The Corbin 39

Summary

The Corbin 39 was designed by Robert Dufour and built by Marius Corbin. The design features flush decks and ample freeboard. Production of the Corbin 39 in Quebec began in 1979 and 129 of the earlier hulls were produced until 1982.  A fire in 1982 destroyed some of the moulds and an updated topsides design came out. Those which were fully completed prior to this fire are referred to as the Mk1 and feature smaller cockpits and lower pilothouse cabin profiles than the later Mk2 versions. Most boats were sold as kits at various stages of completion with only about 15 being fully factory finished by Corbin from a total of two hundred or so hulls that were moulded. Production of moulded hulls continued until about 1989 or 1991.

The design was available with either aft or centre cockpits; and either ketch or cutter or sloop rigged. The Corbin 39 proved to be an extremely good strong, safe, adaptable long distance family cruising boat and many have circumnavigated. Originally the fleet was primarily in USA and Canada but now they can be found worldwide. Below is a much more detailed explanation of the Corbin 39 that takes as its starting point the aft-cockpit pilothouse version.

This page is very much a work-in-progress, and if you are able to assist with writing more, especially regarding the centre cockpit (CC) versions please contact us.


Introduction

Cutaway Isometric View of the Mk2 Pilothouse Version with the V-Drive Engine Option

The Corbin 39 was designed by Robert Dufour and built by Marius Corbin. The design features flush decks and ample freeboard. Production of the Corbin 39 in Quebec began in 1979 and 129 of the earlier hulls were produced until late 1982.  A fire in late 1982 destroyed some of the moulds and an updated topsides design came out. Those which were fully completed prior to this fire are referred to as the Mk1 and feature smaller cockpits and lower pilothouse cabin profiles than the later Mk2 versions. Most boats were sold as kits at various stages of completion with only about 15 being fully factory finished by Corbin from a total of two hundred or so hulls that were moulded. Production of moulded hulls continued until about 1989 or 1991.

The design was available with either aft or centre cockpits; and either ketch or cutter or sloop rigged. The Corbin 39 proved to be an extremely good strong, safe, adaptable long distance family cruising boat and many have circumnavigated. Originally the fleet was primarily in USA and Canada but now they can be found worldwide. Below is a much more detailed explanation of the Corbin 39 that takes as its starting point the aft-cockpit pilothouse version.

Version Identification

The Corbin 39 hulls were all built to the same design. There are two generations of topsides that are generally referred to as the Mark 1 and Mark 2. The main difference between Mk1 and Mk2 pilothouse (PH) boats lies in the cockpit and pilothouse design; and the location of mast & bowsprit. The Mk2 centre cockpit (CC) was also given the redesigned cockpit and, additionally, a pilothouse which was not present in the Mk1 centre cockpit (we think this was optional, but so far we have not identified any mk2 CC’s without the pilothouse).

The new Mk2 topsides was used from late 1982 onward. The first Mk2 boats completed fitting out in 1983 though of course this means that some had hulls that were moulded in earlier years. The hull designs of the Mk1 and Mk2 are identical but for the addition of a 3-feet (1-metre) long bowsprit and bobstay on the Mk2.

The distinguishing features of the Mk1 boats are:

  • Smaller cockpit footwell area and a oblong shape;
  • Mainsheet traveller usually on a bridge across the aft-cockpit footwell;
  • Small side deck outside of the cockpit coaming;
  • Mast located on the aft mast step mould mark in the sloop/cutter version; or the forward moulded mark in the ketch version;
  • A u-shaped galley;
  • No bowsprit (although some had bowsprits added ex-factory);
  • Lower pilothouse coachroof compared to the Mk2;
  • No pilothouse/coachroof on the Mk1 centre cockpit boats;
  • Three smaller pilothouse/coachroof forward windows;
  • Cockpit floor does not have an engine room hatch;
  • Hull numbers from 1 to 128 inclusive with a few exceptions.

By contrast, the Mk2 boats have the following features:

  • A larger more rounded cockpit with no side deck around the cockpit coaming;
  • Mainsheet traveller on the pilothouse coachroof in the aft cockpit version;
  • A somewhat higher pilothouse/coachroof than the Mk1 boats;
  • Most (if not all) of the centre cockpit Mk2 boats have a pilothouse and coachroof forward of the cockpit, starting very close to the mast, with three deeper forward-facing windows;
  • A single long galley counter (often, internal layout is very variable);
  • A bowsprit with bobstay;
  • Mast always located on the more forward of the two mast step moulding marks on the deck;
  • In the aft cockpit four (but deeper) pilothouse/coachroof forward windows (not the three shallow ones like the mk1 pilothouse);
  • Cockpit floor hatch for engine room access in the aft cockpit version;
  • Hull numbers (several prior to 129) and then 129 to 199/201.

