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Is a C-Dory the right boat for me?
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Bratwurst



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Is a C-Dory the right boat for me? Reply with quote

Hi, hope you don't mind a general question about the suitability of a C-Dory.

I live in Ventura, California and used to enjoy going out to Santa Cruz Island on a regular basis. However, over the last 10 years I've lost my rides and I'm now thinking of getting my own boat. Safety, economy, and speed are my top priorities and I've been intrigued by the C-Dory's.

Trips would be mostly day trips, about 50 miles round-trip in seas that range from smooth (rarely) to stormy open-ocean conditions with big swells. I'd want a boat that would be okay for the occasional weekend trip but I would rather rough it than have a cabin full of cumbersome luxuries. I don't fish.

The channel mandates some strong safety considerations, including having a boat that can handle the roughest weather and is dependable enough that I wouldn't have to worry about being adrift in the middle of the tanker lanes.

I know very little about boats, but it seems that a used 22' C-Dory angler or cruiser, with trailer, for somewhere between $15,000-$25,000 would fit my needs nicely. But, a friend, who is an avid fisherman and very opinionated about things, claims that C-Dorys are built only for calm lakes and sounds and are absolutely unsafe and uncomfortable for heavy seas in the open ocean.

He typically stands while driving his boat and he says that the C-Dory doesn't offer a comfortable position for the pilot. (I know from experience that a small boat in heavy seas will wreck your back if you are seated.) I'm almost 6' tall. Am I going to be bashing my head on the ceiling with every wave?

Also, even the the C-Dory is fast in smooth water, is it slower than other boats with deep V's (like the Radon) when the water is rough? If so, how much slower?

Last question. In my mind, it seems that an outboard is a better choice for an older boat. It seems like my friends with outdrives are always having trouble troubleshooting because everything is so tightly integrated with the hull. It seems like a new outboard attached to an older hull would be a much more reliable setup than a new inboard installed into an older hull. Is this good logic; is replacing an outboard really that much more trouble-free than working on an inboard motor with an outdrive?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'd rather hear the negatives from owners of C-Dory's than from owners and fans of other boats who have never even been on a C-Dory.
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dotnmarty



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bratwurst-With a name like that you'll fit right in here!
About your question, I think you should try to get in touch with "Tortuga". Like you he lives in Ventura and keeps his 22 footer there. I think your boating style and locations are quite similar to his.
http://www.c-brats.com/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=3417
Good luck, and welcome to the Brat (wurst)

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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sleepy-C
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Brat..... Wink

Your friend might know something about fishing, (I don't know anything about that) but he does not know anything about C-Dorys. When single handing, I frequently stand, and it is comfortable, standing in the center, steering with right hand, and an easy reach to the throttles if needed.

My guess is that from this site you will get agreement on the Outboard Question. C-Dorys are outboard powered (almost exclusively -- there are a couple of the 27 PH versions of long ago that had IB's and the are a couple of the aberrant 29's that have IB diesels). There are singles, Single with kickers and twins,and that discussion will go on forever. Look up in the forums and search for multiple threads on those.

You may have to raise your sights, price wise some. C-Dorys do not sell on the NADA prices. They hold their value much better than most boats, and are generally taken better care of (IMHO) so the value is retained even better.

The cruiser cabin is not full of superfluous stuff, but sure makes it nice to get into the shade or out of the weather.

As to whether the C-Dory will handle big water, yes, and chop yes, but slow down and keep the bow down into the chop for a smoother ride.

Check this out:






Harvey
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Bratwurst



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, those are the pictures that first got me interested in the C-Dory. This http://www.c-brats.com/viewtopic.php?t=14389 is the ad that got my juices flowing.

Best case, I buy a newer 20hp kicker and have a really good backup motor. Worst case, I replace the 1993 outboard with a newer one. I'd probably still want a substantial kicker though, I wouldn't feel comfortable in the channel without a dependable back-up.

My friend is knowledgeable and experienced but there's a lot of loose talk down at the launch ramp and a single off-handed comment can quickly turn into a belief. Everyone pretty much agrees that the Radons and other commercial boats are the best, but there is a lot of dispute over the choices for an economy boat.

The Santa Cruz Islands are incredible and a boat is way cheaper than a mountain cottage. The fact that the C-Dory can be beached strikes me as an incredible safety advantage. And, I know of a few people who have stopped going to the islands because of fuel costs for larger boats.
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Tortuga



Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 310
City/Region: Ventura
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 1994
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Tortuga
Photos: Tortuga
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bratwurst, I am in Ventura as well, and in many ways the 22 is a perfect boat for the area. Let me address your questions and share my experiences.

First -- C-Dory vs Radon. No comparison -- the Radon is a MUCH more comfortable and much faster boat for the conditions. There is a reason all the commercial guys out of Santa Barbara use them. They are truly all weather boats. But, the Radon is also a much more expensive boat; and a much heavier boat, and a boat with very little interior space. Unless you have one built to order you may find that the Radon is not really well suited to recreational use.

