Are C&C Sailboats Bluewater?

Are C&C Sailboats Bluewater? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

August 30, 2022

When searching for the best bluewater sailboats, there are many options available. C&C sailboats for example have great value, but are C&C sailboats bluewater?

The size and price are not the only factors to consider when comparing C&C sailboats. There are many characteristics that separate some sailboats, but it would be appealing if C&C sailboats could be used for bluewater due to their class, style, and price point.

C&C sailboats have potential for bluewater sailing, but lack in some areas. The companionways are tight, have little cockpit protection, proper storage for a life raft, and need provisions for improved handling with less people. No boat is perfect, but some C&C boats are capable on bluewater.

C&C sailboats have typically served as a dual-purpose boat, with a few options of trends among consumers over the years. The brand has a few boats that are bluewater worthy under the C&C Landfall category of boats, but a few exceptions can be made if you are up for the challenge.

According to sailboat data, these boats are slightly heavier than the typical racing C&C line of sailboats. This means their Landfall line of sailboats are geared towards serious use, rather than just a cruiser. In addition, you are going to find that you might need to make some compromises in order to find the best C&C sailboat for bluewater.


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Price a Huge Factor

Before checking out the condition of a 1980’s C&C Landfall boat, the price is something to consider. Some have been listed around $20,000, while others are hovering around $90,000.

Depending on the condition of the boat, it could be worth the extra price. If the boat has upgrades to the companionways and a dodger implemented around the cockpit, this could add value. These are simple upgrades you could do yourself to save money, but are convenient when someone else has put the time in for you.

The average price of the Landfall 38 has consistently been around $70,000. This is not a great price for a boat that needs some upgrades for bluewater sailing, as this reflects comparisons to other cruisers. If you can find one that is cheaper with only a handful of upgrades to consider, this could potentially be a great option.

Fortunately, not many of these boats were made and used for serious sailing. You can still find good quality Landfalls for a great price to use for a bluewater sailboat.

Key Characteristics

The C&C Landfall 38 is a great example for the brand creating a bluewater sailboat. The boat is slightly heavier than other boats around the same time, but not so much that it affects the performance negatively.

This particular boat was the mid-size option out of the three models they built, with a 35 and 42 footer. The 38 offered the most success in terms of casual sailing due to its size and comfort amongst a smaller group of people.

These boats were built as a performance cruiser, with some capacity to handle bluewater sailing in moderate conditions depending on your experience. The Landfall 38 is a fast boat that also offers a longer keel and longer deckhouse, so you get the best of both worlds when it comes to sailing fast but with a little extra room of comfort.

These series of boats use a masthead sloop, which allows an advantage with flying a bigger headsail. In upwind, you can gain a lot of speed without having to fully rely on your engine. This is a great bonus since the boat has a smaller fuel tank.

When sailing, the boat typically performs well aerodynamically with good upwind performance. It is possible to be cruised by a couple, assuming you use a good roller-furling headsail system.

If you and someone else can handle the boat efficiently this way, it allows the best room for comfort and navigation. Having three to six people on board also helps with extra hands, but could be a tight fit for days at a time.

Drawbacks to Using C&C Boats for Bluewater

While some positive characteristics are going to set apart one sailboat to another, there are some features that need to be addressed if serious sailing is your goal. Typical C&C boats were manufactured with racing and casual sailing in mind, so bluewater capabilities are limited in that regard to most of their lineup.

Since racing was the brand's bread and butter during that time, it makes sense that they would incorporate a performance cruiser with some minor racing accents. There were only 180 of these boats built since the market at the time did not value them. Finding a C&C Landfall might also prove to be difficult depending on the location, but potentially worth it if you want to spend time on it.

Fuel Tanks

Depending on how far you plan to travel for a bluewater trip, you might want to consider how much fuel you are going to be using. The Landfall 38 holds 30 gallons of diesel, which does not allow much use for multiple days out at sea and limits it to roughty a day.

You would either have to fully utilize the wind and cruise rather slowly to get to your destination. In addition, you would have to consider bringing extra fuel with you, which would take up space and potentially be hazardous for the environment if you cannot safely secure it on board.

Potable Water

In comparison to the fuel tanks, the gray tanks are somewhat overkill. These boats typically hold 103 gallons of water.

Since it was made back in the 1980’s, the difference between fuel and gray tanks is massive. It is possible to handle roughly 45 gallons for a few days of travel, so completely topping off the water tank for a day trip might not be useful.

Tight Companionways and Water

The companionways can appear tight to navigate if you are sailing with several people. Even though this boat is possible to handle with just two, you might want extra people at first until you get the hang of it.

With the bulkhead having a slope forward, you will need to leave the drop board in place when it rains. In addition, the companionways do not have a lip on them, which allows water to enter the cabin under the drop board.

Attractive Boat for Its Time

The design of a C&C Landfall 38 has stood the test of time when it comes to design features. As for a bluewater sailboat, it meets the criteria for getting the job done in comfort.

Great Space

Below the deck offers plenty of storage and space for multiple people. Depending on how an individual will use it, this could be optimized in either direction.

The galley typically has plenty of space to move around, which is great when you plan on cooking each day. Without compromising space or comfort, this makes it easy to spend days at a time on board.

Tough and Reliable

With these boats being equipped with a long keel, some may want to add a skeg. However, the spade rudder is sufficient enough to help protect the prop.

With those two components in mind, it allows the boat to track well and hold up during tough conditions just fine. In combination with the 12 foot beam, it offers a stiff boat that can handle rough conditions or whatever the weather throws at you.

Since the boat only drafts right around five feet, it does leave a little to be desired in comparison to today's cruisers or sailboats that draft another foot or two deeper. This would be up to the individual who is sailing, but some milder conditions on the bluewater would be perfect for this boat.

Are C&C Sailboats Bluewater?
Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

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