Century Cortez 270 - RunningStory by Andy Adams; photos by Peter Richardson.

Sleek and fast, this family cruiser has roots in narrow V hulls of ocean racers, but it handles better.

Cliff Cruickshank has been boating out of Dawson’s Marina in Keswick, Ontario, for most of his life. In ranging from a Greavette dispro (disappearing propeller) to  a 36 foot Pacemaker. Now he owns a 27 foot Century Cortez and he’s delighted.

Over the years boating has changed for the Cruickshank family, as it has for many others. Children grow up and begin lives of their own. No matter how much they like boating, they often prefer time on their own in the city to spending a weekend under the watchful eyes of parents at a marina.

When Cliff found himself in that position, he decided to try life without a boat. That was the winter of 1979. But one night, as the snow fell and his thoughts turned to the warmth of summer, boating withdrawal symptoms hit. Not surprisingly, Doug Dawson was able to alleviate the problem with a call to Bruce Brown of BMB Distributors, the Century distributor. Brown was able to promise a new Cortez 270 for Cruickshank to launch when the ice went out that spring.

Century Cortez 270 - CockpitThe Cortez was a compromise between what Cruickshank wanted and what was now realistic for his family. He needed a boat that he and his wife could dock in a storm when their crew was elsewhere, but also a boat big enough for family cruising when the urge struck. The Cortez has the kind of big boat comfort the Cruickshanks are used to and a turn of speed that gets them from the marina to Big Bay Point in less than an hour. 

One thing they hadn't expected was fuel economy. During our test late last season, Cruickshank still hadn't filled the tank often enough to have accurate figures, but he thinks he gets three miles per gallon cruising, possibly a little more. With 60 gallons of fuel and 13 of water , the boat weighs 5,400 lbs, a weight the Mercruiser will push very economically.

Like many of Century's boats, the Cortez is a Jim Wynn - designed deep V hull on a trailerable eight-foot beam. It has a 27-foot centreline and is very deep, even in the aft cockpit. The hull-to-deck join is well down the hull side and the deck rises directly from the join without any walk around space. This is almost a necessity on an eight-foot beam, but dockside handling of a 27-footer requires easy access to the bow and the only safe bow access on the Cortez is inconveniently through a deck hatch.

Century Cortez 270 - Swim PlatformThere 's a minimum depth of two feet in the cockpit and you can't step out except right aft by the transom. A lovely teak taffrail adds to the problem. But a teak swim platform with a stainless steel boarding ladder should make swimming from the Cortez easy.

The foredeck is large and grand for tanning as long as the boat 's moored. Climbing in and out of the two deck hatches is not easy for anyone but kids and the bow rail is not high enough to offer any real protection from a dunking unless you're lying down. There's an anchor locker with ample room for a length of rode and a big hook, but the boat isn't equipped with a roller or bowsprit. With the low bow rail, it'll be difficult to get the anchor in without swinging it against the hull side.

That would be a pity, because Century spends a lot of time setting out beautiful colour combinations to grace the sleek glass work on their boats. Cliff’s Cortez was a tan colour with a navy blue feature sheer stripe and deep red waterline accent stripe. Scratches will show up white against the coloured hull and they're difficult to touch up. Another impediment to hauling in an anchor is the remote controlled spotlight mounted at the bow.

Century doesn't have much choice about where to position the light. The windshield is so steeply raked and lies so far aft that positioning the spot anywhere else would likely blind the driver with reflection. It could go on the bow rail peak but there's no room for the remote control unit and exposed wiring is prone to shorts. The answer is a rubber coated anchor - but does anyone make one?

Century Cortez 270 - ForedeckTwo tinted glass hatches by Taylor adorn the deck. They're well made, seal nicely and allow plenty of light into the cabin. It might be a thought to have metal guards over them if you can 't find that rubber coated anchor.

The sharply raked windshield throws breezes up over the cockpit quite nicely at most speeds. The helm position gives a secure feeling and two adjustable bucket seats are comfortable. The cockpit has teak strip flooring and measures 76 inches wide by about eight feet six inches long. Century includes two brilliantly designed armchair seats for the aft corners (I'll get to them later) and there's still room for two people to stand comfortably.

