Questions and Answers (about the Corbin 39)

Index of Topics (as of Nov 25, 2016)

ac wiring schematic, Q24

ac/dc distribution panel, Q21

air conditioning, Q68

aluminum toerails, Q10

anchor chain washdown, Q41

arches, Q85

autoprop1, A3e

autoprop2, Q101

Beta Engine, Q113 (NEW)

bleeding engine, Q43a

bluewater sailboat, Q17

boat insurance, offshore, Q112

bow locker drainage, Q84

bowsprits and weather helm, Q4

bowsprits, replacing or adding, Q95

bow thruster, Q74

bypass, hydraulic/manual steering, Q79

center of gravity of a Corbin,  Q109

cockpit "hatch", Q111,

converted 12V cordless drill, Q78

Corbin 35, Q49

cracks in the deck, Q93

cradles, Q81

cutlass bearings, Q100

davits, Q86

deck repairs, Q80

deck support in an unusual layout, Q48

dc wiring schematic, Q13

dinghy building, Q53

dinghy towing, Q54

dual steering stations, Q42

Dutchman system, A50h

emergency tiller, Q71

engine for the Corbin, Q33

engine, Yanmar,  Q102

finishing a bare hull-deck, Q30

fishfinders, Q6

fresh water schematic, Q15

fuel tanks and tubing, Q20

fuel tank replacement, Q76

fuel tank inspection port, Q110

furling mainsail boom, Q52

gelcoat cracking, Q11

genoas, Q87

grey water tank, Q92

heaving to, Q7

holding tank, Q91

hoses, inspecting and replacing, Q107

inverter/charger installation, Q23

inspecting decks for water intrusion, Q47

inside steering, Q88

insuring your boat, Q55

jackstands for the corbin39, Q46

keel, repair of, Q97

lazyjacks, Q50

leaks, hull-deck joint, Q98

limber holes, Q104

lining for the pilothouse interior, Q69

logo, Corbin  Q103

mainsheet arrangements, Q57

mainsheet traveller, Q2

mast boot, Q72

mast step leak, Q90

mast removal, Q27

mast holddown, Q37

mast halyard exit plate, Q40

mast wiring,  Q94

moisture in Corbins Q44

Monitor windvane tiller, Q71

motoring in reverse, Q25

outboard motor hoist, Q43b

painting the hull, Q19

packing gland, Q83

Pathfinder engine, Q16

pilothouse window pane replacement, Q5

pilothouse window frame replacement, Q8

pilothouse windshield wipers. Q32

portlights, replacing, Q105

propane tanks, locating Q58

propeller sizing 1, Q3

propellor sizing 2, Q51

propellor sizing 3, Q56

propellor sizing, saildrive Q18

pulpits, ladders, fuel and water tanks, Q26

refrigeration, upgrading to, Q60

repowering Volvo Saildrive, Q77

rudderpost extension.JPG , Q71

rudder repair, Q66

Rudder Shoe, Q114 (NEW)

rudder shoe replacement, Q75

running with the Monitor, Q29

sealants, Q99

single sideband radio, installing “counterpoise” with, Q61

skeg repair, Q66

sole, soft spots, Q96

spinnakers, Q89

stanchion bases, Q67

standing rigging inspection, Q14

staysail, self-tending, w/o boom or traveler, Q70

staysail stay, Q63

steering systems, Q64

storage options, Q82

strut repair, Q73

submerged sailboats, Q45

taming the mainsail, Q50

trailering the Corbin 39,  Q108

vacuum liquid removal, Q65

watermakers, Q62

winches, choosing Q35

winches, powered Q59

wind generator, choosing a, Q34

windlass, choosing a, A31g:

windlass wiring schematic, Q12

windshield wipers. Q32

windvanes, Autohelm, Q106

windvanes, Q9

winter storage, Q38

wiring ac/dc distribution panel, Q22

winches, choosing Q35

zincs, adding to rudder post, Q36


Q1: (under construction)

Q2: Can I relocate my mainsheet traveler from the bridge deck to the top of the pilothouse?

A2a: We did this. It requires a strong "bridge" for the traveller, to transfer the load to the side decks as I feel sure the wheelhouse structure would be seriously stressed if the traveller was attached directly to it. This position certainly gives unimpeded access to the companionway. It also makes it possible to have a dodger, with the mainsheet well forward of it. However, it provides a smaller bending moment to the boom. We have a 3 point attachment for the mainsheet to the boom to spread the load and this has worked well for 5 seasons pilothousetraveller.jpg (We sail in the summers on Lake Ontario). David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A2b: Looks to me like the traveler is attached to the pilothouse, not the sidedeck  aftquarter.jpg Am I missing something, David? Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A2c: The photo probably doesn't show it but I have stainless steel Z-shaped brackets each side of the wheelhouse, just inside the window, to which the traveller is bolted and which are in turn bolted to the side decks. I will try and get another photo sometime but the brackets are painted black on the side showing through the window (polished on the inside) deliberately so that they aren't prominent (My son has the boat off cruising for the rest of the week). See my photo,  travellersupportinpilothouse.jpg . The bracket is quite visible, including the nuts on the thru deck bolts, between the two lights. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

Q3: How do I go about resizing my propeller ? Jeremy Parrett (s/v Pelican 1)

A3a: Hi Jeremy, I have a Pathfinder 50 engine, rated at 42 HP. It drives through a 2.77 gearbox ratio, with a 1 1/4" shaft. Normal max engine rpm is about 3000-3500. Originally I used a Gori 2 blade folding propeller, 16.5"dia x 11" pitch. It worked OK, even in reverse, but maximum speed was only about 6 knots. I have now fitted a fixed 3 blade prop 3bladeprop.jpg and I BELIEVE it is 18" dia x 11" pitch but I can't locate the reference details. The blade tip clearance is about 2" from the hull . I have a prop strut that I designed myself, offset to port so that the prop shaft can be withdrawn to miss the skeg. It may be different from your strut My shaft slope is 1.375" per foot, according to my sketches made long ago. I had my prop shaft and propellers machined so that the Gori can still be used on the same shaft, as a spare. Speed at max rpm is now over 7 knots, with great acceleration. Of course the 3 blade prop gives significant drag while sailing compared to the Gori and I have to lock the gear in reverse to stop it spinning while sailing. There are different opinions on this procedure but the one I go by is that there is insufficient splash lubrication of the gearbox at the revs caused by the prop windmilling. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A3b: (May 15, 2013) Dear Lester, This response might be a bit late to be of much use to you but here is my experience with Autoprop… "Blue Run" has a Westerbeke W58 with a Hurth V-drive transmission (15 degree down angle). Engine under the companionway steps. I installed an 18" Autoprop in 2006. Under flat water no wind conditions we get 6.5 knots at about 1800 rpm. At 2100 rpm (the engines torque peak) we will make 7+. With wind we lose about a knot and with waves in the 3 to 4 foot range about 2 knots all at the same rpm. I do not usually run at higher rpm however the engine is rated for continuous output at 3000 rpm and a maximum output at 3600 rpm so there is some reserve available. I have been very pleased with the performance of the propeller.
          Regarding backing: the Autoprop has lots of bite in reverse however the geometry of the hull, the 15 degree downward slope of the propeller shaft, and the shaft offset to starboard combine to create a substantial prop wash effect due mainly to the wash from the propeller hitting the hull and pushing the boat sideways. This effect will vary from boat-to-boat depending on the geometry of the drive-train. With a sail drive the prop wash effect should be near nil and only the prop walk will be present. A boat with a flat or near flat bottom will be little affected by the prop wash.
          Something unrelated to the propeller that can affect backing is the installation of a hydraulic autopilot servo. If it limits rudder angle on the wrong side it may make it impossible to compensate for the prop walk/prop wash effects. George Weeks

A3c: I hauled out in June and besides doing the bottom, polishing the hull, and installing a boarding ladder, I fitted a used autoprop. It has a diameter of 18 inches with 14 inches of pitch at max rpms. You will not believe the figures we obtained after launching the boat. Bearing in mind that I have a Yanmar 3 GM 30 F, at 2800 RPM (max is 3400) we achieved a straight line, flat calm speed of 8.2 knots (incredible). On easing back to 2200 RPM she was still doing 6 knots. The previous maximum speed on the fixed 15in X 14in pitch was 6 knots at 3400 RPM. Now for the best part.......backing out of the haulout slip I managed to reverse all the way out of the marina into the channel. Almost all the prop walk has gone. Leaving the dock is now a breeze. The only downside to this is I really miss the ability to throw the boat into the dock when reversing to a stop coming alongside (joke). I guess I am going to have to get used to a boat that goes, stops, and reverses in a straight line???!! Jeremy Parrett (s/v Pelican 1)

A3d: I tried the new " J Prop ", has a real good bite and I had to reduce pitch considerably for the 33 HP of ours. As is now, the new prop is at 20 * 11, In forward I can get close to full RPM but in reverse the prop bites too much. I wonder if it's the water flow difference under the boat ??? We played quite a bit with this new prop, and end result seems to be that with our engine, ( Vetus 33 HP ) there is NO acceptable compromise with respect to pitch. Eg. if you choose a good forward performance, you end up with a SUB standard reverse, or vice versa. Seems that there is a different gearbox reduction in forward ( 3:1 ) to reverse ( ?? ). ( Our box. Hurth HBW 150 V ) My conclusion to date: Other than the feathering feature under sail, it was not worth the effort or expense, certainly not with our type of engine setup. It is worth to mention that the prop when set up for either direction bites VERY WELL, but not in both, as is our case. Considering the price of J Prop, and I really like their concept, why would they not allow for different pitch adjustment for Forward & Reverse ???? I will ask the factory in Italy that. Regards, Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant)

A3e: We have just had Opportunity away from the dock for the first time since installing the Autoprop, autopropinstalledshowingboatclearances.jpg . It was a quick motoring trial in rather lumpy conditions but seemed to perform well although it felt quite different from the fixed blade prop. We are off for a few days and will have a chance to get some real experience with the prop. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A3f: Our new 18 " AutoProp must be helping with our improved sailing speed (previously a 17" fixed 3 blade prop, autoprop.jpg ) A couple of days ago we achieved 7.2 knots by GPS with a beam reach, winds to 18 knots and somewhat rolly conditions (about 2 ft seas) with full main and one reef in our 135% genoa. We have generally found that reefing the genoa first (it's easy!) moves our centre of effort forward and eases the rudder angle. Also the new (2nd season) fully battened, loose footed mainsail (from Quantum) is easier to get flat and reduce heeling, hence reduce excessive rudder. David Salter

A3g: Lester, You may recall that I fitted an Autoprop 3 blade folding propeller a couple of seasons ago. I have been pleased with the performance and now the maker, Bruntons, have come out with a newsletter. Here is the latest, . David


Q4: What are the pros and cons of adding a bowsprit ? Hans Bavelaar (s/v Tahei)

A4: Pros: 1. Increases the area available for the headsail; boat can go faster. 2. Decreases angle the headsail makes with the centerline of the boat. Boat can point better when closehauled. 3. Enables placement of anchor roller forward of prow, but best if rollers are placed at forward end of bowsprit. Moves overall center-of-effort forward, reducing weather helm. Cons: 1.Reduces maneuverability of boat in marinas. 2. Increases LOA, increases marina fees. 3. Is OK when used with a furler, dangerous with hanked-on headsails. 4. Bowsprit tends to move aft under headsail forces. Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A4b: As Lester suggests, the bowsprit tends to go aft, making it difficult to hold headstay tension when the headsail forces increase. It can be bad news when you're in 35 KTS + winds for many hours. Our bobstay mount was displaced on two occasions while crossing the Pacific. Half inch bolts were bent. We also took a little water on. We think that we have now solved the problem. We welded 8" x 8" plates on the sides of the mount . This has allowed us to bolt from the sides. This also gives us the option of attaching our sea anchor to the new mount. Richard Bacon (s/v Balmacara), now in Oz.

