C&C Yachts

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Publicly owned holding company, later a privately held company[1]
IndustryBoat building
PredecessorCuthbertson & Cassian Design, Hinterhoeller Ltd., Belleville Marine Yard Ltd., Bruckmann Manufacturing Ltd.[1]
Founded1969[2]
FounderErich Bruckmann, George Cassian, George Cuthbertson, George Hinterhoeller, Ian Morch
Defunct2017
Headquarters
Key people
Robert W. Ball, Erich Bruckmann, George Cassian, George Cuthbertson, George Hinterhoeller, Ian Morch, later Tim Jackett[1]
ProductsYachts
Websitewww.c-cyachts.com Edit this on Wikidata

C&C Yachts was a builder of high-performance fiberglass monohull sailboats with production facilities in Canada, Germany, and the United States.[1] C&C designed and constructed a full range of production line cruiser-racer boats, as well as custom one-off and short production run racing and cruising boats. C&C boats ranged in size from as small as 21 ft (6.4 m) to as large as 67 ft (20.4 m). C&C also produced a line of bluewater cruising boats in the 35 ft (10.7 m) to 48 ft (14.6 m) range under its Landfall brand. In addition, C&C designed sailboats for production by a number of other manufacturers such as CS Yachts, Mirage Yachts, Northern Yachts, Ontario Yachts, Paceship Yachts, and Tanzer Industries.[3]

C&C was founded in 1969 as a public company in Canada, which resulted from a joint venture among several companies and design teams.[4] At the peak of its market success, the company supplied 50% of the Canadian market and 20% of the US market.[2][5]

The company name, C&C Yachts, came from the names of two of the founding designers, George Cuthbertson and George Cassian.

History[edit]

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

Origin[edit]

Two Canadian sailors; George Cuthbertson, a mechanical engineer, and George Cassian, an aircraft designer, then unemployed following the demise of the Avro Arrow jet project,[6] formed the Cuthbertson and Cassian design group in 1961.[7] This partnership evolved out of Cuthbertson's previous yacht brokerage and design firm. Inishfree, the 54 ft (16.5 m) racing yacht built 1958, was Cuthbertson's first design of consequence.[8] 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 wooden boats, with Cuthbertson doing the preliminary lines and calculations and Cassian the interior plans and details.[1]

After successful design of the Hinterhoeller Invader 36, in 1965 Canadian Perry Connolly (who had previously purchased an Invader 36) commissioned Cuthbertson and Cassian to design a custom 40-foot (12m) racing sloop. At a discussion between periods at a Toronto Maple Leafs game in Maple Leaf Gardens Connolly requested "the meanest, hungriest 40-footer afloat".[6] The boat, named Red Jacket, was built by Bruckmann Manufacturing of balsa wood sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass.[9] The resulting structure was 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 in the manufacture of wind-turbine blades today).[10] She was launched in May 1966 and won 11 of 13 starts that summer. That winter, Red Jacket headed south and won a number of races on the famed Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC), competing against more than 85 of the best racers of the day. Connolly went back the next year, and Red Jacket was, in 1968, the first Canadian boat to win the SORC.[9] The sailing community at large paid attention and demand for the C&C designs in production skyrocketed.[1]

C&C 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, officially formed on September 26, 1969.[1], which was traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange[6] with the help of an IPO by Walwyn, Stodgell & Co., an issue of 350,000 common shares at $4.50, providing the fledgling company with working capital of $1.5 million. The company started the mass production of fiberglass sailboats, a relatively new industry at that time. The sale of stock enabled C&C to build inventory in the off-season, which would then be delivered to dealers in the spring and early summer. It allowed efficiencies which were otherwise impossible.[2][4]

Owing to his degrees in engineering from the University of Toronto, and business administration from the University of Southern California, Ian Morch was made president. George Cuthbertson directed the design effort, Erich Bruckmann the custom work, and George Hinterhoeller managed production.[2][1] The plant at Niagara-on-the-Lake was "a completely integrated operation" aside from lead keel casting. The plant contained a rigging shop, a metal shop, a wood shop, a fiberglass shop, a upholstery shop, and an assembly area. In the operation conceived by Hinterhoeller, the yachts were built in pits, as opposed to the state-of-the-art which required a boatbuilder to use a ladder to mount the erected hull and keel.[11]

In 1969 the customs tariff to import yachts from the US into Canada was 17.5% and C&C achieved sales of $3.9 million its first year.[4]

Expansion[edit]

