Author Topic: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??  (Read 7536 times)

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james50

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Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« on: 08 May, 2011, 18:27:23 »
Hello all,

I am new to this forum and a new to the Contest Yachts sailing ability. So, thank you all for this forum as there seems to be little information out on the web for the early Contest Yachts.

So sorry, I am an english speaker only and hope some of you could respond to my inquiry.

I have recently been aboard a 1971 Contest 31 and was very impressed with the construction quality and level of fit and finish. The question I have is: How well does the 31 sail upwind, how high will it point and is it capable of a transatlantic crossing safely?

Would the Contest 33 be a much better ocean vessel?

All opinions are welcome

Kind regards,
James

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #1 on: 09 May, 2011, 09:33:51 »
Hi James, welcome to this forum and no worries, a lot of the members are capable of reading and writing in English.

I think that the upwind capabilities of the C31 depends on several factors, especially trim and quality of the sails. However, I don't think it will sail as high as the modern designs since the hull is more or less an S-design. On the other hand it will be more stable which is an advantage against a more moderne boat. And will it be able for a safe transatlantic crossing? In my opinion it is if you make the right preparations.
The C33 is not a 'much better'  boat, it has a bit more room but is basicly the same as the C31. However, there are two versions of the C33, the differences lay in the keel, the rudder and some interior differences. 

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #2 on: 09 May, 2011, 20:04:37 »
Thank you BJ for the kind reply.

I am going to look at the C31 for a second time. This C31 has been on the hard now for 5 years, so there is no chance for me to sea trial this Contest. There are so few C31 or C33 around here for sail test.

The C31 and C33 have a build quality that reflects a heavy sea cruiser with it's high bull works, sea hood, safe cock pit with high coaming etc.

Is there any particular area on the C31 that is vulnerable or problematic, structurally that I should look into?

I intend on having a complete survey done but I think most surveyors here in the US have not seen a C31.

Does the cockpit engine hatch cause a problem?

Warm regards
James

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #3 on: 09 May, 2011, 20:57:18 »
I'm not familiar with specific problems of the C31, they are very sturdy and the keel is integrated in the hull so no known problems on that part either. About the hatch, just make sure that it's tightly secured so it won't leak.
I asked one of the CYOC members who owns a C31 to join this thread so he can answer more of your questions in detail.

Niels

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #4 on: 10 May, 2011, 10:13:07 »
Goodmorning James,
I am a C31 owner and I hope I can answer all the questions which you can have about this type.
The engine hatch I have renewed myself because it was in bad condition, it is made out of wood and if not properly taken care of you will have to renew it, not a very difficult job and if you need to renew it I can explain how I made it very solid.
From constuction side there are no specific weak points and the boat is (if well equipped) very seaworthy and confortable in rough seas, same for C33 but classic length over with it a tiny bit better for the C31 , C33 has ofcourse more space to offer.  Ofcourse a survey is the best thing to do before buying a ship, than you now how good (or bad) the ship really is.
Good luck with your purchase, and if you have more questions do not hesitate to contact me !
Best Regards,
Niels

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #5 on: 10 May, 2011, 15:18:09 »
But the C31HT is a design by Dick Zaal and not by Uus van Essen. Minor detail   ;)

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #6 on: 10 May, 2011, 15:57:14 »
Thank you all so much,

I am learning so much from your replies. I have been mistaken in identifying the model of this Contest ship.
I am quite sure it is a C30 Mark 2 it was built in 1971 and is hull no. 140, I am sorry for the error. The owner has passed away, the broker did not know and the elderly widow was not available, so sorry for that.

The layout is very close to the C31 designed by Van Essen and the LOD measures out at 31'-2". The difference I see is the transom tucks under the cockpit not leading aft, away from the cockpit as the Van Essen designed C31 and C33 does. The portlights are the same rectangular with radius corners as the C31 by Van Essen.

Jambo, thank you I will look close at the water tanks under the port and starboard berths and I noticed some cracks on each side of the     skeg were it is attached to the hull. This C30 also has the Volvo MD2 diesel with sea water cooling but this one was in fresh water for 20 years so we will see, and has wheel steering.

Can any tell me what the ballast material is for the Contest 30 mark 2, Lead or Iron?

Are there any C30 Mark 2 owners here that might be able to describe the sailing performance. Are the hull shapes the same for the C30-2 and the C31 by Van Essen?

Warm regards,
James


jambo

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #7 on: 10 May, 2011, 19:27:03 »
But the C31HT is a design by Dick Zaal and not by Uus van Essen. Minor detail   ;)

oh, sorry...I removed my post.

