Contest Yatch company was founded in 1959 by Ed Conijn, who learned about fiberglass construction during a visit to the US. The company has been building sailboats at its three-generations-old, family-owned yard in Medemblik, Netherlands, since 1959.

In recent years, the company has focused mostly on larger, center-cockpit cruisers, so the 42, with its aft cockpit, twin wheels, sleek-looking coach roof, wraparound tinted portlights, carbon-fiber rig and carbon-fiber retractable sprit is a step in a different direction.

At the Contest Yachts yard, 12 to 15 sailboats and power boats are built a year by a team of 80 boatbuilders. It’s sailboat line ranges from 42 to 72 feet. The company also builds a 52-foot power boat.

Balsa cored sailboat bulkhead

A vacuum-infused, balsa cored bulkhead sits on a work table at Contest Yachts. All parts, including hulls and decks are infused and cored.

 

Contest 50 sailboat being made

Bulkheads and stiffeners are glassed into the hull of a Contest 50 before it comes out of the mold.

 

Varnishing on a sailboat

Depending on the interior finish selected, a furniture part may receive multiple coats of varnish before being installed.

 

Making a fiberglass sailboat

Fiberglass glass cloth is cut and placed in the hull mold to prepare for the infusion process.

 

Fiberglass sailboat process

Fiberglass glass cloth is cut and placed in the hull mold to prepare for the infusion process.

 

Sailboat balsa core

Balsa coring is being placed on the deck mold of a Contest 50.

 

Making a fiberglass sailboat at Contest Yachts

Solid fiberglass blocks are placed anywhere that hardware will be mounted. This prevents moisture from reaching the core and allows bolts to be tightened without compressing the inner material.

 

Teak sailboat deck

At Contest Yachts, teak decks are built on a mold and then mounted and glued onto the fiberglass deck. This eliminates the need for screws, which could allow moisture to reach the core.

 

Sailboat deck

Decks are glued to the hull of a contest, and then the hull-deck joint is further strengthened with bolts (left side of photo).

 

Making a sailboat

Workers install a cabin wall in a Contest 67.

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