Fresh launch

The launch of the first Contest 85CS is set to be the largest of all Contest Yachts to date.

24 September 2018


Commissioned for a world circumnavigation by an owner with very particular views on safety systems, deck layout and interior arrangements after significant deep ocean experience, this launch shows just how far semi-customisation can be taken when practised in collaboration.

In co-operation with celebrated design house judel/vrolijk, the Contest team has made major advances in structural technique and infusion moulding processes, achieving great strength for light weight and enhanced performance and handling. Contributing to this, the entire hull moulding from keel to rail has a foam instead of balsa core and in the interior lightweight foam-cored joinery in this special commission.

While the Contest team and interior designer Wetzels Bown have created five primary accommodation plans, on Contest 85CS #1 the design revolves around three suites with galley aft and vast, functional crew quarters forward which include a second, dedicated navigation centre and office plus full workshop and enormous walk-through sail and rope locker, as the entire, extensive sail wardrobe is to be carried complete on board at all times.


To be crewed generally just by two, sail handling systems have been uniquely designed for single-handing. As with all equipment and systems on board, all aspects of the rig can be handled manually should there be any machinery failure.

This practice is crucial throughout the entire brief and there is such redundancy and direct control of every aspect of the yacht’s extensive operational and management systems that the captain is able to quickly isolate and override each element to prevent downtime and disruption.

Nothing is left to chance, right down to having all core electrics including comms and nav electronics cabled high above the waterline so the vessel stays operational for longer in the event of water ingress. Also, positioned high in the lazarette, and permanently set to run on demand, there is an independent, diesel driven, big volume water pump for bilge evacuation in case of flooding and also fire fighting.

Every cabin has its own ceiling escape hatch easily accessed by ladder and all beds have higher frames than standard.

To enhance ease in handling the 3Di North Sails and carbon Hall Spars rig with slab reefing, hydraulic winches are super-sized and planned in position for multiple sail and line handling.

This practicality extends throughout the accommodation which still luxuriously serves voyage-makers well with ease of access to all workings without disruption, exceptional stowage with to-hand-integration of emergency and life-saving equipment. Keeping the efficient, highly functional galley supplied with mountains of fresh fruit and veg coming aboard, there’s vented storage in the lazarette which, of course, also houses the more typical fare of tender, diving gear and compressor.

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