C&C 38 vs CS 36 Merlin - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-31-2010 Thread Starter
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C&C 38 vs CS 36 Merlin

Same year model. 1988. How do they compare?
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-31-2010 Thread Starter
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Anyone? I know I can look up the performance differences, but was wondering about thngs such as build quality, durability, any inherent issues, etc.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-31-2010
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I've sailed the C&C 38 of that vintage.. solid feeling, brawny boat but it has some pretty extreme IOR influence in the hull shapes. To my uneducated eye the CS 36 Merlin seems a more clean-lined shape, not as tailored to any rule.

I know two CS Merlin owners - both very happy with their boats though one is reluctantly up for sale.

T'were it me shopping I'd probably favour the CS - unless there's a big money difference.

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post #4 of 26 Old 03-31-2010 Thread Starter
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I've sailed the C&C 38 of that vintage.. solid feeling, brawny boat but it has some pretty extreme IOR influence in the hull shapes. To my uneducated eye the CS 36 Merlin seems a more clean-lined shape, not as tailored to any rule.

I know two CS Merlin owners - both very happy with their boats though one is reluctantly up for sale.

T'were it me shopping I'd probably favour the CS - unless there's a big money difference.
Actually the CS is $10k cheaper, but 800 miles away. :/
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-01-2010
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Is it a C&C 38 or a C&C 38 Landfall...the boats aren't the same thing. For one, the galley is to starboard on the C&C 38, and to port on the Landfall.

I've sailed on a C&C 38 a fair bit, and happen to like the boat a lot. Handles fairly well, maneuvers well under power and sail, etc. Draft is an issue with it, since it draws 6' or so, but not a deal killer, depending on where you're going to be sailing.

The CS boats generally had very good build quality. I don't know the Merlin though... so can't comment on her specifically.

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post #6 of 26 Old 04-01-2010 Thread Starter
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Is it a C&C 38 or a C&C 38 Landfall...the boats aren't the same thing. For one, the galley is to starboard on the C&C 38, and to port on the Landfall.

I've sailed on a C&C 38 a fair bit, and happen to like the boat a lot. Handles fairly well, maneuvers well under power and sail, etc. Draft is an issue with it, since it draws 6' or so, but not a deal killer, depending on where you're going to be sailing.

The CS boats generally had very good build quality. I don't know the Merlin though... so can't comment on her specifically.
Its a C&C 38 MK III, not a landfall. Its the same boat I've been looking at for months. There's a CS in Florida that looks extremely similar. I've looked at a CS 33 here, and was very impressed.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-01-2010
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I may be biased (I own a 88 Merlin and have had it since 1988). Great boat. Go for the Merlin.

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post #8 of 26 Old 04-01-2010
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Both C&C, at the time, and CS were high quality builders with decent construction techniques and materials. If it is a C&C 38 Mk III, I believe it's got rod rigging, unless it was replaced, and is probably overdue for new standing rigging. Rod rigging can be tricky to inspect and can fail without much warning, unlike wire rigging.

Both should be pretty good boats and fairly comparable in many ways. The C&C is going to be a bit faster, as it is a larger boat with a greater SA/D IIRC. It will also have a bit more room. I like the C&C 38 Mk III a lot as monohulls go...

How are the two boats equipped? How are the prices??

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post #9 of 26 Old 04-01-2010
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The C&C 38 has a balsa bottom (beware) and build quality was highly erratic. Unless its already been done you will have to rip out the entire AC system and start again.

The CS are by far the best built of the Canadian boats but the Merlin has a significant flaw, the liner can separate from the hull around the mast step. The first sign of this shift is in the cut outs under the seat at the starboard settee. If you see fractures in the liner running from the corners of these cut outs go look at another boat. CS almost always t'd the propane locker drain into a scupper line which is unsafe. The Merlin will likely also have solid core copper AC conductors.

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post #10 of 26 Old 04-01-2010
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I am a little biased as I have owned our C&C35 MKIII for 20 years and have found very few boats in its size range which are crossovers (racer/ cruisers) that can out sail it. It also Is comfortable for cruising and has superior joinery and is well thought out as Saildog has described.

The issue of the basa cored hull is really non issue, and btw not all C&C are cored. If it is one of the cored hull, check on its integrity. These cored hulls were made with sandwiched with very thick laminate and have very little problems over the years with water. Top decks is another story. The end grain basla core is what gave it strength and lightness and why the C&C 35 MKIII or C&C 38 MK III will be a turn faster than the CS Merlin in all points of sail Hence the 117 to 126 phrf ratings. The C&C jib tracks are further in closer to the coach roof therefore its pointing ability is better when close hauled than the CS. Another consideration is if the model has a k/c like mine does. If so it has more flexibility in where you can cruise it as well.

As far as the CS being the "best" Canadian Boat built, I would beg to differ with that analysis. I certainly do not put them above the C&C of that era. Both are good boats. There is a reason there are so many of these C&C still around...had the core been a problem that would not be the case.

As in buying any boat a good inspection and survey is the most important determining factor. I would go for a balsa cored DRY C&C before and boat not similarly cared for. Both are good boats. Get the one which was best taken care of and do not be scared off by the general brush strokes painted of the C&C cored boats by the one poster on here.

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