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Old 18-08-2015, 06:39   #1
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Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Hello!
I know that similar threads are in this forum, but I hope you allow me to open a personal thread with my question to you.

I am 41 years old and have sailed since childhood on 30 to 37 feet boats mostly in easy waters but also with longer passages on the north sea near Antwerp (apparently a not easy to sail area... High traffic, sandbanks, tide, etc...) few years ago a made a 5 day offshore course in new zealand waters with an experienced skipper to enhance my experience. I also experienced storm in open water as well. So far, I always felt safe and in controll in any conditions. Nevertheless I would not call myself highly experience or even professional. Otherwise i wouldnt look for opinions / advise in that forum. ;-)

Since many years now, I have an eye on C&C yachts as I simply love there beautiful design and layout. Unfortunatly its my personality to go for the beauty and not necessary for the practical best... As I do with my choice in women too... Some recent events in my life put me in the position to have to break out of normal life routine... At least for some time... So time is right to get the own boat now and get some advanture.

I am currently highly interessted in a C&C 41 from 1984 (you might easly find it on yachtworld.com). I am aware that those boats are not built for transocean passages, but I do believe they should be able to handle a transatlantic passage on the right course (Baltimore to Azores to Germany) and right time (may /june). I am planning to fly to the us shortly and have a look at some boats. If intressted... I will have a test sailing and get the boat surveyed... Especially the hull for moisture (balsa cored!). I would then do some work on the boat in the US and hopefully some experience in sailing it. I would properly get the boat transatlantic in may. Not alone. Perhaps with an experience skipper ( is there anyone who is interessted. I would pay flight back and all goods need for the passage...?) As special eqiptment I am only thinking so far at a rescue isle, irridium mobile, rescue epired /AIS swimmer, tow generator for power... Not planning of getting radar for this passage.

So, sorry for the long writing, I hope still to get some opinions, advise, ideas.
Basically the question is... Do you agree that this boat should handle the passage or not.

Greetings from Germany!
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Old 18-08-2015, 06:45   #2
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Elmar.

A C&C 41 should be able to handle a transatlantic passage on the right course, and at the right time.
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:14   #3
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

I can't say how the construction of the C&C 41 would compare to the 34 but if they are at all similar I would caution against purchasing such a boat.

The 34 of that era was a very poorly built boat and representative of the sorts of construction techniques that have not resulted in long lived boats.

This construction technique consists of putting furniture pieces into a hull liner and then holding them in with only a polyester adhesive and sheet metal screws. Then the deck and it's liner are placed over this with more of the brittle and useless polyester resin to hold it together.

After time out in the ocean the polyester adhesive lets go and the only thing holding the furniture in place are the sheet metal screws and the fact that it's sandwiched between the deck liner and the hull liner. Soon enough the screws back out and all you have are panels held captive by the liners.

What you have then are rigid plywood forms inside a flexible and moving fiberglass container. The screeching and creaking and cracking from this is enough to give you fits. Let me tell you, when you come down off a wave and the interior lets out a huge cracking sound you may be wishing you were on a different boat.

The boat becomes so flexible after a while that the cockpit which sits directly on the hull liner surrounding the engine works and squeaks even in the smallest waves.

Add to this the fact that the hull deck joint is only bolted and 5200'd to the hull. All this flexing leads the 5200 to lose it's adhesive and sealing qualities and the hull deck joint will start to leak. Nothing could signify the end of a boats lifespan more than a leaking hull deck joint. The cost to repair such a thing if it could be repaired would exceed the value of the boat.

I'm also under the impression that the C&C 41 is an IOR design of the most distinctive IOR features. I don't know if it has the horrible concavities in the quarter that the 37 had but I do know it's pretty much all IOR all the time. It's fat in the middle and narrow at the ends and it's heavy. IMHO this is a bad combination for an enjoyable and comfortable ride. Again while I don't have experience on this boat I would caution anyone thinking of sailing such a boat off shore that they go out on a broad reach in some waves and see how it behaves.

The 34 was all but uncontrollable in such conditions. What for most boats would have been a 'two fingers on the helm' down wind ride becomes a two hands on the tiller ferocious workout. The boat simply can't be kept on course broad reaching in waves without an extraordinary expenditure of effort.

These boats won't surf without being in big waves so your always stuck in the water and falling all over your self. Going upwind they are probably very good. The 34 was excellent upwind and would sail itself effortlessly. But in general what you have is a boat with big sail area that will need it all to get up and go.

