Contest 52MC Flybridge Sea Trial. The motoryacht with Contest Yachts’ soul
Contest 52MC Flybridge
Contest Yachts is a shipyard that has been known all around the world for over 60 years to manufacture amazing sailing yachts. In 2013, the shipyard introduced a line of motor yachts boats built with the same (first-class) construction techniques adopted for its sailing yachts.
It is therefore not surprising that, climbing on board, we will be impressed by the quality level of finishes. This is the standard of the shipyard which, moreover, produces with a very high customization level, manufacturing yachts that are actually built around their owners’ needs.
In other words, we’re talking about unique boats, finely chiseled and made with attention to the smallest details, like the Contest 52MC Flybrige on board which we’re about to climb today.
Contest 52MC Flybridge Sea Trial
I climb on board with Marcel Offereins, the business manager of the shipyard; we start the two Cummins 550HP 6.7 L engines that the owner has selected to fit his Contest 52MC. We re-tract moorings and leave the dolphins delimiting our berth.
We steer very easily, the yacht is equipped with a joystick and evolves without difficulty. Marcel calls the sluice station to inform them about our arrival; the mechanism will get us to the level of the IJsselmeer, the huge artificial lake created in 1932 with the construction of the Northern Dam (Afsluitdijk). With an average depth of just 5 meters, this “inland sea” generates short deep waves which offer a real testing ground for hulls.
The Contest 52MC is comfortable with displacement speed, the hull cuts through the water at nearly the critical hull speed, remaining stable and keeping excellent direction. At this speed, fuel consumption is derisory – around 1 l/nm – and allow passengers to admire the surrounding landscape in total relax.
As we get open waters, we start to speed up, our yacht slightly lowers its stern and we feel the speed increasing. However, it is not the usual gliding process, this hull is very particular and literally glued to the water.
Maybe, this is made possible by the hull lines that, very different from what we have seen until now, lift the boat without exaggerations, letting her immersed just enough to have an above-average course stability.
At about 12-13 knots, the Contest 52MC distances her wake, gets up on plane and speeds up without increasing the throttle until about 15 knots. At this speed, the two Cummins run at 2,000 rpm, fuel consumption is low and our yacht seems not to feel the waves.
Again, this hull astonishes me with its sailing potential. The bow is fitted with a very sharp V-section extending over the topsides to form a scalene triangle, where one side is represented by the right ahead, the second by the almost three meters on the water line while the third one is taken from the line between them.
Above this triangle, the deadwork expands to accommodate interior volumes but below….below, it’s a whole other thing, a real “sharp edge system”.
This whole area is destined to cut through the water and waves, offering the smallest possible resistance within a real masterpiece of hydrodynamics that makes navigation soft and comfortable, straight and very precise.
Marcel lets me take the wheel, I pull throttles down and make the yacht sail at about 23-24 knots; then, I perform a strong turn while the Contest 52MC narrows the turn angle without never getting perturbed. Shortly after, I find the (significant) waves of our wake and I cross them without slowing and…and the yacht doesn’t notice that, raises and lowers the bow as we had crossed a 10cm wave.
The big foam mustaches we generate bring us back to reality and blatantly prove the crossing we have just performed. They move outwards and help us to better understand the ulterior motive of a hull like this that, designed in these seas, can only be destined to keep the boat perfectly dry. The alternative would be, simply, freezing.
It is certainly the sailing experience of this great shipyard that has allowed to design such a hull that, free from the modern volumetric constraints, can express extraordinary seaworthiness.
Sailing on board this yacht is an experience I strongly recommend all those who, in the anxious research for that extra centimeter of interior space, find themselves crashing against waves while their family and friends are a long way from enjoying navigation, just intent on holding on to anything to keep their balance.
By contrast, the Contest 52MC is a yacht designed to sail, in total safety and comfort, even under the harshest conditions, giving the crew the pleasure of enjoying the spectacle of lights created by the wave foam meeting the sun rays.
This Contest is a really addictive boat. So please be careful because you risk to get used to her and, then, it’s hard to go back.
Contest 52MC Flybridge Performances
Construction and Interiors
In order to get a deep insight into a yacht like the Contest 52MC, the primary focus must be on the fact that we’re talking about the product made by one among the best boat manufacturers in the world.
Made with quality standards that are simply unavailable to most of boat manufacturers, this yacht can be entirely customized according to the needs of the lucky owners that manage to get one.
Built with the famous Conyplex vacuum infusion system® technology, this yacht is, at the same time, sturdy and lightweight, soundproofed and insulated. The 24-hour infusion process which all Contest Yacht’s hulls are subject almost entirely extracts the air while reducing the percentage of resin to 30%.
But the thing we should consider the most when analyzing a Contest yacht is the obsessive attention to details, the expertise of matches, the oversizing of both hydraulic and electrical systems.
The processing of all essences – and the Contest 52MC is rich of refined wood – is carried out by the “boat builders” of the shipyard who, far from simply processing materials, create unique works of first-class cabinetmaking.
The Contest 52MC Flybridge is offered in several interior arrangements but they are just a point of departure because to buy a Contest yacht means, first of all, to build the boat of your dreams.
|Length Overall||15.93 m||52.26 ft|
|Length Waterline||14.60 m||47.9 ft|
|Maximum Beam||4.60 m||15.09 ft|
|Draft||0.85 m||2.79 ft|
|Displacement||16,600 kg||36,596 lbs|
|Fuel Tank||1,800 l||395.95 gal|
|Water Tank||700 l||153.98 gal|
|Engines, Cummins 6.7 L||550 hp||405 kW|
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