In general, the deep Vs are faster in the chop -- Sea Sport does very well out here, as do Parker and other similar boats. But faster is not always better. Everything in a boat is a trade-off. There is a long discussion on the handling of the C-Dory vs other hull designs here.

Second -- Outboard. My last boat had an inboard with outdrive. Dumbest design ever. I understand that in some boats there is no other choice -- but, if you can put the engine block above the waterline you will save yourself money and headaches. The new outboards are amazing. In the past, it has always been a gamble -- will the boat start? In my last boat I used to go down routinely to run the engine once a week. And, before any planned use of the boat I would have to get down and make sure the boat actually started. The new 4 stroke outboards (especially with electronic ignition and fuel injection) are much more reliable -- more like a new car than anything I have ever experienced in the past.

"Safety, economy, and speed are my top priorities and I've been intrigued by the C-Dory's" -- This is exactly why I think the C-Dory is the best trade-off for me. These boats are safe -- they are incredibly well balanced and buoyant. In heavy seas they tend to float corklike -- sliding down the face of that slapping steep swell that you didn't see coming rather than broaching. And, if you are diligent and attentive you can avoid those awkward moments.

You do need to match the speed of the boat and the course of boat to the conditions. Overpowering will cause you grief (e.g., run with the swell coming back from Santa Cruz to VTA rather than running over the swell). I find that in a steep swell over 3' running abeam to the swell is very uncomfortable -- so I'll try to quarter the swell (running at 45 degrees off). Running directly with the swell, if I can time it right, is OK, but you will inevitably get your timing off and potentially have the boat feel like its broaching. Trim the bow up when running with the swell to limit the amount of bow steering (that is, to limit the strakes from biting in and turning the boat).

It's actually easier running home from Scorpion to VTA than running between San Pedro and Avalon due to the direction of the swell. You get much bigger seas returning from Santa Cruz, but they are consistent and coming from behind (typically off your aft quarter). As you approach Avalon from San Pedro, seas are confused (mixed swell) and the swell is very steep. So, you get 3' walls of water coming right on your beam.

This is just to say that -- if well driven -- these boats are incredibly safe. Keep in mind that the 22 is a small boat, so the size of the seas are important. It is not an all weather boat. I try to defer passage if the wind waves are over 3'. The swell size will depend on the period and usually is not an issue.

The flat hull issue -- the C-Dory has a modified V with a generally flat hull. The result is that the boat will pound hard if over driven. That won't break the boat, but it will loosen the fillings in your teeth. When you start pounding you simply need to slow down. A deep V will pound, but at higher speeds and with less shudder. Again, this is not a deep V boat and will not allow you to maintain deep V speeds. But, it will allow you to travel with exponentially greater fuel economy, a much smaller engine package, and a much lighter boat.

Comfort -- I suppose bigger is always better -- but for a 22' boat the C-Dory is big enough. I am 5'10" -- so I fit in small places well. But, the pilot seat is plenty comfortable -- and though I can't stand in the area of the seat, I don't know why (even in rough seas) I would want to. The V-berth is huge for a boat this size -- or any size for that matter. 2 adults plus 1 child with no problem.

Why the C-Dory is the best balance for me:

1) It is dry. No matter how rough the water, I never get wet. Never.

2) It contains my kids. No matter how rough or windy, my kids can't fall out of the boat. They do on occasion fly through the cabin, but they always land inside the boat.

3) It is inexpensive to run. I can make a day of boating (50+ miles in mild to heavy seas) in under 15 gallons of fuel.

4) In flat water the boat is fast. I can run all day at 25 mph in flat water and still run efficiently.

5) In snotty water the boat is fast enough. When the wind and waves kick up I can still run between 12-18 mph.

6) The boat is stable. When driven well, the boat feels like a bigger boat. It is always surprising to me to see how small the boat is after a passage in big seas.

7) The boat is affordable. New or used, the C-Dory is a great value. Yes, there are cheaper boats out there. No, you will not find a more affordable boat that can take you the places a C-Dory can take you.

8) The boat is easy to trailer. We often take our C-Dories on long trips. I love the Channel Islands. But I also love the San Juan Islands -- and Tahoe -- etc. I trailer my boat with a minivan. The cost of not needing a larger truck to tow a heavier boat only adds to the affordability index.

9) The boat is roomy. You will simply not find a roomier 22' boat cabin. I routinely sleep 4-6 on the boat (lots of kids) -- and have slept 6 teenagers plus me. Aside from the gym locker smell... works well.

In short, I very much like the utility and simplicity of the boat. I don't think I could have more fun on a different boat. Here's proof.

Disclaimer -- if I had nothing but money, I would buy a bigger boat -- possibly a deep V. At the very least a Tom Cat. But, in the world of choices and trade-offs I live in, the 22' is a keeper.

Good luck with your search!

Matt

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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Matt. That was a very thought out and well written reply. Not only perfect for the gentleman who asked, but for the many who will ask again. I just Sticky-ed this thread and moved it to the C-Dory specific forum because the questions were asked perfectly and the answers thus far have been textbook. Man I love this place! The C-Brats is something that NADA does not include as a value-adding option, otherwise they would certainly list our boats' value more accurately.
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Fishhawk



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
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City/Region: Bon Secour
State or Province: AL
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Osprey
Photos: Osprey
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wurst,

Welcome aboard the Brats!

