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Old 27-12-2005, 09:05   #1
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A Small "All-Rounder" -- C&C 27

Yesterday we looked at a C&C 27 that is intriguing. It's a '73 Mark II model, meaning it has the higher mast but retains the "swept back" rudder. It has the original Atomic 30 hp gas engine (2700 hours, but looked well maintained and reportedly runs well), as well as the pressurized alcohol stove. The head room isn't perfect for me, but in other details the boat is very appealing.

Compared to other "pocket cruisers" we've looked at this year, this boat has been cared for exceptionally well. There are few stress cracks on the deck, and chainplates looked fine. The sails of are high quality, and several are only 1-4 years old. The standing rigging is new from '99, and all electronics (depth, speed, gps that can control the autopilot, and the four engine gauges) are working have been replaced or maintained well.

The C&C 27 doesn't have quarter berths under the cockpit, and as a result the space under the cockpit seats is wide and open. (Good access to just about everything there, including the gas tank.)

The boat has been raced (it comes with two spinnakers) and taken offshore for the trip up to Puget Sound. (The standing rigging is heavy, it's has an emergency rudder that mounts on the transom, and the motion comfort in the sea way was reported as good.)

So, it might be nice if it were 3 feet longer, but at 27 feet it doesn't seem like a bad boat for day sailing as well as family cruising. The boat reportedly backs well, and the new folding prop is off-set to improve handling when motoring. It even has a Mark II head, which is supposedly legal for direct discharge.

Lots to think about with this boat-- it's a compromise (like all boats) in terms of age, size, tankage and other issues, but for us it might be a good "all-rounder" for sailing and cruising the Columbia River, and maybe making our first "good weather" forays off the coast (Newport or Puget Sound).
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Old 27-12-2005, 09:13   #2
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You have made the boat sound so good that I want it! Good luck.
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Old 27-12-2005, 09:29   #3
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C&C 27

They are a good all round sailing boat and popular in Canada. Like all boats especially the smaller ones there are limitations and compromises. My Tanzer 8.5 is a bit bigger inside and sails very similar. Another nice boat in this size is the Aloha 27 designed by Bob Perry. There is a C&C 27 parked 3 berths over from me.
Think about the engine a lot. A diesel is nice in rough weather, an outboard can be practical.
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Old 28-12-2005, 11:37   #4
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Thanks!

Irwin, thanks for the reply, but what did I do to deserve all the "mooning?"

BC Mike, I think you're right on all counts. As for size, we're a little concerned about length of the berths, and another owner noted that he made an insert to create a queen size bed across the main salon since the V-berth was too tight (but we could put our kids up there for several years).

As for the Atomic 4, I would like a diesel as well (if nothing else for the learning experience). The main pluses in terms of the Atomic 4 is that it was well maintained and comes with a full manual, and I've rebuilt car engines before so I'd probably be more comfortable with the gas initially. Also, a lot of the diesel boats we've seen had engines that appeared neglected, so... The Atomic 4 is only raw water cooled, but luckily it's been almost exclusively in freshwater. The owner has done annual compression checks, replaced the head gasket recently, and we'd have it checked out carefully. Converting to diesel would likely be too expensive, but we could do significant restoration work to the Atomic 4 later on without spending too much dough.

It's funny that you mentioned the Aloha 27. An Aloha 32 came up locally not long ago and I contacted the sellers. I liked the boat a lot, but owners noted that it was more of a coastal cruiser and not the best choice for long hauls. Thus, at a cost of almost 2.5 times as much as the C&C 27, what am I really gaining? The interior was nicer (more wood) and more spacious, and comfort level would be higher, but the overall range of the boat wouldn't be significantly greater.

As an "interim" boat (or even a final boat if we don't like sailing offshore), I'm beginning to think that something under 30 feet would be most practical. In a few years, if we work out a one year sabattical or something longer, then a 34-40 footer would make sense-- but it doesn't make sense right now for daysailing, 1-2 week cruises, and our first offshore trips.

As for outboards, they are very practical, but I'd prefer an inboard for going over the Columbia bar. Our Cal 20 has the outboard in a well in the cockpit, and I was very grateful for that a couple of weeks ago on the river when the swell was pretty significant (very unlikely a transom mount would have stayed in the water).

Thanks for the comments!

Jim H
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:06   #5
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That's not "mooning" That's my Happy dance!
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:21   #6
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I'm certain others would agree that the Aloha 32 (33?) might not be a commodious cruiser, but I can attest that some (such as Maggie & I) would have revelled in the luxury of all that space!
We lived aboard and cruised a C&C 29 (28.5' LOA) for a decade.
The C&C 29 is a decent club racer, and a snug mini-cruiser.
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Old 28-12-2005, 12:53   #7
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Quote:
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We lived aboard and cruised a C&C 29 (28.5' LOA) for a decade.
My hat's off to you-- impressive accomplishment. With my two kids, my therapist bills could get high, so for living aboard I think something a touch longer might be in order...