At the time of the factory fire in late 1982 there were a number of undelivered Mk1 boats in the yard, or where very little fitting out work had started at clients. When the new cockpit and pilothouse etc was available some owners elected to upgrade to the new cockpit and pilothouse, bowsprit and mast location and so these are as much a Mk2 as any of the #129-onwards boats. We are unsure if there was any significance in the decisions between boats as to whether to use single or split backstays, except that boats with HF radio fits tended towards split backstays and isolators.

 

The Mk2 aft cockpit pilothouse #155, “Blue Run”, ex “Reverence” under sail

Common Features

They are all the same ……… but different …..…

Marius Corbin’s Design and Build Philosophy

Marius Corbin founded Corbin les Bateaux Inc. in 1977 to build a boat which would, in his words, meet his “simple” requirements for a boat of “about 40 feet, comfortable, giving good performance to windward and in light air, strong enough for around-the-world cruising, an interior layout suitable for two persons or a small family, and built to the highest specs.”

The result of his search for such a boat was a collaboration between Marius Corbin and Robert Dufour, a naval architect in Montreal, Quebec. Dufour specialized in custom designs and had designed and built “Harmonie”, a sailboat of a size and with performance that Corbin found suitable for his needs. At Corbin’s request, Dufour modified the design to produce the Corbin 39 Mk1 – a flush deck aft cockpit cutter with a short and low pilothouse coachroof. The long fin keel and skeg hung rudder contributed to the boats good performance and seakindly nature while the flush deck allowed for a comfortable and voluminous interior that is well suited to long-term cruising.

Corbins desire to build a very strong hull and deck resulted in a generous lamination schedule with solid fibreglass below the waterline, Airex core above the waterline, and decks built with ¾ inch marine mahogany core. The mahogany deck core was in 4 inch squares bonded to the deck skins on both sides and between the squares. The grid of resin around the edges of the ply helps minimize the migration of water should there be leakage around deck fittings. Some later boats may have used Airex for the deck core although this has not been confirmed. There are no known boats with balsa cores.

The resins used in constructing the hulls were isopthalic polyesters which, combined with careful glass layup procedures, have kept the boats relatively free of blistering problems.

Corbin also used good quality hardware and fittings. Blocks and fittings such as track were mostly from Schaefer. Custom made parts were fabricated from stainless steel and are easily reproducible, unlike cast fittings.  Stainless steel parts such as chainplates and window frames are of polished 316 stainless and very substantial. Early boats may have used teak frames around the pilothouse windows. Many of the custom parts were made by Everett Bastet, E.B. Spars (ebsparsdotcom) in Hudson, Quebec. High quality Barient winches were available from Corbin but other brands were supplied if specified by the client. Original and compatible parts are still available for Barient winches. Navtec rods were used for the bobstays on the Mk2 boats.

The interior woodwork of the boats consisted of marine grade mahogany plywood and solid mahogany for the structural components, teak plywood facing on the bulkheads, and solid teak for locker door frames, bulkhead edges, grab rails, and fiddles.

Marius Corbin meant the 39 to take its owners “safely and comfortably around the world” and says “We get postcards from all over the world… what better recommendation is there for a strong and seaworthy vessel.” Robert Dufour’s design and Corbin’s quality construction have endured. Many of the Corbin 39’s have circumnavigated or made major ocean passages and continue to do so.

Comfort

The Corbin 39 is a very comfortable boat to cruise in. Motion underway is smooth and sea kindly. The soft turn at the bilges combined with fairly high displacement contribute to well damped movement when the boat takes waves on the bow. The roll moment is quite long and the stop and reverse at the end of a roll is slow enough to not be jarring. Brewers’ calculated “Comfort Ratio” of 37.7 suggests the boat is in good company in this respect and owner experience bears out his calculation.

Underway and at anchor the boats are very quiet inside, even in high winds. Rigging tends to be quiet and the strong construction of the hull and deck do not transfer outside noise to the interior. Underway there are no oil-canning or other alarming noises even in rough pounding conditions. Outside, the cockpit area stays dry with only wind-blown spray reaching the cockpit seats.

Handling and Performance

The Corbin 39 balances well under sail although carrying too much sail for the wind conditions will result in developing weather helm, as it will on any boat. In the mk1 the ketch-rigged version reports no unusual weather helm, but some of the mk1 sloop/cutter versions experienced weather helm onset at lower wind speeds than they would have liked, typically 15-knots. This was easily corrected or managed in the mk1, and then in the mk2 design changes were introduced that made it a non-issue. There is a FAQ on the weather helm subject (here) with links to comprehensive reports and studies.