IOR was not good for boat design and C&C seems to have been one of the worst in terms of going with the trend. Over the years construction methods have changed and I know new ones are much better. But that particular era could be the worst in terms of boat design and construction quality.
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:31   #4
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmar0774 View Post
Unfortunatly its my personality to go for the beauty and not necessary for the practical best... As I do with my choice in women too...
Well there you have it. Just let Korrigan interview your dates before you invest time and money in them and you can stay a happy man!

Actually just wanted to say thanks for the enlightening critique of the C&C 34.
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:33   #5
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Hi Elmar,

greetings from 'another German' ...

Looking at the offer I think the sail wardrobe is quite outdated (1990 main sail , ...) You probably also would have to look at new batteries, way to charge them (I personally do not think a towing gen is a good idea) and than you might have problems importing the boat into Germany (CE certification, ...).

Why are you looking to buy a boat in the US and sail to Europe? The other way is much more fun (in my opinion ;-)) ...

Kind regards,

Carsten
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:56   #6
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

3 years ago i rebuild a landfall 42 , the owner a Young norway viking is is Thailand waters right now, Krabi marina Thailand, so they can handle more than you think, they plan to be in the med next year ,,, a transat for a 41 C&C should be no problem at all, just be sure the boat is sound and seaworthy....
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Old 19-08-2015, 18:18   #7
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

I just went and looked at C&C 41's on Yachworld.

They are very inexpensive for a boat of that size. IMHO that is a big red flag. It's pretty clear that the market knows these boats have no value.

I don't think such a boat would fall apart crossing an ocean but I think any money you put into such a boat would be more thrown away than the usual hole in the water that a boat is.

Fiberglass is tough and resilient. These boats don't fall apart. But are you really going to be happy with it year after year? I suspect you'll be disappointed. The more you learn about the boat and boat construction the more you'll begin to regret the decision.

My advice for years has been to figure out realistically what your budget is and then buy the smallest boat you can stand that fits that budget.

Normally people do the opposite and buy the biggest boat. That's a real mistake. From personal experience I've learned that it's not wise to hope for a deal on a boat or to think you can get into a big boat cheaper by doing a re-fit.

Trust me on this. The re-fit will never end and even if you do finish it you'll still have a junk boat. And then even if you were to modify the boat and fix all it's little problems you still wouldn't be able to sell it for more than the market rate.

If you are going to buy an inexpensive boat and put money into it get something solid with good bones that will at least repay you in joy. A boat like this will repay you only in misery.
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Old 19-08-2015, 19:40   #8
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Hmm.... I guess I can't go back and edit my post.

Let me say here in terms of boats your mileage may vary.

I'm reminded of Jeff H and his brutal honesty about boats and how that rubbed some people the wrong way.

For every boat there is someone who loves it no doubt and I don't mean to disparage or insult peoples pride and joy.

For some types of sailing like Puget Sound you can probably sail boats like the C&C, Catalina, Hunter, etc for a lifetime and not experience some of the problems I've mentioned.

There's simply a whole different scale of stress and flexing on a boat that's out at sea vs one in sheltered waters. My experiences with the C&C 34 were of a boat that had spent it's whole life sailing and racing in the ocean.

I honestly don't believe that a boat built in the liners and sandwich method that I describe, which is many if not most production boats, are suitable for a long term life of ocean sailing regardless of what the marketing material might say. They soften up and begin to flex. Since they are not a cohesive structural whole and the pieces have different elasticities they begin to separate and that's where the problem lies. It's simple physics really.

Now the builders are saying that adhesives and fillers are much better today and they don't have these problems any more. I can't say having no experience with newer boats but anecdotes I hear from people in the industry are that things aren't really better despite the new materials.

Speaking as someone who has made poor used boat purchasing decisions I think I have some wisdom to offer here. Really the worst thing you can do to yourself is to fall in love with a boat. If you're in love before you've even seen or sailed on the boat then run away and run away quickly. Sure there is the imperative that a boat must not be ugly but it doesn't have to be love at first sight.

A boat purchase needs to be done with clear eyes and brutal honesty. The time for love is after you've done the research had the survey and sailed the boat in a variety of conditions.

You must remember there's always another boat and a better boat. Your purchasing dollar is better spent up front on a boat that someone else restored than it is in doing the restoration yourself.

When it comes to a restoration or buying a restored boat you need to choose one that's holding its value due to original quality not superficial additions of equipment and electronics. Some boats are good for a lifetime or lifetimes. Some boats sail back and forth across the oceans with no sign of wear or ageing in the hull and appendages. Some boats fall apart as they go....

