Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » C - Boats starting with 'C' » ComPac

    Next Product
ComPac 16
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 31603 Tue March 2, 2010
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0

Description: ComPac 16
Keywords: ComPac 16



Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Sat December 21, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


Now here's an easy one, the Compac 16 is a sloop rigged daysailer
that has a very appealing traditional look. The boat is of superior
construction with a very decent lay up of fiberglass and an
above average gelcoat finish. The design of the boat is a
shallow keel ballast inside of the fiberglass keel, no keel
bolts a nice arrangement like the Cape Dory Typhoon. The rig
is a fractional one with modest sail area. The boat is sold
to buyers who's priorities are trailerability before sailability.
The boat trailers a lot better than it sails. Going to windward
is very difficult with very little headway. Now here is the
good news. Compac has gone a long way to fix the problems in
their new 16s to include dropping the fractional rig to give
a larger headsail, (definitely buy the 150 genoa) and here is
the big fix, the addition of a centerboard. I would not buy
the boat without these two big improvements.
The Compac company has been around for a long time and I
belive that it is a far superior company to most others, with
the additions of new sail plan and centerboard, I think you would
have a nice small, small, small, daysailor that looks like a
proper yacht, whatever that is. It is easy to trailer with a
small car, I used a VW Golf diesel, woefully underpowered, and did
fine, for short distances. This boat will seat four friendly
adults, hold your lunch and beverages and mine almost went to
windward once. You need no more than a 4hp, and can have a blast
on the boat, can easily mussel the boat if get in trouble, or
run aground, which would be hard unless you have no idea where
you are, in which case running aground may be a welcome rescue.
Don't assume that because the boat has a nautical look it is a
bluewater mini crusier, its a daysailor with a puptent cabin
no romance on board this baby unless your use to getting romantic
in a VW. Go for a sail, have lunch, have the beverage of your
choice, see the sights and call it a day when the sun starts to
drop. Enjoy.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  


Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Fri June 6, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


I bought my Compac-16 with the intention of using her as a camp-on-the-water boat. My wife and I had been doing that on a previous boat, and I wanted a boat that had better use of space and no swing keel. So far so good.
As it turned out, kids started arriving, and we never did get to exotic locales on her, but we did have a lot of fun. Here are a few comments about the boat.

The Com-Pac 16 is a 16 foot, shoal keel, traditional little cruiser. She has a fairly heavy keel (a few hundred pounds of lead) formed as part of the hull. This keel is central to most of the boat's strengths and weaknesses. She carries a conventional sloop rig, and to sail well really needs a 150 genoa and the optional genoa tracks mounted on the coaming. The gear, spars, and rigging are of good quality. The optional boom vang is also a useful addition, since older models used end-boom sheeting (to the transom coaming.) The rudder is aluminum plate, the pintles/ gudgeon/rudder carrier thing is cast aluminum, and the tiller is a beautiful laminated hardwood. The motor mount is very strong and the stern is nicely reinforced to carry it. We also had a boarding ladder on the starboard transom, which IMHO is a requirement for safety on any small boat.

The cabin is small, having reasonable berths for two to lay down with their legs mostly under the cockpit benches, an open shelf for storage of gear, and a forward storage compartment separated by a semi-bulkhead. The portable head slides under the companionway hatch (convenient), the battery lives forward of the semi-bulkhead (inconvenient) and there really isn't a prescribed place for a cooler, except on the gear shelf, where one can be stowed pretty conveniently. The interior finish of the cabin is excellent, and even though it is small, a couple of people camping could get quite comfortable in it.

The cockpit is remarkable for a cabin boat of this size; the benches are 6'11" long, and it is easy to create a filler board to make the cockpit into a huge bed with an inflatable air mattress. (Or even bring the berth cushions out; just don't get them wet.) The cockpit is comfortable and reasonably spacious. On older models there is a handy lazarette locker, which has been replaced by a ventilated gas storage area and some inspection ports. (IMHO, the latter arrangement is much less handy; the locker was very useful but the manufacturer says people were putting gas cans in there and they didn't want to see accidents happen...)