The best range for sailing angle of heel seems to be a comfortable 12 to 15 degrees. A study into sailing performance indicates that heeling further 22-24 degrees than brings no performance advantages (see VPP sailing performance study, here).

As far as speed under sail is concerned it will of course depend on how it is sailed. A typical mk2 reports that in 12-15 knots wind when close-hauled to windward they they make 6.5-7.2 knots speed through the water. Downwind in 25-knots of wind they make about 6+ knots through the water with just the yankee. With an asymmetric spinnaker the typical speed through the water is about half the true wind speed up to 8-knots of wind speed. The theoretical hull speed is 7.58 knots, and a typical mk1 cutter reports “I’ve done 8.5 knots with a clean hull as measured by a properly calibrated chart plotter. Have often reached over 7 knots steady with only the genoa or only the main on a run, on a windy day of course.” For longer passage-planning purposes many Corbins assume 4 to 5 knots made good. A full study into sailing performance is available in the Longform Articles section (see VPP sailing performance study, here).

Manoeuvres under sail proceed smoothly. The boat easily completes tacks in all but the very lightest of breezes, and even accidental gybes in 20 knots of wind complete with a smooth roll that is surprisingly anti-climatic (not a recommended manoeuvre of course). In the cutter-rigged version most crews partially roll-in the genoa/yankee prior to tacking, and/or hand-it through the slot between the staysail sty and the forestay. Many of the cutter-rigged boats only use the staysail when reaching.

Under engine power reversing can be tricky depending on the engine configuration and propeller as prop wash tends to push the boat sideways. However, this can be a great advantage when properly used.

A Corbin mk1 racing and winning in Peniche, Portugal (#73, Jakatar)

Hull Configuration

The Corbin 39 hull remained unchanged throughout the production run and has been proven to be solid and long lasting. The long fin keel design with a skeg hung rudder is widely considered to be a preferred configuration for cruising as it combines good performance with robustness, without a deep narrow keel requiring too much draught as to make smaller anchorages or shoal areas inaccessible. The Scandinavian stern provides lots of buoyancy for good load carrying capacity.

The generous hull with long fin-keel and skeg-hung rudder and Scandinavian stern is obvious in this photo of #190, “R Kalliste’ “

The tall rig boats (some or all) had additional ballast, in the form of an encapsulated lead shoe, bolted to the bottom of the keel. [Ed: are we sure about this ? My understanding is that all the ballast is always carried internally within the keel, and that it was simply a matter of choosing how much to stow, and whether to stow it as lead or as iron. Update: apparently at least two had applique lead on the keel, which corresponds to them carrying the additional top-weight of in-mast furling gear]. Approximately two feet of the trailing edge of the keel is a fairing and does not enclose ballast. The fairing appears to have been a separate moulded component. [Ed: Again, this is not the case according to Marius Corbin’s own commentary in the FAQ, see here]. Displacement ranges from 23,000 lbs to about 26,000 lbs depending on what optional equipment is installed.

L.O.D.: 41′ 6″ (12.65 m)
L.O.D.: 38′ 6″ (11.74 m)
L.W.L.: 32′ 0″ (9.75 m)
Beam: 12′ 1″ (3.68 m)
Draft: 5′ 6″ (1.67 m)
Displ: 22,800 lbs (10,342 kg.)
Ballast: 9000 lbs. (4082 kg.)
Sail Area for all conventional slab-reefing versions:
– 822 sq.ft. (76 sq.m.) tall rig double-spreader mk2 sloop/cutter
– 801 sq ft (74 sq.m.) tall rig double-spreader mk1 sloop/cutter
– 710 or 721 sq ft (66 or 67 sq.m.)  short rig ‘cruising’ single-spreader mk1 sloop/cutter
– 719 sq ft (67 sq.m.) ketch, short rig single-spreader
   (note there is some variation in the figures quoted in different literature, but all ought to be for the 100% fore-triangle area)
Headroom:
Min. 6’1”
Max. 6’4”
SA/D: 17.50
Ballast/Displ.: 40%
Fuel: 105 US gallons (400 litres)
Water: 130 US gallons (364 litres)

Hull and Deck Construction

The hull is constructed of two port and starboard halves which were clamped together and fully bonded during construction. Note that the keel is an integral part of the hull moulding, there are no keelbolts whatsoever. Nor is there an internal ‘grid’ required to stabilise a lightweight hull as in so many modern hulls.

  • (Airex, Solid, Plywood squares and resin grid bonding to deck skins)
  • Bulkheads Airex edged and tabbed with f/g
  • Substantial knees for chainplates
  • Layup schedule as described in brochures

The hulls have proven to be extremely strong and dimensionally stable for forty years. All doors and hatches in a Corbin should ordinarily operate smoothly on all points of sail. If not something has gone wrong. Many are the stories told about the strength of Corbin hulls.