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #8 on: 10 May, 2011, 20:39:34 »
The C30-2, also known as ' Noordzee', is quite rare. The hull is almost the same as the C31, the main difference is the transom. The MD2 (my guess it's a MD2b) is a reliable, old school Volvo Penta engine. If proper maintained it should be in good order but I'll leave that up to a surveyor.
The skegg and keel are integrated part of the hull with tese older models, from the C30-3 and up the keel and skeg were seperate parts attached to the hull. The C30-2 has lead ballast in the keel, around 2000kg. I'll have a look if I can find one or more C30-2 owners.

@jambo: no problem, it was helpfull information for James anyhow  ;)   BTW, do you have a website off your journey, could be interesting for other members.

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #9 on: 11 May, 2011, 16:11:53 »
Thank you BJ,

This is so helpful to me, this is the only site for information on this C30-2. I would like to contact NEILS directly [if that is allowed] to ask about his engine hatch replacement, as he so generously offered.

I have found factory brochures for many of the Contest ships but not for the C30-2, can anyone confirm the specifications such as Displacement and Ballast weights, Sail area, LOA, LWL, Draft, and any other Bits.

I would be very much interested in understanding others opinions of the true sailing qualities of the C30-2 such as: How is the light air sailing? Does the helm balance in a blow, 20-30 knots of wind? Do they tend to heel to 10, 15 or 30 degrees and firm up? I do realize much depends on the sailors ability and the condition of equipment on board, but if generalizations could be made about the character  of the ships ability I would very much like to hear opinions.

I wish I could sea trial this Contest 30 mark 2, but she has not been commissioned in 5 or 6 sailing seasons.

I too would love to hear about your Journey JAMBO, Your post was most instructive for me, thank you

Thank you all for viewing and responding so kindly

Warm regards,
James

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #10 on: 11 May, 2011, 21:23:48 »
James, you can contact Niels through PM or email, on the leftside you see two icons: a textballoon and an envelop that you can use for that.  Brochures of the older boats are very rare, there was a huge fire at the Contest yard around 2003 and all the archives were destroyed. Which is one of the reasons that there is a an ownerclub, we presrve a part of history  ;)
The behaviour of the older Contest in light weather is as to be expected as you look at the design. They are very sturdy and heavy build so they are not very fast. The advantage of this is that ther is no reason to reef when other, lighter boats have to do that based on the wind.
Your question on heeling and balance are hard to answer, they do depend on the sailor but also much on sailtrim. My experience is that a sudden blow can lead to a firm up if you have too much sail up. But I never heeled further then 40 degrees, not even in an 8Bft sudden gale. And I had way too much sail up at that moment  ;)
Is there any information on the internet on the Contest that you want to buy, i.e. Yachtworld.com?

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #11 on: 12 May, 2011, 02:51:43 »
Thank you BJ,

Yes the C31-2 is on Yachtworld.com and is described as: 30' Contest Sailboat 31 the year is listed as 1971 and is located in Milwaukee Wisconsin USA. The listing is quite poorly done, With 1 photo at a poor angle and no specifications listed.

The C33 is 1200 KM away from me and is a private listing not available on the web.

My intention with the Contest is cruising solo and making ocean passages slowly and safely on a small budget. I intend on sailing one season with the ship and then start a refit project as needed over the next 2 or 3 years in my shop. I will be retired then and have time. I am a professional metalsmith/craftsmen  and have fabricated and built projects large and small.

My concern with the C30-2 is the early Contest 30 and 31s I have found in the USA market seem to have been for sale for years and they look to be in unmaintaned condition. Is the USA just that unfamiliar with the early Contest ship or is there some issues with the ship?
The USA has many problems and issues to be sure ::); I wonder if this is just a unusual looking ship for the USA and they are just showing a prejudice and prefer the Alberg 30 and Bristol 30.

The PHRF handycap rating for the C30 in New England area is 222 and for the Alberg 30, 228 the Bristol 30, 219 and the Hallberg Rassey 31, 198. All these not known for speed but have a avid following. ???

I find the early Contest ship to be very handsome and build quality first rate.

Kind regards,
James


Offline Contest 29 mk2

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #12 on: 13 May, 2011, 12:24:12 »
Hi James,

nice to read about your interest in the C30 Mk2.
On our forum there is an active member who also owns this type of Contest. His name is "Henk contest 30 mk II" so you could try to contact him.

Your plans sound really good. At least one 30 mk2 has crossed the Atlantic on her own keel, I read on an American website. http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=72778
Maybe you can contact the owner about his experiences?

It is a pity there are not more pictures of the C30 you are considering to buy.
Maybe you can make some pictures yourself and show them to us on this forum, so we can share the joy and advise you a bit better?

By the way, did you know that Van Essen also was the designer of the former Olympic "Flying Dutchman" Class?
« Last Edit: 13 May, 2011, 12:31:14 by Contest 29 mk2 »
Contest zeiler sinds 1989!

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #13 on: 14 May, 2011, 05:29:44 »
Thank you Contest 29 MK ll

I followed your suggestions and made some inquiries.

