Oct 12, 2017

George CuthbertsonGeorge H. Cuthbertson, aged 88, passed away on October 3rd at his home in Toronto, Canada. Cuthbertson was one of the original four founders of C&C Yachts, a Canadian yacht builder that dominated North American sailing in the 1970s and early ‘80s.

His was the first “C” in C&C, with his design associate George Cassian, being the second. Cuthbertson would go on to be president of that company for many years, establishing plants in Rhode Island and Kiel, Germany, boat production in England and Italy, in addition to their existing Production Plant in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, and Custom Shop in Oakville, ON.

Cuthbertson designs would also be built by Dirk Kneulman of Ontario Yachts in Oakville even after the creation of C&C Yachts, and prior to that by Whitby Boatworks, Capital Yachts, Paceship Yachts, and Mirage Yachts.

He came to the presidency after an exceptionally successful design career starting immediately after graduation from the University of Toronto in 1950. George was instrumental in selecting and optimizing the 8-Metre Venture II to challenge for and win the Canada’s Cup in 1954.

Red Jacket

George then went on to design the 54’ CCA racing yawl Inishfree for Norm Walsh in 1955, a commission which established Cuthbertson’s Canadian Northern company as primary a yacht design company that also imported CN-35 steel yawls from Germany.
Early owners of CN-35s included Ian Morch who would go on to establish Belleville Marine in the 1960s to build the Cuthbertson designed fiberglass keel centerboarders Corvette and Frigate. Belleville Marine would become a founding member of C&C Yachts. Another early CN-35 owner was Perry Connolly who would go on to commission the design and building of Red Jacket.

In 1961 he took George Cassian into the company, and established the design firm of Cuthbertson & Cassian, which designed a number of successful steel, and strip planked wooden boats for Great Lakes and East Coast customers.

These boats included Galatia for Tony Ronza, Sr., Vanadis for Payson Mathew, Laura for Doug Hood, Courtesan for John Young of Shelter Island, NY, Inferno I for Jim McHugh, La Mouette and Thermopylae for Gordon Fisher, and the little motorsailorPipe Dream for Sonny Slemin.

However, their breakthrough project was the 40’ “mean and hungry” composite offshore racer Red Jacket, designed for Perry Connolly in 1966. Red Jacket, built by Erich Bruckmann, was the first fully cored hull in North America. She would win her division in the 1967 SORC and return to win SORC overall in 1968, the first non-American boat to do so.

red-jacket-400.jpg caption: Red Jacket was a pioneer and helped establish C&C’s reputation

That victory was quickly followed by a successful defence of the Canada’s Cup with Manitou in 1969. This racing success resulted in the formation of C&C Yachts in the same year with the amalgamation of the design firm and the three builders producing Cuthbertson & Cassian designs.

The C&C designs that came off George’s drawing board in the early 70s for production building at the Niagara-on-the-Lake plant of George Hinterhoeller are legendary and include the C&C 25, 27, 30, 35, and 39. The Custom Shop under Erich Bruckmann built such Cuthbertson & Cassian designed classics as the Redline 41, C&C 43, C&C 50, and the remarkable C&C 61. The Redline 41 Condor would follow Red Jacket’s lead and win SORC overall in 1971.

The custom yachts that came off George’s board in this time period further consolidated Cuthbertson’s and C&C’s reputation on the race course under the CCA rule, and included the 53’ Inferno II for Jim McHugh, the 54’ Bonaventure for Bernie Herman, True North for the 1969 Canada’s Cup, and Mirage and Merrythought for the unsuccessful 1971 defence of Canada’s Cup, both of which would go on to achieve great offshore racing success under Gerry Moog and Jack King.

The high water mark of Cuthbertson’s design career was the 1971 SORC where Cuthbertson & Cassian designed boats not only won overall, but also won three of the five divisions. A truly remarkable feat, which has never been achieved by another designer.
After the introduction of the IOR Rule in the early 1970s, the sailing world changed dramatically with the rise of a whole new cohort of young designers. This, combined with the increased demands of running what was becoming a large multi-national public company answerable to a Board of Directors, led Cuthbertson to hand the design responsibilities to Rob Ball, and in 1973 George took on the position of President, a position he held until an outside acquisition of the company in late 1981.

