C&C Custom 33 3/4T by designer Rob Ball

Rob Ball, of the C&C design team (1970 - 1989, and head of a design team since 1973.) C&C design team.

(L to R Mark Ellis, Steve Killing, Rob Mazza, Rob Ball, Tony Godwin, Ruth Gard, George Cassian, Ruth Coombes, and Len Cox - George Cuthbertson took picture)

Designed by Rob Ball, in 1974.

Here is what the designer Rob Ball has to say on keel design.

“So George (Cuthbertson) changed the boat-put the swept back keel on and the owner won the Circuit (SORC). But that probably wasn't as significant as the fact that he sailed around here for a couple of years after that and sailed against the same boats he had sailed against with the previous keel on it and indeed the boat was faster upwind and that sort of confirmed what the tank had told us. The theory, of course, was that you can keep sweeping the keel back, cutting drag and it really didn't cut lift that much.”

Rob Ball - again

“The first design that I undertook from a ‘clean sheet’ was the C&C 33 (custom = 3/4Ton) done in the spring of ’74 . .My ‘walking papers’ at that point were for a high performance design, fitting the three-quarter ton size, that would race well to re-establish our image on the race track . . . . This was a tough way to start my ‘real’ career and I researched as much as I could and with trepid heart introduced a somewhat new (but not revolutionary) design and we tried to make it look the part as well. The hull still used Big George’s ‘wedge’ idea, and I believed this would yield good results . . .

An early boat was shipped to Europe (to be used by Baltic Yachts for their production) and it was entered in the Three-Quarter Ton Cup that was in Norway that year . . . In the first two races they placed well and in the third race bested the fleet a pretty amazing thing considering it was a production boat with interior - up against race boats . . . . Wow . . .and then in the next race they broke their mast - not so good but . . . . but . . . . the boat was good . . . . .

The 33 enjoyed a pretty good run I think primarily on performance and C&C’s name stayed up there . . .


This chart shows the force on the sail
for winds up to gale force.  The 33 heels 17 degrees when sailing with 500 sq feet of sail (main plus 100% jib) in a 15 kt wind which produces a force of 1 lb/sq foot.
Influence of LWL on boat speed, and how much quicker an ocean passage would be completed with a bigger boat. These speeds are taken from the PHRF handicapping system for boats made 1970s and 1980s.
As you can see, even a 41 footer is only going to be 10% faster than my C&C 33. Below are some comparisons for 17 C&C yachts.