Sail Plan and Rig Variations

Corbin proposed the pilothouse version of the 39 as a cutter although this was adaptable to suit the client. Consequently there are cutter, sloop, and even Solent rigs in use. The cutter sailplan set the staysail on a short boom, though many owners prefer to rig the staysail with a loose foot. It is not uncommon to see the PH versions sailed without the staysail. In the original mk1 design the mainmast of the cutter occupies the aft main-mast position.

The centre cockpit Corbin 39 was proposed as a cutter rigged ketch or a sloop. In the original mk1 design the mainmast of the ketch occupies the forwards main-mast position.

Factory supplied masts and booms were made by E.B.Spars in Hudson, Quebec just outside of Montreal as was some of the custom hardware. Some boats were supplied with Hood Stoway furling masts. Boats that were finished ex-factory may have masts from other manufacturers.

The Mk1 boats had either a conservative 46 foot single-spreader mast or a 51 foot double-spreader mast. The Mk2 boats were set up with a 49 foot double-spreader mast or a 54 foot furling mast with double spreaders. Standing rigging is 5/16 inch 9×32 stainless.

 

Sailplan for Mk1 aft cockpit, with either taller or shorter mast versions

 

Sailplan for mk1 centre cockpit ketch

Propulsion

In the Mk1 boats the inboard diesel engines were located either under the companionway steps with a V-drive or sail drive as in the “Plan A” interior or under the galley counter with a straight shaft drive as in “Plan B” interior. The later Mk2 (Edition Speciale) layout differs from “Plan A” in that the galley has a long athwartship counter rather than the U-shape, and access to the engine is achieved by lifting the hinged steps or opening a large access hatch located in the cockpit floor. Engine access in both configurations is much better than average for this size boat, but especially for the Mk2 version.

Typical engine location of the mk2 pilothouse (#198, Maltese Falcon)

Engines ranged in output from 33 hp to 85 hp. The Mk2 plans show engine bed designs for engines from Westerbeke, Volvo, and Bukh although Perkins, Yanmar, Nanni and others have been fitted. Mk1 boats may have had engines from Pathfinder, Perkins, Bukh, and BMW Marine.

Cruising speeds of 6 to 6.5 knots under engine power with engine output at about 30 hp can be expected and top speeds of about 7.5 knots are reasonably attainable.

Ventilation

Eight opening deck hatches, seven large diameter Dorades with cowls, and two opening ports either side of the companionway were a standard part of the design for both Mk.1 and Mk.2 decks and provide good ventilation throughout the boat.

All Corbins have good ventilation courtesy of the many deck hatches and vents/dorades (#154, Brillo del Sol)

Storage (Interior)

Standard construction locker doors, throughout the boat, have teak frames with either solid panels or rattan cane panels for excellent ventilation. The cane is a standard pattern that is still available from sources such as Lee Valley Tools.

All three standard layouts (Plan A, Plan B, and the Mk.2 layout) provide for a lot of closed storage for clothing and other necessities. Two large hanging lockers, one for wet gear and one for dry make up about five linear feet of hanging space. Closed shelf lockers and drawers in the forward cabin are sufficient for clothing for two. Lockers in the salon handle more clothing, books, and other items such as a small vacuum cleaner, tool battery chargers, fragile spare parts, stereo speakers, and other miscellany. Generous galley drawers for cutlery, utensils, linen, etc are under the galley counter and in the salon table while secure partially open shelves hold plates, bowls, and glasses. Cabinets above the galley counter handle more supplies, cups, oversize dishes, thermos, tea kettle and other stuff. More lockers behind the fridge and under the counter top are useful for dry food and pots and pans. In the pilothouse are more closed lockers and drawers for tools, hats and gloves, paperwork, charts, etc.

All-in-all there is a great deal of contained interior storage which is well distributed and divided into useful size lockers and drawers.

Tankage

Tankage in the factory finished Mk.2 boats consists of four stainless steel tanks with two 25 gallon tanks under the salon settees, a 50 gallon tank under the starboard side pilothouse floor, and a 35 gallon tank under the port side pilothouse floor.

A 35 gallon stainless steel holding tank under the forward cabin Pullman berth was standard. It was fitted with both a deck pump-out fitting and overboard discharge. A stainless steel grey water sump is located in the forward part of the middle bilge. Sink and shower drains lead to this sump from which water is pumped overboard. The original sump was of stainless steel. It can be replaced by a standard polyethylene tank with suitable bulkhead style fittings (see Parts and Sources).

