The C&C 115 is the Height of Competent Duality

The C&C; 115 is Sailing World's 2006 Boat of the Year and Best Racer/Cruiser.

C&C 115

Walter Cooper

The C&C 115 is Sailing World's 2006 Boat of the Year Overall Winner and Best Racer/Cruiser. The combination of sailing quality, lightweight, stiff construction, and reasonable price gave the 37-footer a leg up on the competition, and our independent judging panel, Chuck Allen, Alan Andrews, and Meade Gougeon, felt the boat fulfilled its design brief remarkably well. We sailed the C&C 115 with the boat's designer, Tim Jackett, and he and the experienced crew quickly helped us see what the 37-footer was all about. The three judges and I first took turns driving upwind, and rotated crew positions, all of which helped give us a feel for the boat's capabilities. "The boat has nice groove upwind and locks into the numbers," says Allen. "Downwind is even better, as the boat sails very low with excellent pace." Allen also had high praise for the boat's interior design. "The C&C 115 is about the best balance between racing and cruising that I've seen," he says. "I favor the racing end, but with some nice comforts the 115 works well. Down below is well thought out, with nice composite finishing in cabinets and moldings and veneers outside.The nav station, finished in cherry, has plenty of room, and there's lots of storage below and a huge amount of headroom.There's no choice of layout, but I like what C&C did, having one large head aft with a built-in shower rather than a two-head layout."Andrews liked the visibility from the helm, and had some suggestions for future teams. "Upwind, the crew weight needs to be kept aft," says Andrews. "When you have crew forward of the mast downwind, you'll be about about .5 knots slower than having the crew back by the companionway hatch."Gougeon, our expert in construction and materials, has a lot to say about how the 115 is put together. "The C&C 115 features modern construction technology that provides some immediate and long-term benefits," says Gougeon. "The hull is constructed with high-tech epoxy resins that are considerably tougher and stronger than the typical polyester-based resin blends used in most production boats of this type. Just as important is the manufacturing process used, which is capable of saving up to 30 percent of hull weight over hand lay-up methods. "The build process begins with feeding all reinforcing fibers through a machine that closely controls resin content. The hull mold, with cured gelcoat already installed, is then laid on its side ready for the installation of the outer skin's fiber reinforcement, which is immediately followed by placement of the foam core. Finally, the inner-skin reinforcement is applied over the core in immediate sequence. This wet, uncured sandwich, covering slightly more than one half of the mold, is then sealed with a vacuum bag and compressed less than one atmosphere (about 1,800 pounds per square foot) until an initial cure takes place. The mold is then rotated and the other hull half is completed in the same process, with a generous overlap occurring between the two halves along the centerline. The completed hull is then post cured for 16 hours in a computer-controlled oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit."The immediate benefits of this process, which are common practice with high-end custom raceboats (think America's Cup boats) is stiffness, strength, and less weight. But long-term benefits may be even more important, such as resistance to "microcracking" a well-known occurence in fiberglass boats where stiffness degrades over time. Well-compacted epoxy laminates are also far more resistant to any water damage from water-filled voids (from freeze/thaw cycles) to the total elimination of gelcoat blister problems."Thus, the C&C115-with this stiff hull at a low weight, coupled with a carbon rig-is a performer that is PHRF rated at the high end of its size range. I can predict with confidence that the 115 will enjoy these performance advantages over a long life span, which should translate into high resale value as this fleet progresses into the future.Ensuring this resale value is a functional and attractive interior that will support comfortable short-term cruising for two couples or longer term cruising for one. In addition, the cockpit and interior posses all the social amenities necessary for successful post-race social gatherings."In my view, says Gougeon in closing. "The C&C 115 offers a lot of boat for the money, both as a competent race boat that is fun to sail and as a comfortable short-term cruiser." C&C 115 website