Q5: What is a good method for replacing pilothouse windows ? Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A5: I used 3/8" Sheffield Hyzod Polycarbonate with a bronze tint. [Do a Google Search on "Sheffield Hyzod Polycarbonate"] I removed the teak frame on the outsides, removed the old lexan and had all the screw holes and bolt holes re-glassed and the whole PH re-gelcoated. I then used methylacrylate to bond the new poly in place with a bead of Sikka 295 UV around the outside. I then painted a UV shield around the outer edges of the poly with black Awlgrip - much like your car windshield. As soon as the pictures are developed I'll send some to you. Now I have no holes in the PH for leaks. I did a lot of research before doing this. Vincent Salese (s/v Witch of the Wave)

A5b: applyingcaulkpart1.jpg by Vincent Salese

A5c: applyingcaulkpart2.jpg by Vincent Salese

A5d: Thought you may be interested in this approach to replacing the pilot house windows, I designed them using CAD-CAM and then NC milled them from 1/2 inch 6061 T6 aluminum and then had them powder coated. The Glass is 6mm tempered 1/4 bronzed tinted and the windows in the front were bent to fit. They were fastened with 1/4 inch allen head cap screws exposed. and allen head nuts as well ( flush on the inside). It was a bit expensive but I think the price could be improved. The glass was $ 1200 and the material for the frames were $ 1100. I did all the drafting and surfacing on the parts and a friend did the NC milling. I engineered the fastening and that would cost a couple hundred more for the parts. There was some time and labor involved in finishing the parts for powder coating. There was also some time involved in hammer forming the front frames to fit the proper radius of the the glass( which were bent and tempered. ) I have all the radius for the front glass surfaces along with the shapes, surfaces and fasteners for all the windows. Gene Whitney (s/v Joint Effort)

A5e: Lester, I am in the middle of a fairly major job that I have put off doing for some time, replacing the windows in the wheelhouse. Actually, I am only planning to replace the side windows at this time, the flat ones. I may have told you that I installed my windows by bonding them chemically to the fibreglass. Because of the differential expansion of the Plexiglas and the fibreglass I have had a couple of major cracks. However, the main problem has been the breakdown of the bond at several places on the perimeter flange with resultant leakage. This in spite of caulking all around the groove at the side of the windows. I have now managed to remove the 4 windows (shearing some of the gelcoat on the flanges where the bond was still complete). It was apparent that the polysulphide in the perimeter groove had not bonded well to the Plexiglas. This time I am going to use Sikaflex 295UV as well as the special cleaner, Sika Cleaner 205 (in Canada, Sika 226 in the USA) and Sika Primer 209. This is supposed to give a much better bond to both the Plexiglas and the fibreglass. I don't believe I used a prime for the original installation. I had attempted to correct the leaks by replacing the polysulphide in the perimeter groove, using a styrofoam bond breaker at the bottom of the groove. However, the lack of a primer obviously negated this effort.                                                                                                                                                                       I will also use a bond breaker this time, so that the caulk only contacts two sides of the groove and not the bottom. The Sika literature also recommends painting a black band on the outside of the Plexiglas, overlapping the flange bond area, to lessen UV attack. It points out that car windshields have this black band for the same reason. It appears that the black is on the inside of the windshield glass on my Toyota.

Promised summary of wheelhouse window replacement
We have replaced only the 4 side windows in the wheelhouse. These are substantially flat (planar). Our problem was that the Plexiglas windows were originally chemically bonded to the fibreglass flanges. Over time, with the thermal expansion and contraction, we got cracks in the two larger windows and the bonding began to separate. I had 4 new Plexiglas windows made, using my original templates. Where the originals were 1/2" thick the replacements are 9 mm (about 3/8"). The reason is that the 1/2" windows are overly strong (I believe) and they did not finish flush with the fibreglass. The technique used for the new installation involved using Sika 295UV urethane caulk and called for a bond film thickness of about 1/8". This results in the new windows only protruding slightly. We do not have complete stainless frames as used on many boats. Instead, a late modification uses stainless strips along the top and bottom edges of the windows.
Removing the old windows required some leverage at the disbonded section of the window and then a good blow on the inside. The window came out tearing off the surface gelcoat on some parts of the flanges where the bond had remained strong (about 1/8" thickness removed).
The first repair job was to make a smooth flange surface. I made up dummy patterns for each of the two window shapes (port and starboard were a close match) from 1/2" thick low density polyethylene. The flanges were sanded and cleaned with acetone. The dummy window had the area contacting the flange coated with mold wax (3 applications). The imperfections in the flange were buttered with thickened epoxy and then the dummy flange placed in position. This was held by means of several small "turnbuttons" of plywood, using the holes that previously held the stainless plates in place. After the epoxy cured the dummy window was removed. The first attempt did not yield good coverage over all the flange imperfections so these were touched up with more thickened epoxy and smoothed with a spatula. Sanding was needed on this. Subsequent windows showed better results the first time with only small areas to be re touched. All flanges were then sanded with wet & dry paper and treated with acetone.

The Sika procedure was well descibed at I couldn't get the USA site to appear nor could I re-acquire the Technical Data Sheet that was a useful adjunct to the Procedure sheet. The key for a good job is to use:
1. Sika Cleaner 226 to degrease the bonding surfaces (named Sika 205 in Canada!!). Expensive but you need very little.
2. Sika Primer 209 on both the gelcoat and the mating Plexiglas surface (previously roughed up with 80 grit sandpaper)
3. Sikaflex 295UV for the bonding, maintaining the specified minimum film thickness. I used the little rubber crosses intended for spacing ceramic wall tiles on the suggestion of the Sika tech rep (1-888-832-7452).
Quantities of material for the 4 windows: Sika Cleaner 226: 30 mL Sika Primer 209: 250 mL Sikaflex 295UV: 4 @ 310 mL (10.5 fl oz) cartridges Regards, David (s/v Opportunity)

Q6: What is the best fishfinder to buy ? When I haul Insouciance next month I would like to add a fishfinder in order to cruise and anchor on our large, but shallow San Francisco Bay and Delta.. My current depthfinder gives me reliable readings only when I'm aground. The features I must have are: bronze transducer, large digital depth display, very accurate readings to a shallow and soft bottom, anchoring features of the bottom, and a shallow water alarm. The features that would be nice to have are: keel offset, water temperature, and forward-look ability. I do not need a side looking transducer or detailed info about the fish, except that I don't want false depth readings. I will place the transducer forward of the keel. I know nothing about: wattage needs, frequency needs, beam numbers, beam degrees, display resolution, or display features (LCD or TFT)/(real-time or otherwise). I am willing to spend up to $1000 for the display and transducer. The display will be mounted in the pilothouse. Perhaps, you can help me best by specifying the make and model of the fishfinder you would recommend, with a few words about why you recommend it. Thank you for your help. Les Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A6a: My transducer is a single frequency unit. I don't think they offered a dual frequency or a forward looking unit at the time. The unit does have shallow and deep water alarms, a trip log and gives a little bit of bottom information but not much. You can tell if the bottom is very hard or very soft is about all. I'm sure there are better models out there now but this serves me well. The only problem I have with the unit other than the paddle wheel is that there is an automatic sensitivity adjustment that the unit powers up with. In shallow, silty water you sometimes get false depth readings (usually when you need them most). You can manually adjust this feature and the unit performs well but like I said it powers up in automatic and I forget to set it until I realize it's not reading correctly. I mounted the transducer just fore of where the keel becomes noticeable. the fiberglass is solid there and about 2 1/4" thick. I took a belt sander and made a flat spot on the outside of the boat to match the transducer and point it directly down. On the inside there is a noticeable curve to the hull so I used a piece of 1" teak and beveled it to match the hull and left the top flat so I could draw the nut for the transducer down. This spot is about 2' 3" below the water line (that's why I don't like to remove the paddle wheel to clean it). My unit doesn't allow compensation for the transducer depth, which would be nice, so I just add this to the displayed depth. One other note. I did sail the boat for the first 15 years without any depth sounder and I always knew when the water was 5 1/2' deep! If there are any other questions please ask, Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A6b: I installed an apelco 350 fishfinder about 5 years ago. I only spent about $200.00 for the unit that came with a transom mount transducer. I spent about $250.00 more for the bronze through hull transducer that also gave water temperature and speed through the water. I mounted the transducer just in front of the keel and it works fine. The only problem I have is that this transducer has a paddle wheel which gets fouled up in the Chesapeake Bay area about every month. I don't usually use the fish finder function but turn on the large number display (this displays the depth in large numbers and the temperture and speed in small numbers with no fish information). I would definitly get the bronze transducer again but I think they make units which sense the speed without a paddle wheel. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A6c: My transducer is just in front of where the keel becomes noticeable. It's just behind the rear of the 2 forward windows if you drew a line from them to bottom of the boat. It is about 27" below the water line and never has had any problems with aeration or turbulence. I put it there so it would be in nice clean water for the speed paddle wheel. The forward looking model looks interesting. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A6d: We installed an Interphase PROBE two years ago. The learning curve is a little steep but we swear by it now. It allows us to spend less time on the ratlines looking for coral, allows us to look into narrow channels before we enter, and lets us stay in the deeper part of a channel. It has changed the way we size up anchorages. It basically looks forward at 12* [Lester note: "degrees"] either side of the bow. The forward looking ratio is 6 to 1. Six feet forward for every foot it looks down. It protrudes below the hull about 4 to 5 inches, so it would not be good in waters where there is a lot of large debris. It is one of those tools that makes it easier for a husband and wife to get all the tasks performed on a cruising boat. Richard Bacon ( s/v Balmacara ) [Email from Australia]

A6e: I have just completed installation of a Hummingbird Fishfinder, the Piranha Max20, as a secondary, visual display depth sounder and am very pleased with the results. I wanted confirmation of shallow readings, particularly for anchoring situations. I had been concerned at the possible interaction of depth signals with two transducers transmitting at once and also at the recommended locations for the depth transducer which is normally shown in the bow area, ahead of the keel. However, that is where my primary transducer (Nexus Instruments) is located. Both the primary transducer and my new Humminbird (transom mount style) transducer are located in "water boxes" inside the hull, filled with mineral oil (from a drugstore). The primary transducer is near the centreline in an area of solid fibreglass. I checked for possible signal interference by attaching the new, powered up transducer to a pole and traversing along the water immediately below the caprail. My preferred location for installation was under the step from the pilothouse to the saloon.hummingbirdtransducerinwaterbox.jpg. Abeam of that location there was no interference between the two depth sounders so I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead with the installation under the step, even though it would be closer to the keel and I didn't know if that would give a false signal. The actual location is 71" aft of the mast and 36" out from the centreline. This is an area of coring so I had to "excavate". I had previously moulded the water box from fibreglass & polyester resin, around a plug made from high density polyethylene, about 2.5" x 3.5" cross-section. With some trepidation I cut away the inner hull skin (about 1/4" thick) using a small cutoff disk attached to a flexible drive from my drill. I drilled multiple perforations near the corners to complete the cutout and levered the inner skin off the 3/4" Airex with a screwdriver (very well adhered!). I then used a burr bit in the drill to smooth out the inner surface of the exposed hull. The water box was installed with epoxy putty and glassed to the inner hull skin which was also given an epoxy coating. The transducer was attached to the water box and then flooded with mineral oil. I made a clear Plexiglas lid for the box.hummingbirdtransducerinwaterbox.jpg                                       During a test cruise a couple of days ago the new Fishfinder showed good agreement with my primary depth sounder, with an offset of about 3 ft at shallow depths as my primary is calibrated to read for water level and the Fishfinder is not so sophisticated. Also it only reads whole numbers of feet versus tenths for the original unit at shallow depths. The deepest I got was 130' on the Fishfinder when the primary depth sounder was showing about 138'. The difference in readings went up slightly as depth increased but overall very good agreement was shown. Regards, David salter (s/v Opportunity)

Q7: What is the best way of heaving to? Does anyone have any ideas about the best way to heave-to in a Corbin? I don't think that I have ever really managed to heave-to, though I found I could achieve much of the same effect by attempting a come about with just the staysail. Thanks." Rob Brady (s/v Summer's Door)

A7a: The usual way of heaving to is to reef the mainsail, aim the mainsail into the wind, back the jib or staysail, and tie the rudder parallel to the jib. I did this frequently on my Bristol 29 when singlehanding from New Jersey to Bermuda and in the Carribbean. Once, in a gale for 30 hours, I hove-to with just the main and rudder. Les Helmus (s/v Insouciance) Here's a link obtained by a Google search,

A7b: As to heaving to with a Corbin-there are a number of good choices. It can be done in the classic way-mainsail into wind, backwind staysail, rudder parallel to the jib. (the rudder can be overdone). I have not had good luck with the headsail. I like to tie my roller furling off at the bow in gale force conditions. It is not fun having your headsail deploy in a blow. We can heave to with just our main. We have storm sails but have not deployed them. I would go to a lone trisail if I had to heave to in 60+ knots. We prefer to keep the boat moving in winds up to 50 knots. When running in these conditions we will use our staysail only and get the boat on the Monitor windvane. It is faster than our Alpha 3000 autopilot. I have tried bare poles in these conditions but could not steer well. If we are going to weather we use the staysail and main with 3 reefs. We have found that our Corbin will head up and park when we are overpowered by building winds. This allows us to go forward and take another reef without going into a panic. The bottom line is there is no best way to heave-to; it depends on the situation and there are a lot of choices with the friendly Corbin. Richard Bacon (s/v Balmacara) [email from Australia] [Lester note: The Balmacara has a short bowsprit upgrade.]

