C&C 30 Mk I
Beauty, Integrity, Grace and Good Value
By John Boros
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
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'."
If it ain't broke...
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
27 vs. the 30
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 hand rails on either side. Two
integral dorade boxes sit on either side of the mast sporting halyard winches
At the helm
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.
In the cabin
The boat's generous beam accommodates a very comfortable cabin with standing
head room. 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
Rigging and spars
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
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.
As a racer
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 were responsible for the production
era which 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.
Manufacturing in NOTL
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
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.