In 1982, Cuthbertson left the company he created to relaunch his design career with a new company, Motion Designs, producing drawings for Ontario Yachts and other local Ontario builders. By the mid-80s, though, the boating market, especially the sailboat market, was in steep decline and the heady days of the late 1960s were long gone.

George became the official historian of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and for many years sat on the Board of Directors of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, to which he donated the majority of his papers and drawings.

It is difficult to say that without George Cuthbertson there would not have been a fiberglass sailboat industry in Canada, but with George it a truly was a Canadian industry with Canadian builders producing Canadian designed boats which would dominate the Racer/Cruiser dual purpose boat market for many years.

George was the last surviving member of the original founders of C&C, being predeceased by George Cassian, Ian Morch, George Hinterhoeller, and Erich Bruckmann. Remarkably, Perry Connolly of Red Jacket fame, died just five days before Cuthbertson.
George’s passing truly marks the end of an era in yacht design. He is survived by Helen, his wife and life partner of 58 years, children Michael, Jill, and JohnKelly, and five grandchildren. In all respects, a remarkable legacy. George H. Cuthbertson was inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2014.

– Rob Mazza
Rob Mazza, naval architect and structural engineer, developed his experience as a long time key designer at C&C

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...
Last January we ran a short piece on the motor boat A Great Story which had been restored by the ...
The Moorings has just announced the launch of its newest Caribbean destination, Antigua. 
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 ...

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Rossiter is a Canadian builder in Markdale, Ontario that builds a nice fleet of rowboats and small ...
Welcome to Photo of the Week 2018. If you are not familiar with this wonderful feature (What???!!!) ...
Living the dream! Longtime CY staffer and now blogger Lynn Lortie with her husband Pat left Midland ...
For our last Photo of the Week in 2017, I have picked some nice shots we received – one from the ...
Your boat is tucked away for the winter, but there may still be a few un-invited guests.
In the world of yachting, it is increasingly becoming the case that Canada is no longer the small ...
Ho-ho-ho. Our Photo of the week comes from Sunday’s Santa Parade. Clowning around was Paul ...
This Photo of the Week sequence from Chris Chahley and Kathy Coyle explains the whole boat thing. ...
The off season is suddenly upon us. Yikes! We need your photos more than ever to keep us thinking ...
One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
Once again, the designers at Jeanneau have outdone themselves with the innovative new Leader 10.5 ...
The introduction of X-Yachts’Xc range in 2008 has proven itself to be something of a game changer ...
Hull #1 ZINNIA, the all-new, twin outboard MJM 35z left Boston BoatWorks on July 5 for Newport and ...
Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching ...
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...

 

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50By: John Armstrong and Andy Adams
Photos: Cruisers Yachts Inc.

Almost a decade ago, Cruisers Yachts Inc., launched an entire line of express cruisers called “Cantius” (named after company owner KC Stock’s grandfather) that began with the 48Cantius then came the 54, the 60 and now the Cantius 50. In the fall of 2017, we will be at the debut of the 42 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale International boat show.

These designs have a strong family resemblance withhandsome and distinctive linesand with a design philosophy that you could say, pioneered the new version of the express cruiser. 

Read more of new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50.....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...
 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 ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sirius Signal held a product information session for interested parties prior to demonstrating ...
Safety at Sea Courses, in my opinion are a must for all offshore racers. I would also recommend the ...
Just 10 shopping days to Christmas, so what to get for the boater who has everything? How about a ...
On board many pleasurecraft, only the compass is more neglected and taken for granted than the VHF ...
I am fortunate to have the ability to work from just about anywhere. A cellular signal and a Wi-Fi ...
Out here on the West Coast with boats in the water year-round, there is one constant activity and ...
As I sit looking out my window at the snow that is slowly piling up it is easy to be downtrodden by ...
In the last edition of this column we took a close look at iRegatta and the advantages it can bring ...
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 ...