Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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JEFF H input wanted
I am speaking of the C&C 30 mark 1. I am familiar with the earlier C&C designed Corvette and Redwing. The Corvette was a neat boat in its day but the Redwing has never impressed me all that much.
To your question, in their day the early C&C''s (late 1960''s) were quite a revolation and quite highly regarded. (I actually owned a 1965 C&C designed 22 footer that I thought was a wonderful boat). When introduced the first C&C designs were quite cheaply priced in the US market and tended to offer spectacularly good sailing ability and reasonably good construction. They offered nice, simple, functional interior layouts. C&C was quite innovative pionering the use of high density foam coring in decks and a glassed in system of stringers and athwartships framing.
There were a whole cluster of boats tooled in the early 1970''s when C&C began building boats under their own name. The C&C 35 and the C&C 40 of the early to mid 1970''s were real barnstormers. The 35 mk1 with its fine bow (for that era), design weight in the same general range as the J-36,(an 8 years later design), and with a very high ballast to weight ratio for the day, the 35 Mk1 was really impressive on the race course. All of that said, while the C&C 35 Mk 1 was very impressive for its day, I would certainly never say that it was one of the best boats that C&C ever designed but I would say that it was one of C&C''s designs that was most advanced for the era that it was produced.
BUT amoungst the C&C afficionatos the C&C 30 mk1 was seen as a major dud. C&C had tried to reduce the same design brief in length and it did not work out as planned. Racing them in Savannah, they were thought to be very poor light air boats. They were also not very good in a breeze. perhaps because of their smaller size or to hold down costs they did not seem as well engineered as the larger C&C 35. Driven hard they tended to flex, especially in the large bow panels. Very early on, the two that I knew best which were raced pretty hard, showed flexure cracks around the cabin trunk and transom. Very early on there were also issues with rudders on both boats.
Sailing in the short chop in the Atlantic off Savanah they tended to hobbyhorse badly, just about stopping in their tracks, when earlier designs like the original Morgan 30 was able to keep driving to weather. They were quite corky compared to other designs of this era and were often pointed to as the poster child when someone wanted to make a point about the negatives of light weight boats.
It was funny because the C&C 24 of almost the same era, was seen as a super little boat. BUT amoungst folks that really liked C&C''s the 30 mk1 was seen as a real dud. In hindsight, perhaps the 30 mk1 was not all that bad when compared to other boats of that era (Oday 27 for example), but given the strength of the C&C design team''s prior design, to those of us who were big fans of C&C''s (and I knew quite a few of them in those days)the 30 mk1 was seen as a missed opportunity and a real stain on C&C nearly flawless record up to that point in time.
I haven''t sailed a 30 in many years and based the initial way that they held up, I would be interested in what present owner''s think of their boats. (I must say that I was not aware that this is a very popular boat in Eastern Canada and in Halifax although it does not surprise me.)