Fuel was held In a 105 gallon (400 litre) aluminum tank mounted on the centreline under the pilothouse floor in the Mk.2 boats. Plan B boats with the engine under the galley counter placed the fuel in two tanks aft. As with other details tank capacity and location varied. Tankage, like other details may vary from boat to boat.

The lazarette/propane locker is big enough to accommodates two 20 pound propane tanks and has a floor level drain out the stern. One could probably install as many as six tanks in the lazarette if needed however the extra space is generally more useful for other storage.

Bilges

The bilges are deep compared to current boats with their relatively flat bottoms. Pumps are located in the deep well just aft of the mast. A middle bilge, about 12 inches deep runs from the deep well aft to the middle of the pilothouse then rises to a shallow drainage from there to the engine sump. A barrier just forward of the v-drive transmission contains any oil leakage from the engine or transmission to the area immediately under them to avoid contaminating the much larger bilge.

Forward Bilge Sump Tank, and Pilothouse Bilge Access

Deck Lockers

Both deck designs have two large, vented and drained deck lockers near the bow. Combined they will accommodate an asymmetrical spinnaker, staysail, shore power cord, deck brushes, four fenders, a large diameter fishing net, boarding ladder, large life ring, inflatable kayak with seat and paddle, unruly crew, and some smaller stuff.

 

The forward deck lockers are a surprise & delight feature, being simply huge. This makes up for the fairly small aft cockpit lockers.

Anchoring Gear and Ground tackle

The chain locker has space for 300 feet of ⅜ inch BBB chain if it is flaked in. For daily use some owners leave some chain in the lower locker and a frequently used length in the deep forward well of the deck locker which is immediately above the lower chain locker. Dual bow rollers on the Mk.2 allow a second anchor to be stored and deployed from the bowsprit. An anchor windlass was usually fitted at the aft end of the bowsprit of the Mk.2 and on the centreline near the middle of the deck lockers of the Mk.1.

 

Anchor Gear and Bowsprit from aft and forward (and before and after varnishing ! ) (Photo, #155, Blue Run)

Interior Common Features

While the Corbin 39 hulls are all the same, and there were only four deck designs, the interiors are a different story.

The factory boat interiors were semi-custom and varied in layout, choice of locker faces, and other details. Some of these changes were at owners request, others at Corbin’s discretion. Boats that were finished ex-factory were often completed following the Corbin layouts and material recommendations however there are many examples that were altered to suit the owners preferences and some of these changes can be seen in the boat index on this website. In all cases the placement of the bulkheads was required to be close to the original design and that set the distribution and space available for the various areas of the boats.

Common to all the PH versions is a forward cabin with a large Pullman berth, a spacious salon and galley, and a large pilothouse aft of the galley.

Two basic layouts were initially offered for the Mk1. Plan 1A had an engine room aft of the pilothouse, a centreline salon table and no pilothouse quarter berth. Plan 1B had the engine under the galley counter , a dinette style table in the salon and a quarter berth in the pilothouse. The 1B quarter berth extended into what is engine room area in the 1A layout.

Both 1A and 1B layouts have U-shaped galleys on the port side with counters running athwartship. The Mk2 galley has a longer single counter running athwartship with the refrigerator on the starboard side.

In addition to the two basic layouts there are a number of variations with furniture elements in different locations as for example a dinette on the starboard side rather than the port side. Two boats were even made with a partial height bulkhead between the pilothouse and galley allowing a clear sightline from the companionway to the forward salon bulkhead across the full width of the boat (see #189, Tangaroa in the boat index).

The Mk2 layout proposed by Corbin is very similar to the 1A layout.

INSERT DRAWINGS HERE AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE
Mk2InteriorPlanAndProfileDiagram
1APHInteriorPlanAndProfileDiagram,
1BPHInteriorPlanAndProfileDiagram
Also CC plan and profile versions

1BPHPlanAndProfile 1BPHInteriorPlanAndProfileDiagram

Accommodations

Corbin’s design intent was to provide comfortable accommodations for a small family or a couple with occasional guests. To this end the design accomplishes his goal.

The forward cabin provides a very comfortable pullman style berth that is wide enough for two and the (non-dinette) settees in the salon and pilothouse are long enough for an adult to sleep on in reasonable comfort. Likewise, the 1B quarter-berth is quite large. A fairly simple modification can be made to the 1A and Mk2 salon settees so that each will open to make a double berth. Two adults can easily work in the galley at the same time and the salon tables can easily seat six to eight people.

Forward Cabin

The forward cabin is arranged with a comfortably large Pullman style double berth with drawers under the aft end of the berth. Opposite the berth are lockers, with sliding doors, suitable for rolled clothing. Below the lockers a small settee, with under seat storage, provides an intermediate step when descending from the relatively high berth. The height of the berth allows very convenient access to the large overhead hatch when it needs to be adjusted in the middle of the night.