Time, patience, and the willingness to walk away are key to getting a good boat without spending too much.
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Old 19-08-2015, 19:59   #9
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Ok, time for some of the owners of those boats out there to speak up. There are more than a few of them scattered 'round the planet.
I'd like to hear some stories from them about their boats dismantling themselves while sailing to windward. Sounds like it happens all the time...


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Old 19-08-2015, 20:31   #10
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

I have sailed a number of C&Cs of that vintage, including a 41 in the BVI.

Some recollections:

They leak around the windows (which are flat lexan on a compound curve held in place with with an adhesive) and the mast boot.

The cam cleat sheet stoppers are very hard to open.

The accommodations on the 41 are not very good for blue water. The aft double is really a 3/4. The v berth is larger, but unusable at sea.

There will need to be a lot of upgrades.

They sail really well.

I still love the lines on them.



Bottom line. I have sailed a 1987 C&C 44 (race boat) back from Hawaii to Vancouver twice. I would have serious reservations about the 41.


BTW - sailing bluewater without radar is a huge mistake. I especially like to be able to use the radar to judge the intensity of squall.

I will add more as the thoughts come.
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Old 19-08-2015, 20:57   #11
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

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Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
This construction technique consists of putting furniture pieces into a hull liner and then holding them in with only a polyester adhesive and sheet metal screws. Then the deck and it's liner are placed over this with more of the brittle and useless polyester resin to hold it together.

......

Add to this the fact that the hull deck joint is only bolted and 5200'd to the hull. All this flexing leads the 5200 to lose it's adhesive and sealing qualities and the hull deck joint will start to leak. Nothing could signify the end of a boats lifespan more than a leaking hull deck joint. The cost to repair such a thing if it could be repaired would exceed the value of the boat.
I own a C&C 34 and it put together a little better than that . The bulkheads are tabbed into the hull and connected to the deck with a stainless strap (I have had no problems). The hull deck joint is bolted together and sealed with Butyl tape not 5200(No leaks). I have experience no creaking at all from the bulkheads.

Personally we love the boat. A lot of living room (for the age and size), fairly well laid out and it give you a rather speedy passage in comfortable sea conditions. But we are weekend sailors with one long 2 week trip each year. We do not sail it hard.

That being said. There is no way I would take it on an extended offshore passage. If the weather and seas are on the nose you cannot keep the energy in the boat. Following seas require considerable attention to keep the boat on course. The interior as stated above in not really ready to take a sustained pounding. There is not much storage or room for extra water tanks.

And that's just to name a few. I really could go on all night. And this is from a guy who loves his boat.

Look elsewhere. I know that we will when the time comes.
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Old 20-08-2015, 00:03   #12
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

I was in Trinidad a few years back when four young guys left to sail a C&C 41 around the Horn to the Pacific. The last radio contact I had they were whining about squalls and adverse current getting east around Brazil. I finally heard they made it to Easter Island where the boat went on the rocks in a blow. Sounded like a pretty good boat to me.
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Old 20-08-2015, 04:41   #13
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Hello again and thank you so much for all your input.

OK, you got me. Its hard but you're properly right. Although its hard to understand a boat of this size should have such bad problems. I have read some more about the IOR design problems and do have a good idea what they are talking about going downwind on higher waves and boat is getting out of control. Perhaps even would go longside to the waves... Thats my real scary thought as i have been in hard conditions before...with no problems though...

Its always the same... I just not able to spend more than 50000 to 70000 USD for a finished boat and equiped. (Sorry, I am looking up spelling mistakes yet... )

And you are right... I can not find a boat in that prize range with the looks and shape I am looking for. I do want to do some life aboard and the 41 just have the space and design (inside and outside) I am looking for. But of course, if it will break down in the first heavy weather or is not good sailable in stronger winds... There is no sense in getting this boat. What a shame.

As having the design and shape in mind... I guess i would be better off with a modern mass production boat.... Hunter 37.5 for example...

And i know all those experience sailors who are buying great boats for less money. Very solid and safe and good. But for me... often absolute ugly. I know...this is not really a good thinking...

In Europe I can not find any boat nearly in that prize range which has a half decent design / looks. Really a shame...

Well, again many thanks for your input. I sadly have to keep looking...

Elmar
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Old 20-08-2015, 04:44   #14
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Ui ui ui... Lots of spelling / grammar mistakes... If my ex-girlfriend would see this......
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Old 20-08-2015, 09:41   #15
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Re: Transatlantic passage with C&C 41, 1984

Would be of interest how many c&c 41 have been build and how many are still out there...? If they are not already on the boat cemetery or even on the ground of the ocean...

Are there no current owner who could share there experience...?
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