C&C 121 Express

Years ago, maybe 30 years ago, a couple of young Canadian designers started a company called Canadian Northern. They produced some very fast boats, and, for reasons unknown, they changed the name of the company by combining their last-name initials so that George Cuthbertson and George Cassian became C&C. Working with a group of Canadian builders C&C gradually grew to be one of the biggest production boatbuilding companies in North America. It pioneered the use of cored laminates and introduced the now universal aluminum toerail. It was responsible for elevating the aesthetics of production yachts in general through the quality of its designs.

Like many builders C&C ran into hard times during the late '80's. partly because it lost sight of a defined market "target". The boats were no longer racers, but they didn't make the transition to cruising boats gracefully. C&C gradually shut down and was subsequently bought by Fairport Yachts, builders of the Tartan line. C&C is still a strong market identity. Combined with the design efforts of Tim Jacket, it appears to be making a comeback.

The new C&C 121 is typical of the historical C&C type: the family club-racer/cruiser. The aesthetics are pure C&C. The cabintrunk is very contoured and sculpted with crisp facets. There are no ports forward of the big fixed windows. This saves the builder money and also reinforces the C&C look. All in all, this is a very handsome boat.

The hull shape features an extremely wide transom. This beam aft benefits the cockpit layout and the aft cabin accommodations. Is this shape bad? or slow? Sometimes when you get a boat with too much beam aft the waterlines go quite asymmetrical when the boat heels over giving it a multiple personality, e.e. it's balanced and well-behaved when sailed upright, but a real unbalanced bear when it's heeled. A designer of Jacket's experience has probably taken this into consideration. Note how far aft the keel is. This will help. Certainly almost all boats sail better with heel angle minimized.

The rest of the hull shape is really nice. There is a definite V to the forefoot and this V is carried aft with a 12-degree deadrise angle. This deadrise gradually fairs out as you approach the transom. Starting at station 9 the run is quite flat. The lines plan shows almost a knuckle where this transition from deadrise to flat occurs. With the big wide transom there should be some concern that this transom might slap in some moorage situations. That aside, this boat will be quite fast. The D/L is a moderate 141. Three keels are available drawing 8 feet; 6 feet, 6 inches; or 5 feet.

This is an amazing interior for a 40-foot boat. There are berths for two couples, a large head and shower stall aft and a well-laid-out galley and nav station. The salon area features a drop-leaf table and room for at least four people to dine. Normally, a table should overlap the seats by 3 inches, but this one looks like it stops short of the settee fronts. Clearance over the aft berth is 30 inches. Although this clearance is adequate, it is not generous. The engine is tucked into the box at the foot of the companionway. NOTE: there is counter space on both sides of the range. There is also a lot of locker space in this design.

The rig is normal with a SA/D of 23.16 and an 8-degree sweep to the spreaders. The main overlaps the backstay by about a foot.

It's good to see that the traditions initiated by Cuthbertson and Cassian are being maintained.


LOA - 40 ft
LWL - 35 ft 6 in
Beam - 13 ft 1 in
Draft - 8 ft; 6 ft 6 in; 5 ft
Displacement - 14,100 lbs
Ballast - 5,500 lbs
Sail area - 845 sq ft
SA/D - 23.16
D/L - 140.7
L/B - 3.05
Auxiliary Volvo MD 2040 with 120 S-D saildrive
Fuel - 35 gals
Water - 80 gals