 

Typical forward cabins from #169, Desiderata (left) and #123, Bockra (right)

Head

The head compartment is small compared to many current designs but was typical for the era and for the intended use of boat. A marine toilet was standard as were a sink and a shower head. The compartment walls are fibreglass as is the floorpan. A floor drain, and the sink drain, lead to a sump tank in the bilge. Full height storage lockers are located on the outboard side of the head.

Typical head layout (#155, Blue Run)

The Mk1 Aft Cockpit Pilothouse (PH) Version

Mk1 Pilothouse (PH) Plan “A” Interior

The plan ‘A’ “offers maximum comfort at sea and in bad weather. The cabin sole surface is reduced to a minimum, the chart table is full chart size, and it has ample stowage for long passages“. As described in the 1979 brochure the as-designed version which was seldom built places a double-berth cabin forward, and two narrow single cots either side above the main salon settees. In practice the narrow cots were seldom included and instead the main settees used for children or singleton adults. This layout also makes provision for a full-length single berth/settee in the pilothouse. It is intended for use with a aft-mounted V-drive engine or a sail-drive engine located in a engine room bay at the stern, below the companionway steps and the cabin sole.

The salon area measures 11 ft x 12 ft thanks to the headroom provided by the flush deck design. Settees on both sides were standard for “Plan A” as was a very large centre-line table with folding leaves each side, a top access storage cavity at its forward end, and two long drawers at its aft end.

The forward counter of the u-shaped galley separates the “Plan A” salon from the galley.

Behind the settees are typical seat back lockers. Above the settees are rows of lockers and open shelving. At the forward end and above the settees are tall lockers with shelves. Locker doors have teak frames with either solid or cane panels.

Three large hatches in the salon floor provide good access to the bilges.

   

Typical salons from #145, Luff Shack

The port side galley is u-shaped with counters running athwartship and a three burner stove on the port side between the counters. The counters include dry storage, a fridge, and a double-bowl sink. Drawers are installed under the counter.  There is a large hanging locker on the starboard side opposite the galley.

Typical U-shaped galley layouts in a mk1

Aft of the galley the pilothouse provides a complete navigation centre with a large chart table on one side, hydraulic steering, transmission and engine controls, and a dashboard for electronic instruments and compass. The full size chart tables were fitted with one or two hinged top covers for access to “chart table storage” as well as a full size filing cabinet drawer and a tool drawer under the forward part of the table. Some boats had standard drawers instead of the filing cabinet drawer.

The companionway steps lift for access to the top and forward end of the engine and v-drive transmission (if fitted). A large section of the pilothouse floor around the sides and front of the steps is also removable and a hinged section of floor lifts to expose the batteries.

     

Typical mk1 pilothouse interior photos from #50, Opportunity

In some 1A boats the engine room is accessed through a low door to the side of the hinged companionway steps. In these a small bench allows fairly comfortable access to the aft end of the engine, fuel filters, and other equipment on the port side of the engine room. There is easily space for a 5 gallon hot water tank, a hydronic furnace and off-engine fuel filters. Most of the steering gear is easily accessible for maintenance although an autopilot ram mounted far aft is a bit of a stretch. On the starboard side of the engine room there is room for a 5 kw genset and other large items such as a fridge compressor.

Looking down the side of the engine room to the steering gear of #50, Opportunity

Mk1 Pilothouse (PH) Plan “B” Interior

The plan ‘B’ was designed, per the 1979 brochure, “derived from plan A and with more sole surface, allows for additional comfort at anchor. The double berth under the cockpit will add roominess for guests.”  This abandons the rather hopeful childrens berths high up in the main saloon, and instead puts as big a quarter-berth as can be inserted into the starboard quarter, cramping engine room and cockpit locker space as it does so. Similarly the full size settee/single berth  of the plan ‘A’ pilothouse is reduced, instead focussing the space to create that hopefully double-sized quarter berth. This layout was intended for use with the conventional straight line propellor shaft from a centrally-mounted engine forwards by the interior helm, which was how the double quarter berth was able to claim enough room in the stern.

In practical terms most of the mk1 aft-cockpit were some hybrid of these two A or B schemes. Exactly how this was done was primarily dictated by the engine location. Almost always they aimed for “2+2” style accommodation able to cater for two adults and two children for long trips; or four adults watchkeeping but using side-settees and quarter-berths; or more in total for short trips with most vessels being able to sleep 6-8 for short overnight trips, and to sit and feed 8+ for daytrips.

