2012 “adventure” year for Contest Yachts
MEDEMBLIK – When Contest Yachts presented its latest creation at the Amsterdam In-Water boat show last September, the Contest 72CS luxury cruiser (left) screamed the yard’s motto _ ‘Life. Style. Sailing’ _ from every fiber of its gleaming, 22-m hull. The eye-catching flagship of the Dutch yard’s ever-expanding fleet of sailing yachts sets the bar high in performance, comfort and styling to lure a market of demanding customers.
But there’s been more head-turning news from the 53-year-old Dutch yard lately. If the so-so economy filled many with caution, Contest Yachts used 2012 to launch its first-ever power boat project. The 52MC (below. Contest Yachts calls it “a new adventure” and it is to go public at the 2013 Duesseldorf Boat Show (Jan. 19-27, 2013).
The 52MC is the work of designer Georg Nissen, Vripack Naval Architects and nautic specialists. “Drawing on our expertise in composites, Contest 52MC’s innovative hull design and production will provide optimal stability and efficiency,” says yard spokeswoman Saskia Kersten. “Easy to manoeuver and benefiting from silent hybrid technology, the yacht will have a classy, almost classical, style all of her own.”
A motor cruiser? From a yard that has been making sailboats for over half a century? Says Kersten: “This is the result of questions from customers, people who have been sailing Contest yachts for years and now want to switch to a motorboat. They know our quality. And they want that quality in a motor yacht.” Contest Yachts’ first powerboat comes with a wealth of innovations: gyro-stabilization, integrated power electronics and fuel efficiency. The standard model has 2 quiet Cummins Common Rail engines, a “half-glider hull” to reduce vertical movement and roll.
The Contest 72CS benefits from the yard’s experience with vacuum infusion. Its drop-dead gorgeous looks make it a serious contender for the over 60-ft luxury market. “Excellent design has long defined the distinctive identity of a Contest,” says Gillian Brown of Wetzels Brown Partners which drew its first interior for Contest Yachts. She calls the 72CS “a small super-yacht.” Its saloon features large sofas. Its master suite has a desk, 2 sofas and a large bathroom. The CS72 has innovative design features: recessed hand grips, restyled doors, a carpeted master cabin, wall mounted bathroom taps and large showers.”
The 52MC and 72CS continue Contest Yachts’ tradition of breakthrough ideas. The yard was founded in the late 1950s by Ed Conijn who applied polyester materials to boat building. Soon he was making the Flying Dutchman, the 20-ft, one-design racer. He made no fewer than 600 FDs giving a boost to Conyplex, the forerunner of Contest Yachts. The 1960s saw the launch of the Contest 25 and the era of serial construction, Dutch built yachts. Over the years, the yard made the Contest 27, 29, 31 HT and 36 and up. Today, a third generation of the Conijn family has the wheel.
Says Contest Yachts Director Arjen Conijn: “Our current corporate philosophy is rooted in the key values of Life, Style and Sailing. Performance and design have become vital focal points. While the quality of our product will always be our No. 1 priority, brand association is increasingly important.” Good examples of the latter are the annual Contest Cup in Medemblik and the Dutch province of Zeeland and the Mediterranean Contest meetings in Mallorca and Turkey.