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27 and 31 Contender Questions

Old 05-04-2013, 01:42 PM
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Default 27 and 31 Contender Questions

I've been looking at a bunch of used 27 and 31 Open Contenders recently and have a few questions. My budget seems to get me in the 2004 and older boats.
Did Contender use different methods and materials for coring their decks and hatches between 95 and 2004?
Did Contender change the way they installed fuel tanks during that time?
I've got plenty of time to wait for the right boat and I want to find a hull with good solid decks and fuel tanks.
Thanks
Old 05-04-2013, 02:54 PM
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The tanks have always been foamed in and topped with glass to keep the tanks in place when the foam expands.

The decks and transom were plywood until 2010.

The hatches are foam cored for insulation, and there is no wood, however there is wood used to secure the hatches in place and that sometimes gets rot.

I have yet to see a contender get a soft deck and maybe a handful out of the 1000's built have had any type of transom issue.

Any boat older than 10 years you can expect to replace the tank in the future. Some last 5 years, others 25.

Good luck!
Old 05-04-2013, 03:10 PM
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I have a 1997 27. My hatches have balsa coring. My decks/gunwale caps have foam coring. No issues with anything so far. I just pulled every piece of hardware off my cap to repaint, and also pulled the splash well drain tubes and removed the upper mounting bolts for the motors. Everything is sealed and dry. In addition, EVERYTHING on my cap was through bolted. Every rod holder, haws pipes, every hinge, even the nav light. Only the fuel fills had screws.
Old 05-04-2013, 03:31 PM
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That's pretty encouraging EODContender.
Do the deck hatches have backing plates or are they screwed into the balsa?
Have you owned the boat since '97?
Old 05-04-2013, 04:46 PM
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Im the second owner, owned it since 2005. Everything is through bolted so its not just screwed into the balsa. The floor hatches have rivetted piano hinges, so no screws. They are tight and have never been removed. The two hatches I removed (livewell and anchor) had some very minor coring deterioration but they never came loose or even showed any signes of it. Since I was repainting them, I simply ground them out, refilled with resin and filler and redrilled them. They are now resealed for the next 16 years. I wouldnt hesitate buying an older Contender one bit.
Old 05-04-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by EODContender View Post
I have a 1997 27. My hatches have balsa coring. My decks/gunwale caps have foam coring. No issues with anything so far. I just pulled every piece of hardware off my cap to repaint, and also pulled the splash well drain tubes and removed the upper mounting bolts for the motors. Everything is sealed and dry. In addition, EVERYTHING on my cap was through bolted. Every rod holder, haws pipes, every hinge, even the nav light. Only the fuel fills had screws.
I have a question on the fuel fills, there was not one thru bolt on there with a bonding wire attached?
Old 05-04-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nexxxt214 View Post
The tanks have always been foamed in and topped with glass to keep the tanks in place when the foam expands.

The decks and transom were plywood until 2010.

The hatches are foam cored for insulation, and there is no wood, however there is wood used to secure the hatches in place and that sometimes gets rot.

I have yet to see a contender get a soft deck and maybe a handful out of the 1000's built have had any type of transom issue.

Any boat older than 10 years you can expect to replace the tank in the future. Some last 5 years, others 25.

Good luck!
Nexxt,

I always like to argue with you on the plywood decks. Did you cut a deck up and find plywood? Reason being I have seen many pics and experienced first hand the decks being foam cored?
Old 05-04-2013, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by littletunny View Post
Nexxt,

I always like to argue with you on the plywood decks. Did you cut a deck up and find plywood? Reason being I have seen many pics and experienced first hand the decks being foam cored?
Every contender deck I have ever cut was plywood. The rep came on here and stated that they phased out the wood in the deck and transom in 2010, simply due to perception and customer requests.

The hatches are riveted into plywood also.

