C&C 30 Mark I

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.

By comparison with a more modern and also very successful sibling, the C&C 41 underwent significantly more changes over the course of its production run than the 30. According to Steve Kiemele, of South Shore Yachts, “The 30 didn’t need any changes, it held its appeal. This makes it `The Classic’.”

The 30 is generally described as an all round, user-friendly boat, forgiving, comfortable and easy to handle, with a reputation as one of the stiffest C&C ever built. Given these qualities, the 30 is the consummate cruiser. It is probably for this reason that it did not receive the design scrutiny of many of its siblings; it was ideally suited for its design requirement – cruising.

Although nearly three years the 27s junior, the 30 Mk1 is often described as its big brother, and for good reason. Both are the product of the same design era and market demand; both are patterned after the original C&C 35. Outwardly, the two are nearly identical, other than, of course, the extra length and width of the 30. The most distinguishing feature of the 30 MK1 are the two dorade boxes that appear on either side of the mast, built into the coach roof. Their primary purpose is air ventilation for the cabin interior; secondary functions are stiffening the cabin top and providing flat surfaces for the halyard winches. The second, more subtle distinguishing feature is the distance between the two lights or windows. A larger and smaller window exists on either side of the cabin top of each boat and the distance between them is greater on the 30 than on the 27. Also, the mast on the 27 mounts on top of the coach roof into an aluminum mast step, while the mast of the 30 mounts through the coach roof and steps atop the keel. Otherwise, the two boats are nearly identical in appearance.

The foredeck is clean and unobstructed with the mast set well back to produce a relatively large foretriangle, typical of the traditional masthead sloop. The coach roof rises gently with a low angle from the high, cambered deck, reflecting the gracefulness of her lines. The side decks are of generous width, sloping continuously down from the bow, narrowing at the cockpit coamings, aft of the primary winches. The coach roof is relatively broad with a hatch in front of the mast and teak handrails on either side. Two integral dorade boxes sit on either side of the mast sporting halyard winches and cleats.

The cockpit area is generous in size; the cockpit seats are long, wide and straight, almost reaching the transom. Originally designed for tiller steering, wheel steering quickly became an option and, in the later years, was standard equipment. Again, as in the case of the 27, those boats sporting a wheel require the helmsman to step up on the cockpit seat in order to get to the helm.

The boat’s generous beam accommodates a very comfortable cabin with standing headroom. Two 6 ft. 4 in. vee-berths up front with storage shelves over either side. Just aft of the V berths is a head and vanity to port and a large hanging locker with shelves to starboard. A large dinette to port and a settee berth to starboard make up the main cabin. This area is separated from the companionway by the galley which consists of an icebox and counter space to port and a stove and sink to starboard. The teak companionway steps are removable for access to the engine compartment.

As the construction of the hull is a single moulded, uncored fibreglass unit, repairs are much simpler and cost effective in comparison to those hulls having a balsa core. Obviously, the possibility of damage due to water penetration/absorption and migration within a cored hull is nonexistent. Later versions, however, eventually acquired a 2 mm feret foam core in the bow, a material resistant to water damage. The deck construction includes a 1/2 in. balsa core for added strength and insulation with minimum weight gain.

The mast and boom are an aluminum extrusion, also designed by C&C, hand rubbed with 3M Scotch Brite and coated with lacquer to prevent oxidation. The mast has a single pair of spreaders and steps atop the keel. All stays and shrouds are s.s. wire.

The design of the 30 Mk1 was kept current throughout its production run with various subtle upgrades, 41 engineering change orders in all. Of these, the most significant involved the rudder and boom. As an offshoot of the 35, the original 30 came with the same keel/rudder configuration found on the Redwing 35, a swept back, shark fin type keel with a spade rudder, angle mounted, somewhat paralleling the keel’s angle of attack.

According to George Cuthbertson, the tank tests demonstrated that the swept-back style was a faster shape. Although this underwater configuration was less than ideal for windward performance, it provided good reaching in return, an ideal quality for a cruiser. However, the rudder configuration proved to be hyper sensitive and offered less than perfect directional stability.

