The Contest 42CS has that clever knack of feeling like a larger boat than she is. During a visit to Contest’s yard in Medemblik, we had the opportunity to take a 42CS for a mini cruise – a return trip out to the islands directly west of the IJlesemeer

As this Contest 42CS video shows, our cruise was the ideal way to appreciate how this model is blessed with the pedigree of over half a century of builds. Contest is one of largest and oldest family run yards in the world, and one that conducts the whole build process on site.

The Contest 42CS video goes some way to show how manageable this bluewater cruiser is to sail and how she has the options and attention to detail mastered from building larger vessels. This particular model has a short-handed cockpit setup, with single point mainsheet, and rigged it so that all the sheets and running rigging can be managed from the helm.

42ft may seem comparatively small for a new cruising yacht today, but the top quality of the Contest’s build and fittings, gives her a larger boat feel – it’s a nice approach – a little, big boat mentality.

Contest 42CS video

Contest provides that semi-custom approach down below too, enabling a broad range of layout options by segregating the two or three cabin interior into forward, mid and aft sections. Forward and aft has various berth or workroom options and in the mid section a choice can be made over portside or L-shape galley, navstation or separate shower to the heads.

Above all, the Contest 42CS finds that delicate middle ground of providing performance in a sea-kindly manner.

The full report of our test and details of the build are in our August 2016 issue.