The Contest 44 Classic Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Contest 44 is a well-built and spacious yacht from a reputable Dutch yard, designed for comfortable cruising with a small crew.  She has a modern hull shape, a powerful rig, and a luxurious interior.

'Tumbledown Wind', a Contest 44 Classic sailboat under full sailMany thanks to Mike Price for this fine pic of 'Tumbledown Wind' as she crosses the ARC finishing line off St Lucia.

Published Specification for the Contest 44 Classic

Underwater Profile: Fin Keel & Skeg-hung Rudder

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 44'0" (13.41 m)

Waterline Length: 38' 3" (11.66 m)

Beam: 13'1" (3.99 m)

Draft: 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 39,062 lb (17,718 kg)

Designer: Dick Zaal

Builder: Conyplex (Holland)

Year First Built: 1997

Owners Association: Contest Yacht Owners Club


Published Design Ratios for the Contest 44 Classic

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.5

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 37.9

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 229

4. Comfort Ratio: 32.9

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.9


A Few FAQs...

Based on the published Design Ratios for the Contest 44, how would you expect the boat to perform under sail?

The Design Ratios indicate that the Contest 44 is a moderately heavy boat with a good sail area to displacement ratio, meaning that she can sail well in light to moderate winds. She also has a high ballast-to-displacement ratio, which gives her stability and stiffness. Her comfort ratio and capsize screening formula suggest that she is a safe and comfortable boat for offshore sailing.

Is the Contest 44 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Contest 44 is no longer in production. She was built from 1997 to 2000, and there were 18 hulls made.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Contest 44 were built and what are the differences between them?

There were two versions of the Contest 44 built: the standard version and the CS version. The CS version had a taller mast, a deeper keel, and a larger sail area than the standard version. The CS version was also lighter and faster than the standard version.

How many people can sleep on board a Contest 44?

The Contest 44 can sleep up to six people on board. She has three cabins: a master cabin forward with an en-suite head, and two aft cabins with a shared head. She also has a spacious saloon with a U-shaped settee that can be converted into a double berth.

How did the sailing press review the Contest 44?

The sailing press gave positive reviews to the Contest 44, praising her quality, performance, and comfort. For example, Sail Magazine wrote: "The Contest 44 is an impressive yacht that combines excellent sailing characteristics with superb craftsmanship and luxurious accommodations."

What do owners of the Contest 44 have to say about their boats?

Owners of the Contest 44 are generally happy with their boats, and report that they are easy to handle, reliable, and comfortable. For example, one owner wrote: "We have sailed our Contest 44 for over 10 years and have been very pleased with her. She is fast, stable, and seaworthy. She has taken us to many beautiful places and has always been a joy to sail."

What is the history of the builders of the Contest 44 and is the company still in business?

The builders of the Contest 44 are Conyplex B.V., a family-owned company that was founded in 1959 in Medemblik, Netherlands. The company is still in business and continues to produce high-quality yachts under the brand name of Contest Yachts.

Is the mast on the Contest 44 deck-stepped or keel-stepped?

The mast on the Contest 44 is keel-stepped, meaning that it is supported by a metal structure that extends from the keel to the deck. This provides more strength and rigidity to the mast than a deck-stepped mast.

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Contest 44?

The sailplan and rig options for the Contest 44 are as follows:

  • Standard version: sloop rig with furling genoa and mainsail
  • CS version: sloop rig with furling genoa and fully battened mainsail
  • Optional: cutter rig with staysail
  • Optional: gennaker or spinnaker

What keel options, if any, are available for the Contest 44?

The keel options for the Contest 44 are as follows:

  • Standard version: fin keel with bulb (draft: 2.11 m)
  • CS version: fin keel with bulb (draft: 2.35 m)
  • Optional: wing keel (draft: 1.80 m)

What is the average cost of a secondhand Contest 44?

The average cost of a secondhand Contest 44 depends on various factors such as age, condition, equipment, location, etc. However, based on some recent listings, the average cost of a secondhand Contest 44 is around £120,000.

How does the Contest 44 compare to other sailboats in its class?

The Contest 44 is a competitive sailboat in its class, which includes other 44-foot cruisers such as the Hallberg-Rassy 44, the Moody 44, the Najad 440, and the Oyster 45. The Contest 44 has some advantages over these boats, such as her modern hull shape, her powerful rig, and her luxurious interior. She also has some disadvantages, such as her relatively high price, her limited production number, and her lack of customization options.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Contest 44?

The designer of the Contest 44 is Dick Zaal, a renowned Dutch naval architect who has designed many other sailboats for various brands. Some of his other designs include the Contest 31, the Contest 36, the Contest 50, the Koopmans 36, the Koopmans 48, the Noordkaper 40, and the Zeehond 37.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


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