While the weather didn’t cooperate to make our lives easy during our test sail window in Annapolis, Anarchist ‘gone’ went and did some of our work for us, with a good comparison after test sailing the two sexiest monohulls to hit the racing scene in years. He sailed both the Farr 280 (which just hit UK shores) and the C&C 30 (with orders spreading quickly, especially in the Midwest) and posted a good little comparison. For loads more about either boat, check the F280 thread here and check in with C&C via Facebook (until we can find the thread). Photos from Meredith Block (F280) and Onne Van Der Wahl (CC30).
I sailed the 280 in 8 building to 10-13. As the breeze built, the Farr rep shortened the headstay and tightened the rig up and the easily hit the polars for the wind speed. The boat has a solid feel when it sits on her chine going upwind. I really like the systems on this boat, they speak to my inner MacGyver (TV character that could disarm a warhead with his pocket knife, dental floss and a toothbrush). The boat is fast to accelerate and decelerate, which is a small boat feel. This boat will reward handsomely the crew that cross-sheets the jib going upwind.
Downwind the boat scooted along but one must keep the boat up on its chine or it sticks to the water. The rep showed how proper crew position really influences performance downwind. Boat was moving at mid 8’s sailing VMG angles, I do wish we had a little more breeze to get the boat popped on plane.
The C&C 30 was sailed in 11 building to 20+. This boat has a more big boat feel. Most of this effect comes from the higher freeboard. Rig adjustments are done with a screw driver and wrench. I sailed the boat upwind in the big breeze and it the boat stayed near its polars through the building chop and went back up to speed by pressing on the jib slightly.
The downwind ride was something. In displacement mode keeping the boat on its leeward chine is important. The boat pops onto a plane around 15 knots. When the boat gets ready to pop her nose drops and when it starts rising the boat rapidly accelerates. We saw 20.5 knots of boat speed sailing angles between 150-155 degrees.
Both boats are quality builds. I have raced on custom boats from MORC 25 footers to TP 52’s and the 280 is the closest I will ever be able to affording a custom quality boat. Premier creates jigs (think this is the term) for pre-bending the foam before it is put in the build mould. Farr oversees the whole build process and specs all laminate schedules and resin amounts. Premier actually pre-measures the amount of resin to be used in each part.
So the big finish:
Both are great boats, but I prefer the 280 because I enjoy adjusting boats to make them go fast; in fact it is the learning how the boat communicates is what I find most interesting about racing.