comments on sabre 28, C&C 29, Catalina 30
It seems that the more sailboats I read about and look at, the more confused I become on the direction to take. I know about the quality and sailing characteristics of the sabre, but I have never sailed a C&C 29 or a Catalina 30 standard rig. I like the size of the 30 for overnights on the weekends but will i be disappointed with the way she sails after the sabre experience. I've read where the C&C 29 mkII is very tender and not so good up wind. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
I'd start off mentioning I am a big fan of C&Cs and owned a C&C 30 I for a number of years, a boat I still consider the best I've owned, and one I'd recommend over anything else in that size range.
Here are the phrfne.org ratings for these boats:
Sabre 28 198
C&C 29 I 174
Cat 30 180
(Do you really mean the C&C 29 II or the first model?, the II rates 171, not many of these around.). I'ver always felt the Sabre 28 to be a bit of a blah design, well made but not too exciting and it is disctinctly slower than the other two. The C&C 29 is a nicer design, but it is somewhat tender, many racers would add a 6 inche lead shoe to the keel and take some rating points to improve the situation. It doesn't have much room below for the length, especially headrooom forward due to the low overhead. The Cat 30 is a classic design, fairly roomy, solid, good sailor.
If sailing performance were the primary concern, I'd go with the C&C (or better yet a C&C 30 I), for all around cruising, you can't beat a Cat 30, and they are fine sailing boats. I don't think the Sabre has anything special from sailing charachteristics, I'd go with the faster performance of either of the orther two without a second thought.
General perception in this region is that the Sabre and the C&C will be built to a slightly higher standard than the Catalina. The C&C 29 was one of the last C&C models brought to market, hence benefits from things C&C learnt along the way. Personally, I would look for a C&C 30 rather than the 29.
If you are looking for a comfy cruiser that can still sail well - check out the CS30. It rates a bit lower then either of the three you have mentioned - yet has more room inside than the Sabre or the C&C.
CS 30 - Used Sailboat Market in Canada
Find more info on C&C here: C&C Yachts - C&C Photo Album & Resource Center
Including the following:
The Newport 28 was a C&C design. It was my first boat (an '84 MkII), and I made all the same comparisons you are. Good combo of performance and comfort, build quality equal to or slightly better than some of the competition, and priced right. A good looker, too. In the end, I felt the N28 provided the most bang for the buck.
Out here in San Francisco Bay there a lot of C30s that race either in one design fleets or in YRA PHRF events. I can tell you from first hand experience that they consistently sail faster than their 180 ratings would indicate in our generally windy conditions (15-25kts). The only problem is you would have to get over the “stigma” owning a Frank Butler boat.
For boats the age you are looking at, All could potentially have some major issues, it is probably best to try and find a 30'ish foot boat that has been well taken care of etc vs trying to find a particular boat.
With that in mind, When we got current boat 3 yrs ago, I was thinking Cats, Newports, San Juan, C&C from the late 70's into the 80's. Was told to stay away from Jeannuea and Benateau, Lo and Behold, hopped on a Jeanneau Arcadia, wife fell in love, hated the others mentioned, we ought her from the original owner. Yes a few things to do, but a nice boat. Also a bit faster than the above boats too. PHRF as low as 155 in upper Cheasapeak, to as low as 191 in BC PHRF area. Generally speaking, faster by about 10-15 secs over boats mentioned, and about 20-30 secs slower than a J 30.
All are good old boats for what they were designed for.
Love my C&C 29
I live in Toronto, close to the heart of C&C land. A few years ago, I had the privilege of lunching with George Cuthbertson (one of the C's). Love my C&C 29 (even though George reportedly did not -- I never asked him). Over the years, I've had the pleasure of sailing and racing on dozens of C&C yachts ranging from 24' to 41'.
Last year, after a number of refits to update and restore our C&C 29 MK1 from the previous owner's cruiser set-up to the C&C design intended racer/cruiser format, we blew away many other PHRF yachts on most upwind legs. So much for the rumor that the C&C sucks upwind.
Yes she is tender, but if she is sailed right, she does not round up. Down below I find her quite roomy and with good head room. I'm 5'10 and I don't bang my head.
Aside from her sleek, traditional lines and other great features, I truly like the fact that at 29 feet, she costs me a lot less in slip fees than other yachts that provide similar enjoyment and performance. We're parked on a finger dock and sandwiched between a fleet of C&C 34s. When I tell visitors that my yacht is not a 34 but indeed 5 feet shorter, they look at the surrounding yachts and think I'm crazy. It truly is hard to tell at a glance that the 29 is not a 34. And with the cost of slip fees today, 5 feet less on the dock for equal fun truly is crazy!
Pound for pound, I heartily believe that the C&C 29 is a terrific yacht and a terrific buy.
C&C 29 mk II
Very good performance upwind. Well balanced and responsive up in moderate breeze. Keep it flat with reef in main and crew on rail (when available) and you will be pleased with heavy air performance. With proper amount of sail and sailed relatively flat, it remains easy to handle in a blow. If you are over canvassed it becomes a real handful and will round up. The 29 is less tolerant of being overcanvassed ("more tender") than the Sabre or Catalina 30 which are heavier displacement.
I bought my 29 Mk II 3 years ago and am very happy with the performance and build quality.
I bought an 1988 Catalina 30 wing keel last July which I had refitted. Wanted a sturdy,safe,comfortable,low draft good sailing boat. I have not been dissapointed. The Cat 30 met all expectations.
I am a cruiser mostly in Biscayne Bay and Keys so the shallow draft was important. The Cat gives you lots of room and people comfort.
Sails well, had out in 35 knts and sailed strong and safe.
Has a 150% genoa and an imperial main,all new.
New electronics by Raymarine.
So far,so good.
I have had my 84 29 Mk II for 9 seasons. Like any well bred mount one has to learn how to race her. Choice of sails/reefs is vital; also fast shaking out of the reef. There is a narrow slot going to windward in a breeze, no more that 5 degrees either way. Find the slot and you will be early at the weather mark and with her fast off/down wind speed and you are in contention.
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