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C&C 37R: Racer from drawing board of Rob Ball
I called Rob Ball, head designer at C&C, to talk about the 37R. Rob said that once in a great while you get a boat that does everything perfectly, i.e. floats level, balances well, looks good, goes fast and sells. The new C&C 37R is just that boat. The boat has proven so fast that orders for the racing model have totally overwhelmed the orders for the more subdued cruise-race model. It appears that C&C is back in their old groove of producing high performance boats.
Much of the credit for this success must go the C&C design team.
design is handled by Rob Ball, accommodations
by Rob Ball, deck design and layout by Rob Ball and rig and general engineering
by Rob Ball. You see, the team is not as big as it used to be, but the success
of the 37R is testimony to the fact that perhaps Ball's talents were being diluted
by the input of too many other in-house, competing designers in the past. Some
of us have been through the team approach to design and found that nothing
beats the satisfaction of doing it all yourself. It's nice to sit back and say
"It's my design" without meaning the corporate "my." Hull
What makes the new 37 so fast? To begin with, length overall. The 37 is not 37 feet long but 39.47 feet long. Ball said they drew a nice 37-foot interior, then just stretched the ends to give the boat more grace and style. Ball also kept the 37 relatively narrow and free from IOR distortion. I asked him about the small skeg aft and he said it was to help with directional stability and that one of the keys to a fast IMS design was making the boat easy to sail. The keel has an eight percent foil at the root with reduced chord for interference drag reduction and an 11 percent foil at the tip to help get the VCG down. Note the extended trailing edge-hull fillet. The rudder is a classic Spitfire wing platform, partially balanced. The D/L ratio is 219. Draft is 7'10". Compare this to the seven-foot draft of my 69-footer.
The 37R is laid out for racing and satisfies the IMS requirements. I wouldn't call this a plush interior, but if plush is what you are after you would be better off looking at the standard model. Note the aft located chart table.
So there you have it. On the surface a nice, family racer-cruiser that happens to be winning a lot of races all over the country. But there is a lot more to the 37R than meets the eye. The hull construction is probably as important a factor in the success of this design as the design itself. The 37R is built entirely with DuPont hybrid material that combines Kevlar with GRP. This combined with C&C's usual balsa core results in a very high strength or stiffness to weight ratio. Unidirectional glass is used for additional local stiffening.
It's launch day. The designer is there, trying to be cool but fully cognizant that his work is done. There is little to do but stand and watch the workers get the new boat into the slings and touch up the cradle pad marks with bottom paint. One of my early bosses told me never to attend launchings, but I attend all of them that I can.
Up goes the boat, swaying in the slings. It looks fast and it looks beautiful. As the boat begins to lower you wonder, "Where will it float?" The keel kisses the water, then begins to disappear down, down. Then the slings go slack and you race over to the adjacent dock to get a better look at the flotation. It floats perfectly. What more could a yacht designer ask for? Oh, yes, "please make it be fast."
As the weeks go by the reports come in. It's fast. It's very fast.
Reprinted from 1989 FEBRUARY • SAILING • Page 33