C&C 38 Landfall Review: Racer is Real Cruiser

Landfall 38 PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

In 1969, C&C officially formed. The four principles: Hinterhoeller Ltd., Belleville Marine Yard Ltd., Cuthbertson & Cassian, and Bruckmann. Ian Morch of Belleville was president. Cuthbertson ran design, Hinterhoeller production, and Bruckmann commissioning. After in fighting in 1973, Cuthbertson became president. Robbie Ball headed the design studio. Cuthbertson ran C&C and produced fast, sleek racers and racer/cruisers. C&C became an industry leader and the pride of Canada boating. Victory after victory with boats like Red Jacket increased the brand’s fame. But Cuthbertson had an awakening in 1977. These racers are fickle and not for the masses. He realized the big market was in cruisers. He decided to start the Landfall series. In 1979, Cassian would have a hard attack and die. Then, a corporate take over of C&C took place. Finally by 1986, C&C was in receivership. During this period, they built the 38 C&C Landfall. What a era and what a boat.

The C&C Landfall 38 is not just a racer but a real cruiser.
The C&C Landfall 38 is not just a racer but a real cruiser.

First Impressions
When hauled out for survey, an owner told me, “She is a pretty boat don’t you think? Oh of course, she’s mine, but I think she has pretty lines.” The 38 landfall has a spoon bow, sharp fast lines and windows on her cabin trunk. Aft is a slight overhand stern with flat transom. Compared to their racers, she has a more cruiserly transom. The easiest way to mark a Landfall 38 or any Landfall is the teak trim. C&C made racers with stainless perforated toe rails. But, the Landfall series including the 38 have a teak trim.

Construction and What to Look For
With the design in 1979, the Hinterhoeller yard stuck to the same innovative techniques that set C&C apart. The build is where C&C made up the speed. Known for their balsa cored hulls, the 38 Landfall is made the same way. She has a fully cored hull and deck. They have rod rigging to go even faster. One note surveyors look for is any wetness in the balsa cored hull and deck. While the surveyor found wet spots in the deck on an older 38 I saw. While tapping the hull, he whispered, “The C&C used balsa below the waterline.” Henry Mustin, a the author of Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats writes “if that sounds like a condemnation of balsa below the water, it probably is!” about the worthlessness of a wet balsa hull.

C&C 38 Landfall layout
C&C 38 Landfall layout

On Deck and Down Below
She has cozy aft cockpit and nice easy to walkthough decks. The captain seat aft is one of those with a curved upward combings added in to make you sit up higher. Following the same lines, C&C enlarged the accommodations. Gone were the saloon berths and instead more ample settees and storage. Forward is the main V-berth. Aft is the saloon with a keel stepped mast, galley portside and head starboard. All the way aft is a double berth portside. Starboard on some is a half berth. Others have a nav station. Many convert the half berth to a nav station.

After 30 years these are proven classics
After 30 years the Landfall 38 is a proven classic!

Engine and Underway
With their heritage of racing, these cruisers were fast. “She’ll out sail any comparably sized boat,” as one owner touts.

In 1980 after launching the 38, one C&C owners so enthralled with the brand launched a hostile takeover. Cuthbertson and others left soon after. The new president continued making the Landfall 38 until 1985. At that point, the company went under. C&C as known was gone. In the years since, C&C has reformed a couple times. Most recently Tartan Yachts and Tim Jackett control the rights to C&C. They continue to leverage the famous heritage of fast racer/cruisers. The 38 Landfall, now in 2009 30 years on, stand up well. They are great fast cruisers for reasonable prices. One note surveyors look for is any wetness in the balsa cored hull and deck. These C&C boats are great made and continue out race most other designs.

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