Strengths of the boat: She's very easy to launch and sail, and makes a great daysailer for a surprising number of people. We used to sail with several adults and three or four kids on board, and had a great time. The cabin gave the kids a place to lie down, change, and use the portable head. Rigging is not a problem (20 minutes or so) and neither is trailering; we used a Toyota Celica and a minivan...) The boat seems very strong, and likely to weather crises at sea well. With proper planning, she can be used for some reasonable (i.e. 1 week) cruises for a couple of people and be quite comfortable. The boat is very satisfying to own. She generally feels like a boat with quality construction, and generally performs nicely. She's pleasant to sail, handles people walking around on it well, and gets a lot of comments from people admiring her properly nautical appearance.

Weaknesses: Most criticisms of this boat are really complaints about the size class: not much room in the cabin, you have to be clever about storing gear, etc. That comes with the territory. The other major complaint with the boat that comes up from time to time is lack of performance to windward. I have found that with care in setting sail (use telltales...) and reasonable expectations, I could make decent progress to windward. She won't point like a race boat, but she'll get you there. Recent models have a centerboard, which is a nice addition, but I did just fine without.

One more complaint we had was with the accumulation of moisture in the keel and the lack of any organized way to get the water out of there (i.e. no sump pump). It wasn't until I traded the boat in for a Com-Pac 19 (so we could sleep our kids on it overnight...) that I got a peek inside the keel and found out that it would have been simple to cut an access hole approximately under the companionway to use for a portable water pump. Alternatively, it might have been possible to remove more water via the lazarette; tilting the bow _waay_ up move most of the water to the stern and was easy to remove... Note that this wasn't a major problem, just one of those little things. I had to remove water in the spring after snowy winter outdoor storage, but afterwards had no problem for the remainder of the season, either on the trailer (3 seasons) or at the dock (2 seasons).

Overall satisfaction: We got a lot of value from this boat; she sailed well and took us all over the place. We had a lot of fun on her, and if we hadn't added all these extra little crew members, I'd be sailing her still. However...

If I had it to do over again, I would have (and this is on a 1987 model) done the following:

1. Installed the lifelines immediately, instead of three years later. They were very nice, made the boat seem much bigger and more useful, helped in using the boarding ladder (with the stern rails) and generally made it safer to have kids on board. They cost a few hundred dollars from Hutchins, including very nice stern rails.

2. Always made sure I stored the boat with the bow elevated somewhat to make sure rain water wouldn't cross the companionway hatch lip. Ooops. Big mess to clean up.

3. Made more use of the bow anchor roller.

4. Installed roller furling from CDI. Going forward, especially with all the kids on board, was always a pain. (As opposed to _being forward_. which was quite comfortable...)

5. Maybe installed a hatch in the foredeck instead of dorade ventilator it came with. But then again, we didn't spend a _lot_ of time in the cabin, so I'm not sure it would have mattered much.

6. Put some teak handrails on the cabintop, as is done to the C16 on the cover of Robert Burgess' latest book, "The Handbook of Trailer Sailing" (which is mandatory reading for any Com-Pac sailor; get the first edition, too, if you can find it.)

Generally speaking, she is a nice craft with a lot of fun in her. I sailed mine for five years and traded her in for a very good price for the closest thing I could find that was a little bit bigger. You can't ask for much more than that!

Also, be sure to check out the Com-Pac owner's Web site (use your favorite search engine) for more Com-Pac information!

This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Junior Member

Registered: August 2009
Location: Longmeadow< MA
Review Date: Tue March 2, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: What I would Do If I owned Another 16
Cons: None

Excellent article for a new owner of an '80 Com Pac 16
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  

Powered by: Reviewpost vB3 Enhanced
Copyright 2010 All Enthusiast, Inc.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome