Sailing Magazine Article Feb 2013

Sailing Magazine Article Feb 2013
Used Boat Notebook
This former racing machine
doubles as a short-term cruiser
t's easy finding C&C 32 owners willing
to wax enthusiastically about the boat's
ability on the club race course or its ease
of handling.
This popular masthead sloop continues to have a strong following, particularly
among sailors acquainted with the quality of
workmanship from Canadian designers and
builders George Cuthbertson and George
Cassian in the early 1980s. The pair originally launched their business in Ontario,
Canada, and they had a knack for designing boats with racy profiles and its trademark aluminum toerail. The company also
employed innovative use of cored laminates,
allowing them flexibility of hull shape.
When the C&C 32 was unveiled in 1980,
the modeJ was advertised as a racer-cmiser in
an effort to appeal to a growing demand for
family cruising boats. The original brochure
for the C&C 32 proclaimed "her creature
comforts disguise the drive of a winner."
The on-deck design incorporated a roomy
T-shaped cockpit and plenty of winches.
Available with fin keel or shoal-draft keel
with centerboard, the boat is ballasted with
lead and driven by a large furling foresail
paired with a smaller mainsail. The yacht
could be ordered with tiller or wheel steering.
A long, low cabintrunk with fi:xed portlights
added to the overall sleek profile. The deck
was white, gleaming and uncluttered-with
the exception of a small hatch forward and a
traveler bolted across the coach roof-so the
overall effect was that of a yacht meant to
slip through the waves without resistance.
F irst impressions
The C&C 32 looks like a racing machine
of a certain age, made for speed and having fun
on the racecourse. The clean lines, aluminum
toerail, short boom with small mainsail and
larger furling headsail together give off the
appearance of a competitive racer, yet a glance
below deck unveils a layout created for preparing meals, dining in comfort and sleeping six.
There's even a nav station, a little niche where
charts can be studied and courses plotted.
The key design compromise can be found
at the stern, where instead of the reversetransom found on race boats of that period,
the C&C 32's has a chopped-off appearance.
Potential buyers concerned about hull
delarnination can pretty much set their fears
aside with the C&C 32. I ts hull is a single
unit of molded, solid fiberglass, coupled
with a balsa deck sandwiched between layers
of handlaid mat-and-roving. The standing rigging is stainless Navtec solid rod,
and the toerail, mast and boom are made
from anodized aluminum. The sternhead is
LOA31'6", LWL 24'8", Beam
10'3"; Draft keel version 5'8";
Draft centerboard version 6'11"
board up 4'; Displacement 9,680
lbs; Ballast 3,900 lbs; Sail area
462 sq. ft.
By David Liscio
anodized aluminum and includes sculpted
mooring chocks. The mast is keel-stepped
for strength and increased safety.
What to look for
During the production run from 1980 to
1984, the C&C 32 had several construction
options. T he boat can1e with a standard fin
keel drawing nearly 6 feet or a shoal- draft
keel with centerboard. Make sure the centerboard raises and lowers without snagging.
Most C&C 32s were fitted with stainless
steel wheels. All connections from helm to
the rudder post should be inspected for wear.
Check the helm for sloppiness or excessive
play when underway.
Owners report few problems with the
C&C 32, except for the portlights. Check to
see these windows arc bedded and not about
to pop out if struck by a wave. The Barient
winches should tum smoothly if they have
been greased and properly maintained.
The C&C 32 features a short boom
with relatively small mainsail and a furling
150-percent headsail.A masthead sloop rises
44 feet, 8 inches off the deck. The stainless steel Navtec solid rod standing rigging
includes a split backstay.
The cockpit is large enough to seat six
plus the helmsman, its roominess made possible by the designers who chopped off the
stern, thereby gaining more cockpit space.
The helm features a removable crescentshaped cockpit seat.
Although C&C offered both wheel and
tiller steering, the majority of 32s were built
with wheel steering. The boom is controlled
by a traveler mounted atop the cabin. Solo
sailors complained it was difficult to reach
the traveler, prompting many to fashion
methods of leading the lines farther aft
through a series of blocks and cleats. Other
owners installed a rigid boom vang for additional sail control and shaping.
The foredeck hatch has been criticized
for providing too small an opening to pass
bulky sails.
Down below
General Market Price Data
1980 Rhode Island
1983 Florida
1981 Washington
24 February 2013
The layout below deck is considered
traditional with few surprises and lots of
headroom. Tom Anderson, who has been
racing his 1982 C&C 32 Nonpareil out of
C&C 32
SAILING's Value Guide
(5-sailboat rating system)
PRICE: Used C&C 32s are available in the U.S. with
an average price of $26,000. Prices are slightly
higher in Canada. 1•1J
DESIGN QUALITY: It was designed for both speed
. and comfort, which is always a trade-Off. The overall
lines are ciean. the accommodations belowdecks are
traditional. The cockpit is roomy. 1Ai.I
Marblehead, Massachusetts, for 16 seasons,
says the boat has exceeded his expectations.
"I bought the 32 because I had been racing a lot aboard a C&C 38. I'm pretty tall
and this was the first boat I looked at w here
I could stand up," he said.
At the bottom of the companionway
the pleasant, functional galley is to port. I t
features a single-basin deep sink and a toploading, double-cover, insulated icebox. The
sink drains easily since it sits over the centerline of the boat. There's a two-burner stove,
thoughtfully designed storage lockers 3.!)d
adequate counter space. Directly across from
the galley on the starboard side, a permanent
navigation station provides a suitable niche
for studying charts, plotting courses and
engaging in radio communications.
The dinette can seat four. Owners say
that the passageway leading to the V-berth
and the head is not blocked when the dinette
is in use. The dinette also converts to a
double bunk.
The boat sleeps six, with two on the
dinette, two in the V-berth and one each on
port and starboard quarter berths. According
to Mike Clow, who sails his 1980 C&C
32 Desire on Michigan's Lake St. Clair,
the quarter berths easily accommodate his
bulky, 6-foot 5-inch frame. Not so for the
dinette berth.
"Two people would have to be small and
damn friendly to sleep there," be said.
The C&C 32 isn't dank, dark and gloomy
down below, mostly due to generous portlighrs, a foredeck hatch and several air vents.
Only tl1e head takes a beating in die complaint department because it's small and
features no separate shower. The boat carries
30 gallons of fresh water.
The C&C 32 came with either a
30-horsepower Universal Atomic 4 gasoline
engine or a 15-horsepower Yanmar 2GM
diesel. Owners report few problems witli
either power plant, altliough die diesel is
expected to outlive its gasoline counterpart.
The layout below deck provides easy access
to the engine. The fuel tanks hold 20 gallons, so a long cruise would require carrying
additional fuel.
Owners have lots to say about how the
boat handles underway.
"I added a solid vang and a H arken traveler," Anderson said. "I sail witli the small
main and a huge 155-percent genoa. In light
air, you need it. At 17 knots, I put a reef in
die main and leave die furling headsail all
the way out."
Ken Letson, who sails his 1980 C&C 32
Bonnie-Va! out of Madeira Beach, Florida,
said die sloop's responsiveness compared to
his previous boat, a Morgan 32, was simply
amazing. "The C&C has nice lines, tight
handling and it's really fast," he said.
Clow, too, praised the boat's handling
abilities. "It performs best in light to moderate air. I've found you have to reduce sail
before some oilier boats," he said, noting
one of the vessel's shortcomings is die lack of
clearance between the bottom of the boom
and the traveler mounted atop the coachroof
All agree when sailing off the wind, the boat
becomes a rocket.
The C&C 32 is a graceful, seaworthy,
well-made racer-cruiser capable of maneuvering around the buoys during club races
or heading out of the harbor for short-range
cruising. Although it sports a racy profile,
the compact yacht is not without adequate
creature comforts below deck. Easy to sail,
it tends to attract loyal owners and hold its
market value.
CONSTRUCTION QUALITY: C&Cs are top.quality
1n terms of overall build. A beefy, single-molded
fiberglass hull is mated with a balsa-cored deck of
hand laid-up mat and roving. The C&C 32 is a rugged
boat and stands as an example of sound
boatbuilding. 11.lj
USER-FRIENDLINESS: O.vners appreciate the
standard furling headsail as it makes the boat easier
to balance. The small size of the head and its lack of a
separate shower bring on occasional grousing, as
does the forward deck hatch. which is too small for
passing through bulky sails. ! ! !
SAFETY: Designed as both club racer and short·
range cruiser. the C&C 32 is built solidly enough to
sustain a pounding sea. although perhaps not a
transoceanic voyage. Its keel-stepped mast gives the
overall build additional strength and seaworthiness
while reducing the boat's chances of dismasting. Due
to the weakness of the portlights. some owners fear
the glass might blow out in a thrashing sea. iii
TYPICAL CONDITION: Condition ranges widely,
from pristine with no structural problems to yachts
suffering from having been raced too hard, too often.
Boats currently for sale in the U.S. include those with
ongoing projects aboard such as repowering the
engine, rebedding portlights and installing wastewater
holding tanks with Y-valves, to turn-key vessels ready
to cast off the dock lines. .-.!1
REFITTING: The amount of refitting will depend on
the condition of ihe sandwich-construction deck. the
standing rigging and the engine. Most C&C 32s
portlights require replacement. The original traveler
atop the coachroof can be replaced with a
smoother-operating Harken model. j j j j
SUPPORT: Owners of C&C yachts gather online as
part of associations and in chat rooms. C&C 32
owner Tom Anderson has started a website for C&C
32 owners, ••
AVAILABILITY: C&C 32s are still plentiiul. with at
least a dozen on the market in the U.S. and many
more in Canada . .ljjj
value. for example. one owner bought his 1982 C&C
32 in 1996 for $25,000 and can put it on the market
today for the same price. 111.t
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