Q8: Where can I obtain the original pilothouse window frames ? I've been building my Corbin for about 21 years now and don't think I'll ever finish. I'm redoing things I did years ago for the second or third time now. Anyway I'm not looking for rectangular bronze portholes but for the frames that went around the windows that were offered from Tanner-Stephens Yachts or from Corbin themselves. They were produced to fit the pilot house windows of the early models and the side windows for all hulls. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A8: Hello there ! In regards to your need for window frames contact Klacko Spars Ltd. They may be able to help you. 663 Third Line Oakville Ont Canada L6L 4A9 Tel 905 825-0015 Fax 905 825-5353 e-mail klackospars Good Luck and regards Ernie Hartmair (s/v Melodia)


Q9: What is the best windvane to use with stern davits and cockpit hydraulic steering? Glen Davies (s/v Half Normal Saline)

A9:Your question regarding windvane/selfsteering systems has finally been forwarded to me on board. I have at one point studied this question quite a bit. I finally opted for an electric/hydraulic autopilot system in the engine room. The main reason was so that I would be able to install davits for my Zodiac. I have designed an integrated davits, outboard mount, solar panel and windcharger structure which extends more than 4 feet at the stern making it impossible to install a windvane. As I have Navico/Corus (Now Simrad) instruments and already had the Navico WP300 wheelpilot in the pilothouse, I installed the Navico Ocean Navigator pilot in the engine room. I am very pleased with it. It is its 3rd year of extensive use both in the Gulf and in the Saint-Lawrence River without any hitch (touch wood!) and it actually steers better than most people can. If I had gone the windvane route, I probably would have chosen the Monitor system which seemed to be a good fit for our kind of boats. Good luck." Claude Gagnon (s/v Corail IV)


Q10: Where can I obtain aluminum toerails? Hi all. I am looking for information on aluminum toerails. We have a teak toerail and it's in pityful shape. We want to put an aluminum toerail on but don't know where to start to find one. Are they bought preformed for the Corbin? Do I have to bend one to fit? How would I do that? Thanks. Paul Melanson (s/v Quintana Grande)

A10a: Cruising World magazine, several issues back, had an extensive article on replacing toerails. Regards. Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)

A10b: September, 2001 at page 104. I will email you a copy if you request it. Lester (s/v Insouciance)

A10c: Back in about 1981 I designed and had fabricated a set of toerails for the Corbin. I had to order enough for 8 boats (I believe) (500 kg of aluminum extrusions) and all were sold. This was a BIG project. I looked at various toerail sections available and then made a drawing of the required size for the Corbin. The key was the dimension of the deck to hull join and the need for a groove to coincide where the bolts attaching the two parts were installed by the factory. This becomes the caulking groove. Then I had an extrusion mold made by Alcan Aluminum who did the extrusion of the straight rails, each 16 ft long, 32 of them. After the extrusions were delivered I then had a machine shop make the required slots in the vertical web and drill and counterbore for 1/4" bolts to be spaced between the factory installed bolts (6" spacing I believe). They then prebent the rails with a hydraulic bending machine to my specification. I had calculated the curve of the hull and the two sections of rail per side (one fwd of midships and one aft). I had the rails all bent to the same curve, the average of the fwd and aft sections. For installation the aft section had to be bent more, at its front and back ends while the fwd section had to be squeezed in the middle to straighten it slightly. A special midship fairlead was fabricated to join the two halves of the rails oper side. This was done with large c-clamps as the amount of bend was not great with the already curved rails (it would almost certainly not be possible if starting from straight rails). I should mention that after the macjhine shop bending operation I then had to take all the rails to an electroplating plant. The rails were all hard anodized, some black and some bronze, as per the customer's requests. The material used was "aluminum 6061T6" which is good for anodizing and has good saltwater corrosion resistance. Corbin factory never had rails made and did not buy any of mine. They used a teak caprail. This may not help you much unless you can get a group of Corbin owners to join in the venture. The aluminum toerail adds to the strength of the hull and the slots, which were sometimes referred to as C & C rail, provide plenty of places to attach snatch blocks, fenders etc. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A10d: I have an all aluminum toe rail that I haven't seen on any other Corbin. It's clear anodized aluminum and stands about 2" high. It has holes every 1' to 6" for attachments and fits right over the deck to hull joint. This was bent to fit the Corbin and...I have to say... the fellow that had it bent was very persistant. Generally the curve is smooth everywhere but it starts to buckle a bit at the stern end around the sharp bend. I can try to find out where the builder purchaced it for you. Jack Verheyden (s/v Kathrian)

A10e: Paul, It's actually relatively simple if you take your time and prep correctly. Most rails come in twenty foot lengths. After removing the teak you'll need to reglass the old holes and fair the surface evenly. Now starting from the stern, position the aft most end of the rail and drill a hole. Use a halyard to hold the forward end of the rail level and other lines to keep it from moving around. You haven't bent anything yet. And you're not sealing anything yet either. With the first bolt in and hand tightened start moving forward using the rail holes as a guide to where you need to drill. I don't recommend drilling through the predrilled toerail hole but sometimes that's the only way to do it. Now you start bending the rail as you move forward. Clamp the rail a foot at a time and drill every other hole marking the other holes to drill later. At the aft end you may want to do two consecutive holes at first just to keep it steady. Continue forward like this and you'll slowly bend the rail to the hull. Once you've got the rail bent and your guide holes drilled, remove the rail and drill all remaining holes. Clean-up the mess inside and out and have a beer. Now, sealing is a matter of preference, use what you are comfortable with Life Caulk, 5200, Dolphanite (my preference). I'd run a bead down the deck side edge of the rail and in and around each hole The hull side you want to be able to drain back overboard, but check the camber of the surface under the rail - if it cants toward the deck run a small bead very close to the hull side of the holes but not on the edge. the purpose of all this is to not trap water under the rail. Now reinstall the rail in the same manner as before but this time put all the bolts in as you go. Remember to use a corrosion inhibitor between your stainless bolt and the aluminum rail. When you're all done, clean up have a beer and invite everyone in the yard to come and look at your handiwork. By the way - you use the same technique to install rubrails. Good luck, Vince Salese (s/v Witch of the Wave )


Q11: What should I do about those cracks in my gelcoat?

A11a: Gelcoat cracks Deck or Hull ???? Since the Corbin is not prone to flexing, the gelcoat cracks are purely cosmetic and largely due to excessive amount of the gelcoat material. Case in point..We have had our boat Awlgriped and Epoxied recently and when the issue of the gelcoat crack repair came up, our shop elected to NOT to fill the cracks but to sand the hull and seal with Interprotect Epoxy several coats. This stuff has the ability to surface stretch and flex 40%. Our repair shop is: R Moreau Marine Refinishing here in Penetang. Ontario, Rick has been in business MANY years and has a very excellent reputation for workmanship and fair pricing. ( having done several Corbins in the past ) He is a local legend and his work from 20 + years ago still looks as new. Just sharing our experience.. Regards, Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)

A11b: Thanks for putting my mind at ease. When I bought Hull 101 last year we sanded the underbody and applied 10 coats of Maas epoxy so I shall now only have to deal with the deck and topsides in time. I am more than pleased with my Corbin. I had ordered one in 1982 but cancelled for reasons you may guess!! Jeremy Parrett (s/v Pelican 1)


Q12: How should I wire my windlass?

A12: windlasswiringschematic.jpg Submitted by David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q13: How should I DC-wire my Corbin?

A13: dccircuitschematic.jpg , Submitted by David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q14: How should I perform an inspection of my standing rigging , including the chainplates?



Q15: What is a good schematic for routing fresh water in my Corbin?

A15: freshwatersystem.jpg Submitted by David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q16: Do you own a Pathfinder? I would be interested to hear from anyone else with a Pathfinder engine . I have made a couple of modifications for accessories and have some questions re belts. Regards to all, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A16a: David, I've just purchased a refurbished pathfinder engine from Pathfinder Marine in Montreal. These people are amazing! If you want ANY information on changing things on your engine call John at 1-514-695-6676. He'll answer any questions and supply original parts. They're still in business, and going strong. With the engine comes an original pathfinder engine handbook (250 pages!) with all part #'s and repair instructions. They are also offering a deal on new engines and will take your old one on trade. Call John, he's really knowledgeable and helpful. Paul Melanson (s/v Quintana Grande)

A16b: Hello, for Pathfinder information or upgrades, or parts... write to John at Pathfinder They are also known as Trigon Machinery Inc. out of the Montreal area. I have just bought a rebuilt pathfinder from their exchange program. They'll upgrade you to a higher hp engine and take your old one on trade.(* Pathfinder trade-ins only) They're extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and keep extensive files. Paul Melanson (s/v Quintana Grande)


Q17: Is the Corbin a good boat for bluewater cruising?

A17: According to John Holtrop the Corbin is one of the best. See his report:


Q18: What is the proper size for my saildrive propeller? I do have a question. If anybody else has installed a Volvo diesel with a sail drive I would like to know the propeller size they went with. I have a 15x13 fixed 3 blade prop and I think I need a little less pitch. My engine doesn't get up to its rated revs and overheats if run wide open. Maybe a 15x11 or 16x11 would do better? My engine is a Volvo Penta md17c - 110s 36 hp diesel. It's 3 cylinder and pushes the boat at about 5.5 knots. I like the engine a lot but have always had this overheating problem. Mine is fresh water cooled (the first the company ever sold in the U.S.) and if the engine overheats the plastic impeller on the fresh water circulating pump becomes loose and spins on the shaft. The only solution I have found it to buy a new pump (now on number 3 at $320.00 each). Is yours fresh water cooled and do you have any of these problems? Thanks, Bill Schwartz, (s/v Moonshadow)

A18: I use a 2-bladed prop (16" diameter x 11" pitch LH rotation) on my Volvo MD 11c engine (23 HP) and am satisfied with its performance. Cooling water to the saildrive is NOT connected. The engine has NO fresh water cooling. Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)


Q19: How should I paint my hull ?

A19: The hull inside was painted with a Canadian two part epoxy called Endura but I am sure any epoxy paint would do. The worst job is the preparation, to grind the hull to get rid of the waxy coating on top of the fibreglass, if it is in the condition where it came from the molding. The paint won't stay long on the waxed fibreglass. It is possible to use sanding disks or a belt sander (coarse, 24 grit to minimize plugging up) if you can get access. I suggest that this is a good job to get someone elso to do, ensuring that they take care not to damage anything. In some areas we put regular alkyd paint on top of the epoxy paint although it can take a while to dry machineryspacerudder.jpg. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

Q20: What kind of tubing should I use for my fuel lines ?

A20: . The view of the aft batteries shows our fuel plumbing. I have 5 fuel tanks as the area under the wheelhouse sole is divided up by "floors" (bulkheads to reinforce the area - which may be overkill). There is a fuel supply manifold with 5 shutoff valves and a fuel return manifold with 5 valves. All tubing is 3/8" stainless with Swagelok connections. This is expensive and was time consuming but I didn't want to have copper tubing (accelerates fuel gumming) or rubber tubing. Fuel was my specialty when I worked at Shell Oil. The other black tubular items are the heavy gauge wires to the inverter and breaker panel, also from the fwd batteries and the engine alternator batteriesunderpilothouse.jpg . David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q21: Can I make my distribution panel swing open?

A21: Yes.. The wiring behind the panel shows a fuse block at the left that has AGC fuses for the light loads of instruments (GPS, Nexus instruments, VHF etc.). The copper strap is the SSB ground connection. I have lots of AGC in-line fuses, all listed now I believe. They protect the light loads of various pieces of equipment that would not be protected by the breaker feeding them. I used white wire for ground as I had lots of it! Almost all the wiring is 12 gauge, to minimize voltage drop. I have "pony panels" in about 7 locations throughout the boat. Each is fed from one breaker and consists of a junction block, e.g. Blue Seas #2408 (W. Marine 214991) or similar. This avoids having all wires go back to the main panel. Each sub circuit has an in-line fuse See Pic. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q22: How in the world do I wire a distribution panel that swings open?

A22: The back of the Paneltronics breaker panel (hinged open) shows the AC below with a fibreglass box covering the AC wiring, made by me. The mass of wires is organized (!) with number labels stuck on and covered with clear heatshrink There are circular wire loops attached to a fixed piece of wood behind the hinge, so that the wire will tend to flex and not fatigue with opening and closing of the panel door. All wire ends are crimped to ring terminals and covered with heatshrink. I recommend the Ancor ratchet crimper, p/n 702017, $46.99 at W. Marine wiringbehinddistributionpanel.jpg. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

Q23: Where should I locate my inverter/charger ?

A23: The Inverter/Charger (Heart Interface 1000 watt) is under the nav table seat. You won't see much in the photo. I have stainless grilles to assist cooling air flow. The fan comes on occasionally. This location minimizes the wiring distance from the batteries and from the breaker panel. I believe I used #2 gauge wire, actually welding cable. This is not tinned but costs a lot less and I took pains to seal all the ends into the heavy duty lugs(from an electrical supplier) with heatshrink and silicone caulk for the wire ends. I used Ancor lug crimper, p/n 701010, W. Marine 214080, and squeezed it in a vice where possible, otherwise using a heavy C-clamp (tricky as it tends to slip off) inverterundernavseat.jpg. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

Q24: How should I wire my AC circuitry ?

