CL 14/16

CL 14/16 – built to last for the long haul

The CL16: 

The CL16 dinghy has been produced since 1968. Through these years the 16 has proven itself to be a remarkable dinghy that is able to perform as well as it can last. Every 16 was built to last for the long haul; hand laid up using the best materials, outfitted with high quality durable rigging and fittings and backed by the builder. 

Humble beginnings lead to a highly respected sailing dinghy that stood behind the boat and its sailors. Even in the new age where high tech and the words “wireless” are all the rage the CL16 still gets by in the same form it did over 40 years ago. This unchanged design is the 16’s greatest selling point – a product that has lasted more then 40 years relatively unchanged obviously is the right design and allows for all CL16’s no matter what year to compete and its sailors are able to talk about every boat with out worrying. The continuity of the 16 assures resale value should that time come. 

The present day 16 is an attractive well mannered proper little sailboat. With options such as spinnaker and trapeze the 16 will grow with its owners always being what they desire in a small sailboat. 

C&L Boatworks Inc. operating out of Fort Erie, Ontario is the current builder of the C&L product line of sailboats. The long history behind CL started in the late 50’s when two gentleman named Croce and Lofthouse began work on a prototype sloop sailboat that was 16′ long. The boat went into production in 1968 using what was at the time a relatively new material to the industry, fibreglass. The success of this construction was enormous, nearly every CL built is still out there on the water, and these tried, tested, and true methods of boat building are what we still use today.

The boat took off and so did production. Eventually Croce and Lofthouse opted to escape the busy world of boat production and sold the rights to production and the molds to Waterhouse & May Ltd. Once Waterhouse & May Ltd. (actually three people, David & Ann Waterhouse, and Bob May) took the reigns there was no looking back. The business was moved to Pickering just outside of Toronto. And rising sales allowed for expansions that saw the addition of more boat designs – the CL11, CL14, Echo and the Code 40. As well as these small dinghies a small to a pocket sloop rigged cruiser with a retractable keel called a Sandpiper 565 was added. The name changed to C&L Boatworks LTD and boat production was about 400 boats a year often using 2 shifts to provide seasonable availability of boats. The company employed 12 constant full time employees and at peak times 22 plus 2 foreman. 

For nearly two decades Waterhouse & May watched over CL and made both the company and boats great successes. After a good run they decided the time had come to pass the torch. In the early 1990’s they sold the business, rights, molds, inventory and everything else to Tom Oleksiuk. Tom moved the business to Fort Erie, renaming it CL Sailboat Shop. Tom Oleksiuk passed away in 2009, David Ventresca, Operations Manager for CL Sailboats under Oleksiuk, purchased the C&L assets and rights in 2010 and continues to manufacture the line in Fort Erie, Ontario. Current boat production hovers around 100 boats a year. 

C&L Boatworks is proud to continue the CL tradition of legendary Canadian-built sailboats.

More: CL16 on Wikipedia