The Contessa is the Queen Mum of British cruising – a much-loved icon that set the benchmark for cruisers when she was designed by David Sadler in 1970...
A beautiful, solid, seakindly cruiser, a little slow by modern standards and the sailplan is not as easily handled. Down below she feels cramped and a bit gloomy by today’s standards but the chart table and galley are excellent.
* The tiller takes up most of the cockpit space during manoeuvres and the bridgedeck limits space further
* Coamings enclose the cockpit, creating a deep, safe space, but low freeboard means it can get wet
* The kink in the stanchion allows crew to use bigger winches without rapping their knuckles on it
* Long grabrails and gunwales that get deeper towards the bow make the passage forward safe
* The big genoa means plenty of winching to do after tacks and the diagonal lower shrouds don’t make life easier