A24: Regarding your earlier request for an AC schematic, I don't have one and it would be very simple. We have 6 active AC breakers, plus a couple of spares. Each breaker feeds a chain of AC receptacles (one feeds the water heater, not yet commissioned). These are all Pass & Seymour stainless steel, hospital grade (yellow plastic) in plastic housings. I didn't use a GFI as they are reputed to trip intermittently due to the marine environment. David Salter, (s/v Opportunity)


Q25: Why do I have so little power when backing (in reverse)? I am experiencing great difficulty motoring in reverse ( at the docks ). The rudder takes forever to bite and the situation gets worse with windage. The boat has a 33 HP Vetus ( underpowered in my opinion ) and swings a 18" three blade fixed prop. Come haul out, I will be considering adding 6" or so to the rudder, maybe a different prop. and eventually I will be upgrading to a larger engine before heading South. Any comments and / or suggestions on motoring this boat would be much appreciated, before serious funds are spent in correcting this problem. Regards, Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant, # 186)

A25a: I assume that your boat has factory rudder--don't touch it--there is no problem if it is. i had the same problem with my boat-- westerbeke 33 (same setup as the vetus. the problem is that the engine is on the low end for the displacement-- i repowered with a yanmar 4jh2e (50/51 h.) naturally aspirated. i have a 3 bladed fixed prop 18" repitched to 14"-- great reverse thrust and control (don't be afraid to add a little power in reverse, all the while keeping control of the rudder so that it does not swing to one side with the boat motion. fyi, marius corbin repowered his ( now sold, stradimarius II, #129) with a vetus 50hp in 1985-- to get more power and speed-- think he went to a feathering prop, 18." doug archibald (s/v Chaos! #153)

A25b: I too would be interested in solving the reversing problem in the Corbin. I have a feeling the rudder is not effected enough in reverse, perhaps in forward too. The trailing edge is quite thick and I think to extend it rearward would add a considerable amount of area. Another approach would be to cut off some of the skeg area and move the lower rudder bearing up and do a partially balanced rudder. As it is, there is quite an area of the rudder, however ineffective that backing down puts a strain on the rudder if going too fast. I have a Perkins 4-108 that seems appropriate for the boat with a 18 in. fixed three blade wheel. The pitch escapes me however. The engine runs at 2600 rpms max. it is rated at 3200. The cruising speed seems to be 7.5, max in smooth water is 8.2 Knots. How many Corbins are using a V-Drive ? Does the prop walk move the stearn to Starboard. Gene Whitney ( s/v Joint Effort)

A25c: I have a Volvo 34 hp diesel driving a 15x13, 3 blade propeller with a sail drive (ratio 1:1.66) and only have minor backing problems to starboard. I find that if I rev the engine over 1000 rpm I have less paddle wheel effect. My top speed seems to be only about 6.5 knots in calm conditions and the engine revs to about 2200 (rated at 2500). Hope this helps. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A25d: I have the same problem with my Pathfinder 50 (40 HP) driving a 18" x 12" (?) 3 bladed prop. The prop walks to port in reverse (same direction as engine rotation) so the boat won't steer to stbd unless there is a good deal of way on and that takes space, time and bravery. I think it is also a function of the long keel as I experienced the same thing on a previous 28 ft boat that had a balanced rudder and no skeg. The balanced rudder has a very strong tendency to whip over if it gets slightly out of dead ahead. On my Corbin I didn't like the flat profile of the original rudder halves so before assembling it I made plywood sections attached to each of the stainless steel web pieces to fatten the curve. I also inserted a stainless steel plate the full height of the trailing edge, extending about 1" from the rudder. This gave a more tapered aft end and a slight increase in area. None of this seems to cure the backing up problem but it might have helped the water flow across the rudder going forward. I should add that the rudder is filled with solid fibreglass resin putty so it is heavy but rugged. The large volume almost went off (catalyzed) before we could bond the two halves around the rudder stock! David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A25e: Frank, here are some URLs for Autoprop, and . You can call or email them and get a quote for your engine. Do not modify your skeg or rudder as these are designed for moving the boat forward. Lester (s/v Insouciance)

A25f: I have just installed an Autoprop.It has virtually eliminated propwalk, and I can actually drive the boat astern in complete control. Amazing!! On trials we achieved a speed of 8 knots at 2600 rpm at 2200 rpm we can maintain 7 knots....amazing!! It has put a big strain on the drive train though, and I will be rebuilding the Vetus coupling and installing a new bearing in the thrust block...both are complaining! Altogether though this add on has made an amazing difference to the boat.I cant wait to see the fuel economy figures. Jeremy Parrett (s/v Pelican 1)


Q26: Where can I buy pulpits, ladders, water and fuel tanks?

A26a: I talked with Tops'n' Quality in Marysville Michigan and they said they have supplied many of the stainless pulpits for Corbin. I know of no vender for the fuel tanks, I would imagine getting the tanks built will be a easy thing to do. Gene Whitney (s/v Joint Effort)

A26b: the tanks, as far as i know, were fabricated in montreal--don't know the supplier-- if anyone has a set of blueprints, the dimensions of all tanks are noted for local fabrication--i do have a set for the corbin393es-- the latest version, aft cockpit. as for the pulpits: tops-in-quality Marysville, MI 48040 last phone # 313-364-7150 Doug Archibald (s/v Chaos!)

A26c: As the Corbin factory sold the majority of boats for owner finishing they probably only had one off orders for tanks and pulpits. Probably one of the biggest orders for pulpits was mine, for members of the Toronto Boat Builders Co-Op, 7 boat sets, in Sept 1980. They were made to my specification, including all deck measurements, by Tops In Quality, now in Port Huron, MI. Tel: 313 982 1900. The photos on my website give an idea of the appearance. starboardbow.jpg The bow pulpit has a 10" drop at the front for easier access. The mast pulpits (granny bars) have a curved top in plan view (other designers have used a straight back rest). I also have the hull profile to accomodate boarding ladder standoffs, located at about 20" forward of the stern. However, we didn't go with this but later designed a 3 part folding ladder to go at the lifeline gate, near the forward end of the wheelhouse. All stanchions are 30" high. Tops In Quality may have dimensions on file. Photo of 2 satisfied customers attached. pulpits.jpg Regarding tanks, the same comment re Corbin factory applies. Many boats would have different tank requirements. Our stainless fuel and water tanks were made by Klacko Mfg, Oakville, Ontario. They are still in the same business and made tanks for other owners. tel: 905 825 0015. They are pricey, but perhaps not so bad for U.S. customers. Hope this helps, Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A26d: I bought all my pulpits from Marine Exchange Corp. in Peabody, Ma. They are still in business. At the time the father was building a Corbin and had a good source for the stainless work. Now the sons run the business and may be able to help. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A26e: Marine Exchange was run by Kevin Montague and family. After it went out of business Kevin started up North East Rigging Systems. His contact in Needham, MA, is (781) 559 8416, Kevinmontague He also has a website now. I have used his company for several high cost purchases (e.g. Profurl, Electric Windlass) as well as many lesser items and he is very competitive and also knowledgeable. As noted, his father had a Corbin 39. Kevin is a rigger but also good for most other boat equipment. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q27: What is a good way to remove my mast?

A27: I attach a photo that may be of interest. skyview.jpg (I couldn't get my legs out of the way. It is a bit scary at 51' above the deck). I go up at the start and finish of each season to install/remove the electronic wind indicator and the Windex so that the crane hook can't damage them. Our system of lifting the mast uses a 135' length of rope that is looped under both the lower and upper spreaders and extends above the mast top. Once the mast is hanging from the rope, for the haulout time, one can pull the heel of the mast aft and it gradually comes to the horizontal as the rope slides along the crane hook. Launching is the opposite action. In the photo we have already removed the sails and the boom. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q28: What is the advisable way of adding a staysail stay to the bow bowdeckview.jpg of my Edition Speciale Corbin? Branko Vukojevic (s/v Stargazer V)

A28: Branko, Here are some guidelines: A staysail is a valuable addition to a boat; adds several combinations of sail plans, is a good jib to use for heavy weather, can be used for self-steering if windvane fails .

1.   On whether to use a boom or not; Pros: requires only one sheet, is self-tending (can tack more easily), whisker pole is not needed when running, preventer can be added easily, requires only one winch, can be reefed easily, and in the desirable direction, saves on installation of two tracks and two sliding blocks; Cons: is very dangerous to crew in strong winds, requires installation of traveler with block and tackle, difficult to use with a roller furling sail, and prevents easy movement by crew across deck , the foot of the sail is shorter=less sail efficiency.

2.   On where to place the staysail stay chainplate; A. If the bowsprit is less than 4' long, then I'd put the stay well aft of the windlass, probably at the aft end of the bow deck lockers. You should add a bulkhead or a truss to oppose the staysail loads..

However, take a look at for some guidance. Galene has a short bowsprit with the windlass well aft and the staysail stay forward of the windlass. The two forestays are quite close to each other, which is why Collin Harty is planning to make the bottom of the stay removable. I do not recommend a removable stay attachnent because it is a nuisance to use, except on the high seas well offshore.. Nick Nicholson, Editor at Large for Practical Sailor detached his staysail stay rarely during his circumnavigation.

On the other hand, the Pardeys' Talesin has a long bowsprit with the staysail chainplate at the stem, hank-on sail, no boom, AND A REMOVABLE STAY, because the Pardeys do a lot of short tacking as they have no engine. See Lin and Larry Pardey's The Capable Cruiser, Chapter 9. B. If the bowsprit is 4' or longer, then I would put a chainplate at the stem ahead of the windlass, make the non-removable staysail stay parallel to the headstay (although this not an absolute necessity), and use a boomless roller furler on the staysail. I would not attach the boom to the stay but would provide a independent support. Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)


Q29: How effective is the Monitor windvane when running in heavy seas?

A29: I am not sure where this should go, but I would like to talk about running in big seas with the Corbin. There is tremendous buoyancy in the stern of a Corbin. The broad Norwegian stern gives one the sensation of an elevator when running in big seas. You are not going to get pooped in a Corbin but it will throw weight to the bow which can cause some tracking problems. You have to be fast on the helm to hold a safe line. The Monitor windvane has proven to be just the ticket for us. It corrects very quickly. Our autopilot lets us yaw around more than I like. Richar Bacon (s/v Balmacara) [from Australia]


Q30: If I buy a bare hull and deck, how may I proceed to layout the interior?

A30a: Draw a layout to scale. Here is Opportunity's (although not to scale) layout.jpg . Lester, I am attaching the only sketch/schematic I have of our specific interior. It is different from all others and I made this by photographing a large drawing. Unfortunately, the lines aren't very dark and it is NOT to scale! The aft head is SMALL but it is possible to stand up if you are my height, 5' 9", aft of the toilet and in front of the sink. We wash while sitting on the toilet lid. We made the space under the companionway top step by making the steps fairly steep and, effectively, extending the bridge deck. The sole is directly on the hull, with a fairly small, flat floor. We step down from the port side aft cabin. There is also a hanging locker in the aft cabin, against the hull and a shelf in front of it. Headroom here is just adequate and the cockpit intrudes in. We have two small ports (5 x 12", I believe) into the cockpit well, one from the head and one from the aft cabin itself. I can't give dimensions now as we have lots of deep snow between the back door and the boat. The centreline divider for the aft cabin is angled and includes one of the bolts for the rudder stuffing box (under the berth)! David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A30b: Make scale models, corbinmodel1.jpg and corbinmodel2.jpg I went one (or two) better than layout plans! The original Corbin brochure showed cross sections at all the stations of the plan view so I enlarged these with a magnajector (diascope?) and made a model of the boat using cardboard "planking" between stations at a scale of about 1" to 1'. We still have this! We planned the layout roughly using this. Then we made bulkheads out of corrugated cardboard to try the "feel" of the arrangement in the bare hull. In retrospect, after living in the boat, it would have been nice to adjust things by an inch or two! Lester, I have brought the model in from the garage and dusted it off, but 20+ years of neglect shows! Photo 1 shows the open model - I believe I only ever made a deck for the aft area, as seen in Photo 2. The cardboard has obviously had moisture damage at some time and I ran out of adhesive tape today in trying to repair it. The scale is 1" to 1'. The stations (1/4" ply frames in this case) are at 3.25" spacing and the cardboard planking is stapled to them. You can see the raised wheelhouse sole in the open model and the yellow tab is to support the bottom of the companionway steps. The chainplates marked on the hull don't show up. We used this model to calculate the number of 4x8 sheets of 3/4" ply for the bulkheads at 30, for example, and it came out perfectly, with a few small pieces left for furniture. Most of the furniture was made with 1/2" ply. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q31: What windlass should I use? I am replacing a Lofrans Royal windlass and would like to size upwards. The Royal will pull 400 lbs- not enough in my opinion for a boat as heavy as a Corbin. I wish to keep to a manual windlass - any suggestions? Tom Amundsen (s/v Rio Nimpkish)

A31a: Tom, I don't know what kind of sailing you do but if you cruise much of the year you definitely need more pull. I have 200' of 3/8" chain (1.5 lbs / ft) and a 45 # CQR as my normal anchor. When using plenty of scope in a deep anchorage recovering the anchor is a real chore. If I don't motor the anchor out before retrieving it, I am in for, at best, an aerobic workout --- puff, puff --- and, at worst, I don't get it up at all! My anchor winch is only a Simpson-Lawrence 510 manual with 550 # pull max. I consider this winch too small for my tackle. Its only grace is that it fits well on a Corbin in the small space between the anchor lockers at the bow. Last year I tried to fit a large electric winch but there wasn't enough room for that model... Your tackle may be lighter (i.e., rope) so you could just squeeze by with a S-L 510. For my tackle the 510 is too small. Extra pull is good for the time the anchor is buried deeply in the bottom, say, by high winds. If you desire a manual windlass, then be sure to get a two-speed with double action like the Simpson Lawrence (Lewmar) Sea Tiger with over 1000# pull. If any of you have a good electric windlass, either vertical or horizontal axle, that you can recommend that also fits between the lockers (and still allows the hatches to be opened without hitting the winch) please let me know. I want to refit my manual winch. Fred Gerbstadt (s/v Coochi)

A31b: Hi Fred & Hi Tom, this is an electric windlass that may be what you're looking for. It has a small footprint and pulls over 750 lbs. Unfortunately I can't measure the area needed between the lockers because Witch is in Annapolis and I'm in NJ. If you or someone can reply with that measurement, I'll catalog all the windlasses that will fit. I'll also get you a price on the S-L Tiger. Tom, check out the Muir Neptune manual windlass with a powerful 770 lbs. rating. I just need to check the dimensions for you. We have both of these products but they're not featured on the website. Remember, your Corbin Owners discount - our advertised price or 10% over cost whichever is less. We can't wait for spring! Fair Winds From Vince & Tricia Salese (s/v Witch of the Wave)

