The dual-purpose, 33-foot racer/cruiser from C&C, which earned top honors as Domestic Boat of the Year and Best Performance Cruiser in Cruising World’s 2013 Boat of the Year awards. (See “9 Top Sailboats for 2013.“)
Designed by Tom McNeill, the 101 easily has the sportiest, most contemporary appearance of this troika, and thanks to its greater length and beam (almost 11 feet), also the grandest interior volume. In form and function, McNeill said the boat is “a throwback to the heyday of C&C,” when the company made its name with an almost endless series of winning club racers that were also more-than-adequate coastal cruisers. Countless sailors found the simple formula irresistible.
Thanks largely to a vast cockpit, an open transom, a lanky double-spreader carbon rig, and a no-nonsense, 6-foot-6-inch fin keel that terminates with a big lead ballast bulb, the BOTY judges believed that the 101 leaned strongly toward the “racer” end of the versatility spectrum. The adjustable sheet leads, Harken hardware package, wide traveler, and extended bowsprit for setting downwind sails underscore that notion. The entire topside layout is clean and functional—there isn’t so much as a splinter of wood in sight—and organized for six competitive sailors to take care of serious business on the racecourse.
That said, when the finish gun sounds and the sails are furled, down below, creature comforts await. With generous 6-foot-6-inch headroom, there’s an unusual aura of spaciousness for a boat measuring less than 35 feet. The time-honored layout includes a private cabin forward (with enclosed head), long settees amidships (with clever, removable seat backs that flip around and can be locked inboard to serve as cushioned lee boards), and a pair of huge quarter berths aft situated beneath the cockpit. There’s also a serviceable galley and navigation station. All in all, the open, accessible berths would be fine for a racing crew for regatta week or small families on an extended summer cruise.
Of course, these days C&Cs are built alongside Tartans, and the composite construction details are absolutely top-notch. The epoxy-infused hull and deck employ a synthetic core in the former and balsa in the latter: The end result is a structure that’s both extremely light (displacement is a mere 8,838 pounds) and stiff. With the exception of the plywood bulkheads, solid wood is used for the cherry furniture and the teak cabin sole. With a base price of $175,000, that’s a lot of boat for the bucks.
But where it all comes together is under sail. A wheel is optional, but the standard tiller with extension is pretty ideal. When we sailed upwind on Chesapeake Bay in about 12 knots of breeze, boat speed was an impressive 8.2 knots. With the asymmetric kite set in a tad more wind, we’d expect to see plenty of double-digit figures. What more could you ask for in 33 feet? Not much.
|LOA||33′ 0″ (10.06 m.)|
|LWL||29′ 10″ (9.09 m.)|
|Beam||10′ 11″ (3.33 m.)|
|Draft||6′ 6″ (1.98 m.)|
|Sail area||671 sq. ft. (62.3 sq. m.)|
|Ballast||3,350 lb. (1,520 kg.)|
|Displacement||8,338 lb. (3,782 kg.)|
|Water||32 gal. (121 l.)|
|Fuel||20 gal. (76 l.)|
|Holding||12 gal. (45 l.)|
|Mast height||55′ 0″ (16.76 m.)|
|Engine||18-hp Volvo Penta|
Herb McCormick is CW’s senior editor.