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Old 28-12-2005, 15:49   #8
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Do you already know about www.cncphotoalbum.com? Lots of information there.

I have an '81 34' in Puget Sound that I couldn't be happier with.
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Old 28-12-2005, 17:25   #9
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C&C29

The C&C29 is a good club racer but might not be as good for all round cruising. The C&C30 is more cruiser friendly and a well respected boat in Canada. The 29 is the fastest of the three. The 30 would handle rough weather the best and the 27 might possibly be the best all round sailer. My Tanzer 8.5 is larger than the C&C29 especially around the engine room.
I have sailed against all three boats quite a bit.
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Old 28-12-2005, 17:43   #10
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Hey Jim - Glad to hear the hunt is still on. I would go a little bigger even if it costs. That extra space will increase your comfort and add to your cruising options. My personal preferences would be diesel and propane, but getting a boat big enough for the 4 of you is key. 28 to 30 feet is, IMO, minimum with cruiser comfort and shallow draft ahead of performance.

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Old 28-12-2005, 19:31   #11
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On the Radar

BC Mike, thanks for the comments about the C&C 29 and 30. We decided this afternoon we should at least see a 29 and 30 before bidding on the 27. We might drive up into Washington tomorrow to do this (and see another Islander 28 in Tacoma).

Capt. Lar, at some point we may wonder how to turn off the "search." It's fun researching new boats as they come up on the market, and we continue to learn a lot about the value of initial design and the value of the maintenance and upgrades of the owners.

The size question is really tricky. One plus about the C&C 27 is that it's clear that my wife could take it out with friends while I was at home with the kids (she's done this with a Catalina Capri 22 and soon will with our Cal 20), and we wouldn't mind owning a boat that was easy to daysail so she'd have this option. With time, I think she could do this with an Islander 28 as well, but when we walked by an Islander 30 Bahama today our first reaction was "geez, what a big boat" and day sailing would be less frequent.

So, getting the balance of "most often sailed" and "decent comfort for cruising" is going to be tough. It's the curse of "wanting it all..."
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Old 28-12-2005, 23:15   #12
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Couldn't resist a plug for the Islander 28. We have two small people and have spent much of the last three summers (two/three weeks at a time) on our boat. (crusing the Northwest) Althought we have increased tankage (water) and added a propane stove and heater the boat is otherwise stock. (Sorry it has a Volvo Diesel and Wheel) With a ten foot beam I find the boat still sails well and has a very comfortable cabin. (no shortage of teak) We were happy enough with her to do a complete face life (allgrip) on both hull and top-sides. Perry considers the boat to be one of his best designs so, it's worth taking a look at. (and I'm a C+C fan)
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Old 29-12-2005, 00:06   #13
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Volvo MD6A...

Quote:
Rob L once whispered in the wind:
Couldn't resist a plug for the Islander 28. We have two small people and have spent much of the last three summers (two/three weeks at a time) on our boat. (crusing the Northwest)
This is nice to hear, and fun that it is your first post. I'm lucky that all three Islander 28s on the local market right now have tillers, but it seems there's no way to avoid the raw water cooled Volvo MD6A engine (other than finding one that came with an Atomic 4). Have you had problems with it? One report is that the salt water jackets couldn't keep the head cool.

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Old 29-12-2005, 15:00   #14
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Jim - Thanks for the welcome. My post was a little confusing, but I wasn't indicating I was sorry about the diesel or wheel, in fact I prefer both. I just meant they were not original equipment or if they were I suspect they were options. My diesel is not the MD6A, I think its even older. Its an MD 2002 but the previous owner put a fresh water cooling unit on it. I don't even have any idea as to the hours but it has run like a clock up to now. (thats probably the kiss of death) It is a little noisy but no worse than the universal on our previous boat and I can out yell it. I don't even have the shop manual for it but your question has prompted me to order one although we probably won't have the boat by this summer as we are trying to find the perfect B.W. cruiser on a beer budget, but thats another post.
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Old 30-12-2005, 15:29   #15
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Rob, good luck on finding the inexpensive blue water cruiser. I'm not in the market for one (yet), but an inexpensive model that comes to mind is the Cascade 36 (with a well done interior and stellar surveyor report).

We drove up into Washington yesterday and checked out about eight more boats, mostly in the 28-30 foot range (and one Oday 34 for the heck of it). After thinking over what we saw (including two more Islander 28s), we're thinking that the exceptionally well maintained C&C 27 that started this process may still be the best choice for a 3-5 year interim boat before something larger.

About half of the boats we saw had obivous leaking through fittings or portlights, one was surveyed and had seriously wet decks and cabin house. Another had a fantastic interior (incredible teak and holly) but a blistering hull (just two years after an epoxy job).

I've beginning to think that buying a 70s or early 80s sailboat is going to be much trickier than assumed, and the C&C 27 may mean real compromises in terms of interior space, but I have the sense its survey would be great and overall it may blow away the eight additional boats we checked out in terms of initial quality. It seems like "owner investment" in maintenance and upgrades is making all the difference.

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