A31c: Responding to the enquiry by Fred and Tom, I used to have a Simpson Lawrence 555 SeaTiger. It is a great 2 speed, manual windlass and worked well. However, after experiences having to try re-anchoring a couple of times with our all chain 3/8" plus a 45 lb CQR my wife decided we should get an electric windlass. Last summer we bought a Lofrans Tigres after looking around at several boat shows. I knew it would be a challenge to fit it between the sail lockers and the strategy was to raise it on a pad above the deck, sufficiently high that the lockers could swing clear. One constraint was that I wanted to use the existing hawse pipe as this is integrated into our fwd cabin, using an angled hawse pipe to get the chain locker as far aft as possible and it also passes through my custom made holding tank. The windlass was installed on a 3/4" thick pad of high density polyethylene, not as high as I had expected, but it did require me to trim a small part of the flange of the stbd sail locker lid. The windlass works very well and I bought the 1200 watt motor which I think is the standard now. It comes with the control relay which allows multiple control switches. We have a pair of foot switches near the windlass and a rocker switch in the cockpit. Heavy duty wires (1/0 gauge welding cable, with well sealed heavy duty lug terminals) lead from the house batteries via a Blue Seas T-1 combination cct bkr/switch rated at 120 Amp. The windlass is very nicely made but I have a couple of criticisms of the design. The rear motor cover is removed to install the 3 wires and it is such a tight fit that these can only be #2 gauge max. One of the 4 hold down bolts is very close to the hawse hole and it is very difficult to fit a backing plate. In my case the backing plate intrudes partly into the hawse pipe. I bought the windlass through North East Rigging Systems (previously Marine Exchange) kevinmontague . Kevin will take exchanges and gives a very good deal. I have bought quite a few pieces of equipment through him and I can recommend him. A photo during my installation is attached tigreswindlass.jpg . Regards, David Salter, (s.v. Opportunity)

A31d: As I seem to be getting a little older and much sorer, 2 years ago I bought a Lofrans Progress 2 windlass to replace my Manual windlass. I believe it has a 1200 watt motor. It takes 5/16 high-test chain and handles my 35 pound CQR anchor great. I've been anchored in mud in quite a few blows and where I used to have to really work to pull up the anchor I just push the button and it comes up. I actually bought the windlass on ebay off of Imtra (the American importer & distributor) who get some back for returns off of new boats where the buyer wants a different size or style. They sell them with the original warranty and say they may be cosmetically blemished. Mine was only installed and never used and was about 1/4 of the retail price. They sell the accessories at a very reasonable price and I installed mine with a hand held remote with connections by the bow and in the cockpit. I didn't get the capstan model, so it is very low profile. It mounts right in front of the hatches and the motor you can swing in any direction (mine points forward). I would definitely recommend it without hesitation. (PS I bought 250' of 5/16" high-test chain extra to get a great price on it. I don't need the extra chain and want to sell it for $2.00 per foot if any one is interested. The only drawback is that it weighs about 300 pounds and must be shipped by truck.) Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A31e: If you desire an electric windlass, then be sure to get one with 1000 - 1200 watts, minimum. [Nick Nicholson oof Practical Sailor went up one size, from a Lofrans Tigres to a Falkon, when outfitting his 40' heavy displacement boat. Nick completed his circumnavigation and said the windlass performed well for him and that he had made a good decision in upsizing]. Also, take a good look at the windlass's manual backup capabilities, keeping the position of the staysail stay and staysail boom in mind. Lester (s/v Insouciance)

A31f: The Lofrans Tigress windlass also fit nicely, unfortunately they ( Lofrans ) do NOT leave any room for the 200 Amp. cable terminations under the cover. The cover is slanted towards the back believe it or not, thus restricting the clearance almost to nothing. I would love to meet the Genius that designed this cover / terminal scheme. Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)

A31g: The Data windlass is made in Turkey. Available in the EU. The company plans to import to the US in the near future. It mounts to the deck between my two bow storage lockers. The company made a gypsy to fit my 5/16 HT chain. It is a 1400 watt. unit . It served us well across the Med. The price was 1400 US. my old Simpson Laurence manual windlass was on its last legs. Richard Bacon (s/v Balmacara)


Q32: Has anyone added windshield wipers to his pilothouse windows? Are manual wipers over plastic windows adequate for the job? Are electric wipers okay over Lexan, if not used too often? Could a glass plate be put over the Lexan without distorting vision too much? Is a thick glass plate the only way to go? All three windshields or just the center one? Please email me your experiences with this problem. Send pictures, if you can. And what wipers do you recommend buying? I would like to add all responses to our QandA page, unless you tell me not to. Lester (s/v Insouciance)

A32a: Wipers on plastic is not a good idea. I do recall of a piece that some boats have used instead. It consists of a unit that you cut into your plastic. When turned on it spins the water off. I believe that they are actually made for airplanes. Hope this helps. Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow)

A32b: HI Lester, I'd like to recommend an alternative (albeit an expensive one) to traditional windshield wipers. I'm sure you've seen them on every commercial & military bridge. It's the Clear View Screen from Vetus. "The toughened glass rotating screen reaches its maximum r.p.m. within 25 seconds. The centrifugal force enables all rain, snow and spray to be cleared instantly from the screen. Also dirt and salt will not cause any smears, as a result of which your vision will remain completely clear." - Vetus. I saw one of these in action first hand aboard Ron & Katherine Jacks' Corbin, Yankee (hull #199) during a horrific t-storm in Newport harbor. It was blowing to 60 knots and dumping rain. Ron flipped the switch and in a few seconds the area of the screen was like a hole was punched in the windshield. Absolutely clear vision thru the window. I was really impressed. Here's a link to the Vetus Clear View Screen. [Lester note: These screens cost over $1300.] Vince Salese (s/v Witch of the Wave)

A32c: Lester this is for the person asking about Clearview screens. You said that Vetus sells them for $1200 US, they are a little more popular up here in Canada since we get more ice and such than you do. So here they sell for $650 US, ($995 Canadian). For more information write to Peter Bennett (General Manager for Stright Mackay, marine store Paul Melanson [s/v Quintana]


Q33: What's a good engine to use in a Corbin 39? Our engine started to blow blue smoke and used quite a bit of oil. Considering the cost of overhaul and the " under power " issues, we will be re powering to something larger over the winter. I would appreciate some input as to what would fit into the boat and what is suitable for this size of boat, preferably with same foot print. I can go longer but not much wider than the present engine. Existing: Vetus M 414, 33 HP c/w Hurth HBW 150V gearbox. Thanks for your prompt reply, the engine is 50% under the steps. The bed is long, however I can't go much more in width without putting the chainsaw to the woodwork. Eg. Yanmar 50 HP would be a bit too wide. What do you know / think of the new line of Volvo, it looks as if the 50 HP Volvo is very close to the Vetus M 4.14 in foot print, and bear in mind that I MUST stay with the V Drive set up. Any engine with less than 3600 rpm, I would not be able to use our HWB 150 V box ( 3:1) and would need the whole new package. Preliminary pricing here in Canada is +/- 15K, I would install myself, less any trade in value. Regards, Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)

Hi Lester, Thanks for your prompt reply. The engine is 50% under the steps. The bed is long and I can't go much more in width without putting the chainsaw to the woodwork. Eg. Yanmar 50 HP would be a bit too wide. What do you know / think of the new line of Volvo, it looks as if the 50 HP Volvo is very close to the Vetus M 4.14 in foot print, and bear in mind that I MUST stay with the V Drive set up. Any engine with less than 3600 rpm, I would not be able to use our HWB 150 V box ( 3:1) and would need the whole new package. Preliminary pricing here in Canada is +/- 15K, I would install myself, less any trade in value. Regards, Frank B. P.S. I hear that Westerbeke is a Mitsubishi just like our Vetus. Any thoughts on West. ???

A33a: I've just purchased a refurbished Pathfinder engine from Pathfinder Marine in Montreal. These people are amazing! If you want ANY information on changing things on your engine call John at 1-514-695-6676. He'll answer any questions and supply original parts. They're still in business, and going strong. With the engine comes an original Pathfinder engine handbook (250 pages!) with all part #'s and repair instructions. They are also offering a deal on new engines and will take your old one on trade. Call John, he's really knowledgeable and helpful. Paul Melanson (on s/v Quintana)

A33b: Hi Lester, Thanks for the lead to Beta Marine. After talking to numerous wheelers & dealers representing various engine makes the Beta people were very prompt, knowledgeable, accommodating and VERY competitive in pricing. Needless to say, I have a deal for a new BV2203 ( 50 HP ) in the works with a c/w gearbox. [This is the engine Collin Harty is planning to use with Galene. Lester] By the way, I also spoke to the Pathfinder people in Montreal, Canada, saw their new engine in a Corbin here in Toronto, heard and felt it run etc. The Pathfinder has NO association with VW whatsoever. The price quoted was Plus / Plus / Plus etc. and they wanted me to do the deal NOW and they were doing me a favour by " weloming me to the Path. family " and were overly critical of every other make out there. SPOOKY, I thought. Regards, Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant) hull #186.

Q34: What's a good wind generator to use in a Corbin 39?

A34a: Just finished installing and wiring a KISS Wind Generator. Could not get output, so I'm taking it apart to see what makes it tick. Guess I am the type that never accepts the concept of " black box " with space age epoxy. I need to know what's inside and how it works. If anyone wants some info on the KISS without going to Trinidad I would be happy to help... Regards. Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)

A34b: Our Kiss Wind Gen., nice unit, very quiet, in 20 kn we were getting +/- 15 amps. However it does NOT output any appreciable power until after 9 kn. It also does NOT point very well into the wind, I will check this out at haul out. Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)


Q35: Which winches should I buy for my Corbin 39? I am outfitting my Corbin and am ready to purchase winches. What would you recommend for sizes in self tailers? I have seen some manufacturers' recommendations, but I want to find out what people are actually using and what they find appropriate for size. Thanks! Al Sachs (s/v Blue Pearl)

A35a: Hello, i would recommend #48 for the primarys and #34 or larger for the staysail. I like Anderson winches; they are made of ss and seem to hold up the best. henry and mattie mcalarney (s/v 2 extreme)

A35b: Mast heights vary between Corbins. I have an extra-tall mast and require larger winches. Calculate your genoa area and decide for racing or cruising. Then, consult the guide on Page 276 in the BoatUS catalog. Use the drum diameter, gear and power ratios to interpolate to winches made by manufacturers other than Lewmar. Buy a two-speed winch and go up one size, if you are weak and rich. Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A35c: We bought most of our winches long ago, in 1980, as part of a Co-Op purchase and the total order then was just over $40,000! These were Barient winches, now out of business. This is what we have installed, all chrome plated bronze, with 10" handles. (Photo shows the Wheelhouse roof mounted winches.)

Primary, Genoa sheets: 2 Lewmar 56, 2 speed, Self Tailing (ST). These were bought in 1996 and are perhaps slightly oversized but they are great to use and my wife can haul me up the mast with one.
Secondary, Staysail sheets (also used for Genoa furling line, when necessary): 2 Barient 27, 2 speed, ST.
Main Sheet: Barient 23, 2 speed, ST ( mounted on wheelhouse top, Stbd.)
Main Halyard (also used via rope clutches for Clew reef lines): Barient 21, 2 speed (mounted on wheelhouse top, Stbd.)
Boom Vang, Outhaul, Topping Lift, Staysail Halyard, via rope clutches: Barient 21, 2 speed (mounted on wheelhouse top, Port.)
Mast Mount for misc. halyards etc.: Port side: Barient 18, 2 speed, used for Genoa Halyard and misc. Stbd sde: Barient 10, used for misc. Could be used for reefing Tack lines, if necessary.
NOTE 1. Originally, we bought the Barient 27s to be our Primary winches (cash constraints) although Dufour/Corbin recommended #28 or #32. Before installation we decided they were too small so bought the big Lewmars and all the others moved "up" one size. Therefore, some of the others may be a bit larger than necessary. Generally bigger is better but the main halyard winch is about right.
NOTE 2. Self Tailing is a good feature and all ST winches would be a good choice, if money is not a restriction. We have fitted a couple of the rubber "Winchers" but they don't match a proper ST winch. It is important to match ST winches to the rope size being used to avoid slippage.
NOTE 3. To accommodate our wheelhouse mounting for lines led aft we have fitted tubes through the forward cockpit coaming (1980 hull version) so the ropes can lead directly to the clutches and winches. This was a tricky fibreglassing job but it works very well.
NOTE 4. If you are planning dodger and wheelhouse top winches make sure you locate the winches so that you can swing the handles. We have seen many boats where this is a problem. Our dodger has a side curtain that is usually kept rolled up to allow the Secondary (forward) cockpit winches to have full circle handle rotation. Make sure the ST stripper is in the correct location, as shown by the winch manufacturer. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A35d: Lester, I was looking for other info when I found a good colour pdf catalog for Barient winches on the C & C Yacht website It appears to date from 1989 (last page). I have Barient winches, as did many of the Canadian finished boats. My catalog is not so colourful and dates from 1979. David (s/v Opportunity)


Q36: Should I add zincs to my rudder post?