One of the C&C Yachts expansion facilities, this one in Kiel, Germany

C&C's reputation was based on its racing successes. The year of the merger brought a challenge for the Canada's Cup, a match-race between Canada and the US. C&C's custom shop, Bruckmann Manufacturing of Oakville, Ontario, built the three Canadian defenders, one of which, Manitou, beat the Sparkman and Stephens-designed Niagara. In 1971 hull #1 of the 43 ft (13.1 m) "Limited Edition" series, Arieto, won first in Class B of the SORC, and the Montego Bay Race. Also in 1971, Endurance, a 43-footer as well, won the Chicago-Mackinac Race. In 1972, Condor, the prototype Redline 41 won SORC overall and the 43 foot Arieto won the Nassau and Governor's cups.[1]

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. For example, the venerable Redline 41 design was sold to Lindsay Plastics for production and became the Newport 41 which was later produced by Capital Yachts.[1]

The demands of managing a large multi-national company, with the attendant problems of finance and being answerable to a board of directors, in 1973 led Cuthbertson to take on the position of president, and hand over his design responsibilities to Robert Ball.[7]

High oil prices and a strong Canadian dollar provided the environment for rapid growth for C&C and the entire sailing industry. In 1974, Cuthbertson was elected to membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[6] C&C experienced double-digit growth throughout the decade of the 1970s. Plant expansion into the Port of Rhode Island and 56,000 square foot facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, and the development of a dealer network, proved instrumental factors in a strong business model, but in Kiel, Germany the firm ran into foreign exchange problems when the Deutschmark doubled 1977-1979.[4] Hank Evans joined the company in 1977 to establish a network of inland dealers and once that job was done he stepped into the role of sales manager for the entire line.[12] Dealers found it easy to sell a product with a strong reputation for reliability and high performance. But the death of George Cassian in 1979 cast its pall over affairs.[4]

C&C became the breeding ground for the next generation of boat designers, employing young designers such as Henry Adriaanse, Rob Mazza, Rob Ball, Mark Ellis, and Steve Killing.[2] Designer Mark Ellis left the company in 1976 to draw the Niagara and Nonsuch sailboats for George Hinterhoeller, who had sold his shares in C&C that same year.[4] Robert W. Ball was the chief in-house designer until 1991.[1][13]

Every Canadian Canada's Cup contender between 1969 and 1978 was a C&C product. The Canada's Cup winner in 1978 was a C&C design, the Two Ton class Evergreen,[14] owned by Don Green with Hans Fogh at the helm.[15] The design was a radical, dinghy-like, 41-foot boat, designed with the aim of winning the trophy. The catastrophic failure of the mast during a "stiff breeze" on Lake Ontario while on a shakedown cruise may have been indicative of design issues,[16] as the C&C design team had exploited loopholes in the regatta rules. As one example, the galley was required to have sink but, in order to save weight, it had no drain, which the rule makers had not thought to specify. The deck hatches opened inward, which could be a safety hazard if they gave way during a capsize or broach, and the Evergreen crew faced protests over this defect in both the SORC and in the Canada's Cup.[17] Upon reflection over the 1979 Fastnet race in which he participated, Skipper Green later said that Evergreen "never should have gone to England" for the Admiral's Cup, which is the destination of most Canada's Cup winners.[16] Canadian Yachting magazine stated fifteen years later that "few yachts have created more controversy than" Evergreen, and that "its extreme design and controversial features ruffled feathers around the world." After the competition that year, the rule books were rewritten to preclude safety problems like those raised by the design of Evergreen, and as a result, C&C never received another commission for a Canada's Cup yacht.[4]

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 sailboat builders, along with Hunter Marine and Catalina Yachts.[18]

Sale of company[edit]

Cuthbertson presided over the works until 1981.[4] The success of the 1980 financial year, including sales of $39.7m, delivering a profit of $1.24 per share, brought the unwanted attention of a C&C customer, Jim Plaxton[4] of Great Lakes Airlines fame, who was interested in buying the company.[19] The directors together owned 65 percent of the existing 404,000 shares,[1] which were then trading at around $3.50. The original IPO share price was $4.50 and that was the offer Plaxton made for 51% of the company. The board refused.[4] Meanwhile, Plaxton had formed, with the Deluce family, Delplax holdings to manage what became Air Ontario,[19] and Delplax offered $5.25 a share, this time for all of the shares.[4] The board again demurred, and the offer was raised to $6.00. This was accepted,[4] and so the company was acquired by people unfamiliar with the industry.[1] The company was de-listed from the stock market, as all of its shares were now in private hands.[4] In 1982 Cuthbertson left the company he had founded 20 years earlier.[7] The unfriendly buyout caused 80% of the heyday staff to leave in the Cuthbertson exodus, by 1983.[12]

Plaxton instructed the designers "to undertake a flat-out offshore racer according to the IOR rule."[20] He wanted novel construction materials and novel construction processes to replace the balsa-wood core structures that had been the staple of the firm until the management changeover.[21] The 41' boat that resulted from these instructions, Silver Shadow III,[4] measures a 12'11" beam,[20] while the 41' Evergreen, produced a scant four years earlier, measures 14.25'.[15] The owner and operator of Silver Shadow III, Plaxton,[22] "decided not to participate" in the 1983 Admiral's Cup,[20] and his yacht's place was taken by another C&C boat, Magistri, which was also designed in 1982.[23][20] This Cup team of three boats managed a fifth-place finish,[24] an all-time high for Canada.[4]

