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
. To be honest, I was really surprised to find everything in good shape except for some damp core
around a few chain plate
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
S.V. Luff Shack