A36: Yes, definitely yes. Read our webpage Voyaging with 2Extreme for a good reason to do so. On a voyage from New Zealand to Fiji, Henry McAlarnie lost steering due to a severed rudder post. voyagingwith2extreme.htm Be sure to check for electrical continuity between the zinc and the rudderpost, if you attach the zinc to the rudder shoe. On the other hand, if you have a self steerer, you can hang the zinc externally from the steerer with a wire to the rudder post inside the boat. Lester


Q37: How do you brace your mast at the deck?

A37: See


Q38: Where is your Corbin in the winter time?



Q39: How should I repair cracks in my deck? I need advice regarding cracks on deck and how best to repair them. I fear water has soaked into the encased wood - plywood. I hope it will dry out while in Tunisia during the coming months. I have opened these cracks, which range from hair lines to almost 1/32" in width, and have sealed the worst of them temporarily using silicone. This should help the drying process and allow for a more permanent repair. I would appreciate help. Thank you very much. Peter Voges (s/v Escapade)

A39a: Hi Peter My name is Bob Cox. I have owned Dorisea, (Hull #70) for 12 years. I think I have finally succeeded where others have failed, to fix the thousands of ugly gelcoat cracks in the deck that, although cosmetic, de-valued the boat. None of these cracks intruded into the fiber glass, so unless your situation is different from mine, I do not feel you have the threat of water intruding into the plywood core of the deck. The problem stems from the fact that the gelcoat is far too thick. When I bought the boat, the deck had been painted with a very hard non-skid paint. There was also several coats of more paint on top of that, as well as a flexible primer under it. The cracks migrated through all of it. I was convinced that all the paint needed was to be flexible in order to prevent the cracks from re-appearing. One day I was working with some roof paint called Snow Roof. It is a water-base, elastomeric paint. Little bells went off in my head, and a web address on the can led me to their site and a listing of all their products. This included a product called Kote-A-Deck. The site also listed many applications which included Boat Decks. I called the company, and they were very helpful. They explained that the products would not be suitable for application on gelcoat unless the surface was sanded firs with 40 grit paper, to insure adhesion. They then recommended two products. Prime-A-Deck and Kote-A-Deck, both elastomerics. Company contact info. follows: Snow Roof Systems 1499 Enterprise Parkway Twinsburg, OH 44087 Phone: (888)-321-5665 FAX: (888)-296-5665 E-mail: Web:

I began the long, hard job of removing all the crap that was already on the deck. That was the worst part and hopefully one that you will not have to do. Then I sanded the deck with a belt sander and 36 grit paper. I sanded the gelcoat until all the original molded non-skid surface was gone. Then I scrubbed the deck with bleach to kill anything living in the millions of cracks. Then I cleaned out all the cracks with a high-pressure-washer. It was now ready to apply the primer.

I began by forcing primer into all the cracks with a squeegee. As the product dried, it shrunk into the cracks, so I did it again until the cracks were filled flush to the deck. Then I brushed on 3 coats of Prime-A-Deck. Then I applied 3 coats of Kote-A-Deck. (The non-skid grit is mixed into the paint at the factory-just stir and apply) My deck now looks beautiful. I have pictures, before & after, if you are interested. The other part of the project was the water-channels and trim parts of the deck. They had many cracks too. Here I used a high-speed drill and tiny router bit to open the cracks down to the glass. I found spots where the gelcoat was 1/4 inch thick. I used Marine Tex to fill the trenches I cut. At first, I attempted to color the Marine Tex to match the color of my boat. I got close, but never satisfied. I resolved myself to the fact that I would have to paint the repaired areas. I had shied away from that idea because West Marine (and others) couldn't or wouldn't match the color. This would leave the repaired areas standing in contrast to the rest of the boat. Then another light went off in my mind. These marine supply places don't make the products they sell. They just triple the price and put them on the shelf. I went to a few places in search of a single part polyurethane paint tough enough to walk on. At a True Value hardware store I found a product from "General Paint & Manufacturing Company". It's for interior and exterior floor and trim. I solicited the help of their paint man. He said if I can bring him a piece of the boat, he can scan it and match the color exactly. That's what I did and that's what he did. The paint went on beautifully with a brush (which they gave me as a thank you for doing business with them) and now looks like it was sprayed on. Just like BrightSide, except I got a perfect color match and $24 per gallon instead of $30 per quart. By the way, if you're a "Cetol" man for your topside teak, Sikens sells through their dealers a product called Natural 078. Same stuff as Cetol Marine with one exception. Cetol Marine is $30 per quart. Natural 078 is $30 per gallon. I've had it on my wood for 5 years. Not as beautiful as varnish, but a fraction of the work to keep it looking pretty darn good.] Well Peter, that's what I did with the deck of my Corbin. I'm extremely pleased with the result. I just recently completed it, although I did a few test places 5 months ago. I've had no problems in those areas. Time will tell, and at the very worst, it's real easy to repair. Just slop on a little paint. Actually one slight problem has emerged. It didn't use to bother me so much when it got dirty and the birds crapped on it. It looked lousy anyway. Now I find myself washing the deck every few days. Gotta keep it looking pretty. I wonder if those Marine Stores sell a bird repellant? Best from Bob Cox (s/v Dorisea)


Q40: Any idea where I might find a mast exit plate for my Corbin ketch? Stephan De Blasio (Fantasia Rug Company)

A40a: Stephen, What is different about it and a standard plate? Lester, "I'm not sure. I walked into West Marine with the old one and they acted like I had a third eye. It's made of plastic or bak-o-lite and is curved. They suggested I try DuFour." It's a halyard exit plate.

A40b: I don't know if this will help or not but you might try Hall Spars on the web - Try I think... Question - is this a halyard plate or a wiring plate? Good Luck - Tom & Melod on Tiaga

A40c: This would be supplied originally by your mast manufacturer. Mine was made by Metalmast, they are or were located in Putnam CT. Tim O'Neil (s/v Whaleback) of Boston.

A40d: We have stainless mast exit plates on our mast. Schaeffer calls them Halyard Exit Plates and had them in 3 sizes in stainless in my 1993
catalog. Part nos. were 34-46, 34-48 & 34-49 for the largest. West Marine have them in the 2004 catalog, p.1055, P/Ns 149492, 163857 & 285470.
Regards, David (s/v Opportunity)


Q41: Any ideas for washing the chain as the anchor is hoisted?

A41a: Lester, Here is a photo of a project we just completed, an anchor chain washdown system, using a commercial chain scrubber (Davis Instruments "Gunk Buster") and a hose jet system that I made up. anchorchainwashdown.jpg There is a lead weight holding the device down against the pull as the chain is hauled in and we have an electric washdown pump using lake water. It seems to work well in tests at our dock. Local anchorages usually result in lots of mud coming up with the chain as well as lots of weed if one is in shallower locations (where the sunlight can get to the bottom). We usually try and anchor in 20 ft or less and have up to 100 ft of 3/8" BBB chain out. Up to now I have used a hand held hose but this results in a slow process of alternating chain washing and chain recovery. A future addition is to have a dam across the forward area just aft of the stem fitting and a drain overboard. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q42: What are my options for dual steering stations?

A42a:  Lester, I have hull #127 (Kathrian)...a "Special Edition" rear cockpit cutter which I'm currently overhauling. I am looking at improving the steering systems which currently consists of dual mechanical stations. The pedestal is an Edson classic pedestal and the upper station has wire in conduit (conduit about 10' long on each side) and the lower station is also wire in conduit which has about 17' on each side. Each station has it's own quadrant with the outside one fixed and the lower one is backed off so it is not operable with out a pin being engaged to connect the rudder post to the shaft. My concern is twofold. First, the outside station has a fair bit of drag in it which I'd like to eliminate or at least reduce considerably. Secondly, I'm concerned that the connecting pin for the lower station is insufficient for the forces on the quadrant that should rely on clamping friction to transfer the loads. I'm thinking of adding some idlers and sheaves to operate the upper station with an open cable arrangement, along with ensuring the lower station quadrant is not dragging which hopefully will resolve the friction in the upper station. Next I would replace the wire & conduit in the lower station to reduce that friction. If lucky I can connect both stations all the time without too much friction. Can any of our members suggest any? I don't want to change over to a hydraulic system. Jack Verheyden  Hull #127 (s/v Kathrian)

A42a: Hello Jack. Cable steering is not really a good way to go for the reasons you have stated. An alternative to cable and hydraulic systems is the mechanical systems using direct torque tube systems or rod steering. The system was introduced by Whitlock Marine Steering Systems (now under Lewmar ownership) and eventually by Edson. We installed the original Whitlock Cobra dual steering system comprised of torque tubes, universal joint coupling assemblies and all coupled to a powerful gearbox assembly which is coupled to the rudder post via a short lever giving a variable ratio speed to the rudder. Rudder feedback is excellent and once set up, requires no maintenance. We have installed an integral autopilot to this system which requires very little power but has lots of torque. Our boat "Simmerdim" was the first Corbin to use this system and during the construction stage of our boat we were visited by engineers from CS Yachts who eventually also used this system with great success. A couple of Corbin builders were able to purchase the Whitlock Steering components when CS Yachts ceased production. These units however did not use the gearbox system. The cockpit pedestal has 2 turns lock to lock and the inside station has 3.5 turns lock to lock due to the smaller wheel used in the pilot house. Installation was easy and very little space was required to route the torque tubes. There was an agent in Ontario located in Barrie, but the name escapes me at the moment. Check with Lewmar for up to date info. Janis Priedkalns (s/v Simmerdim)

A42b: Thanks Lester but I have my question answered. I installed a Jefa steering system, similar to the Whitlock, but with reduction gears and shafts...Works GREAT. Jack Verheyden (s/v Kathrian)


Q43: Lester, How do I bleed air from the fuel system? I am having trouble bleeding air from the fuel system after change of filters. I only have a small pamphlet on the Perkins 4-108. It only references two places on the mechanical pump. One is oblivious the other isn't. Do you have any information that would assist me?. THANKS Dave (s/v Saw-Whet)

A43a: Hi Dave, Having had a Yanmar, Vetus and now a Beta ( Kubota ) engines, so I don't see why it would not work on a Perkins.. I installed a hand primer pump ( a squeeze bulb ) type, BEFORE the first fuel filter in the system. After a filter change, I just hand prime the fuel lines until I hear the fuel returning to the tank, and THAT IS IT. Works like a charm and eliminates the " bowl filling " thing and the clean up. This scheme will do nothing if you have air after the fuel pump or in the Hi press. lines to injectors. I hope this helps Regards, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant

A43b: The Perkins is easily bled with the starboard side manual fuel pump. If necessary, unscrew the coupling on the right. G & B Stuurop, (s/v Octopus I), Menorca, Spain

A43c: On any fuel system that you are having trouble bleeding, you should check the fuel pickup tube in the fuel tank. Years ago it was common practice to put a screen on the end of the pickup tube. This screen is subject to plugging and should be removed, as it is more hazard than help. Second, check the gaskets on you fuel filters. If you have a Racor primary fuel filter, the O-ring in the T-handle that hold down the lid can leak air if not properly installed. Finally, make sure that the diaphragm in your lift pump (the fuel pump on the engine) is not leaking, as it could allow air into the fuel, and worse, diesel into your engine oil. Hope this helps, regards [Opua, New Zealand] , Harry Hungate, (s/v Cormorant)

A43d: Hi, I don’’t own a Perkins so I don’’t have direct experience…….but I did see this discussion. It would lead me to look for a plug where a return line could be connected. See the link. It sounds like ““Rainsail”” successfully bled his injector system by removing the plug filling an inlet for an unused return line. Pete Bowes

A43e: Good day Dave Shaw, My wife and I purchased our Corbin 39' in June 1989 and moved aboard in May 1990. S/V MALLARD was fitted with a Perkins 4-108 and we inherited two good maintenance manuals and a parts description manual. Regrettably the engine had been poorly maintained by the two previous owners; we spent $3,000USD on repairs in Salem, Mass in September 1990; the engine gave out completely as we neared Daytona Beach, Florida in November 1990. It proved to be cheaper to purchase a new Perkins 4-108 than to have the old one (with only 1,900 hrs) repaired. By the time we sold the boat in Kingston, ON in July of this year, the engine was still going strong after almost 7,000 hours; it started at first try on launching, after 10 months on the hard. The new owners have reached Long Island Sound by now, after going down the St Lawrence and down the coast of the Maritime Provinces; they have had no problems with the engine whatsoever. Long preamble to say that, from December 1990 until July 2004, we lived aboard on average 50 weeks out of every year and gained a great deal of "hands-on" experience with our Perkins 4-108. We changed the fuel injector pump and tips on several occasions, as well as the starter motor, etc. The mechanic who installed our Perkins in December 1990 showed us an efficient, effective and easy way to bleed the engine; you will not find these steps described in any manual; you normally have to be a member of the "mechanics fraternity" to be clued-in on these procedures. The operation requires 2 individuals.

STEP 1: Armed with a commercial type blue absorbent paper towel, you crack open, with a 5/16" wrench, the small screw on the side of the LUCAS fuel injector pump. One person activates by hand the small lever pump in the fuel line; the other ensures that all the air has been purged out of the fuel injector pump and waits until a clear jet of diesel, completely free of air bubbles emerges from the pump. Stop pumping and tighten the screw. By this time, the fuel injector pump is full of diesel yet the fuel has not travelled up the copper tubing to the 4 Injector Tips/Atomizers.