Its not an issue at all... but if you have some pics to show me of a deck that was not cored with plywood, please post them up....
Old 05-04-2013, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by caymanboy View Post
I have a question on the fuel fills, there was not one thru bolt on there with a bonding wire attached?
Yes there was, but I dont consider the fuel fills through bolted just because of the bonding wire bolt. They had 2 screws and a bolt. Effing pain to get off!!!
Old 05-04-2013, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by nexxxt214 View Post
Every contender deck I have ever cut was plywood. The rep came on here and stated that they phased out the wood in the deck and transom in 2010, simply due to perception and customer requests.

The hatches are riveted into plywood also.

Its not an issue at all... but if you have some pics to show me of a deck that was not cored with plywood, please post them up....
Well, I can tell you mine has foam cored decks. How about you post up some pictures of plywood decks and hatches. My boat isnt home right now because of the gunwale cap painting, but I'll snap a few pics of the foam coring for you when I get back to it.
Old 05-04-2013, 06:09 PM
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Here is the only picture I can find.

This hull was a 2000's vintage.....



In fact if you call Manny at competition he can tell you about the 20 or so contenders he has cut into that all had wood in the deck.....

Steve, please post the picture of your core from the deck and where in the deck it came from.

Also your hatches are riveted into wood and not foam core as the only thing for the rivet to grab is the thin layer of fiberglass that encapsulates the foam....
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:15 PM
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Ill get you pictures this Monday
Old 05-04-2013, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by nexxxt214 View Post
Every contender deck I have ever cut was plywood. The rep came on here and stated that they phased out the wood in the deck and transom in 2010, simply due to perception and customer requests.

The hatches are riveted into plywood also.

Its not an issue at all... but if you have some pics to show me of a deck that was not cored with plywood, please post them up....
Hey Nexxt,

We maybe both right

This is a 98' Contender. I guess they use whatever is laying around!

Old 05-05-2013, 08:56 AM
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Was console size an option on the 27s and 31s. I've seen some 21s with small consoles and some with larger consoles.
Old 05-05-2013, 11:05 AM
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Believe they have the same console, however, you could option the 31 to get the 36 console, not sure about the 27.

The 21 and 23 open could get an upgraded console from the 23T which is similar to the 25 open console.
Old 05-05-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by littletunny View Post
Hey Nexxt,

We maybe both right

This is a 98' Contender. I guess they use whatever is laying around!

What is that pic of? Underside of gunwale?
Old 05-05-2013, 02:05 PM
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Looks like fish box up towards the back
Old 05-05-2013, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nexxxt214 View Post
Here is the only picture I can find.

This hull was a 2000's vintage.....



In fact if you call Manny at competition he can tell you about the 20 or so contenders he has cut into that all had wood in the deck.....

Steve, please post the picture of your core from the deck and where in the deck it came from.

Also your hatches are riveted into wood and not foam core as the only thing for the rivet to grab is the thin layer of fiberglass that encapsulates the foam....
I don't see any plywood in your picture just foam, also I had to grind out the live well hatch in the floor of my 36. There was no wood just foam, the rivets pulled through from use. I ground the area out reglassed it and screwed it back together. I also had to repair an area on the deck behind the helm where the deck had de-lamenatated in an area, again no plywood.
Old 05-05-2013, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by land crab View Post
I don't see any plywood in your picture just foam, also I had to grind out the live well hatch in the floor of my 36. There was no wood just foam, the rivets pulled through from use. I ground the area out reglassed it and screwed it back together. I also had to repair an area on the deck behind the helm where the deck had de-lamenatated in an area, again no plywood.
Sorry buddy, but the deck is plywood. Not really sure what you are missing....

Maybe some were built differently from the factory, but the contender rep has already backed up exactly what I said.

To the T.

The deck in the picture is plywood. There is several layers of glass on both sides of the wood, but the core is plywood.

Nice boat you have now....

Old 05-05-2013, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nexxxt214 View Post
Sorry buddy, but the deck is plywood. Not really sure what you are missing....

Maybe some were built differently from the factory, but the contender rep has already backed up exactly what I said.

To the T.

The deck in the picture is plywood. There is several layers of glass on both sides of the wood, but the core is plywood.

Nice boat you have now....

I guess my 1997 31 and 2005 36 were exceptions? Either way both were good boats.

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