C&C 32: Opinions of seaworthiness? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-22-2009 Thread Starter
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C&C 32: Opinions of seaworthiness?

I would like to hear about the experiences that any of you (who have cruised or owned a C&C 32 (std keel)) have about this boat. I am specifically interested in the seaworthiness and seakindliness of the boat. At which wave size/period and wind speed would you start to feel out gunned? Assuming fully-upgraded and well maintained rigging, is the hull up to take a little beating? Does it handle well in confused seas? Of course, the boat is not the largest and would probably be a total loss in the northern Atlantic but ... assuming good planning and just a little bad luck where could this thing sail me?

The specific boat I will be sailing is a 1981 C&C 32' w/ the standard keel (disp 9680# and draft of 5'8").

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post #2 of 19 Old 10-22-2009 Thread Starter
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-23-2009
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Not sure where to start,

I have a 84 C&C 32 - race singlehanded in local can races. all my trips to date have all been within 200 miles of my mooring, (time limitations).

I typically have the first reef in at 20-25 knots, I have yet to put in the second. When I was replacing my sails I got heavier cloth than required for the size. A Furling head sail is a must, makes balancing the boat easier. I have been out where I had 8' of the head sail out, no main, sailing into the wind, any more and I would of been over the 15 degrees the admiral allows. Sailing is definitely smoother than Motoring into the wind. r.

I have been out in 35 -40 knot blows, 20-25 swells, and 6 foot chop. The boat is solid - it is a alway a question of balancing sail area to the wind and conditions present. Even with a Dodger I gotten totally doused at the helm beating in rough conditions. Though the hull speed is about 6.7 knots, I have hit 9.4 running down wind (surfing) during a race is some really nasty Crap.

Running with large quartering seas is always an uncomfortable course to be on. My auto pilot has difficulty with this and usually I resort to hand steering if I must take that course.

I would not take the boat to Bermuda, but I would go to Maine or NY easily from RI. The furthest I have made in a 22 hr day is ~150 miles, it was an amazing day of reaching.

PM me if you want specific information,




S/V "Fat-Kat"
C&C 32, Hull #237
Mt. Hope Bay
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-28-2009
Jerr - Shipwright, rigger
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Patrick, I'd take your boat anywhere! I've sailed a C&C 32 just on a daysail and had a friend who sailed his C&C in a hurricane (caught in a passage) for three days with no damage. They have one of the best reputations for seaworthiness and sound construction of any production boat. They're beautifully balanced and designed, as well. The new C&Cs are really wonderful and take advantage of many of the recent substantial design advances wile maintaining their focus on performance, seaworthiness, seakindliness and beauty. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of them. You'll get other responses from me if you'll only ask about boats that are flimsy and poorly designed. Seriously, though - C&Cs are wonderful boats and for their price, have an amazing level of craftsmanship. If further proof is needed, I only have repaired a few minor things on them, though I make major repairs and upgrades on Hunters constantly, even though Hunter owners don't sail as C&C owners do.

I'm a shipwright, rigger and professional sailor, in business as My Boat Works, in Los Angeles. I also make super quality, High-Definition instructional boating movies! I'm here to give my expertise to boaters, as I was helped. It's my pleasure to help you enjoy activities I love so. Cheers! - Jerr
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-01-2009
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Overall, the C&C line has traditionally been quite wholesome and well built. Recent ownership changes...are not the subject of your post. Not every design in the lineup has been stellar, however. Some, because of racing rules, have shapes and rigs that can make them squirrely downwind. A narrow bow for upwind work can lead to pitching in a seaway. Beamy versions may be designed for hefty crew to hold them flat. Others have had tiny mainsails and huge genoas, which can be a balancing problem for cruising. The C&C 32 doesn't seem to have too many of these issues, but from what I have heard (and this is hearsay, not my own experience) they have a hard time sailing to their PHRF ratings. There don't seem to be as many around as there are other designs, such as the C&C 35 I, II, and III, C&C 36, 38, 29, or 30. If the boat suits you though, as Jerr suggests, you could do a LOT worse.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-01-2009
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Great little boat...We have 180 boats in our sailing club mooring fields and the most seaworthy of the lots is a CC 32...
Coconut Grove Sailing Club

I would much rather take her across the Atlantic than 90% of the production boats made. Her balast to dispacement ratio is 45% which is excellent.

Perry Review - C&C 32

Properly rigged and handled I would not think twice about being out in a gale and she is more than capable of taking you anywhere between Newfounldand and Trinidad. A trip I have just made on my 55 ft blue water boat.

Good luck
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-10-2009
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I would argue that sometimes smaller boats are more seaworthy. Smaller areas of unsupported hull and deck, often smaller hatches and ports, stout rigs, ect. And having raced and cruised on C&C's since I was a child I have always liked them. We're heading half way around the world in our newport 41. It's a C&C design and that was one of the things that caused us to purchase it. I only wish there were more of them on the West coast. The 22 is a tough and fast little boat. With the right rigging modifications, a close examination of weak points for water to enter in a roll over, good sails, and the basic cruising gear I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to take it anywhere but extremely high latitudes.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-13-2009
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I bought a 1984 C&C 32 last February and have just completed my first season with her. The longest sail was from Sidney to Desolation Sound via the Strait of Georgia. We sailed through 6 to 9 ft waves with winds gusting from 20 to 30 knots and the boat handled it fine. Which is more than I can say for some of the crew. :-)

One of my crew was an advanced sailor with a lot of open water experience. His only concern about taking the boat into open water was the portlights. Since they don't have a metal frame he was concerned that they might be blown out if you were caught in a substantial blow.

One of your other responses says they took their C&C through a hurricane so I'm not sure how big of a concern this should be.

Anyway, I've sailed C&C's for years (29, 32, 34, 37) and they've all been a delight to sail. You've got a "real" sailboat there is the comment that I keep hearing and I have to say "I agree".


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post #9 of 19 Old 01-01-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great responses, guys!

I still haven't made it to the boat... I purchased it at the beginning of a "hiatus". I had a delivery captain take it from Little Creek, VA to Charleston, SC. From talking to him, it gave him an impressive ride.

He says he hit 15+ knots surfing in something like 9 foot conditions running on 25 knots. The rudder was steady and the hull was quiet (no vibrations at all). It sailed all of one day on jib alone in a stout wind on a broad reach and apparently balanced very well.

The word from him (Dave Block, great delivery captain) and his crew is that it was a great boat to sail, handled tough conditions beautifully, and astonished them on occasion.

The port lights are leaking. They were rebedded recently when I purchased it ... the boat has been keeping to itself for the last few months and apparently they are leaking profusely again. I am going to evaluate my options of moving to a framed port light and hopefully correct this weakness. I'll be getting to the boat in about a week. I'm very anxious to get started.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-30-2010
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Ahoy Matt.
Congrats on your C&C32. Great boat IMHO.
As you may have gathered by my name I have sailed & owned many C&C's. My first purchase (used) was a C&C-30 MK1 (not the Redwing model). I loved that boat. But Jeff H doesn't. Each will have their own opinions. Jeff isn't that keen on C&C's. Respectfully , I have spent more time behind the wheel/tiller of a C&C than he has. Yes some C&C's can have issues, especially if not well maintained. But what boat doesn't.

As per the C&C-32 : They made a few models including one with a centreboard and that is the one I owned for 5 years.
Perhaps you could provide with the year & model so I can respond accurately.

As for your portholes and water leaking. This is a common occurance and this can pose serious damage very quickly. I always recommend replace those crappy plastic junk and use metal ones. This will hurt your pocket book very fast! I will try and review my notes and comment further on that issue.

Cheers, Allan
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