I owned the Grampian version of this boat in the early 1980's. Several companies built versions of these boats under different model names. Grampian called them Classic 22 and later for a very short time Grampian called them a C&C 22 (I worked at the 1965 boat show in the Grampain Booth on the Classic 22 and still have literature on the boat). I believe that the Blue Jacket was slightly lengthened as a part of an outboard motor well redesign. I believe Hinterhoeler also built a version (called a Niagara 23) for a very short time as well and that the Blue Jacket may be the Hinterhoeler tooling.
In a general sense I really liked this boat a lot. She sailed very well in a wide range of conditions, easily sailing to her PHRF rating.
Mine had a small cuddy cabin with two berths and a head. There had originally been a small galley unit in my boat but it had been removed by a previous owner. I also had a boom tent that was designed to be convertible to a cockpit awning.
The C&C 22's had a fractional rig
. I added a cascade style backstay adjuster which helped upwind. I also added a spinnacker. (My boat came with a wooden spin pole and I bought a used lightning spinnaker
, which worked well enough for me to do well in most races.) I also added reef points. These boats are a little narrow and a little tender and lack self-bailing cockpits, so I added the reef for single-handing in a building breeze. I beefed up the vang adding a cascade. I never really completely liked the somewhat antiquated mainsheet arrangement and had considered installing a cross cockpit traveler but sold the boat before I changed it.
The downsides of the design, most did not have self bailing cockpits which meant that you needed to keep a boom tent on them on the mooring and they needed to be bailed out. If you took a bad enough knockdown you can flood them. They are supposed to have flotation and bouyancy tanks but I can't tell you that these were adequate.
Some of these boats had outboard wells. I sailed on one of those a few time. It was not very well thought out. Besides the drag the lid was too low for a modern outboard to fit and be able to close the lid. The shape of the opening in the hull would bring water into the boat at speed, and also would preclude raising the motor when sailing. My boat had an outboard bracket, which did not work well in a chop but was a great set-up otherwise. I also had a long oar that I could rig
off of one of the winches
and row the boat around in light air.
Build quality was good for that era. The decks were cored in foam, the hardware was bronze (although the last ones had marininum). Bulkheads and flats were nicely tabbed for strength and there was quite a bit of internal structure for a boat of this era. They have cast iron keel which I had to fair and which was a bit of a pain, and also they had stainless steel keel bolts, which I would be suspicious of on a boat used in saltwater after all this time.
There was a minor issue where the deck molding met the seat moldings at the after end of the cuddy. I ended up reglassing this joint with epoxy
and cloth. It is not all that bad since the joint is maybe 18" long on each side and is so easily accessible.
My boat had a mahogany with chrome on bronze rub rail. Other versions had teak. Some had stainless steel or bronze rubstrakes as well. I ended up restoring the mahogany rail on my boat, which was in very rough shape and a so later owner replaced the rail with teak.
I can'ts ay that they were good or bad to swim off of. They have low freeboard (good) but not swim platform or ladder
. I had a goofy rope ladder
, which seemed to work okay, but not great. If I was really concerned about being able to swim off the boat, I would plan on building a nice wooden swim ladder
that you could rig
off the side of the cockpit.
While they do have fixed keels requiring a crane or travelift to put on trailer, they were very light (1750 lbs if I remember right) making them easy to tow.
If I had to summarize my feelings about these boats: They were great boats for their era which is why I bought one back in the 1980's. The boat treated me very well. But they are old boats now, and need to be checked very carefully. They also have some limitations in terms of the non-self-bailing cockpit and outboard motor well. I was offered one some years ago for nearly free that an owner had cut the cockpit sole out of planning to add a self-bailing cockpit. I liked the boat so much that throught long and hard before deciding that I already owned enough boats.