In 1985, under Ball's supervision, C&C's design office had grown to eleven staff,[25] and the firm experienced its racing nadir, with the poor performance at SORC of the company-backed custom 44 Silver Shadow IV,[4] also a 12'11" beam but on a lengthened 43'7" long yacht.[21] Estimates of the total cost of the project approach $1 million. By November 1985, the plant in Middletown was closed, the last of the international manufacturing locations. C&C was left with one single manufacturing operation in Niagara-on-the-Lake when the custom shop in Oakville was closed and the company entered receivership. By 1986, a partnership including Mutual Trust purchased C&C from the receivers. After a financial audit in 1988, an executive of the trust assumed control of the operation.[4]

In the late 1980s rising costs and a shrinking market caused the closure of many boat manufacturers, including Quebec-based Tanzer Industries and Mirage Yachts. The day after the end of the 1990 Toronto International Boat Show, C&C had announced that it needed a cash infusion. The company was again placed in receivership in September, with no prospective buyers and the creditors seeking payment of debts.[4] By the mid 1990s, C&C was no longer viable. The company 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][26]

The Jackett era[edit]

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.[citation needed]

US Watercraft era and closure[edit]

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.[27]

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.[28][29]

Cuthbertson archive[edit]

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, Ontario has in its archives the early original C&C design and construction drawings, via a retirement donation by Cuthbertson of his papers. In 2008 Jackett, whose company bought the C&C name in 1996, donated the rest of the Cuthbertson papers and more, dating from 1972 through to the late 1980s.[30] Cuthbertson died at the age of 88 on 3 October 2017; he had served on the board of directors of the MMGL for many years, and had been inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2014.[7]

C&C models[edit]

Previously produced models include:[3]

C&C designed sailboats (for other manufacturers)[edit]

Over the years the firm designed yachts for a number of other Canadian boat builders, including CS Yachts, Mirage Yachts, Northern Yachts, Ontario Yachts, Paceship Yachts, and Tanzer Industries,[3]. C&C also designed boats for manufacturers in the US, such as Newport series for Lindsey Plastics (later Capital Yachts) of Harbor City, California[39], Harpoon for Boston Whaler, and Lancers for Lancer Yacht Corporation, in Irvine, California[3]. In England, Anstey Yachts built the Trapper 27, 28, and 35 (which was a C&C 35). C&C designed several yachts for OY Baltic in Finland and the Benello 37 for Cantiere Benello in Livorno, Italy.[1]

A full list appears below.[3]

Notable C&C racing sailboats[edit]