Mk1 Pilothouse (PH) Exterior

The Mk1 cockpits have a narrow tee-shaped footwell with square corners and edges well suited to open water conditions. For active sailing the cockpit works best with a helmsman and one or two crew as the mainsheet, outhaul, traveller, and other controls are mounted on the cabin top and the primary winches are forward of the steering pedestal. An Edson pedestal is standard and although moving around the wheel requires turning sideways it is not a difficult maneuver. On the cockpit floor, immediately forward of the pedestal is a fitting for an emergency tiller. Four 1½ inch scuppers drain the cockpit. The cockpit seats lift for good access to fairly large seat depth lockers. The helm seat lifts up to access a small lazarette. The open cockpit coaming lockers are useful for some storage but are best covered in wet weather.

Typical mk1 aft cockpit photos from #050, Opportunity. However note that Opportunity is atypical of a mk1 PH-C as she has the mainsheet traveller above the pilothouse coachroof on a ‘floating’ bridge

The cockpit coaming is further inboard than on the Mk2 and there is a narrow side deck around part of the cockpit and an easier step when leaving the cockpit to go forward. Leaving the cockpit one steps on or over the coaming between the primary winch and the coachroof. While this can feel awkward at first, especially at dock, it works well underway. Good non-slip such as bare teak, as was original, or Treadmaster are helpful on the step area. Sometimes the traveller of the Mk1 is located on the coachroof, but sometimes it is in the cockpit just aft of the companionway steps.

A boarding ladder and gate are mounted at the stern rail and offset from the centreline so that self-steering gear can be installed, or to make sure it isn’t the first thing to crunch when Med-mooring too aggressively. A lifeline gate is also fitted on both sides forward of the cockpit. Some are fitted out with the boarding ladder amidships which makes a lot of sense when a swell is running as there is least relative vessel motion at this station.

Typical mk1 aft cockpit stern arrangements (#328, Work Of Art on the left, and #094, Mathurin on right)

The Mk2 Aft Cockpit Pilothouse (PH) Version

The introduction of the mk2 was triggered by the fire at the second yard, that gave them both an opportunity and an impetus to address the various shortcomings of the mk1 that by then had become sufficiently apparent, together with the possibilities that were not previously so obvious.

Mk2 Pilothouse (PH) Interior

The mk2 aft-cockpit pilothouse is in many ways an evolution of the mk1 ‘A’ layout. By this time the reliability of the V-drive arrangement had become confirmed and so the aft-cockpit no longer needed a centre-mount engine with a conventional shaft line. Instead they could focus on the aft-mount engine with either the V-drive, or with the saildrive (Volvo or Bukh), and with both being easily removable via a hatch in the cockpit floor. That in turn liberated the internal central part of the boat for pure pilothouse, galley and saloon use. In contrast most of the changes in the mk2 are more apparent externally.

In the normal mk2 the primary double-berth remains up forwards, and the one pilothouse berth remains a full-sized single, often with a smaller quarter berth. The saloon settees can also be converted for sleeping as is usual. The bulkhead locations remained unchanged so the basic sizes of the main areas stayed the same as in the earlier layouts.

INSERT PHOTO : Mk2PHInteriorPlanAndProfileDrawing FROM “About Page Photos”

The Mk2 salon was similar to the 1A plan with long settees port and starboard and a large centreline table with folding leaves.

Main saloon of the most common mk2 pilothouse layout. Note the compression post is at the fwd end of the table, instead of being through the centre as in many mk1 layouts (#155, Blue Run)

Departing from the earlier u-shaped galley Corbin arranged a linear galley athwartship and placed the refrigerator on the starboard side, across the passageway steps from the end of the main counter. The Corbin Mk2 galley is one of the highlights of the boat with a long full depth counter extending from the far port side to the steps between the PH and the salon. Equipped with a deep double-bowl sink and 2 feet of clear work surface the Mk2 galley rivals some small apartment kitchens. The central location of the galley, in all the Corbin boats, is in the area of least movement when underway.

Overhead lockers above the galley counter provide storage for kitchen items such as coffee gear, cups, thermos, large bowls, and many other items as well as large plates. Across the port end of the counter and stove is secure partially closed shelving for glasses, plates, and bowls. As with the Mk1 boats there was lots of customization to suit owner preferences as is evident in many of the photos in the gallery.

Typical mk2 pilothouse layout showing galley fridge, galley counter, and deep double sink (#155, Blue Run)

As with the 1A and 1B layouts the Mk2 pilothouse provides a complete navigation centre with a large chart table, hydraulic steering, transmission and engine control, and a dashboard for electronic instruments and compass. A full height hanging wet locker on the port side aft is large enough to hold foul weather gear for two adults as well as four PFD’s. On the starboard side of the PH a seven foot long settee has three large storage drawers under it.

