designer of the Flying Dutchman keelboat amongst other craft, including many other larger Contest models.

About 110 Contest 31s were built from 1971 to 1974. The hull is by modern standards very traditional, and shares many characteristics with yachts such as the Rivals and Contessa 32s. These boats are all moderately fast cruiser-racers, and today will still give a better account of themselves than many modern cruisers once the wind gets up.

It is difficult to find data about many early Contests, as a major fire at the yard destroyed most of their records in 2003. Their website entry for the Contest 31 only has one page of drawings, with no dimensions. As a result there are conflicting dimensions and weights given in various sources for this model of yacht, the problem being made worse by the fact that from 1974 onwards a different, beamier Contest 31, designed by Dick Zaal, was also built by Conyplex, this having a cruising (31) version and a racing (31HT) version. We believe the figures given here are correct.



Engine details

Volvo Penta MD2002 18 bhp 2-cylinder diesel, raw water cooled. Age not known but probably around late 1980s/early 1990s, as a replacement for the original engine from 1972 which was probably a Volvo MD2. The engine has only had a couple of hours use since it's last service in December 2019.

Fuel tank capacity

Believed 15 gallons


Two bladed fixed 15" x 13"


115AH domestic battery and 65AH engine start battery

Battery charging /electrics

Engine alternator and 50 watt solar panel at rear of cockpit with Sunworks controller

Sails and deck equipment

Rig details

Sloop rig, alloy spars with S/S standing rigging from 2009


Slab reefing main, age unknown but in good condition. Stackpack type cover - almost new


Roller, genoa, age unknown but in good condition

Genoa furling

Plastimo 810-S


Spinnaker appears almost unused

Cruising Chute

Cruising chute with snuffer - appears unused

Primary winches

2 x Streiss 2.2

Secondary winches

3 x winches on mast, and one Tufnol winch on coachroof

Bower anchor

Lewmar Delta 10 Kg, near new with 30 metres 8mm chain

Anchor windlass

Lofrans Royal manual windlass, recently installed




Autohelm wheelpilot

Steering compass

On binnacle

Warps & fenders

6 warps and 6 fenders


Cockpit sprayhood - almost new

Navigation Equipment and instruments


Garmin GPS158i


NASA Clipper Easy Log

Depth sounder

NASA Depth

VHF radio

Lowrance LVR-250 with DSC

Radio receiver

DVD/CD/MP4 player

Safety/emergency equipment



MOB equipment

Nereus Lifesling MOB sling

Bilge pumps

Manual and electric pumps


Gas detector


Cabin layout

Forecabin, heads and saloon

Cabin heating

Eberspacher 401 blown hot air diesel heating



Water tank capacity

100 litres


Plastimo 2-burner and grill, gimbaled


Coolbox only



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Yachtsnet Ltd. yacht brokerage and boat sales, registered office: 8 Stratton Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2SY. Company No: 4110188
Tel +44 (0)1326-212234.