By John Kerr
When it comes to designing a boat that covers all the bases, designer Tim Jacket has hit a home run with the C&C 115. While it seems that every marketer out there claims their product as the ultimate “cruiser/racer”, this boat actually delivers, building on a stellar racing pedigree but creating a boat that complements a cruising lifestyle.
Our test boat is Hull Number Six, recently purchased from Swans Marina by Geoff and Angela Atkins. Geoff is an avid racer who wants a performance boat he can race, while his wife Angela wants a safe and comfortable boat with the amenities needed for a growing family during cruising. They are the ideal target market for this boat.
We instantly saw the fit.
The C&C 115 just finished third in its class at the recent Chicago to Mackinac Race with its PHRF rating of 72.
From a racing perspective the boat is clean, well-designed and crew-friendly, featuring a low profile toe rail. Racing on this boat would be painless. It even looks the part, with sleek or “slashstyle” portlights.
Right from the first turn on the helm I discover the high aspect carbon rudder with its 1:1 ratio makes it a dream to handle–perfect for both close-quarter racing and easy docking. You immediately get the sense that this rudder would be a big plus when “power reaching,” giving easy control in any wipe out situation. (Maybe I will take up Angela Atkins’ offer to race in order to test out this theory.) We also loved the big 60″ wheel.
Efficient and really quiet, the Yanmar sail drive pushed the boat effortlessly out to the lake. We were immediately impressed. We were also impressed when bringing her into dock: she handled beautifully when backed up to the berth.
Sails up, we pulled into a southwesterly breeze at about 10-12 knots and were up to speed at 7 knots in no time. She handled all conditions with ease– actually a term that could aptly describe her all around. Controls were easy to reach, lines were right at hand and attention to the little things made crewing or skippering easy. You felt like you could leave the dock without a tool box and fittings and still never have to touch this boat.
C&C has been aggressive in promoting its position as a leader in new hullbuilding technologies and the 115 boasts an epoxy resine glass and CoreCell post-cured hull laminate. You could do a whole story on the hull construction itself, but suffice it to say that the end result is a light, strong and very stiff hull. The long water line at 33 feet produces a 147 displacement/length ratio. The lighter hull lets C&C enhance performance characteristics with the addition of a low center of gravity bulb keel that weighs in at 1,910 kg. This produces a higher righting moment and allows a more powerful sail plan which yields a sail area/displacement of 23.1
The Deck and Cockpit
It’s on the deck or in the cockpit that Jacket’s attention to ensuring a racer friendly layout becomes apparent and you don’t have to have a degree in sailing to realize that if a boat is easier to race, it’s probably easier to cruise.
The deck is a laminate structured from a unidirectionale glass, Baltek AL 600 coring and a custom-blended “vinylester” resin. That allows C&C to lower the above-waterline weight.
The deck boasts wide side decks with molded non-skid surfaces. The placement of the shrouds close to the deckhouse facilitates greater ease of movement when you have to go forward. We also noted the interior treatment of the chainplates as a neat touch.
The cockpit offers tons of elbow room for any crew. Young cruising families who need a place for the kids above deck while underway will really appreciate the deep cockpit. The cockpit seats are over 6 feet in length and boast thankfully high seatbacks as well.
In another nod to the dual needs of boat owners, lines work well whether racing or cruising. Halyards, reefing lines and all spinnaker lines are led from double-stacked organizers at the mast back to neat Spinlock jammers found on both sides of the companionway to facilitate easy switches. The winch layout plan is also well-planned.
We liked the easy access and easily-controlled back stay tension control panel neatly tucked in front of the steering pedestal under the main traveller system.
The helmsman has a great space to steer either standing or from the side. Easy bracing for even me who suffers from short legs. When sailed we found the boat quick out of every tack we threw at her.
The deck locker on the starboard side is huge and allows for more storage than you’d probably need for racing. One neat feature here is the access from the head through a well-designed bulkhead door.
The Mast and Rig
At 59’9″ the mast, a standard feature on the 115, weighs in at half the weight of a normal aluminum mast while naturally being much stronger and stiffer. What a treat. Since it’s so light, the mast has enabled C&C to lower the boat’s inclination to pitch. Built by C&C’s Novis Composites group, the mast is well finished and uses pre-preg, carbon fiber laminates cured under strictly controlled pressure and temperature. The boat also comes standard with discontinuous rod rigging.
The Quantum sails looked like a perfect fit.
The use of lightweight composite laminates below deck provides a unique look and feel. The boat offers tons of cabinet room while the varnished cherry finish adds to a spacious feeling, not to mention a rich and elegant interior.
It’s when you go below deck that you really appreciate the cruising amenities of this boat. It provides comfortable sleeping for six in two private cabins and the customary main cabin settees, a generous forward-facing navigation station and a neat galley fitted with a two-burner gimbaled propane stove.
All in all this is a boat that continues to build on C&C’s 35-year heritage, a boat that uses leading edge construction, a will-conceived boat that is a pleasure to sail.
The C&C 115 is fast to race and a breeze to cruise. In short, a boat that covers all the bases.
Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s November 2005 issue.
LOA 37 ft 9 in
LWL 33 ft
Beam 11 ft 11 in
Draft 6 ft 8 in
Displacement 11,800 lbs
Ballast 4,200 lbs
Fuel 26 gallons
Water 30 gallons
Yanmar Auxiliary 28 hp diesel sail drive
Sail Area 748 sq ft
I 51 ft 2 in
J 14 ft 6 in
P 47 ft 10 in
E 15 ft 10 in
Mainsail Area 378.6 sq ft
100% foretriangle 369.45 sq ft
Spinnaker pole length 15 ft 11 in
Bridge Clearance 55′
Sail area/displacement 23.1
RM @ 1 degree 1,200 ft/lbs
Photo 1 – The C&C 115: It covers all the bases.
Photo 2 – Neatly organized control lines lead aft.
Photo 3 – On a cradle prior to shipping Hull Number 6 shows off below the water line.
Photo 4 – The backstay adjuster neatly tucked and accessible by any crew
Photo 5 – The neat chain plate treatment below decks.