C&C Yachts

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Privately held company
IndustryBoat building
HeadquartersCanada and United States
Websitewww.c-cyachts.com Edit this on Wikidata

C&C Yachts was a builder of high-performance fiberglass monohull sloop-rigged sailboats. It was founded in 1969 by a joint venture among several companies and design teams.


C&C 27 Mark 3
C&C 30 Mk 1
C&C 35 Mk 1

Two Canadian sailors; George Cuthbertson, a mechanical engineer, and George Cassian, an aircraft designer; formed the design group Cuthbertson and Cassian in 1961. This partnership evolved out of Cuthbertson's previous yacht design and brokerager firm. As such Cuthbertson initially held 75% interest in the company and later increased Cassian's share to a third. They started by designing a small number of steel and wood boats, Cuthbertson drew the preliminary lines, and Cassian designed the interiors.[1]

After successful design of the Hinterholler Invader 36; Canadian yachtsman Perry Connolly (who had purchased an Invader 36 previously) commissioned Cuthbertson and Cassian in 1965, to design a custom 40-foot (12m) racing sloop. Connolly requested "the meanest, hungriest 40-footer afloat". The boat, named Red Jacket, was built by Bruckmann Manufacturing in fiberglass with a balsa core; the resulting structure was (and is) strong, stiff and significantly lighter than the wood or solid fiberglass yachts then sailing. Red Jacket is considered to be the first sailboat engineered with a cored hull (the practice is common in yacht-building and aerospace, even the manufacture of wind-turbine blades today).[2] She was launched in May 1966 and took 11 of 13 starts that summer. That winter, Red Jacket headed south and won the famed SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit), competing against over 85 of the best racers of the day. Red Jacket was the first Canadian boat to win the SORC. The sailing community at large paid attention; demand for C&C designs in production skyrocketed.[1]

They joined forces with their builders and suppliers: Belleville Marine yacht builder Ian Morch, George Hinterhoeller of Hinterhoeller Yachts, and custom builder Erik Bruckmann. Together they formed a holding company C&C Yachts Limited; and entered into mass production of fiberglass sailboats (a relatively new industry). C&C Yachts Limited officially formed on September 26, 1969.[1]

C&C's reputation grew on the famous racecourses of the day. The year of the merger brought a challenge for the Canada's Cup, a match-race between Canada and the U.S. C&C's custom shop, Bruckmann Manufacturing, built the three Canadian defenders, one of which, Manitou, beat the Sparkman and Stephens-designed Niagara. In 1971 hull #1 of the 43' "Limited Edition" series, Arieto, won first in Class B of the SORC, and the Montego Bay Race. Also in 1971, Endurance, also 43-footer, won the Chicago-Mackinac Race. In 1972, Condor, the prototype Redline 41 won SORC overall and the 43' Arieto won the Nassau and Governor's cups. During the formative years of C&C Yachts the company sold their early racing hull molds to build capital for development of a comprehensive line of C&C branded racer/cruisers. The venerable Redline 41 design was sold to Lindsay Plastics for production and became the Newport 41 which was later produced by Capital Yachts. In 1978, Evergreen, a radical custom 42-footer, with a gybing daggerboard, won the Canada's Cup.[1]

High oil prices and a strong Canadian dollar provided a great environment for rapid growth for C&C and the entire sailing industry. C&C experienced double-digit growth throughout the decade. Plant expansion and the development of a dealer network provided the keys for a strong business model. Dealers found it easy to sell a product with a strong reputation for reliability and high performance. C&C was also the breeding ground for the next generation of boat designers. Robert Ball was the chief in-house designer from 1969 to 1991.[1][3]

By the early 1980s, C&C found itself at the forefront of the sailing industry, from both sailing performance and business success:

C&C had built more that seven thousand boats since its foundling in 1969. At it highest in 1984, sales were estimated at about $44 million and profits at about $2 million, placing it in the top three North American sail builders. (the others were Hunter and Catalina.)[4]

However, the large fast boats C&C was producing were not what the market sought in a softening economy. Although C&C produced some great boats in this period —the C&C 30, 34, and 37+, financial success did not follow design success.[1]

Rising costs and a shrinking market caused the closure of many boat manufacturers, including Quebec-based Tanzer and Mirage Yachts in the late 1980s. By the mid '90s, C&C was no longer viable. It changed hands several times and finally a fire destroyed molds, boats under construction and facilities in 1994. The company's insurance only covered a small portion of the loss and in 1996 the land, boat tooling and trademarks were all sold.[1][5]

In 1997, Fairport Yachts, builders of Tartan Yachts, assumed control of C&C. Tim Jackett, Tartan's in-house designer, set to work designing a new line of boats that would preserve the design characteristics and performance of the C&C brand. Starting in 1997, C&C Yachts introduced four new models, the C&C 99, 110, 115, and 121, producing over 150 boats under the new leadership. In 2002, C&C built its entire line with post-cured, foam-cored epoxy hulls with uni-directional "E"-glass and carbon local reinforcements. Beginning in 2004, C&C started equipping all models with carbon-fiber masts as standard equipment.

