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Old 04-11-2013, 18:33   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Wakeman, Ohio
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilothouse
Posts: 2
Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

I purchased a Corbin 39, aft cockpit pilothouse version, hull #145 in April of this year. It is the fifth keelboat I have owned since 1988. Hopefully I can get a chance to do some extended Great Lakes cruising with the boat once I retire at the end of this decade.

I sailed the boat home from LaSalle, Michigan to Lorain, Ohio in brisk winds on a broad reach. Winds were blowing from the SW at 25-30 knots and I made the trip with just the 120% jib, but the boat's motion and helm force were very easy to manage during the 8 hour trip.

Once I got the boat docked in Lorain, I started a summer long program of removing a few pieces of deck hardware every weekend to check for water damaged core. To be honest, I was really surprised to find everything in good shape except for some damp core around a few chain plate penetrations.

Before I put anything back together, I enlarged the hardware holes and taped up the back-side of the hardware sites with duct tape in order to fill the holes with WEST System 105/205 Epoxy with 404 filler additive.
Once the epoxy cured, the original hole size was re-drilled leaving an epoxy bushing around each hardware opening to prevent any possible water damage to the mahogany plywood deck core well into the future.

When I wasn't drilling and filling, I made sure I got out sailing whenever the wind came up.

I had already made several upgrades to the running rigging and sail locker as soon as I took ownership of the boat.

Before launching in Michigan, I replaced the original Isomat furler with a Harken unit. (The Isomat unit worried me. The solid aluminum one piece furling foil also functions as the headstay. And it was going on 30 years old!)
A new Doyle 150% genoa was built as the North radial cut 120% jib was hard to look at due to extensive mildew damage of the laminated sailcloth. Even Sail Care couldn't make it white again due to the laminated construction.

The three bladed fixed pitch propeller was replaced with a 3 blade feathering Max Prop

The mainsheet set-up was, in my opinion, un-workable as designed.
I don't like to rely on a winch to control the mainsail so I modified the mainsheet with a 6:1 set-up ending in a block mounted cam cleat set off of the deckhouse traveler. This approach is similar to my previous boat, a 1985 C&C MK III. The ease of use with this set-up, even in heavy air is a must for singlehanded/shorthanded sailing.

The staysail stay and running backstays are "retired" for now as most of my daysailing favors the masthead, sloop rig configuration with the 150% genoa.

For a heavy boat, she will make waterline hull speed in 10 knots of true wind on a close reach, although trying to sail closer to weather has exposed the boat's biggest weakness: headstay sag.

The boat was previously fitted with backstay isolators to support a SSB radio installation, and the re-swaging of the rigging wires resulted in limited turnbuckle range to achieve appropriate headstay tension unless it involves a ridiculous amount of forward mast rake.

I plan on replacing the backstay with new rigging and a hydraulic backstay adjuster to get the desired headstay tension when sailing close to the wind.

Another upgrade involves the boat's Asahi winches, especially the primary and secondary jib winches. Parts are nearly impossible to come by and the larger primary winches are currently mounted in front of the secondary winches making for more effort when singlehanding.

For now, the boat is out of the water awaiting our first snowfall.
A long list of projects is already underway:

A week before haul out, the forward thrust washers of the Hurth V-drive transmission wore down to the point where forward gear would no longer engage. I have since removed the prop and shaft, and pulled the transmission so I can send it out for rebuild.
Sidenote: It took me over 10 hours to remove the Federal shaft coupling from the forward portion of the prop shaft in front of the V-drive.
This was due to the lack of flats on both sides of the prop shaft for the locking screws to engage the stainless shaft.
The resulting burrs left by the locking screws required a home made remedy that did the job of a three jaw wheel puller that would not fit in the available service space.
Once the coupling was off, the shaft was pulled out and the tranny was removed from the engine in just 15 minutes.

The forepeak and saloon headliners have been removed to allow for wiring inspection and repairs.

New deck hatch frames are being built to go with new headliner panels that will permit rapid access to deck hardware and terminal strip locations.

While winterizing the freshwater systems, I found that a previous owner attempted to bypass a potable water tank leak, which ended up pressurizing normally vented tanks. The result was that the flat sided tankage bulged out to the point of weld seam failure. So the fresh water tank, a hot water day tank, and the hot water heater have all been removed for repair and/or replacement.
In an unrelated breach, the welded plastic gray water tank was also found to leak.
The upside to all of this? No potable water tanks left to winterize this year. And the holding tank is ....still holding.

I did find extensive mahogany plywood core rot in the floor of both foredeck sail locker floor panels where numerous hoses and chain pipes passed thru without edge sealing of the cores. A smearing of polysulfide sealant was originally applied around each penetration but it was far from sufficient.

The coring of the cockpit sole at the base of the Whitlok steering pedestal is also not in good shape. I plan on removing the pedestal in the spring to repair this area from the underside to eliminate topside refinishing.

I've been taking lots of pictures which I could post a bit later that detail the problems and follow on repairs.
For now, this is just a long-winded intro to my efforts.
I've been thru much worse with previous boats.

The boat is well built overall. The less-than-optimum approach to some of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations have created some problems that, once addressed, should never crop up again.

The boat was previously named Saw Whet, and there are photos of her on the Corbin Owners Association website

Jeff Shutic
S.V. Luff Shack
Hull #145

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Old 04-11-2013, 18:52   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: alberta
Boat: columbia 36
Posts: 7
Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

I like the looks of corbins, Almost bought one and still look at adds for them all the time. maybe someday, for now my Columbia 36 will have to do. Please keep us posted

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Old 04-11-2013, 20:07   #3
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Location: Montegut LA.
Boat: Now we need to get her to Louisiana !! she's ours
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Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

We have looked at a few! Nice boats, really liked the hulls but it seemed like we never found one that somebody had done a good job below decks! all the ones we saw just did not fit our needs ! But they sure sail well and have great lines! Sounds like ya know what ya want and found a good one to start with !! Have fun !!
Bob and Connie
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:23   #4
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Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jeff.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 05-11-2013, 05:56   #5
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Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

Eh, sounds like you are having heaps of fun!

I have a friend who dreams of a Corbin. He sailed one in the Polynesia many years ago and got hooked.

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Old 15-12-2013, 21:20   #6
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Location: Cortez Island BC
Boat: Corbin 39
Posts: 145
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Eh, sounds like you are having heaps of fun! I have a friend who dreams of a Corbin. He sailed one in the Polynesia many years ago and got hooked. Cheers, b.
Hey Jeff I am just finishing off a complete rebuild on a. Corbin39 .good luck on you re venture.
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Old 15-12-2013, 22:51   #7
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Location: Kelowna , British Columbia
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilot House
Posts: 212
Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

I bought mine just last June, Corbin 39 AC, 'Alianna" built in 1983. Only sailed her from St Martin to St Lucia, and like you say, it's a very strong boat and so far I'm happy with her. Going back to the Caribbean in January. All the best
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Old 16-12-2013, 06:33   #8
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,227
Re: Corbin 39, How do I like it so far?

Sounds from a quick scan that you're well on the right track, and a Corbin 39 is a lot of boat for the Great Lakes.

A fellow I know from the Net has a Corbin 39 in Portugal. His name's Horatio. You may wish to talk shop...his English is minty!


Can't sleep? Read for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
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