#1. Welcome to our new website

The new Corbin 39 Association website is going live now !     

That means this is Newsletter 2019-1 of the new era of the Corbin 39 story. We are issuing it both as a post on the website, and as a downloadable pdf that will also be distributed by email (as a pdf).

The website is not yet fully populated with all the information that we have, as that is a very time-consuming task. We have put quite a large amount in most places, certainly enough that you can see the overall structure we are working towards. However if you see any errors, or want to send us additional information then please email us (volunteer@corbin39.org) and we will do our best to incorporate it as we go. Clearly a website of this nature is intended as an evolving and never-completed library so that will be a very long-lived task.

Without exception we have tried to contact every past owner of a Corbin 39 to request their permission to reuse any historical content. I am glad to say that – so far – every person who has responded has enthusiastically given us their support and consent. However quite a few of these enquiries have dropped into a black hole so if you are a past owner and you have not heard from us please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would also welcome any historical records for the Corbin 39 that we have yet to put on display, including any old newsletters, or reports from voyagers, or photos, to go into the archives.

A lot of information has been passed to us recently by various people and not all of it has been loaded on the website yet. If you have sent us something that is not loaded yet then please don’t panic right now, but if we haven’t done anything with it within a month please send us a gentle reminder in case we have mislaid it. We are human after all.

For the time being the Corbin 39 Group on Facebook is what we are using for shorter-term chat and direct interaction between owners, crew, and enthusiasts. Personally I appreciate that Facebook is not everyone’s cup of tea : indeed I myself had avoided entanglement in Facebook until embarking on this project. We have designed things so that Facebook can be dispensed with in due course if that becomes either necessary or attractive to us, without loss of data, provided that we periodically scrape any of the longer-term content off of Facebook and onto our Website. However we judge that setting up a full-blown discussion forum on the Website would not at this stage be a good use of our resources. So I encourage you all to use the Facebook Group for now and let’s see how things develop and whether any course corrections are needed in time.

Please spread the word that we are up and running and would welcome making contact with all other Corbin 39 owners, crew, and enthusiasts.

Send us photos, quickly ! The reason is that Sailing Magazine will be doing an article on the Corbin 39 in the coming months and so we need a good selection of photos of Corbins under sail. The resolution doesn’t need to be huge (1MB or even 800KB to 900KB would be usable) but it must be a good shot of a Corbin under sail. We need any photos to be considered for this by mid-December, with permission for use of course.

Volunteers would be welcome, for a variety of chores to do with either the Facebook Group (welcoming newcomers, scraping off long-term content, tagging content, etc) or for the Website (organising scraped content, updating the Q&A, dealing with email, writing newsletters once or twice a year, etc). Ken Lund, George Weeks, and Maxime Etienne Breton have all been very helpful in delivering this progress, thank you. If you want to volunteer then please email us (volunteer@corbin39.org). Many hands make light work.

A certain amount of money is also welcome. As we have set out the Corbin 39 Association is set up to be free to use. However that does not mean there are no costs, and we rely on your donations to make it work. So please consider donating some money (either via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer, see here), as well as your time and knowledge and friendship.

We (which means I in this context, though I asked George Weeks for his opinion) took two key financial decisions. Firstly to contract a professional web developer called Didier Sajno who I have used in the past, to deliver the actual website structure for a modest fee, working to our scope. Secondly as an interim measure I have made a mix of a gift and a loan to the Association as described in the accounts and I hope others will consider this a worthwhile effort and both repay me the loan element, and support ongoing costs by way of donations. Total setup costs were approximately GBP £1200 / USD $1500 in round numbers. The content development and loading was done by me, with some assistance from George Weeks and Maxime Etienne Breton so there were no costs associated with that. We hope you approve and support these decisions.

We have tried to learn some lessons from the last 40-years of history in respect to the operation of a Corbin 39 community, and what has worked well, and – being honest – not so well. These boats are likely to be very long-lived and could quite realistically do another 40-years or more, giving considerable pleasure to many people as they do so, and so it will be exceedingly helpful if the community can pool its efforts effectively. Therefore for the first time we are trying to put sufficient structure and safeguards in place so that this Corbin 39 Association can, by design and forethought, outlive the efforts of any one individual. Inevitably that meant a certain amount of small print as you can read on the website. We all know that as individuals we can be overwhelmed by circumstances beyond our ability to manage, but as teams and communities we stand a better chance.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contributed in the past, all in their different ways.

I think that’s enough from me for now.

yours aye,
David Sharman
(#123, Bockra)