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Old 15-11-2006, 08:19   #1
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What to look for - C&C 34

I am heading this weekend to look at a boat... a 1980 C&C 34. I am pretty excited about it, because from the description I have read 30 times, and the photos I have stared at every day for a week, it seems like a great boat for me.

What sort of things should I look more closely at with this particular boat?

It is out of the water, so the hull should be easy to checkout. I would like know the things I should inspect more closely, given its age, and specifically given the manufacturer, and the model.

I know I can't ask this forum if this boat would be good for me... it would take too long to write all the things I need/want, and my intentions to get an accurate answer. I am more interested in what are known issues with this boat that I should look at.

And... do not worry, ofcourse if everything goes well, I will have a proper survey done, and am not trying to cut corners... just want to be informed.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 15-11-2006, 08:38   #2
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try typing in c&c 34 owner reviews on the net it shouldgive something also may show an owners sight. check with this sight and see if there is anything in the achives
regrds mike

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Old 15-11-2006, 09:59   #3
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Hi mike...

Ya, I have read all the reviews I can get my hands on, and read everything ehre I can find... just thought maybe I would ask the question to see if there was anything that didn't come up before.
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Old 15-11-2006, 11:16   #4
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Tap the hull and the deck. There will probably be some wet spots. If it is a stick built boat look at the bulkheads and determine of there is any broken tabbing. Look at the anchor point for the shrouds to confirm there is not any movement.

Might also want to check in with

Great boats, good luck.
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Old 15-11-2006, 13:05   #5
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Look for lockers crowded with forgotten trophys...

Seriously, look for bulkhead tabbing as mentioned before. There is the famed C&C smile, a crack that forms between the keel and the stubby, that can give you an idea of how well the depth sounder works. A slight smile is not a real problem. Finally check the decks for softspots. Often accessories were added that caused water to leak into the balsa.

Check the C&C 27 group for a longer writup about what to look for the 27. While the 34 is bigger with more complex systems the website should still give you some ideas of what to look for.
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Old 15-11-2006, 13:44   #6
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They represent a tremendous value. Strong and fast. Old and cheap. Not as roomy as some but I'm very comfortable in mine.

A surveyor can give you a pass/fail on structural issues, coring, tabbing, bulkhead integrity. If that turns out okay and you've not looked at many 34s think about the layout and how you'll use the boat.

It's a fairly traditional layout, settees on each side, v-berth, galley on one side, nav station on the other, quarter berth. No aft cabin. No separate shower. This stuff is not a problem for me. In fact some of it is a plus.

In really bad weather it's easy to get around the cabin. There are a couple good sea berths. There aren't so many systems that you have to spend a lot of time with maintenance.

A 25 year old boat is still likely to have a lot of old stuff on it. Mine came with a giant VHF that was probably pretty cool in it's day (1981) but consumed a LOT of power. Also had a circuit to power a Loran. I spent the better part of a Pacific Northwest winter cleaning it up, removing old gear, updating things, replacing busted stuff. I enjoyed it but it might not be for everyone.
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Old 15-11-2006, 15:43   #7
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Mystic I highly recommend Dan Casey's book on old fibeglass boats. There is a section in there about a 30 minute review that helps you decide whether it is worth even having a surveyor have a look. One thing to look at is the fairness of the hull look for hardspots that indicate damage either from a crash or the bulkheads moving.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 16-11-2006, 06:57   #8
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Thanks for your help with this. I had forgotten about the C&C smile while I was writing the things I want to look for down. I think i would have remembered to look there anyway... seems logical to inspect the keel-hull joint pretty closely.

Bulkhead tabbing was something I had forgotten about too... definately on my list now of things to inspect carefully.

I am glad to hear John that you like your boat, and she is serving you well. I have never heard of a C&C owner who doesn't like their boat. Not all manufacturers can claim something like that. I expect the interior to be basic... I already have an apartment, don't need 2... and the boat is bigger than my tent, so it is all good.

It appears from the listings that the electronics have been updated, along with a few other items... but I am sure there are bits and pieces which are still original, and in need of repair/replacement.

This will be the first sailboat I will be buying, so I want to be smart about it. I will be looking into getting Dan Casey's book before the weekend.

Thanks again.
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Old 16-11-2006, 09:24   #9
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Mystic, Every owner loves his/her boat. I have never heard anything but praise. I looked at same boat this summer. Unfortunately, a surveyor opinion prevailed and I am still looking for my "love boat".
Remember that C&C 34 hull is balsa cored below water line. The boat I was considered had her hull probably delaminated (or balsa turned to mash) on ~20sqft area. This was in addition to moisture saturation in other parts of the hull close to seacocks and other openings. Another area to look at is hull-deck joint. If a boat was used for racing she may this area overstressed and may require "caulking" replacement. Take a flash light with you and dive wherever you can. Engine is also a valuable piece of equipment that can cost you several thousands.

In any case, a good marine surveyor is a must. Good luck.


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