The Contessa 35 was a 1970s cruiser-racer - for a while the fastest production boat eligible to compete in the One Ton Cup. Designed by Doug Peterson, she is a early IOR rule design before strange hull shapes emerged to "cheat the handicap rules". She has a simple but effective cruising interior. This yacht is only in her second ownership from new, and unlike many other Contessa 35s, does not appear to have a hard life. She has her original engine, but this was totally rebuilt in the present ownership.
Forecabin and saloon
13,500 lbs "
Watermota Sea Panther diesel
6,900 lbs *
Lead fin keel and spade rudder
Jeremy Rogers established his boatyard in Lymington in 1961, and rapidly became one of the largest boatbuilders in the UK, originally building the classic Contessa 26 Folkboat derivative, and the 'modern classic' Contessa 32 fin and skeg design. Although both these cruising yachts were immensely seaworthy, and did (and still do) very well in handicap racing, they were not a match for full-on racers, and Rogers then started to build a series of faster cruiser-racers, all Doug Peterson designs.
For a period in the 1970s Doug Peterson designs dominated offshore racing events, with a string of winning high-profile IOR boats, including the One Ton Cup winners "Ganbare" in 1973 and "Gumboots" in 1974. "Gumboots" was one of the first of the Contessa 35s. At that time a “one tonner” was a yacht with a specific handicap rating number, thus providing designers the target to create the fastest boat, and the annual One Ton Cup the top offshore racing series. The "One Ton" designation is a historical anomaly dating back to 1899 when the cup was first raced for in large dinghies - IOR one-tonners were racing yachts of 35 ft plus.
Contessa 35s were intended as cruiser-racers, and around 80 were built, though some were fitted out and used more for racing than cruising. Nevertheless even those bought for cruising were set up for racing potential - as is obvious by the 12 winches and twin spinnaker poles on deck on this yacht, that has been used mostly for cruising by her only two owners. In her first ownership from her 1975 build and launch in 1976 she was kept in France, and afloat for only two months each summer. Her present owners has kept her in Cornwall and she has been ashore every winter since purchase in 2006.
Even now a Contessa 35 is a very fast boat for her size, particularly to windward. However unlike most more modern racers, she gets her speed from a big rig on a hull with a high (over 50%) ballast ratio instead of relying on the weight of many crew members sitting on the rail. This makes her an easy to handle and surprisingly docile cruising boat. When a modern production cruiser - Beneteau, Jeanneau or Bavaria etc - is overpowered and rounding up as she heels the Contessa 35 will just heel a bit more and carry on going the way you want. You can always slow down a fast boat, but you cannot speed up a slow one.....
* The Contessa 35 name was later revived by Rogers in around 1983/84 for a slightly stretched cruising version of their Offshore One Design OOD34 racer and Contessa 34 cruiser - these were much lighter yachts at about 9,000 lbs displacement. The figures for this early Contessa 35's displacement and ballast have been checked with Jeremy Rogers.
Manual Lofrans Royal anchor windlass, with 15Kg Rocna anchor and approx. 40 metres 8mm chain.
There is a small winch farm on the coachroof, these six are in addition to six more in the cockpit. The yacht was built at the time that when racing when two spinnakers would often be set simultaneously downwind - a big masthead spinnaker and a smaller "blooper".
The rig has a rod kicker and an adjustable backstay, with standing rigging of various ages: forestay and backstay 2019, lower shrouds 2020, with cap shrouds and intermediates from 2008.
The present owner has refitted the teak decking in the cockpit.
The genoa sheet winches are very powerful Lewmar 55s.
When these boats were built the forecabin berths were two canvas pipe cots - the present owner has
to create a conventional vee-double berth with a 6" mattress for comfort.
There are two pilot berths outboard of the saloon seating. The port saloon berth has an extension
to make it wider, but not into a full sized double berth.
There is no gas on board, cooking is by an Origo 6000 two-burner and oven alcohol stove.
The engine is a Watermota Sea Panther 4-cylinder diesel: this is a freshwater cooled
of a Ford 1600cc engine.
This engine was removed and totally rebuilt in 2010,
and has only done a few
hundred hours since then. The rebuild included new liners, main bearings, big end bearings, rings, head set,
sump set, valves, timing chain and tensioner, duplex pump chain, pump bearing and oil pump. All
fuel injectors were overhauled and the starter motor re-wound to increase torque.
We often find that seriously good sailing yachts end up having had a hard life, simply because they have been sailed so much (and often raced a great deal) over the years. This is not the case here.
In her previous ownership from 1976 to 2006 she was raced for 3 years then used for cruising in Scotland. While in Scotland the hull moisture content was checked and epoxy applied. In 1990 she was relocated to France. Between 1993 and 2006 she was cruised for 2 months each summer and then stored ashore for the rest of the year.
The present owner bought her in 2006, and in 2012 stripped back the hull to gelcoat and re-epoxied the bottom. In his ownership she has always been ashore every winter.
If you like a fine-handling, fast (and good-looking) yacht that is in remarkably good condition for her age, have a look at this Contessa 35.
Sloop rig, alloy spars, rod kicker and hydraulic backstay tensioner, with S/S standing rigging of varying ages ( forestay and backstay 2019, lower shrouds 2020, with cap shrouds and intermediates from 2008 ).
Parker & Kay, slab reefing with stackpack type cover and lazyjacks
Parker & Kay roller genoa, new UV strip 2019/20
North Sails starcut with twin poles, also second spinnaker
Light No 1 genoa, Heavy No 1 and staysail
2 x Lewmar 55 three speed
2 x Lewmar 43 two speed
3 x Lewmar 40, 3 x Lewmar 15,1 x Lewmar 25 and 1 x Lewmar 16
15 Kg Rocna with approx 40 metres 8mm chain
15 Kg CQR
Lofrans Royal manual windlass
Raymarine Evolution Tiller Autopilot with P70s controller and ACU100 computer, and tiller drive - new 2019 (also spare tiller drive)
Plastimo Contest bulkhead compass
Warps & fenders
4 warps and 6 fenders
Cockpit sprayhood and dodgers
Navigation Equipment and instruments
Garmin GPSMap 230 monochrome LCD plotter with Silva repeater in cockpit
Horseshoe with floating light and danbuoy
Inshore pack, in date to end 2020
Jackstays, 4 x fire extinguishers
Forecabin, heads and saloon
Taylors 079 bulkhead mounted with flue, installed 2012/13
Water tank capacity
Origo 6000 alcohol stove, two burner and oven, gimballed
Lavac Zenith, pump replaced 2017/18
‘Tek Tanks’ polyprop holding tank installed with Y-valve
are believed to be correct but cannot be guaranteed and are subject
to confirmation by the purchaser subject to still being available.
For further information or to arrange a viewing,
please contact Yachtsnet on 01326-212234
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description of the vessel but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
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structural and/or mechanical & electrical checks or tests