'Black Rose' - see another photo of her at yesterday's page
Standing headroom is very nice, but you can do without it on a boat. My ‘Ladybird’ has good sitting headroom, as does the Contessa 26 created by Jeremy Rogers and David Sadler. Mostly when you are down below, especially if the boat is sailing, perhaps on her ear as she makes up to windward, you find the nearest seat where you can safely wedge yourself. This is true for boats with standing headroom, just as it is with those without.
What is better? Do you want your yacht to be weatherly, or do you accept that she may not go to windward in a blow because she has too much top-hamper? If I had to make a choice, I would opt for the weatherly yacht with a flush deck or little windage by way of a low profile, streamlined cabin trunk. That’s the case with the Contessa 26, styled after the popular and proven original clinker Scandinavian Folkboat. Rogers and Sadler came up with a winner when they produced their fibreglass, smooth-skinned modification of the carvel Folkboat. The wooden German Folkboat has a rather higher cabin than the Nordic one, which helps with interior space, including headroom, but takes away from her performance upwind and does nothing for her appearance.
When I was at Cowes with ‘Ladybird’ this summer, moored to an adjacent pontoon there was a Contessa 26, with the name ‘Black Rose’. Her owner could not conceal her enthusiasm for her yacht. She had rebuilt the interior, completely refurbishing it. This lady knew her stuff, because she was a qualified marine surveyor, experienced sailor and a delivery skipper. She had decided to go the whole hog and replace the mast which had seen service since the yacht was built. She valued her so highly that she was prepared to invest in her, even in these times when investment may not reap rewards. That says a lot for how she treasures her yacht, considering her to be worth the expenditure.
Contessa 26 Association
Henry Bomby Around Britain in a Contessa 26
Across the Pond Contessa Website