Dutch delicacy

Contest Yachts from the Netherlands has launched an all-new 15-metre, semi-custom sailing yacht known as Contest 50CS.

25 June 2021


The 15-metre (50-foot) niche is central to the Contest Yachts range. Contest Yachts has been building at this length for 45 of the family-owned shipyard’s 60-plus years.

They pride themselves on “extraordinary standards” in every build, always fully surveyed and certified by Lloyd’s Register, the world’s leading compliance and classification authority.

The new 2021, judel/vrolijk designed Contest 50CS is positioned as “an interesting addition to the range with a freshly styled centre cockpit plan and transformative hull lines.”

Below decks, the yard’s equally innovative interior designers, Wetzels Brown Partners, have again worked wonders with new thinking in space, styling and detail.

Key throughout the design development was interior volumes and stability while simultaneously heightened upwind and light wind performance.

As Johan Siefer of judel/vrolijk says, “It has all been worked with handsome effect and, in physical terms, we have less heel, less drag, less moment in the waves, so it’s smoother, more comfortable.”


It will also be impeccably quiet owing to Contest’s renowned, uniquely Lloyd’s-approved vacuum infusion composite construction technologies, plus a standard of outfitting that leaves other builders far behind. Machinery and mechanical noises disappear, and shakes, rattles and creaks are simply non-existent.

The dual-cockpit plan also brings extra security with the twin helm stations well forward, also making for neat separation of work and leisure areas, while a central walkthrough eases safe access in, out and around the cockpit. No clambering over coamings or cramped wheel and table arrangements here either – all good for comfort, safety and peace of mind.

The standard layout provides a three-cabin accommodation arrangement. As on the 2021 European Yacht of the Year-winning Contest 55CS, the master suite aft on the 50CS takes full advantage of the wide, deep stern sections, and has the additional option of the innovative transom window for fantastic outlook aft.

The forward suite in the bow similarly includes a splendid, wide, island bed for VIP-style comforts and a great view through the expansive hull windows.

With that aft cabin reaching so far aft into the stern sections, the designers have opened even more length in the middle of the yacht for a super-sized saloon. Aft, the corridor galley in this new generation 50-footer is now two-sided, an immediate benefit of the wider, taller aft sections of this more modern design.

Johan Siefer says, “One of the biggest differences is that we have raised the outer edges much higher to achieve more boat interior while also looking for more hull stability.”

“With that came more volume and draft aft, and we also widened the waterline, but only slightly as we wanted it not too extreme, to still have a transom with nice transitions from the bow while also reducing wetted surface.”

Weight distribution in this new shaping also plays an important role. As does new optimisation of rig principles to match the changes in balance, and with the additional stability, a bigger, taller rig is possible for enhanced light wind performance, but not to excess as that would take away the gain made in stability.

In this, the mast has moved slightly aft, opening the foretriangle a little for more headsail control, so easing reduction and keeping heel angles low for the same VMG. Assisting in this is a new, increased stiffness in the structure. This comes from there being more carbon fibre now incorporated into this new yacht, all under the constant consultancy and survey of Lloyd’s Register. There are also options of integrated rooftop solar energy generation, and electric main-propulsion system.

Arjen Conijn, the third-generation CEO of this family-owned shipyard and innovator, says: “While some semi-custom builders, striving for savings, are standardising their yachts more and more, we at Contest Yachts are different.”

“And again, in this new model launch, we show that the best way to help owners set out on their own personal voyage is to deliver exactly what they want, individually. That’s what we do. We always have. We call it building dreams together. And the new Contest 50CS is another great example!”



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