I did take some photos of the 1971 C30 MK ll so I will edit and scale some and try to post the images soon.

You all have been most helpful and I am grateful for your concern as this will be a step into a new life for me.

Warm regards,
James

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #14 on: 15 May, 2011, 15:58:55 »
photos of Contest 30 mk ll

james50

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #15 on: 15 May, 2011, 16:11:43 »
More photos

Please notice in the photos in the previous post the cracks on either side of the skegg where it attaches to the hull. Is this common, what is the repair?

Thank you,
James

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #16 on: 15 May, 2011, 18:19:41 »
Hi James, picture are lookig good. The cracks near the skegg seem to be very superficial but I would suggest that you inspect the a bit closer to determine the depth. Based on the phot I would say that it's only damage on the anti-fouling or the gelcoat. The slats need some work, perhaps replacing them but all in all a nice boat that will look very good after a little TLC  :)

Offline lastier

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #17 on: 27 May, 2011, 12:49:17 »
Hi James,

I owned the C31 n°111 since 2006.
I saw your photos of the C30 MK2 and the only difference I detected beetween the 2 models is regarding the rear shape of the boat.
It seems to be inverted, i dont know what is the sailing difference due to this.

Regarding the upwind capabilities, in my opinion the C31 is very good to raise to the wind, even compared with modern boats.
On the other hand, in situations of carrying speeds with rear winds, it performs a little bit less.
 
Have a good wind,
Laurent

Offline mikedtaber

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #18 on: 14 December, 2015, 05:54:47 »
I have Contest 30 Mk II Hull #135. I did a major refit on her and have sailed her for well over 3,000 sea and coastal mi during the last 2 years. Your photos are clearly of a Contest 30 Mk II. Designed by Uus Van Essen, I have concluded (not Dick Zaal).

Overall, a very well built boat, great interior for a small long distance cruiser. Not a race winner (PHRF about 225?) but a very steady performer that routinely turns in 130-135 mi/day offshore in 12-14 kt winds. Not a tender boat; even in 25-30 kt winds and a single reef in the main, the rail has never been in the water...likely because of integrated lead ballast poured low in the keel?

I would include these items to be careful of:
1. Rudder skeg can get loose. Your photo is suggestive of that. Mine does not have that problem, but it is a repair to have made. I would say- not a deal-killer on a purchase.
2. Rudder shaft bearing - accessible under the cockpit if you're a contortionist. Check it out.
3. Shroud chainplates (6). REPLACE THEM! HAVE NEW MADE OF SS WITH LONGER THREADS FOR SS LOCK NUTS. Crevice corrosion can take your rig down. Reason: If your deck is like mine, the chainplate nuts and backing plates were fiberglassed underneath...nice for cosmetics but bad for water getting in from above and rotting out the nuts. I also had larger backing plates made for the upper ("cap") shroud chainplates. Cut out the glass covering the backing plates under the deck and leave them exposed to the air when you replace the chainplates. (The stem-head fitting can be beefed up with new SS screws and wider fender washers) Getting to the stern chainplates for the split backstay can be difficult...at least, check whether there has been any water intrusion.
4. I am glad for the extra light air speed I get from a feathering prop. Yes, an expensive addition...depends on how you sail.
5. A proper onboard shower is all but impossible in this boat.
6. The LPG tank setup for my boat may have been done after production...I don't know. It was unsafe per ABYC as it vented into the engine compartment! So I removed it and changed to an Origo alcohol stove. Many European boats have this potential danger of LPG tanks exposed to the engine, cabin and bilge areas. A safe LPG locker could be built in place of the starboard teak-slatted seat in the cockpit, if LPG is a must. (I live aboard 4-6 months a year and cook just fine on alcohol.)

Those are the major items. I enjoy my boat a lot. It has the original Volvo Penta MD2 diesel, low hours. I wish it hadn't been hard-bolted onto its carriage, but the vibration and noise are not a hindrance to enjoyment.

Hope this helps. If you would like to talk, I am happy to.
Cap'n Mike

Offline BJ

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #19 on: 14 December, 2015, 10:52:42 »
Hi Mike, thanks fo sharing your experience with the Contest 30. You are correct about the lead in the keel, around 1/3 of the total displacement is ballast in the keel. About the chainplates, do you have pictures of them when you replaced them on your boat? Could be usefull for other Contest owners.

BTW, James hasn't been around on the forum since 2011... ;)

Offline Jaap

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Re: Van Essen contest 31 or contest 33 ??
« Reply #20 on: 14 December, 2015, 23:01:06 »
Hi guys,

I have a contest 29 Mk form 1971!
and I have an MD2 engine (not a MD2B),
The difference is small but the MD2 has two oil filters, one of them is ceramic and that one is missing in the MD2 version
They are produced between 1963 till 1969 so they where possibly cheaper :-)
it had original 15.5 hsp. 

Jaap

 


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