  • 40' Red Jacket (1966) - first balsa cored fiberglass hull (light), won 11 of its 13 race series in 1967, SORC Champion 1968, still winning races.[40][41]
  • 41' Condor (1967) - SORC Champion 1972; first of Redline 41 production Racer/Cruiser, also built as Newport 41[1][42]
  • 40' Manitou (1969) - defended 1969 Canada's Cup over S&S Designed NIAGARA, won 4-0[43][2]
  • 35' Cygnus (1970) - 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).[44][45][46][47]
  • 53' Bonaventure V (1970) - Mac races combined trophy 1970, SORC Champ Class A 1971, many, many years of many wins thereafter.[48]
  • 61' Sorcery (1970) - extensively raced, SORC Champion, rolled by a rogue wave in the North Pacific and survived[49]
  • 39' Windquest (1972) - Won many races including the Port Huron to Mackinaw and the SORC.[50]
  • 61' Robon (1972) - first to finish of 180 starters in a heavy upwind Bermuda Race 1972[1]
  • 41' Evergreen (1977) - custom IOR Two-Tonner built 1978 for Don Green of Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, won Canada's Cup back from U.S. in 1978 after an absence of six years[1]
  • 39' Magistri (1982) - Selected to the Canadian Admiral's Cup team, she won the Channel Race overall – the first-ever overall win by a Canadian yacht in an Admiral's Cup event. Her final series placing was sixth in fleet, also a best-ever for Canadian sailors.[51]
  • 40' Fastrack (1988) - Many wins in her first season of racing in 1988, including Block Island Race Week,[52] and Whidbey Island Race Week[53][54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 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. ^ a b c d e f Spurr, Dan (2013). "A Visit With George Cuthbertson, By Dan Spurr; Professional BoatBuilder Magazine - 11 March 2013". Professional BoatBuilder Magazine. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Browning, Randy (2017). "C&C sailboat specifications and details". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Canadian Yachting: "From C to C: Presenting the greatest hits (and a few misses) from two turbulent decades at C&C Yachts"
  5. ^ canadianyachting.ca: "Our home and Native Boat"
  6. ^ a b c d G+M: "Designer George Cuthbertson crafted sleek, speedy sailboats", 20 Oct 2017
  7. ^ a b c d sailingscuttlebutt.com: "Eight Bells: George Cuthbertson", 5 Oct 2017
  8. ^ rcyc.ca: "Panel 8"
  9. ^ a b "Perry Connolly was skipper of the storied sloop Red Jacket". The Globe and Mail. 20 Oct 2017.
  10. ^ "All About Cores". 3acomposites.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. ^ Finkle, Don. "C&C Yachts Part One". RCR Yachts.
  12. ^ a b www.cncphotoalbum.com: "Hank says"
  13. ^ Browning, Randy (2018). "Robert Ball". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  14. ^ Yachting Dec 1982: "Donald Green: Canadian Champion"
  15. ^ a b rorc.org: "CHAMPAGNE MUMM ADMIRAL'S HISTORY - 1979"
  16. ^ a b thespec.com: "Reliving the ill-fated Fastnet", 12 May 2007
  17. ^ Hunter 1981
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ a b "Air Ontario & Its Tragic Pair Of F28 Fellowships". Yesterdays Airlines. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  20. ^ a b c d rcyc.ca: "RCYC Models - Panel 11"
  21. ^ a b canadianyachting.ca: "C&C Custom 44 - Exotic or blackwall", December 1984.
  22. ^ nytimes.com: "Silver Shadow Sail Winner", 18 Oct 1982
  23. ^ Yachting May 1983, p.74
  24. ^ rorc.org: "CHAMPAGNE MUMM ADMIRAL'S HISTORY - 1983"
  25. ^ Vaughan, Roger (1985). "C&C - The Committee and the Corporate Boat". The Yacht. Newport, RI: Bayview Corp. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  26. ^ Browning, Randy (2018). "C&C Yachts". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "Window closing on US Watercraft auction >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News". sailingscuttlebutt.com. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  29. ^ US Watercraft. "C&C Yachts". www.c-cyachts.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  30. ^ "C&C; Drawings Finally United". C&C Yachts Website. 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Winddancer". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  32. ^ "History of Boats Named Windancer". www.windancersailing.com. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  33. ^ "First Goat wins 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division, Sail World, 27 July 2011". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  34. ^ C&C Yachts. "The Pursuit of Excellence". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  35. ^ "The New C&C 57". C&C Factory Brochure. 1988. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  36. ^ "C&C 57". Cruising World - October. 1989. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Custom C&C 57". Yachting February. 1991. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  38. ^ "The Shark 24". International Shark Class Association (ISCA) Website. 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  39. ^ Robertson, Michael (2010). "Newport 27". Cruising World. Middletown, RI: Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Red Jacket". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  41. ^ "Bruckmann Yachts :: Red Jacket". www.bruckmannyachts.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  42. ^ "Redline 41 MkI (C&C) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com". sailboatdata.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  43. ^ "RCYC Models - Panel 10". rcyc.ca. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  44. ^ Creations, Interactive. "Bayview Yacht Club - Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race". www.bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  45. ^ Creations, Interactive. "Bayview Yacht Club - Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race". www.bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  46. ^ "Mackinac Race History 2000 - 2003" (PDF). bycmack.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  47. ^ "Colonel Robert H. Morse Trophy Winners" (PDF). chicagoyachtclub.org. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  48. ^ "Designer George Cuthbertson crafted sleek, speedy sailboats". Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via The Globe and Mail.
  49. ^ "Rogue Wave - 360 Degree Roll Sweeps Sorcery Clean". cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  50. ^ "C&C 39". www.cncphotoalbum.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  51. ^ "Magistri (1982)". Royal Canadian Yacht Club - Toronto, Ontario – Our History. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  52. ^ Gosselin, Lisa (1988). "Audi-Yachting Block Island Race". Yachting - August 1988. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  53. ^ Paulsen, Emily (1988). "Audi-Yachting's Whidbey I. Race Week". Yachting - October 1988. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  54. ^ Kinsey, Steven (September 1988). "WIRW Is A Winner". Pacific Yachting. North Vancouver BC: OP Media Group Ltd.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Doug Hunter – "Against the Odds: The incredible story of Evergreen and the Canada's Cup" (Personal Library, Toronto: 1981) ISBN 9780920510438
  • Mayers, Adams (2007). Beyond Endurance: 300 Boats, 600 Miles, and One Deadly Storm. McClelland & Stewart.
  • Daniel Spurr - "Heart of Glass: Fiberglass Boats and the Men Who Built Them" (St. John's, Newfoundland: International Marine/ McGraw-Hill 1999) ISBN 9780071579834

External links[edit]