The view forward over the very long foredeck gives the impression of a far larger boat. The ride and handling reinforce the feeling. The eight-foot beam and deep V bottom tame rough weather easily, and the cockpit is positioned low and far enough aft that uncomfortable ride motions and rolling are quite subdued. The Cortez is clearly styled after the ocean racers of Cigarette, Donzi and Magnum with refinements for more everyday use.

Where the ocean racers fall down is in handling. Their narrow beam and great dead-rise make wide turns the rule; these boats heel right over for even a gentle helm correction. The Cortez only heels over to modest angles and will carve a high speed turn as well as any 27-footer I've been in. There's some cavitation but it's not excessive; you can expect more with twin engines.

Century Cortez 270 - armchairsCruickshank's Cortez has a single Mercruiser 260 stern drive and it's well suited to his uses. The engine is smooth and winds out to a quiet 4,500 rpm for atop speed of 36 mph at a running angle of 0 degrees. A cruising speed of 3,000 rpm works out to a brisk 24 mph for fuel economy, but the boat's running angle of four degrees at this speed needs a bit of tab to get the bow down.

The trim tabs fitted to this Cortez have a joy stick control instead of separate buttons. I find them awkward and far more confusing to use than buttons, but Cruickshank swears by them and it’s his boat. The gauges - trim, volts, fuel, temp, oil, tach and speed - are under a dark plexiglass weather guard cover. All switches are clearly marked and ganged with their respective fuses. The helm position is quite comfortable and the swivel seats adjust for reach and height. Opening side vents on the skiff windshield are a desirable feature.

With no hardtop or cabin to hide in, the Century is really a fair weather boat. The convertible top is very handsome and includes good quality zippers and fittings, but it's necessarily a low one and there 's no standing room under it by the helm. The camper-type back allows the aft cockpit to be used for sleeping in mild weather.

The cabin is about what you'd expect in a boat that's as sleek and low as the Cortez. Maximum headroom is six feet and much of the cabin has less. The minimum height measured was just SS inches; the head has a sitting height only of 66 inches. Amenities are present, though - a Potpourri 707 toilet, sink, hand-held shower, mirror and vanity with hanging space under. Unfortunately, the head has no window.

Century Cortez 270 - seating areaThe dinette has two facing settees. The bow V berth measures six feet two inches maximum length by 60 inches wide. But it's not claustrophobic , thanks to the two deck hatches and fair headroom. There's also ample side storage and storage under.

The galley lies near the cockpit bulkhead on the port side. It has six-foot headroom and an opening panel in the bulkhead provides lots of light and ventilation. Galley equipment includes a two-burner Kenyon alcohol stove, 12/ 120 volt Amfridge, single stainless steel sink, sliding cupboards and teak sea rails to keep dinner off the cockpit sole.

The Cruickshanks rarely spend the night aboard so accommodations are almost superfluous. But for owners who want to do some distance cruising, the accommodations are comfortable for two people. Adding guests is not difficult because of the clever armchair idea mentioned earlier. Each chair is a single seat made up of wraparound backrest and three-section seat cushion held by belts. By unclipping the belts , the three sections pull out to be comfortable single berths that can be positioned anywhere you wish.

Century Cortez 270 - Refreshments areaThoughtful features abound on the Cortez. Teak sea rails on the dash top hold drinks, charts or gear, and the whole area is finished in non-reflective black to minimize glare inside the windshield at night. Switches ganged with fuses, opening windshield vents for defogging, and cleverly placed teak handholds are all marks of a well designed and carefully built boat. For the kind of boating Cliff Cruickshank and his family now does, the Century Cortez makes a lot of sense.

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's March 1981 issue.

 

Specifications:

Length - 27 ft

Weight - 5,400 labs

Century Cortez 270 - CabinWater Capacity - 13 gal

Fuel Capacity - 60 gal

 

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - Running

Photo 2 -  Comfortable seats and a well-laid out, fully instrumented dish (with trim controls and gauge) are part of the thoughtfully designed cockpit.

Photo 3 - The small ladder attached to the swim platform makes boarding safe and easy.

Photo 4 - Twin hatches provide cabin ventilation and the only access to the foredeck.

Photo 5 & 6 - Ingenious armchairs unbuckle to become movable beds. allowing two to sleep on deck in comfort during a summer cruise.

