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SebastienL 09-22-2009 09:03 PM

Dufour 325 vs. C & C 99

I'm currently comparing two boats and would like to gather opinions regarding their design and construction choices made. The two boats are the C & C 99 (link to specs) and the Dufour Grand'large 325 (pdf specs).

Beside general comments, I'd like to better understand the differences in choice of material for the decks. The C & C uses AL-600 treated Baltek (end grain balsa) while the Dufour uses PVC foam core sandwich. After spending the summer shopping for an older boat and witnessing the poor conditions of some old balsa-cored decks, PVC foam core would give me peace of mind... am I wrong? I've also noticed on the C & C the following feature: "Deck coring windows are located at all hardware installations to maintain the watertight integrity of the deck coring" How would that impact durability?

As for my use of the boat, it will be mostly weekends with occasional week-long cruises, mostly on Lake Champlain. I'd like a boat that allows me to dream of longer cruises but this probably won't happen until I gather much more experience (this would be a first boat).

Thanks in advance for the much appreciated info!


JimsCAL 09-23-2009 05:12 PM

Biggest difference is that the C&C is an epoxy hull. There has been some bad press about some of the larger epoxy hulls built by Tartan/C&C, but I have not heard anything regarding the 99. Also most of them have carbon fiber masts. Very high tech construction for a production boat. Personally I like the 99 and would chose it over the Dufour.

tommays 09-23-2009 05:27 PM

Water intrusion will damage ANY core materials bonding during the freeze and thaw cycle

Even as racer i find a carbon mast to be a BIG draw back as around here they have to be stepped ever season and there a nightmare to handle compared to aluminum because its so much easier to damage them

SebastienL 09-23-2009 11:13 PM

I've researched for earlier posts regarding the epoxy hull problems on Tartan/C&C. Opinions were strong on both sides, but from my point of view it would be very helpful to know what kind of issues I should be looking for when visiting a 2005 C&C 99. Please link a post if the facts have been exposed elsewhere.

Excuse my ignorance, but why do carbon mast need to be stepped down every year?

blt2ski 09-24-2009 01:53 AM

You are asking and apple vs orange question. The C&C is a racer that will cruise, the Dufour, will cruise fast, but not really designed per say to race. But you probably know the saying, if two sailboats are insight of ea other, one is racing the other! The Dufour will race, it is not setup as the C&C is, nor does the Dufour have any wins to my knowledge in the major race catagory like the 99 does. If you want to compare a Dufour model to the C&C, you need to look at the 34 or 34e models. Even then, the 99 is the better/faster boat per say. At least IMHO.

As far as the epoxy issue with C&C, the smaller boats, ala the 99, and the Tartan 3400 have not had the issues of the larger ones in the 37-40'range. The 3400 would be a better comparison to the Dufour 32. Others similar would be the Jeanneau SO32, or the Benetueau oceanus models in the 31-34' range too. Same with Jeanneau, ie the SO32 if you can find one, or the new 33i or 30i, altho the 30 might be a bit smaller. Neither of the last two you would find used.

As far as stepping and restepping. Maybe on the east coast where you have to haul in the winter, but here in the NW US, ie Puget sound, they are left on 24/7/365!

tommays 09-24-2009 05:55 AM

1.In my area most boats have to be moved to a storage area that requires mast steping

2.If you go down to the water front during a 60 knot winter storm and watch the masts that are up beating the crap out of the boats you will have a better idea

JimsCAL 09-24-2009 08:57 AM

I agree with Tommays that handling of a carbon fiber mast requires more care than an aluminum mast. However most boats in my area of Long Island Sound (only 15 miles from Northport) store with the mast up. Its a function of the yard requirements, nothing to do with the boat or mast

SebastienL 10-07-2009 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 525707)
You are asking and apple vs orange question. The C&C is a racer that will cruise, the Dufour, will cruise fast, but not really designed per say to race.

We are novices (we have the equivalent of the US basic keelboat certification) and are looking for a boat that will reward good trimming, provide responsiveness and at the same time allow 3 adults and a young kid to sleep over for the weekend. The C&C 99 seems to fit the bill. The Dufour 34E, the J/97 and the Sun Fast 3200 would provide better comparison but are just above our budget (mostly for lack of used boats for sale). Within our budget would be used Beneteau 10R, but we were concerned with headroom (5'11") and limitations from the deep keel (6'7").

Are there any other model we should consider? We would like to stay with new or near new (2005+) boats.

blt2ski 10-08-2009 12:34 AM

What budget do you have? I've seen used Bendy 36.7's in the 110-120K range. The C&C 110 I've seen in the 90-110K range for late 90s early 2000 fiberglass models, 02 or 03 the epoxy hulls started coming out. The 99's all have epoxy. I personally prefer the aft head floor plan of the 110/115 models vs the forward head of the 99, B 36.7/10r models.

Unfortunately and I am not sure why, in the 28-34' range, are not a lot of what I would call racer/crusiers to Cruiser/racers. Mostly "racers" ala mumm/Farr 30's, or performance cruisers like the Dufour, Bendy Oceanus, or Jeanneau's SO series. A few Jeanneau SF versions, basically a deep keep, tallmast SO in either 32 or 35' versions when looking older in the size you seem to be looking at. The new 33i has a Performance model, similar to the old SF vs a shorter mast SO model. There are only two keel versions of the 33i, so the P version used the deep vs the shoal keel. the 36i has a shoal 4.4 and deep 6' for the std versions, the P version has the 6 or 6.5' keel, might be 6.5 and 7', going on memory here.

As far as deep keel go......not sure about what I will assume is Great Lake sailing. For me in puget sound, 20' of draft is not a real issue for the most part! Not that I would want to be that deep mind you. but 7' would not be an issue.

In chicago, there is a Dehler 34, about 120K US. I wish it were closer. set up for FAST cruising, along with a set of race sails. Those are nice boats. Any Delphia's near you? nice boat for the money too. X-yacht might be a good one to look at too.

I do not know your budget, so that makes it tough to suggest......

Keep looking, something will show up!


mikehoyt 10-09-2009 03:11 PM


The C&C 99 is shallower draft at 5.5 feet than either the Beneteau 10R or the J97. I particularly love all three boats for what they offer. I think of the three the 99 is probably also the most affordable.

Our best friends have a 99 and I sail on it regularly. It definitely rewards good sail trim while at the same time not being overly fussy if the sails are a bit off. The boat sails well in coastal waters and the boat is very well rigged.

Their boat has provided zero problems. They are extremely happy with the fit and finish and other than the optional table which everyone regards as next to useless there has been nothing but good with this boat. We have slept 6 on the boat which is tight but with 3 adults and one child it would be great!

the aft cabin on the 99 might provide some problems if one is claustrophobic as the ceiling is quite low but it is suprisingly long and at 6'2" I have no feeling of a short bunk when I sleep on it.

The head has opening doors to the main cabin which is pretty useless and is a bit of a wiggle to get into head from forward cabin. Vee berth looks very comfortable but I never get to sleep in there.

The 99 is a great boat. You will enjoy it.

For me I would like to take the interior of the J97 and stuff it in the new J95. That would be something!


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