In September 2013, US Watercraft announced that it had bought the rights to the C&C brand from Tartan and would take over manufacturing of all new C&C models starting in the fall of 2013.[6]

US Watercraft entered receivership in July 2017 to sell its assets, but by the summer of 2018 no buyer had been found, the C&C website had been blanked and production of the last two models, the Redline 41 and C&C 30 One Design ended.[7][8]

Design and Construction Drawings[edit]

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, Ontario has in its archives many of the original C&C design and construction drawings dating from 1972 through the late 1980s.[9]

C&C models[edit]

Previously produced models include:[10]

C&C designed sailboats (various manufacturers)[edit]

Notable C&C racing sailboats[edit]

  • 35' Cygnus - Owned by Roy Hawkinson, has won more Port Huron to Mackinac Races than any other boat in history, both Overall (4 times) and in the C&C 35-1 Class (8 times).[18][19][20][21]
  • 39' Windquest - Won many races including the Port Huron to Mackinaw and the SORC.[22]
  • 40' Red Jacket - first balsa cored fiberglass hull (light), won 11 of its 13 race series in 1967, SORC Champion 1968, still winning races.[23][24]
  • 40' Manitou - defended 1969 Canada's Cup over S&S Designed NIAGARA, won 4-0[25][26]
  • 40' Fastrack - Many wins in her first season of racing in 1988, including Block Island Race Week,[27] and Whidbey Island Race Week[28][29][30]
  • 41' Condor - SORC Champion 1972; first of Redline 41 production Racer/Cruiser, also built as Newport 41[1][31]
  • 53' Bonaventure V - Mac races combined trophy 1970, SORC Champ Class A 1971, many, many years of many wins thereafter.[32]
  • 61' Sorcery - extensively raced, SORC Champion, rolled by a rogue wave in the North Pacific and survived[33]
  • 61' Robon - first to finish of 180 starters in a heavy upwind Bermuda Race 1972[1]
  • 41' Evergreen - custom IOR Two-Tonner built 1978 for Don Green of Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, won Canada's Cup back from U.S. in 1978.[1][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Spurr, Dan (2002). "The History of C&C Yachts, By Dan Spurr; Good Old Boat Magazine - Sept/Oct 2002". Good Old Boat Magazine. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ "All About Cores". 3acomposites.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. ^ Browning, Randy (2018). "Robert Ball". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  4. ^ Spurr, Daniel (1999). Heart of Glass: Fiberglass Boats and the Men Who Built Them. St. John’s, Newfoundland: International Marine/ McGraw-Hill. p. 219. ISBN 9780071579834.
  5. ^ Browning, Randy (2018). "C&C Yachts". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ Press Release (13 September 2013). "US Watercraft will build C&C Yachts". tradeonlytoday.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Window closing on US Watercraft auction >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News". sailingscuttlebutt.com. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  8. ^ US Watercraft. "C&C Yachts". www.c-cyachts.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. ^ "C&C; Drawings Finally United". C&C Yachts Website. 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  10. ^ Browning, Randy (2017). "C&C sailboat specifications and details". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Winddancer". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  12. ^ Sailing, Windancer. "History of Boats Named Windancer". www.windancersailing.com. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  13. ^ First Goat wins 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division, Sail World, 27 July 2011
  14. ^ C&C Yachts. "The Pursuit of Excellence". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  15. ^ "The New C&C 57". C&C Factory Brochure. 1988. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  16. ^ "C&C 57". Cruising World - October. 1989. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Custom C&C 57". Yachting February. 1991. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  18. ^ Creations, Interactive. "Bayview Yacht Club - Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race". www.bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  19. ^ Creations, Interactive. "Bayview Yacht Club - Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race". www.bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Mackinac Race History 2000 - 2003" (PDF). bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Colonel Robert H. Morse Trophy Winners" (PDF). chicagoyachtclub.org. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  22. ^ "C&C 39". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Red Jacket". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Bruckmann Yachts :: Red Jacket". www.bruckmannyachts.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Royal Canadian Yacht Club - Toronto, Ontario – Our History". rcyc.ca. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  26. ^ "A Visit With George Cuthbertson - Professional BoatBuilder Magazine". www.proboat.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  27. ^ Gosselin, Lisa (1988). "Audi-Yachting Block Island Race". Yachting - August 1988. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  28. ^ Paulsen, Emily (1988). "Audi-Yachting's Whidbey I. Race Week". Yachting - October 1988. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  29. ^ Kinsey, Steven (September 1988). "WIRW Is A Winner". Pacific Yachting. North Vancouver BC: OP Media Group Ltd.
  30. ^ "THE 1ST C&C 37R - FASTRACK". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  31. ^ "REDLINE 41 MKI (C&C) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Designer George Cuthbertson crafted sleek, speedy sailboats". Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via The Globe and Mail.
  33. ^ "Socery - Miracle at Sea". cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  34. ^ Sailing_nzl, Rb (9 June 2014). "RB Sailing: Evergreen and the Canada's Cup 1978". rbsailing.blogspot.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.

External links[edit]