Therefore, in 1976 the rudder was changed from spade to technically improved, high aspect ratio. On Sept. 26, 1978, the design department ordered that the boom be raised a foot for greater cockpit safety. The original height was 5 ft. 6 in. above the cabin sole.

Initially, the Universal Atomic 4 gas engine came as standard equipment. The QM15 Yanmar Diesel eventually became an option, up to hull no. 675. The QM was superseded by the Yanmar 2GM beginning with no. 676; otherwise, the remaining changes were minor. For example, the dinette table support changed from a vee support to a post; the windows changed from the original aluminum frame type to an integrated, smoked plexiglass unit glued directly into the cabin structure; in an attempt to find the ideal bushing for the rudder post, various types were incorporated into the rudder tube over the years; and various minute detailing changes were made throughout the boat, especially in interior teak detailing.

The 30 Mk1 makes an excellent PHRF racer. Again, in comparison to its little brother, the 27, the 30, with its increased displacement (approx. 8,000 lbs. verses 5,500 lbs.) and hydrodynamic drag (5 ft. of draft verses 4 ft. 6 in.), performs relatively poorly in light winds. Although the 30 carries a larger sail plan than junior (459 sq. ft. verses 343/372 sq. ft.), it is not enough to compensate for these differences in weight and drag. Obviously, however, the advantage of the 30’s extra water line takes effect in heavy air, thus placing highest under these conditions.

A special period of unique circumstances was responsible for the production era that gave birth to these beautiful boats. The North American economy was strong, unemployment low and manufacturing costs, both labour and material, reasonable. This set the stage for two key factors: (1) affordability and, therefore, (2) market demand. As a result, these boats were built on a production scale that contributed to the excellence of their construction and overall desirability.

All 30s were built in Niagara on the Lake, Ont. and all by the same group of approximately 250 people. Eight building stages were involved requiring 32 working days from start to finish. During this peak production phase, a boat was completed every four working days. This process was tuned, honed to perfection by market demand, consequently many orders were scheduled well in advance of construction; materials, therefore, flowed into the plant with consistency in availability and quality; and, the skills of the production people were also polished to perfection. This final point is perhaps the key ingredient in the success of the boat; the superb skills of the talented C&C craftsmen were directly responsible for the excellence of construction and overall quality of their boats.

Why else can the 30 Mk1 be considered a classic? The evolution of boat building technology, the introduction of fibreglass as a construction material, plays an important role in the notion of classic as it applies here. According to Jack Synes, of C&C International, “Fibreglass boat construction was new in the mid sixties and thus brought about a whole new era of design – you could shape it any way you wanted – whatever curves you desired”. The 30 MK1 represents the third and final stage of a very short-lived design string that began with the Redwing 35 in the late sixties. As such, these boats remain fettered with the design ideas associated with wooden boats, not yet completely free of the past, not fully broken with tradition. Hence, the classics — traditional, yet modern! Strong, swift and graceful, all at good value and low maintenance!

The mast step, the seat or pocket into which the mast sits, was originally made of wood up to hull no.# 651. As it sits in a damp /wet area atop the keel, it has had the tendency of weakening and, therefore, deflecting downward. Models #652 and up came with mast steps made of an aluminum casting which was resistant to this problem. The lacquer on the spars has now had many years of hard weather, not to mention the new UV phenomenon. In many cases, the lacquer is worn off and the aluminum prone to oxidation. Painting the spars is the most popular, aesthetic and cost effective resolution to this problem. Also, if a previous owner has neglected to tighten and seal deck hardware as a requirement of the regular maintenance procedure, the deck balsa core may get wet. It would be prudent for a perspective buyer to ask his surveyor to carefully inspect the deck for water damaged balsa core. When considering the purchase of one of these gems, should the need exist, these repair costs should be factored into the purchase price of the boat. Remember, to survey before you buy is always the safest and best route.


LOA 30 ft.

LWL 24 ft. 11 in.

Beam 10 ft.

Draft 5 ft.

Disp 8,000 lbs.

Ballast 3,450 lbs. lead

Sail Area 459 sq. ft. top

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com for listings!

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