Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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opinion on C&C Corvette
The C&C Corvettes are a neat old boat. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for these boats. They were pretty lightweight for their day and were simply but pretty well constructed. The keel/centerboard layout gave them a shoal draft yet pretty good windward performance for their day. With their large masthead spinnakers and their centerboards raised they were pretty quick on a run for that era as well. They had reasonably long water lines and were very good in a chop for a boat of that era.
In the 1960''s my family had a Vanguard that we raced and our main competition was a Corvette 31. Under the CCA rule we rated pretty close to even and the Corvette was pretty tough to beat. I now understand why. Under PHRF, the Corvette owes the Vanguard almost a minute a mile and that is quite a speed difference.
C&C, as designers, were really quite innovative structurally. Many of their boats of this era used a high density closed cell foam coring for decks and framing(rather than the balsa cores that were more common at the time). I don''t know if the Corvette had foam coring, but if it did foam cores tend to be a more durable solution than balsa. In that era C&C also tended to use a pretty sophisticated framing system that was glassed into place. Again I am not sure that the Corvette actually had this system.
These were really fin keel boats with attached rudders and a centerboard. As a result Corvettes do not track all that well but you can use the centerboard to balance the helm nicely. There is no way that I would buy one with wheel steering. As a result of the poor tracking ability, the kind of quick adjustments and helm feel typical of a tiller was really essential to sailing these boats when things got dicey. Beyond that the cockpit was clearly designed for a tiller and does not work well with a wheel (You are too far aft to see the slot and there is no place for the jib and mainsail trimmers unless the wheel is almost located at the bridge deck.
The interior layout was about as straight forward as they get (which is a good thing in my book.) It is a nicely detailed set up (although a lot of these boats had an awful looking wood grain Formica for bulkheads and countertops). I am not a big fan of formica covered structural bulkheads as they can rot out without showing any signs of the ongoing deterioration but they are quite typical of most mid-price range boats of that era.
All of that said, compared to more modern designs (say a Tartan 30) the Corvette is pretty slow for a 31 footer and is a little cramped. The original hardware would seen underpowered compared to the higher powered two speed winches available today, and of course the original electrical system while quite simple and easy to work on would not meet modern standards.
All of that said, if you are looking for a good all around boat, and speed was not a high priority, these are really a good choice for a boat from that era and if you can get one in the mid to low teens in good shape are an enormous amount of boat for the dollar.