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Broads01

Contessa From Richardsons

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Here are my thoughts on Contessa having hired for a week in September 2018.

Contessa is 37 foot dual steer design built on the late 1980s. It shares its DNA with the much more common 32 foot design (e. g. Distant Horizon, San Julian) but with an additional bunks cabin to make it a 6-8 berth and the galley towards the rear instead of forward. 

The first thing you notice about Contessa from the rear is how high the stern deck is, sufficient to make access a challenge at some stern on moorings. My mother (who is 76) was in the crew and is fortunately able-bodied but even for myself it was sometimes a clamber to get aboard using the rear grab handle as a makeshift step. Side-on moorings presented no such issue as the side decks have steps down to a much lower level. Once aboard however, the helm position is typically high for a dual steer and views over the scenery commanding. The boat lacks an exterior windscreen which would give some protection from wind. Air draft is officially 8 foot 6 but in reality probably less and bridges at Ludham and Great Yarmouth were negotiated comfortably. There is a seat behind the helm and plenty of outdoor deck space for the crew.

A door next to the helm provides the only entrance to the boat and there are fairly steep steps to reach the central saloon. To the rear there is fairly spacious galley which has been refitted at some point with a good size fridge. There's no microwave as this is a 12 volt only boat. There's a handy fold out shelf in the galley corridor which is useful when cooking. To the rear of the galley there's a good size shower and toilet compartment. The toilet is of traditional type but with welcome electric flush in place of the pump handle. Also at the rear is a comfortable double cabin with a good size bed. Headroom above the bed is limited by the deck above but there is good headroom and space at the end of the bed by the rear window. 

Returning to the saloon, the L shape sofa is a good size and comfortable. It has a tatty look about it unfortunately however thanks to the base cushion having been replaced by one in mismatching and older fabric. The flooring is much more cheery having been refitted with the holly and teak variety. There's plenty of cupboard space opposite the sofa but unfortunately the TV is laptop size and far too small for the saloon area. Often with 12 volt boats the TV has a 3 pin socket which can be borrowed for phone charging but in this case the wiring is hidden away. The only power source for the entire boat is a car style 12 volt socket near the TV so be sure to come equipped with a USB adaptor. The interior helm position (used only on one wet day) has good forward visibilty but rear visibilty is absolutely non-existent. Leg room at the interior helm is limited. Ahead of the saloon the forward heads is to port which again is a reasonable size but limited headroom in the shower. To starboard is the bunks cabin where I slept myself on the lower bunk which is large enough for a 6 foot adult like myself, even if headroom in bed is so limited it doesn't allow sitting up. The top bunk is limited in width by the side deck. The fore cabin has a standard V berths arrangement with insert to make a double bed if required. As is often the case, however, using the insert cuts out most of the available floor space. 

We needed the heating early mornings and evening and this worked very well throughout the boat and can be thermostatically controlled. 

Typically for Richardsons, we had no issues that warranted a call out as everything worked as it should. The only niggle, which we reported on our return was an annoying whine from the propellor which was noticeable at all but very low and very high revs. A friend who'd hired Contessa earlier in the year had the same issue and had the boat lifted on that occasion with the issue explained as being related to a new prop. 

Contessa is priced keenly by Richardsons and probably due to the lack of 240 volt is significantly cheaper than its smaller sisters. We found it to be comfortable and excellent value for money. 

Photos to follow. 

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8 hours ago, Broads01 said:

Contessa is priced keenly by Richardsons and probably due to the lack of 240 volt is significantly cheaper than its smaller sisters. We found it to be comfortable and excellent value for money. 

I think that's definitely a factor, and probably the steep stern access keeps these type of boats such good value as not everyone will be able to hire them.

She's definitely one of my favourites in their fleet given that she is spacious inside (especially for a 37ft boat), has a new Nanni and is excellent value. Also, she handles extremely well even against a tide so the lack of a thruster is no big deal.

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1 hour ago, oldgregg said:

I think that's definitely a factor, and probably the steep stern access keeps these type of boats such good value as not everyone will be able to hire them.

She's definitely one of my favourites in their fleet given that she is spacious inside (especially for a 37ft boat), has a new Nanni and is excellent value. Also, she handles extremely well even against a tide so the lack of a thruster is no big deal.

I completely agree, engine great and handling absolutely fine. 

DSC_0167.JPG

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Any thoughts on that type of flooring? It’s decision time at Thunders AGM at the weekend!


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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It seems to wear quite well and is really easy to wipe clean so provided it's changed once it has worn out I think it may be a good choice for a boat like Thunder?

Carpet is lovely but takes a pounding in the colder / wetter months with muddy shoes etc, plus it is too easy to damage.

Lino and flotex are also reasonably hard wearing but they do look a bit 'Tesco Value', and the hire fleets don't seem to like them. I think the 'what would Richardson's do' approach is probably not a bad one, as they know better than anyone what works on boats and what doesn't.

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I really like the Holly & Teak, both on this boat and previous. I think it's a good combination of practicality and looks. Richardsons have been using it for quite a few years now.

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It really lifted the look of Contessa I think. If you compare what she looked like with lino to the look now with the 'Holly & Teak' laminate, she looks much classier inside.

Also with Lino you end up using flotex 'rugs' to soften things up and it's never a good look.

Before

Contessa Apr13.jpgContessa saloon and galley July 09.JPG

After

1-1906-contessa-8626-full.jpg

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I might be sold!

Depending on the price......

:-)


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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I was thinking the same. Given the amount they use on the fleet, they probably have a lot of stock and get a good price.

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Ask for us too please.  We upgraded 'B.A's  fwd and aft companion ways with Holly and Teak some time ago and have been impressed with the results and still new look.  Come our Bi-annual AMP next year I plan to refit the wheelhouse deck throughout with the same

Griff

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Having left Trimnet now (they made me redundant), I am setting up my own supply online trimming shop at present. There really isn't many options for marine floorings, certainly hard wearing options.  The teak carpet product is pretty good, there's a couple of other products though, there's a really neat new product which I found just before getting the boot which is a laminate called Nautikfloor (http://www.nautikflor.com/) it's about £100 a square meter (Plus postage, although there's a minimum order) but really looks good, I maybe able to help to supply. There's a vinyl sheet material too but I'm not sure on the price for this. I can also get hold of a premium Teak and Holly sole flooring for about £250 ish per sheet (6mm thick), plus postage (1 sheet minimum).  PM me if any help/advise is needed.

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I needs it to be load bearing in it's own right so the Nautikfloor is not suitable.  The 6mm stuff aint suitable either.  And we are orf topic with regards to the OP.  I'll post more on 'Our' thread

Griff

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