The C&C 24 is a great boat. Also look for C&C25 if you can find a good one for same price.
A project boat is basically a sound boat with one or two manageable problems. A wreck is a boat that has numerous problems of the same dimension as the one problem on a project boat. The only reason to restore a wreck is if it is a collector item that is no longer available in sailing condition and you are a romantic.
We recently bought a J27. As with most J boats the deck had wet core - BUT DID NOT FEEL SPONGY. It also needed the bottom redone (cosmetic) and the sails were older but servicable.
The hull was in very good condition. The mast, boom and rigging were in very good condition. The outboard motor was in very good condition. The sails were newish but cruising cut and the racing sails were older but decent. There was no cradle and the boat was in a different country 1400 km from home.
I took the selling value of a decent J27 and subtracted sail costs, transport costs, deck repair costs, cradle costs, etc... and made a low offer. By doing this my initial investment was low so with repairs and new sails, etc... I was essentially buying the boat over time and spending sweat equity.
There was not much wrong with the boat. I recored the deck in several areas, repainted the non skid, rebedded windows, stripped/barrier coat/etc.. bottom, upgraded some instruments, etc.... and now have a boat that could be sold for the average selling price of the model and cost just barely under the same price for all the upgrades - with my labour (over 200 hours) valued at zero. If we sold tommorrow we might make $2000 over the purchase and upgrade costs.
I would do it again provided this was a way to get the boat I want and provided there was very little wrong with the boat in the first place. Things like engines are foreign mysteries to me and cost too much to bother with. Sails are also expensive to replace and masts and rig are a deal killer. Minor deck repairs are easy as is painting - but these are time consuming tasks.
Would I do it on a 30 foot plus boat? Not likely. Too much boat to fix. The simpler the boat to begin with the easier the project. If you want a cruising boat but cant afford more than a Catalina 27 dont even look at 30 footers - buy the catalina ....
Enjoy your C&C 24 - it is a great choice and a whole lot of boat for your money