The Contest 44 Classic Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Contest 44 Classic, a centre-cockpit masthead sloop, was designed by Dick Zaal and built in Holland by Conyplex.

'Tumbledown Wind', a Contest 44 Classic sailboat under full sail'Tumbledown Wind', a Contest 44 Classic fully equipped for ocean sailing.

Many thanks to Mike Price for this fine pic of 'Tumbledown Wind' as she crosses the ARC finishing line off St Lucia.

Two versions of the Contest 44 were produced - the 44 Classic and the 44CS. The CS was a later production run of 18 vessels built between 2000 and 2006.

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

Year Last Built: 2000

Number Built: 18

Owners Association: Contest Yacht Owners Club

Published Design Ratios for the Contest 44 Classic

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 13.8

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 33.9

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 312

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 49.2

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.6

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Contest 44 Classic

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 13.8 suggests that the Contest 44 Classic will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 33.9 means that unless the bulk of the ballast is concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, the Contest 44 Classic will have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 312, tells us the Contest 44 Classic is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 49.2 suggests that crew comfort of a Contest 44 Classic in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.6 tells us that a Contest 44 Classic would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

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