Harvey is quite correct, your friend knows nothing about these boats.
I am 6'2" and have no problem at the helm. The boats will get you home, you just need to adjust speed wise for what you are presented with.

Good luck in your quest to find a C-dory. Get twin engines if you can Wink .

Dan

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Fishhawk



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
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City/Region: Bon Secour
State or Province: AL
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Osprey
Photos: Osprey
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow,
Since I started my reply ( a long phone call happened) both Matt and Tyboo have made my post rather ridiculus.

Anyway good luck Wurst!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan

P.S. Tortuga Matt Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Great job.
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RedÉox
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heavy ground swells there with a telephoto lense - - a real test would show chop waves with all that - that is what will get ya, not the big swells so much. But to harmonize with the topic a little - i like the observation about the boats sliding rather than broaching - that i can vouch for! that is probably the best defense a c-dory has going over the big bruiser boats - that slip rather than the hook that can topple ya!

i have the old classic 22 - personally i think and feel she runs best beam-to in swells and chop! just amazes me!
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C-Hawk



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Hawk
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bratwurst

Welcome.
Matt (Tortuga) gave a very good post.
I just got back in from a cruise out around Anacapa today- I logged 39.7 miles on the GPS. When I returned to Channel Islands Harbor, I refueled- 10 gallons!
A few years ago, I made a trip to Two Harbors on Catalina and back to CIH for 40 gallons- a four hour trip each way, approximately 120 miles RT.
I don't know of any deep V's that will give you that kind of economy.

I've been to all of the Channel Islands- Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara. I've come through the "tater patch" between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz with 25+ knot winds and 9' at 8 second swells- just slow down and let the C-Dory take you up and over the swells like a Jeep.

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skibberskabber



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Newbie trying to decide Reply with quote

Hi all,
I am looking at the C22 as a first boat, although I am not sure it is entirely a good fit. While the boat would see quite a bit of day cruising and weekending on inland waterways, ICW, etc, and some near shore, I live on a very small lake and would like something I can use there for tubing, boogie board, etc. The lake is only about 150 acres and most everything on the lake is 19' or less for fishing, skiing, wakeboard, etc, including a lot of PWC. There are no size restrictions, but I dont want to put something on that is going to swamp anyone or otherwise cause wake problems. So my questions are:
1. Do people tube, board, wakeboard, and ski behind C-Dorys? I have never seen a picture or read of anyone doing any of these things. Im not looking at slalom skiing or anything - just moderate speed stuff.
2. Do C22s throw big wake for their size? I would think the low dead rise would throw low wake but then again, the boats are pretty big. I know its all relative but would a C22 throw bigger wake than say a dedicated wakeboard boat of 18'?

Since it is my first boat I may get something smaller/cheaper to bang around the docks for a couple years first.
Thanks for all inputs!
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rogerbum



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very few people ski or wake board behind a C-Dory. It can be done but a 22' CD is most comfortable as speeds of less that 20kts. It can get up to 25-27kt and even 30kts when powered with a big engine but above about 25-27kts, the handling gets squirrelly. Most ski boats go a bit faster. As for wake, the wake from a CD is small related to a wake boarding boat. Most wake boarders have deep V hulls and the put a water filled bladder in the cockpit specifically to increase the wake. As 22' CD will through very little wake relative to that.
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Da Nag



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger's points are well taken, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider the C-Dory.

Basically, you've asked about two very different activities, which no boat can do both of well. So...you need to determine your priorities, and have to expect compromises.

For me, the decision would be easy. The C-Dory would suck far less as a tubing/kneeboard boat, than a ski boat would as a cruiser.

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416rigby



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've pulled a tube a couple times. It works ok and was fun. It isn't a wakeboard boat, but it sure does lots of things pretty well. When all the other boats went home for the day, we would toss out the anchor and enjoy the sunset and stargazing before turning in for a good sleep. These boats are very versitile. "I have never seen a picture or read of anyone doing any of these things." Here ya go. Enjoy! Rick

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thataway



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You both have been given some excellent information. You certainly can tube behind a C Dory and I have taken my grandkids. Skiing is possible--ideally you ski at 22 to 23 mph--and that is achievable in most of the C Dories.

There are times going out the Santa Cruz, that you will have to slow way down--but coming home, you will run as well or perhaps better than the D V's.

As for a kicker--20 hp is more than you need--an 8 hp high thrust will do you very well.

Beaching--on the channel Islands probably not a good idea--because it is not unusual to get some swell and then breakers, but at places like Lake Powell--do it every night.

That boat for $12,500 is a great buy. The 2 stroke Suzuki is an excellent engine and should run that boat very well--I would not consider upgrading unless there is some major problem.

Although the Radon's have an excellent reputation as work boats--they do not have a real fine entry (such as a regulator or Contender)--and don't do as well into chop as these two. But do better than the C Dory--the reason for the flatter entry-is that they will then tend not to broach down wind and waves.

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