We just sold our C&C 24 in October. She is a 1980 boat and had been in my family since 1983. My aunt and uncle first had her from 1983 to 2007. They sailed her all over the Rhode Island area and southern Mass. We kept her in Hingham, Mass. and sailed her all around Boston and up and down the coast. Here is the flicker
page I set up when selling our C&C.
The C&C is a great boat to learn on. The sailing system is extremely simple; main sheet comes down in the middle of the cockpit with no traveler, they typically have a Cunningham so main sail adjustments are limited to sheet, halyard, outhaul and Cunningham. One that has been updated well would have the halyards lead back to the cockpit (ours did not but it would have made a huge improvement), a roller furling for the headsail and backstay adjuster.
She is a very tough little boat and we had her out some days with winds blowing at 25-30 knots. Our concern on extremely windy days was being able to get back into the slip with the 6 hp motor. We never were at a point where we didn't trust the boat, just the motor and our sailing skills. With the fin keel, she was not that tender, relative to other boats her size.
The layout was good for day sailing, not so good for extended cruising. On a day sail, we would take up to four others, for a total of six. But were definitely more comfortable with a total of four plus our dog. (that is our dog, Summer, on the bow of our C&C in my profile picture)
The systems were relatively easy to access for regular maintenance. Some of the nuts and backing plates on the stanchions, cleats and winches were difficult to access. Specifically, the ones on the port stern quarter.
The boat does have some down sides. The biggest down side was the lack of a head. She has a portapotty under the veeberth. If you plan to sail with women, I highly suggest something with a fixed head.
For coastal cruising, she is a bit tight. The head room is less then 5 feet. Not a big deal on nice days but on rainy days or when drying to get dressed, it was a pain.
Also, she was short on storage space. This limited the time you could spend without having to hit a marina for more water and ice. The water tank was a two gallon poly tank attached to the hand pump sink. We didn't even bother filling it this last year, just carried a lot of bottled water.
The main sheet in the middle of the cockpit makes it difficult to add any type of sun shade for when sailing. Also, as my sailing skills progressed, I found myself wishing for a traveler help make better adjustments to the main. You could add a traveler in a couple of different ways. If you do buy a C&C 24 and want to add a traveler, I could let you know some of the ideas I had.
If the C&C 24 had a little more head room and a full head, we would likely still own her. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to get into sailing. If you plan is to try sailing and if you like it, move up to a bigger boat, this is a great choice. If you plan to stay with this boat for a long time, I would recommend looking at the C&C 25 or 27. The 25 is extremely similar but has a full head. A friend at our marina has one and loves it.
Good luck. Please let me know if you have any other questions on the C&C 24.