Seldom do boat reviewers have that good fortune—or the time—to experience a prolonged offshore test-sail over the course stretching from New York to the Virgin Islands. Indeed, sometimes the lack of such an opportunity may be a blessing. But in this case, my charge, a new C&C 44 named Some Nice (a Maritime expression), owned by Greogory Bohaker of Toronto, performed well, giving us a fast, carefree passage.In an area of the North Atlantic that offers diverse conditions at the best of times, particularly during the spring season, our route (turn right off Gibb’s Hill Light, Bermuda) was a challenging test of our yacht’s potential. Some Nice withstood the test. Except for the intervals of rail-side gyrations, my intrepid crew including the owner, also survived.I have sailed on most of C&C’s recent production yachts on the Great Lakes and offshore.
It was a blustery October afternoon when I went for a sail with Peter and Caroline Ross and their daughter Tracy, from the Oakville Yacht Squadron. We were sailing on Fritha, hull no. 245, built in 1974. I took over the helm as we motored out of the channel, while Peter and Tracy hoisted the full mainsail. Ross explained how it had been shortened by 10 inches so the boom could be raised to accommodate their large dodger. They rolled out the genoa, telling me how it was cut higher than the usual #2 to allow for better visibility.
When I first met Bruce Massey, the owner of the C&C 33 I was to test sail, he had just won PHRF Division I at the C&C Owners Regatta in Oakville, Ontario, in mid-July, finishing ahead of C&C 34s and 35s on elapsed time. He was one happy guy! I imagine most of us would have second thoughts about buying a design before it was fully established in our area, even from a proven design team such as C&C. This early performance convinced him that he had made an excellent choice and that the design was destined to be an outstanding one. The first boat was launched in August 1984 and by July this year hull 97 was being built.
With over 800 built, the C&C 30 Mk1 is, arguably, one of Canada's most successful racer/cruisers. Production began in 1973 and ceased in 1985 -- a 12-year period that represents the longest production run of any single design version in the history of C&C Yachts. Although more 27s were built, in excess of 1,000, over a similar 12-year production period, with four distinct design phases, the 27 underwent comparatively continual change in relation to the 30, having only the one design version.
The New C&C 29, White Hawk, is George Doing's first sailboat. Following 16 years of boating in small powerboats, a Northern 29, and most recently in the competitive Toronto Etchells 22 fleet, he decided it was time to launch his own campaign in the Lake Ontario MORC fleet. George wanted a club racer he could sail with his two boys, aged 9 and 11, and still cruise with the family. Both he and his wife, Katheryne, wanted more luxury than they had experienced during early years camping together. Having rejected several used boats (on the basis that if you're going to buy a used boat, it should be a bargain and there are no bargains around), they settled on the successor to the C&C 27: the new 29, which went into production last November.
The first of the new C&C 27s was launched this April , and we had the opportunity to take it out for a spin in mid-May. Along with the new C&C 29, introduced in 1982 (and reviewed in the November 1983 issue of Canadian Yachting), the C&C 27 represents the refurbishing of the smaller end of the line of C&C racer/cruisers. Although it measures 26 feet, six inches overall, the new boat is intended to replace the C&C 25. In describing its strategy, C&C Yachts says, "The new 27 is larger, much sleeker and more attractive, much more modern in design, and advanced in material and construction techniques, compared to the 25."
It must be a yacht designer’s nightmare to be commissioned to create a replacement for perhaps the most successful 50 footer ever manufactured, the Bruce Farr designed Beneteau 50, of which over 400 hulls were produced between 1996-2004. The French team at Groupe Finot took the challenge to heart having had several other designs selling well on the French builders line including the 323, 423 and 473. On a recent trip to France, we were lucky enough to not only sail the new 523 but we also had a terrific tour of two of the Beneteau production facilities there.
The Bayfield 36 favours old-time and modern conveniences which give this popular cruiser the well-earned title of a contemporaryclassic. Although Bayfield Boat Yard of Clinton, Ontario, builds sail boats that are traditional-looking, there is nothing outdated about the marketing finesse of this firm. Rather than compete with innumerable other sailboat builders, each offering a line of racer/cruisers, Bayfield has identified a unique market niche and stuck with it faithfully over the years -- long enough that in Canada the Bayfield name has become synonymous with clipper bows and trailboards. Paradoxically, the differences between the Bayfields and a majority of those other, more modern-looking cruisers are largely skin deep. Contemporary materials, construction methods and equipment are an integral part of the Bayfield formula.
In the early 1970s, most boat builders were developing fin-keeled racer/cruiser lines of production sailboats. Bayfield Boat Yard, in southeastern Lake Huron, bucked this trend by producing a line of long-keeled cruising boats. The distinctive shape of the Bayfield range of models designed by Ted Gozzard (with the exception of the Bayfield 36) was the clipper bow, wood trail boards with scroll work and, on some designs, additional wood trim and wood taff rails to give a traditional appearance.
The Bayfield 29 is a cruising yacht with traditional styling and design features. Hull shape and sail plan are oriented toward safe and stable handling in all conditions, rather than high performance. Although it can sleep up to five, in our view the Bayfield 29 is most suited to comfortable living aboard for a smaller complement. It might particularly appeal to the long-distance cruiser who often single-hand or sails with a minimum of crew. The Bayfield facilities in Clinton, Ontario, experienced a near disastrous fire last January that damaged or destroyed numerous molds for its product line. (In addition to the 29, Bayfield produces the 25, 32, 32C, 36 and 40.) Lost to the fire were the deck, liner and hatch molds for the 29. The losses have meant a costly and formidable retooling period for Bayfield, but the company is expecting to have its entire product line back in full production by midsummer.
Tom and Kathleen Kjaersgaard
When we (an Ontario couple) both raised sailing on the Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe, decided to pack up and move our lives and careers to Cochrane, Alberta (minutes West of Calgary) in 2013, our rationalization banter went a bit like this:
“OK, considering that it’s Alberta…not a boating paradise… let’s just embrace the change. Sell the boat (our much loved Olson 25) and then we’ll just move-on and pursue other hobbies. How about golfing more maybe? We’ve pretty much ignored golf for the last 15 years right? So we agree - we’ll replace the boating with golfing and who knows what other Alberta adventures on the weekends.”
As a semi-recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from New England’s historic waters, I was thrilled to learn that the boating season here in Seattle is much longer than it is back East, provided, of course, that your boat is up to the task. While our summer months here at 48 degrees north are characterized by massive high-pressure systems that park-up over the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, delivering bluebird days that are void of any real breeze, our fall, winter and spring months offer plenty of pressure...