STEP 2: Crack open all 4 nuts (5/8" wrench) holding the copper fuel lines to the Injector Tips/Atomizers; the mechanic did it by loosening only 2 of the 4 but this procedure never worked well for us. One person works the starter while the one with the wrench watches closely for fuel leaking out where the copper tubing joins the atomizers; as soon as fuel starts flowing, usually at cylinder 1 first, finger OFF the starter button and tighten nut in question. Same procedure for the 3 other cylinders; it takes less starter time with each subsequent atomizer; the engine often starts running by the time the 3rd nut has been tightened. The small manual that comes with the engine leads one to believe that, once all the air has been purged from the Injector pump, you are ready to start the engine. This was never the case for us since, as mentioned earlier, you cannot achieve enough fuel pressure with the small hand lever pump to get the diesel all the way up to the atomizers. Hope the above will prove to be of some assistance. Guy Comeau, ex-owner of S/V MALLARD, now sailing south under new name of s/v NOVA STAR.


Q43b: Any ideas for a homemade outboard motor hoist?

A43ba: Opportunity is covered for winter now but the weather has been quite warm for working on projects. Today we tried out the newly completed outboard motor crane and it worked well. See photo. homemadehoist.jpg It is partly copied from the Forespar design and has an internal halyard that leads to a sheet winch. The halyard runs over Harken Exit Boxes and these were quite tricky to install in the 1 1/2" stainless tubing. I made the pulpit/crane attachment and pivot blocks from UHMW (polyethylene), drilled one way for the 1" pulpit and at right angles for the 1 1/2" crane tube. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q44: Do Corbins have excessive moisture? Ahoy Skippers, Two of our club members are planning to dry out their Corbins and then do bottom work, including epoxy barrier coatings. I may be a third member to do the same. 1. How much credence do you place in moisture readings? 2. What make and model of meter do you use? [Ed. Note: All fiberglass boats are subject to sea water absorption]. Lester Helmus (s/v Insouciance)

A44a: Hi Lester.... I took the hull back to the gelcoat in 2001 and then applied 10 coats of MAS epoxy......Iroquois Marine did the work. Cheers, Jeremy

A44b: If I remember right, the hulls were laid up with vinyl esther resins.[See A44d below.] This should help prevent osmosis blisters. 5 years ago I stripped my bottom down to the gel coat and did not find any blisters. I did use Interlux 2000 (6 coats) before I put on the anti fouling. As far as I know I never had water intrusion in the hull. Moisture meter did find moisture in the deck however,  I had the deck completely stripped and all gel coat removed and the deck completely refinished. Some coring needed to be replaced. This work was needed because of careless placement of a point loaded block mounted behind the mast on a flat portion of the deck stressing the area, letting in water. Plywood is not something that tolerates water intrusion well as it will migrate along the grain.                                                                                                                                                                                                       I have noticed that the deck laminate is about 1 1/2 to 2 in. thick with the plywood core. The interesting thing about this deck is that the outside fiberglass laminate is only about 1/4 in. thick where the inside is about 1/2 thick. This means all deck repair if needed is done from the outside, much easier to do. Gene Whitney (s/v JOINT EFFORT)

A44c: Lester I was around when a number of boats were treated in New Zealand. Every moisture meter can provide a different reading. I saw three meters placed on the same spot and they all came up with a different reading. The trick is to do all the work on a boat with the same meter. the numbers are relative. Most people in NZ and OZ were attempting to get their boats down to about 15 percent. it took them about eight months to get there. Balmacara needs to be treated but I would like to get my numbers down to about 12 percent. Turkey may be the place. It is also important to keep the sun off the glass while it is drying. Richard Bacon (s/v Balmacara)                                                                                                                                        [Lester note: Los Angeles would be the place. Our air is extremely dry, especially in the winter when the temperature is at 70 degrees.]

A44d: Hi, Lester. Happy New Year to you too and all the best for you and your loved ones. We only used conventional resins, no vinyl esther was used. Osmosis and blisters do not have to do with the type of resin used but with the time spent during laminations to roll the air bubbles out of the laminate. Whereas most builders would pop one hull a day out of their molds, we took 4 to 5 days. Hope this will help. Marius Corbin


Q44b:  I have a question with regards to my new Corbin 39, Blondie Too. It was fairly badly scratched up topsides with Hurricane Katrina. I bought her and had her trucked to my home in Peterborough (ie. from warm to temperate climate). I recently had a friend who was a marine surveyor moisture metre it for me and the results were quite seemed to have high levels of moisture everywhere below the water line and on the deck. I wonder if anyone has had any experience with stripping off the hull gelcoat and recoating it and if so where in Ontario it was done and at what expense. The boat sat in salt water most of its life (it is a 1981) and the surveyor seemed to indicate that the work required wouldn't be worth the cost in the end and that I should think about scrapping the boat and selling off the new engine, rig etc. I, of course, was discouraged by this and am wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with their vessel. I assume the hull has no wood coring, and that the deck has wood coring...if this is incorrect I would like to be aware of it as well. Tks. kindly. Best wishes to all in the upcoming holiday season. Bill Swales, (s/v Blondie Too)

A44e: Bill, Sorry to hear about your experience. Our boat is from 1980 and we are original owners. The hull is cored with 3/4" Airex (PVC) foam down to about the waterline. Is it possible that this has fooled the moisture meter? The deck is cored with 1/2" exterior grade plywood. We treated the hull with barrier coating, Interprotect 2000/2001, before launching as a precaution. One way to check for excessive moisture is to drill out a core from the inside skin at the bottom of the Airex zone. Don't penetrate the outer skin! If you then dig out the Airex you will see if there is visible moisture. I have found that the Airex is well bonded everywhere we have drilled out cores for thru hulls etc. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               [Ed. Note: Marius Corbin says, " The hull is cored with Airex down to the turn of the bilge, well below the waterline. Airex is the only core that can be used below the waterline, because it is the only core that is 100  waterproof."]  [Lester, I am sure Marius is right. Our boat is too snowbound at the moment to check but I do recall the double inner skin being fairly well down where I can see it easily, in the aft area. In the attached photo you can see the antiskid tape on the double inner skin stretching down well below the rudder stuffing box base. The latter is slightly below the waterline. David S.]

A44f: Dear Bill: I have worked in boatyards for years, and have owned my Corbin since 1995. My experience is that you shouldn't worry about the moisture level!!! Surveyors and other boat "professionals" tend to rely on these high-tech gadgets and feel they are the be-all, end-all! If you hang in there and enjoy sailing your new boat, you will soon find that although your boat has been in the water most of its life, you can't kill a Corbin!!!   Marius Corbin, the designer, told me that the reason he went out of business, ultimately, was because he built the boat so tough and strong, it cost more than he could charge. There is NO tougher blue water cruiser, and it is the best suited to cruising, as you'll find if you research the cruising magazines, who have all voted it the best blue water cruiser over the years, and still do even now! Although your boat probably has blisters under the waterline, as mine did when I first bought her, if you work bit by bit on fixing the problem areas everytime you haul out, I think you'll find, as I did, that eventually you won't have blister problems anymore (I haven't seen a blister for three years or more). The hull has a foam core, so there is no problem with wood rotting. The deck, on the other hand, has a plywood core, so you may have some rotting there. However, you'll probably find that the fibreglass on only one side of the potentially-rotten plywood core is probably more than sufficient. I recently cut part of my deck out to add a mini-pilot house, and in the 12-foot cut I went through about 10 saws-all blades, designed to go through nails and concrete. You may have some blisters on the bottom, and you may have some rotten core on the deck, my advice to you is to fix her up so she'll sail safely, and take her out and enjoy her! As long as the rigging is sound (and the chainplates are attached to solid fibreglass, so no rot there), she will go anywhere! A common problem I've watched new boat-owners get into is the addiction to making their boat perfect. I, too, was in this trap, and I found, as did others, that I spent so much money on the boat, I didn't have any money left to go cruising! Then I met a fellow Corbin owner in Guatemala, who was cruising in an unfinished hull, with his possessions stored in milk crates. I was appauled, until he explained that he bought the boat to SAIL, and he'll finish it as he goes. I changed my attitude then, too! I have sailed my boat from Ft. Lauderdale throughout the Caribbean and Central America, then on through the South Pacific to New Zealand, back to Fiji, and she now sits in Australia. I did all this in a previously neglected Corbin that was covered with blisters and had a lot of deck rot around the anchor lockers. The total refit started in Mexico in 2000 is still underway, and probably always will be, but she's a solid, safe vessel that will (and has) gone anywhere. She's the same boat you have, as are all the other Corbins I've met around the world, in various stages of repair. In closing, I don't ever remember hearing of a boat sinking because of a blister! Repair the necessities and go sailing! Marianne Gardner, (s/v Dolphin Spirit), hull #1                                                                                                                                                                                                                             [Ed. Note: Dolphin Spirit was recently sold, Jan. 2010, and sailed from the Barrier Reef to Tasmania, 1500 nm. See the News from our Voyagers Page.]

A44g: Bill, before we bought our Corbin in 2003, it was abandoned for 11 years, we also metered our boat and found the moisture level was quite high. There were 5 other Corbins in the yard when we surveyed our boat. We moisture metered each and every one of them thoroughly. The hulls all measured quite high on the scale and we were somewhat discouraged. We then tested the hull by lifting each end with the stands, it did not flex anywhere. We then took a core sample and attempted to separate the foam from the glass...good luck with that. It's tough and will totally ruin the foam before the bond lets go.                                                                                                                                                                 The boat needed a lot of work, so when we brought it home and needed to do some fairing under the keel, we again lifted the boat with the stands, again no flexure. We would tip the boat forward and aft, lifting the ends of the keel to get to work under them without any problems or flexure. We sealed under the waterline with Interprotect 2000 and are happy with that. That was 3 years ago, we have since crossed the Atlantic and are now in France. Happy to be "out there". Now my point is this, there could be a meter problem. Different cores give different readings. I don't know enough about meters to make any more comment than that. But if I were to meter a boat and find it was pure water, but was as strong as steel, and it's siblings metered the same, I wouldn't worry too much. The center deck however, was quite wet and we replaced it ourselves. If it doesn't flex when you jump on it, leave it alone. Have someone stand inside the boat while you bounce on the deck. No flex, no problem! The hull is foam core while the deck is plywood core. Replace the deck core with a proper core material of your choice and sail on. If you're still thinking of selling your Corbin, write me a note, we may be interested when we get home. Happy Sailing. Paul and Christine Melanson on Quintana. Hull 58, in La Rochelle, France.

A44h: Hi Lester, My Corbin is a 1981. Hull number 101. One surveyor in Ontario, tried to tell me my hull was high in moisture......a second surveyor here in Beaufort NC seems to think it it is fine.......I suggest average readings are the thing to go by...and remember the meter will always read high near any metal fittings.....such as the webbing in the rudder...which the first surveyor tried to tell me was highly elevated moisture!!!! Two Pelicans is departing Beaufort NC in 3 weeks time for the Bahamas. Cheers, jeremy

A44i: Oh boy, I have to say at first, that I would get another opinion. The deck may indeed have some moisture in it if it has been improperly exposed by drilling holes in it without protecting it from water migration. The deck is cored with plywood, but if it is wet, it can be repaired from the top surface as the top is about ¼ inch frp with ½ plywood core and then the bottom is one half inch in glass. The hull below the waterline is solid glass and above the waterline it is cored with airex foam. If you do not have blisters, I would let the hull dry out over the winter and then strip-off the bottom paint and then apply 5-6 coats of interlux 2001. If there are blisters they may have to be removed depending on how bad they are. Gelcoat stripping can be done and I would talk to the folks at Bridgeport marina in Sarnia, Ontario to submit a quote; they have done this before. I would not be too discouraged over this, as of now. One of the problems with the Corbin is the gelcoat is too thick. The cracking you may see is from the gelcoat shrinking and it will crack all the way down to the laminate and then go even deeper into the laminate. The good thing is the boat is very heavily built and it has tremendous strength and can be repaired. Good luck on this! Gene Whitney

A44j: This is my answer to Bill Swales, the lucky owner of a Corbin39. My experience with hull moisture was that in many cases the moisture was in the antifouling paint, not in the core. A second test done after sanding some paint gave much better results. If the boat had been out of the water for a long period of time before the test, it may not be the case. The hull is built with an Airex core fiberglass. Very few boats have that core which is made of pure vinyl, is closed cell and waterproof. Because it is made in a mold, the core was cut in small squares and there is a minute distance between the squares that could form a crack or a bad thruhull, accumulate small amount of water that could trigger a dampness meter. That humidity has no effect on the integity of the hull and I would not worry about it at all. Personally I would not even bother with the epoxy coating. Just do the antifouling paint, put it in the water and enjoy your boat. The core that I mentioned above, Airex together with the thickness of the laminate, is what makes this boat hull so strong. I mean by that, exceptionnally strong. For example, a Corbin39 spent 23 days on a coral reef and when it was pulled out, thru the reef (1,000 feet), it had a very small leak that the bilge pump could handle. Three of the engine mounts had broken on account of continuous pounding against the coral reef.  Another Corbin39 was hit by a freighter going 14 knots and got stuck on the bulbous bow. It took 20 minutes before the cargo ship slowed down to 5 or 6 knots, so that the sailboat could free itself. The two boats travelled sideways for 20 minutes. Despite this, plus the impact when it was hit, the Corbin39 suffered no structural damage and no leaks. Dont worry about what the surveyor says. He knows nothing about Corbin 39 sailboats and congratulations on owning one; you can now safely take your family around the world if you want. Marius Corbin