Battery banks are usually under a hinged hatch in the pilothouse floor where there is room for four 4D batteries arranged in two fibreglass lined battery boxes, one each side of the bilge. A centreline fuel tank and port and starboard water tanks occupy the rest of the under-floor space. A large section of the floor around the companionway steps is removable and allows almost all-round access to the engine, transmission, and batteries.

Typical photos of a mk2 pilothouse area showing good access to engines etc from either inside the pilothouse, or down through the cockpit well (#155, Blue Run)

The Mk2 engine room is accessed through a small door to the side of the companionway steps or by lifting the hinged cockpit floor and climbing in with the help of folding steps that are attached to part of the steering gear structure. The hinged companionway steps also lift for access to the top and forward end of the engine.

A small bench allows one to sit fairly comfortably while working on the aft end of the engine, fuel filters, and other equipment on the port side of the engine room. There is easily space for a 5 gallon hot water tank, a hydronic furnace and off-engine fuel filters on the port side.

On the starboard side of the engine room there is room for a large genset and other large items such as a fridge compressor. Some boats may have used this area to include a quarter-berth. Most of the steering gear is easily accessible for maintenance although an autopilot ram mounted far aft is a bit of a stretch.

Because the basic proportions of the interior did not change it was possible to mix-and-match parts of the 1A, 1B, and Mk2 interior layouts and that is exactly what was done for most boats to a greater or lesser extent. Some later boats, such as Tangaroa V even departed very drastically – and very successfully – from the basic layouts. There really was no right or wrong way and most were fitted out as they were for good, albeit different, reasons.

The mk2 #189, Tangaroa had a much more open-plan interior than was normal, despite still including all the structural bulkheads. At least one other mk2 shares this layout

Mk2 Pilothouse (PH) Exterior

The Mk2 cockpits are major change from the Mk1 design with their much wider footwells and curved coamings and benches. For active sailing the cockpit works best with a helmsman and one or two crew as the mainsheet, outhaul, traveller, and other controls are mounted on the cabin top and the headsail winches are forward of the steering pedestal. An Edson pedestal is standard and although moving around the wheel requires turning sideways it is not a difficult maneuver. On the cockpit floor, immediately forward of the pedestal is a fitting for an emergency tiller.

Most of the sealed cockpit floor is a hinged hatch that opens for access to the engine room. Keeping the floor hatch open when doing fuel filter changes makes that experience much more enjoyable and it is also easily large enough to lift an engine through. The side seats lift for good access to fairly large seat depth lockers and the hinged helm lazarette seat lifts for access to the drained propane locker and lazarette storage, for awkward items such as paddles, garbage, a shore-tie line bag, etc.

The cockpit coaming is further outboard than on the Mk1 boats and consequently there is no side deck around most of the cockpit. The open cockpit coaming lockers are useful for some storage but are best covered in wet weather. Leaving the cockpit one steps on or over the coaming between the primary winch and the coachroof which require a higher and longer step than on the Mk1. While this can feel awkward at first, especially at dock, it works well when underway. Good non-slip such as bare teak or Treadmaster is recommended on the coaming in the step area.

A boarding ladder and gate are mounted at the stern rail and are offset from the centreline so that self-steering gear can be installed.

Photos of a typical mk2 pilothouse cockpit showing the cockpit floor / engine room hatch hinged down (#155, Blue Run)

Mk1 Centre Cockpit (CC) Details

More information to follow. Please volunteer if you can assist with this. In the meantime here are a selection of photos from #086, Jack Iron which is a typical mk1 centre cockpit. Additional photos are available on the page for #086, Jack Iron. The aft cabin is a fair-sized double, the fwd cabin can either be a double or a twin V-berth, and there is a single pilot-berth in the walkthrough, plus of course use of the saloon settees. Note the cockpit itself in the mk1 ‘basic’ factory design has no forward screening, which as an aspect that many owners added on themselves. The mainsheet traveller is aft of the cockpit, above the aft-cabin.

 

 

Mk2 Centre Cockpit (CC) Details

More information to follow. Please volunteer if you can assist with this. In the mk2 we believe there were two versions offered of these, a centre-cockpit with no pilothouse (but we have not identified any examples of this ) and a centre-cockpit with the same pilothouse as in the mk2 aft-cockpit but placed up forward (e.g. the ketch-rigged #130, John Galt, or e.g. the sloop-rigged #140, Urantia ). There is a slight niggle with this, which is that the pilothouse for the mk2 centre cockpit only has three windows and so we wonder if it is an adaptation of the mk1 pilothouse to use three of the four deep windows from the mk2. We will need to take some good photos with some accurate measurements to determine what they actually did.