After sailing the boat around the country with many different crew members, Will Harris has logged nearly a Volvo Race-worth of hours on the new C&C 30. Here’s a taste of his valuable insights on sailing the boat – we’ll bring you more notes on what he’s learned, from boat handling to maintenance, throughout the new year.
In light air, we sail the boat flat with the weight forward. You wouldn’t guess from looking at it, but upright, the C&C 30 is skinnier than a Mumm 30! So, in the light stuff, we move forward to reduce wetted surface by getting the transom out of the water, and we scoot right along.
The most breeze we’ve sailed in is about 30 knots. We had the heavy jib and full main on. We were able to go upwind okay, but would have been happier and faster with a reef. Downwind, top speed was near 22 knots and sustained over 19 knots.
There are a few things about the boat that no one believes until they sail it. The first one is that the boat is really, really dry upwind. Even on the 30-knot day, we were not getting fire-hosed sitting on the rail! Up to about 25 or so, it’s really rare for water to land on the deck when sailing upwind.
DOWNWIND IN WAVES
Downwind is a different story, however. At about 16 knots of boat speed, the bow wave gets a bit unruly. At this point we’re going faster than the waves and occasionally we plow into the back of one, scoop it up, and wash it down the deck and out the back like a Volvo 70. It takes some getting used to, but I haven’t heard too many complaints about that.
Another thing folks don’t believe is that the boat is really easy to drive at speed. When the bow does pick up a wave, as described above, our natural reaction is to grab something solid because we think the bow is going down. But, because of the boat’s full bow sections, the bow floats up and the boat just explodes forward.
Looking at the boat, many people think “dinghy.” After sailing the boat, they change their minds and come away impressed by the big boat feel. There is a lot of power that’s really well managed.
SIMPLICITY BY DESIGN
The last thing I’ll talk about is simplicity. With athwartships jib tracks, double backstays, and all the other trick features, it’s easy to think this is a complicated boat to sail. We spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into all the systems and the choreography of boat handling. Wherever we could, we made things simpler; any good amateur can hop on and get the boat going really quickly.
Obviously I’m biased, but I really think that we’ve hit our goal of creating a state-of-the-art race boat that’s easy to sail and manage. This boat is a blast to sail and I would have no problem racing in 35 or even 40 knots with the right sail combination. It’s a boat that a really wide range of sailors will be able to race hard and have a ton of fun. If you have any questions, or just want to talk about the boat, please contact me! – Will Harris