As the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario, it
sweeps around Niagara-On-The-Lake at the tip of
the Niagara Peninsula. Here in the heart of the
wine and fruit-growing region, Canada's predominent
yacht builder carries on the region's centuries old
boat building traditions.
On an eight acre tract originally carved out of fruit
farms, C&C Yachts grew to become of the largest and
most successful boat builders in North America, only
to falter in the late 1980's. But, like the mythical
phoenix, the firm, now know as C&C International
Yachts, Ltd., is on the rise.
Since being acquired by a Hong Kong group after
being shut down for 14 months, C&C again is turning
out the fast, seakindly, innovative, and high quality
yachts for which it had gained an international
reputation. It also is breaking new ground in
design and construction methods with a new IMS
yacht for 1994, which is expected to make its debut
this fall, and a unique, high-speed cruising
catamaran currently under construction.
The Sadie Ellen, the newest C&C 51 which was launched July
30, 1993, illustrates the clean, elegant lines of the C&C's IMS-
oriented performance racer/cruiser. The interior features the
warmth of teak in a spacious layout.
Drawn to Quality
Anthony Koo didn't intend to acquire
C&C. He actually was looking to buy
a powerboat builder on behalf of
his group. Born in China and raised
in Hong Kong, he was first drawn into
sailing in one of the strangest
business ventures imaginable.
In 1978, the Chinese government
invited Koo and several associates,
who were builders and architects, to
develop a project on mainland China.
After some studies, the group
declined. The frustrated Chinese
officials asked what they did in
their spare time. One friend told
the Chinese he raced sailboats in
Hong Kong. So the officials asked
them to build sailboats.
The group assembled a team and turned out
a 30 foot sloop in four months. "We patted
ourselves on the back and went home," says
Koo grinning. "But there never was a second
boat." The Chinese just weren't ready the
sport of sailing.
The venture, though gave Koo a knowledge
of fiberglass composite construction that