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Old 03-17-2008, 12:00 AM   #1
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I was wondering if anyone out there has any thoughts on living aboard a Contessa 32. I am looking to buy a nice, safe offshore boat that I can single hand, and live aboard, in the 32-38 foot range. While I am fully satisfied that the Contessa 32 is a perfectly safe bluewater passagemaker, I have yet to actually step aboard one and am wondering whether it might be too cramped for a 6'2" man to live on in a marina. How is the standing headroom, etc.?

Same questions re the IP 31 and IP 32. I know these two have the aft cabin, which is nice, and a nicer head, but they are more $$$, which is an important consideration. Otherwise I may have to move up to something bigger, e.g., Tayana 37, or something like it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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If I was to live and sail on my own I would look for a Contessa 32. She can be a bit cramped for someone 6'2" but if you can live with that she'll make it up to you in other ways....I have been sail cruising cats for almost 10 years and still think of a Contessa 32 every now and then.
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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The Contessa 32 is a great sea boat and will take almost anything that is thrown at it. The design is 'old fashioned' by current standards and the restricted beam makes for cosy living! As a liveaboard cruiser I think you would find yourself a bit short of space.

I have raced in one a few times, done short deliveries twice and I did a one week cruise with three other male crew around the North of Scotland and Orkney Islands. With the rig well tuned, they sail brilliantly to windward and cope with most sea conditions effortlessly - but I wouldn't want want to liveaboard!
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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- but I wouldn't want want to liveaboard!
I am of the opposite opinion. Granted there is not much space but you get a boat that has legendary sea keeping qualities and because it is a "tight fit" there is always a hand-hold within easy reach.

I suppose, once again, it is a question of horses for courses. My sailing has been predominantly in high northern latitudes, around the UK and Scandinavia where a deep keel, deep draft and a traditional shaped vessel spells safety and comfort at sea. I am not worried about space in port. If I feel cramped I can always go for a walk. On the other hand, if you are spending a lot of time in the Med. or in calmer places you may well think the extra space worth more than sea-keeping qualities.

Boats are and will always be a compromise. You have to find the one that best suits your sailing needs as well as any other requirements you may have, such as headroom etc. IMHO, a Contessa is one of the best boats afloat!

Aye // Stephen
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