Century Cortex 270 - BerthPhoto 7 - Refreshments area

Photo 8 - Maximum headroom is six feet; much of the cabin is lower.

Photo 9 - Standard V berth in bow and facing settees in dinette complete the accommodations.

Photo 10 - Below decks, head, sink. hand shower and vanity with hanging storage are situated underneath the helm position.

 

 

 

 

 

Century Cortez 270 - Head

Destinations

  • Prev
Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...
Chartering in the Caribbean conjures up images of turquoise sea, palm fringed beaches and great ...
Since anyone who opens an independent bookstore is at least as brave as a small boat shop owner, I ...
You’re on your way east to the 1000 Islands or the Trent-Severn. By entering north of Prince ...
I have lived in Ontario my whole life but have only recently had the pleasure of visiting the City ...
My trip to the Northwest Passage started long before I boarded the flight to Kangerlussaq with ...
During the summer of 2016, my wife and I cruised through the North Channel in Lake Huron on our ...
It’s like we’ve waved a magic wand and disappeared into a picture perfect painting, our ...
The Schooner Cove Yacht Club is situated between Nanaimo and Parksville, on the east coast of ...

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

 By Catherine Dook

“So you’re going offshore to Genoa Bay,” said an old salt at coffee that morning. Genoa Bay was 15 minutes away from our homeport of Cowichan Bay and hardly counted as offshore, but it was our first destination that fall. The fog had socked us in all that morning, so John and I drank coffee and gossiped with the neighbours while waiting for the weather to lift. We’d provisioned with cans of chilli, a sack of apples, and tanks full of water. We’d tested the engine and the anchor winch. We were ready.

Read More of Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay.....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to ...
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
Recently we celebrated our country’s 150th anniversary, and in true form thousands of ...
   We left off Part 1 at the year 1914, and will here pick it back up, running through ...
This week’s POTW comes from across the pond. Who knew we had a European audience   ...
Here is our boat anchored at Hockey Stick Bay. We live in a beautiful country.     ...
Michelle Jacques of Cambridge ON share this memory of her adorable pooch. “This is Frodo. ...
  Our 150 year history began in 1867, but Canada was no stranger to watercraft prior to our ...

 By: Katherine Stone

Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) has its fair share of both. Although no one has seen any apparitions, a former club restaurant manager swore she could feel a presence whenever she went down to the cellar to get supplies.

Shift back to the beginnings of an area known as Beaurepaire. The first land concession on Lake Saint Louis at Pointe Beaurepaire was obtained from the Sulpicians by Jean Guénet in 1678. 

Read More about the Beaconsfield Yacht Club....

 

 

 

A Trip To Iconic Italian Yachtbuilder Riva And Lake Como

Riva And Lake ComoStory And Photos By Iain Macmillan

Eyes turn and conversations on shore pause as one boat in particular approaches the Grand Hotel Serbelloni’s jetty that extends out into the sparkling blue waters of Lake Como off Bellagio, northern Italy. It’s not because the Clooneys, George Lucas or Richard Branson are on board, not this time anyway, the attention is on the boat itself. The world’s most valuable, most magnificent mahogany launch, a classic 1960s Riva Aquarama, is paired appropriately with Como’s most prestigious hotel, its Michelin star dining room and suites that have housed royalty; a perfect mix of pleasure, luxury and a distinguished history.

Read more about Riva and Lake Como....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...
Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...
  There is a good deal of hesitancy and lack of understanding as to whether an iPad can ...
‘Top dead centre’ is the position of the wheel that allows you to steer your boat ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
With all the devastation in the eastern Caribbean a natural question to ask is ‘is our boat in that ...
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...
A milestone has been reached. The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure ...
  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...
Erik Pawson Of Watertight Boatworks here in North Vancouver, BC, is really passionate about the ...
Hydro Clean Hull Wash is Canada's first automatic, mechanical hull wash system and the company has ...
For 2017 there were a total of 31 events planned and 2 were cancelled for a total of 29 events. All ...
When Terry Conrad, of Conrad Marine, offered me ride in a brand-new Sea Fox 288 Commander that he ...
EMCS Industries Ltd. has a unique antifouling system that’s quite clever and incredibly ...