A44k: Bill, congratulations on your purchase of the Corbin. I purchased my 1982 model in 2002 and at that time it had absolutely no moisture barrier on it. It had been launched each year with simply a coat of wax under the waterline (Lake Ontario). After 20 years the gel coat was pristine. Before I launched it for the first time I put 6 coats of Interprotect 2000 on it (8 at the waterline). After sailing it one year I decided to haul it and upgrade the systems and the interior. I spent 3 years straight working on this and have learned quite a bit about the Corbins. As mentioned by other owners the hull is indeed a sandwich panel with Airex inside. However, contrary to the advice of some, this Airex core does extend a few feet below the water line. In fact during the retrofit I had to abandon a former thru-hull fitting, and rather than leave it in, I removed it and that was when I learned that the former owner had placed the fitting within the cored area.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Upon investigating further, the main water intake fitting was also placed within the cored area. The boat had only these two fittings under the waterline as the former owner was very cautious and limited the thru-hulls to absolute minimum (grey water discharges from a holding tank above the waterline). I took this opportunity to remove the main thruhull and since I could not practically relocate it I created a solid block of resin by using a 6" hole saw to cut through the inner fiberglass, removing the Airex core within that 6" area and pouring in solid resin & mat. I redrilled the main water thruhull and patched the Interprotect. When I was doing this work I discovered a small amount of standing water at the thruhull I was abandoning. The main water intake fitting was completly dry. This concerned me at the time; however despite the standing water the Airex core was not delaminated and was indeed extremely difficult to separate from either layer of fiberglass. I noticed that the core material was in fact cut into small squares as Marius had mentioned which allowed for the water to migrate vertically. My thruhull was only about 5" from the bottom of the Airex core so I drilled out some 3/16" holes through the interior layer of fiberglass and let it drain. I left them open for the balance of the year and simply filled them again later with epoxy resin.                                                                                                                                                                                   In total I spent 3 years out of the water after which I had it surveyed for insurance purposes and the surveyor did moisture readings on the hull and deck. Not suprising he found the hull to be well dry and found a few local spots at some deck fittings to be slightly higher. For these deck areas I have drilled from the underside and am leaving them open while I determine if my resealing the deck fittings has elevated the source of the intrusion.                                                                                                                                                                   From my experience I would tend to believe the advice from the other Corbin owners. I would further recommend you find the lower edge of the Airex core and drill some pilot holes to drain any possible standing water...particularly before the hull freezes. Next year I would remove each thruhull below the waterline and either ensure it is placed in an area of solid laminate or create a solid laminate area and reseat them. This will give you a visual of what is going on down there and peace of mind.                                                                           Hope this helps & don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. Jack Verheyden (Hull #127 "Special Edition")

A44l: I recommend that any fiberglass boat intended for use in the tropics be given barrier protection with epoxy. I had a Bristol 29 that had no blister problem for 15 years while in the cool waters of New Jersey. After one year in the Caribbean the entire bottom became full with quarter sized blisters! Lester

A44m: Dear Lester:, Re: the deck moisture / delamination: We had high moisture levels at areas where the deck sealant had failed [after drilling holes]. In those areas, holes in the deck core were not sealed at their edges with [epoxy] resin, so if the sealant failed moisture could get into the mahogany deck core. I think moisture meters are good tools but tricky to use.  We bought a moisture meter, the same one our surveyor had, so we could monitor the moisture in the deck.  Some areas, where he [had] indicated there was high moisture, after we removed that portion of the deck we discovered the mahogany to be dry. We had delamination [in] one of the hatches; it was an easy fix and nothing to worry about. Hope that helps, Stephen Lefneski (s/v Tobaggan)


Q45:Should I buy a sailboat that was submerged? Good Morning, I was researching the Corbin 39' and ran across your very informational web site. I have an opportunity to purchase a 39' Corbin that was recently submerged in fresh water. I do not know the length of time the boat was submerged but I was impressed by the boat. I will be sailing the boat in Lake Michigan and was wondering if you have had any experience with submerged Corbins in the past. The hull and rigging seem to be intact. Any information would be great. Thank you, Bob Foster

A45a: Bob, I sold my Corbin last fall... I completed her from a bare hull and deck kit. So I know the structure of Corbins pretty well. For the past 18 months I have been helping my son refurbish a 62' Gulfstar Sailmaster that was sunk in hurricane Marilyn in the US VIs a number of years back. She was raised and shipped back to Florida where we took possession years later. Let me relate some of the problems we had to correct. These should be indicative of most any boat sunk (even in fresh water, I should think). The Perkins diesel, the 15kw Westerbeke gen set and all electrical wiring, light fixtures and switches were trashed from corrosion. I suspect that the two engines could have been mostly saved had they received proper treatment immediately after raising her but , alas, they were lost. All the above items were replaced. Three ACs, a refrigerator/freezer, an ice maker, a water maker, a trash compactor,the propane stove, hydraulic pump and hydraulic motors for rigging and furling gear were discarded and have been (or soon will be) replaced. The drive train is complex with two long shafts, CV joints, roller bearing, cutlass, etc. was corroded to non-functioning state. The CVs and bearing were replaced. The remainder was cleaned of corrosion and put back into service. OK these things were obvious from the get-go but structural item were not so obvious.                 Structurally you will have to be concerned with wood rot and plywood delamination. In our case, there was subtle damage like core rot and delamination of structural plywood parts. Replacing all bulkheads and interior decks and other structural plywood was not an option due to the time and cost of doing so. We had to remove some delaminated plywood but the fraction removed was, fortunately, really quite small. I find this relatively small amount of delamination remarkable because the boat was really soaked for many days. In the interior at least 75% of the plywood trim and all of the teak trim was salvaged needing only refinishing. This is why replacement of all interior structural plywood would have raised the time and cost. As it was we R/Red at least 55 4'x8'sheets of 3/4" plywood in the interior. Some damage was not due to the sinking but due to the previous owners' neglect to repair deck leaks. Rotted bulkheads where fresh water had entered from the deck were evident in several places. Salt water does not rot wood as quickly as fresh water. These rotted parts were removed and replaced with new plywood. So what survived? During the storm the hull and deck were holed and all rigging was destroyed beyond repair. Due to the holes there was water incursion into the balsa core which we had to repair... the balsa had turned to black mush. The Corbin hull has Airex core which will not rot and will not absorb water as balsa does. A definite plus! Otherwise the fibreglass structure remained sound including the keel and rudder. If the rigging had not been destroyed it would have remained serviceable in my opinion. All winches are completely serviceable. All the plumbing pipes and tanks came through as serviceable. The fixtures were cheap (non-noble metal) and were cosmetically corroded and were replaced. The corroded toilets were coaxed back to life with much oil, effort and repair gasket kits. We may replace them in the future.. but for now... So as you can see we have been busy beavers.... Chewing out the bad and installing good. As of Sept 2004 the exterior surfaces all have new finish paint. The new mast and boom and rig will be installed spring 2005 and the boat hopefully will go into service next fall in th US VIs again. FRED formerly  owner/builder of COOCHI Corbin #95.

A45b: Any boat that has been submerged under water will require a major refit. My only experience in resurrecting a submerged boat was with a Contessa 26 that had sat on the bottom of Lake Ontario for six months. The hull was intact, the rigging was complete but EVERYTHING inside had to be removed; including the bulkheads. A power washer was used to remove silt buildup and all metal fittings were saved to be re-used. You did not mention how long the boat has been underwater so it is difficult to determine the state of the engine. If it was a short time then the engine could be salvaged, by overhauling the engine block and cylinder head which may be cheaper than replacing it. All electrical instruments will have to be trashed, all mechanical devices can be refurbished and reused, all sails can be washed and used for a while (get a sailmakers opinion), all tanks will have to be flushed and cleaned, all chainplate knees will have to be removed and rebuilt, the Airex core (closed cell) in the hull should be ok unless it has delaminated in which case it could be a major problem, the deck plywood lamination would also be suspect and would be a major undertaking. What you would be buying basically a "hull and deck" shell with a few "extras" thrown in. With my Contessa experience, it was a lot of work and I wouldn't do it again even though it was sold for a reasonable market price! J. Priedkalns (s/v Simmerdim)

A45c: It all depends for how long the boat stayed in the water and if it was salt or fresh water. In fresh water, if the boat did not stay too long in the water, it would be a matter of ventilation and drying the air with heating or dehumidifyer. Electrical connections would have to be revised, fuel system and remove any water from the fuel tank and oil pan and also the reduction gear. It would not hurt the fiberglass and stainless steel parts. I don't see that as a major problem except it would involve a lot of labor.                                                           If the boat sank or almost sank, there should be a water mark inside that would tell how high the water went.  If it was cleaned, look inside the seats or cupboards or in the engine room or on the engine itself.  Take some oil from the engine from the bottom of the pan to find out if there is water in it.  Check for rust under the valve cover.                                             The fact that the fuel is 3 years old does not mean you cannot start the engine.  After checking for water in the oil (that would be major concern) get a battery or charge the one on board, connect water to the water inlet on the engine and try to start it.  You may want to have the owner or the marina do it. You need to know if you have to rebuild or replace the engine,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Water inside the boat could cause rot and you would know when entering the boat because rot smells bad.  Check for damage to electrical or electronic connections, to pumps and refrigeration compressor that are lower in the boat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               It would not damage the fiberglass part of the boat.  If it was salt water, check for mildew under the floors and inside compartments under seats and beds.  Major cleanup required.       Do not buy without a survey being done first. Hope this helps and have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin


Q46: WHAT SIZE JACK STANDS AND HOW MANY FOR LONG TIME CORBIN 39 STORAGE? PLANNING TO PUT MY CORBIN IN MY BACKYARD FOR A YEAR OR SO TO DRY OUT AND DO SOME UPDATING. OWNED HER SINCE 1987. My boat is going in my back yard, not a boatyard. I know that 8 should do the trick. I also know where to place them. The reason I emailed the group is I plan to buy stands, but they come in short and long sizes. so how many shorts and how many longs??? I don't want a cradle because I plan to strip the bottom to the gel and reepoxy it and make it like new. stands can be moved around. a cradle is stationary. I guess if any of the owners have a photo of theirs on stands would do the trick. I have talked to many yards here and they say, well when the boat comes out we decide then how many longs and short stands are needed. I have lived on her for 16 years and the boat has never been out to dry. I plan to let her dry out for a year and then really do a number on her inside and out, now that we have some land and a small house with no restrictions. Beaufort NC is famous for boat building so it works out great. THANKS. CHRIS STOYAN (GULLIVER)

A46a: Chris-- My boat is out of the water right now and on jack stands. I will take some digital pictures Friday 11/26 or Saturday 11/27 and e*mail them to you. I will also have to do some bottom epoxy work in next year or so (1984 hull with very little out of the water time!) so will be seeking some input from your process. Doug Archibald (s/v Chaos!)

A46b: When I bought my jack stands ( Brownnell ) they shipped me 6 footers after I told them what the draft was. I used 7 all together, three on each side and one V type on the bow. I did need to cut down the bow one to get it under the bow so I would advise you to get a 4 footer for the bow. Whatever you do, do not get too short of ones because you should not put them under the boat but up near the waterline. They do not support the weight of the boat but just shore it up. Use plywood under the stands too to prevent them from sinking. Check them often also, if the ground freezes it rises and will indent the hall when they get too tight. Make sure you line them up properly across from each other to load the chains right. Point the short legs towards each other. Gene Whitney

A46c: Hi Chris, We had our boat bottom totally redone. We had it in a cradle during that time as the concern was that jacks WILL MOVE. We found that we could remove any one pad at a time to access the area without compromising stability. As far as short / long goes ???? I will attempt to attach a pic. of our boat in the cradle. Consider the draft and how far from floor that may give you an idea ???? Good luck, Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant)

46d: HI. I think we have pictures of our Corbin on the stands. We will look for them and email you when we find them. We live in Oriental, so we can mail them (send us your address), or you can use it as an excuse to drive to Oriental. Donna and Dick Mannion

A46e: Why bother with jack stands that are unsafe and flimsy and after using them what or how do you dispose of them. Why not use a system that gives you TOTAL access to the hull below the water line and after use can be stored on the boat for use in any tidal waters to keep your boat upright instead of having to careen your boat on its side in a falling tide to do one side and then repeat the process again to do the other side! Also, if you happen to ground on a falling tide, just assemble and pop these items into their sockets on each side of the hull, wait for the keel to sit solidly on the bottom and adjust the legs for an upright boat. Sit back enjoy the view, have a drink in comfort and wait for the rising tide! I am referring to a product manufactured in the UK known as Sea Legs which I have been using now for many years with great success for dry dock storage (see ). Two small castings are attached to the hull P&S which are the sockets for the Legs. The legs are dismantled into one metre sections and are stored in my cockpit seat locker. They can be assembled in about 3 minutes per leg and are great at haulout as they do not take much time to set up. Hope this helps J. Priedkalns (s/v Simmerdim)

A46f: Sea-Legs I was intrigued by the reference to these shear legs as I have used 4x4 lumber (about 11 ft long) for this purpose quite satisfactorily when painting the hull and avoiding any obstructions. The lumber is clamped in a pair of brackets made of 1 1/4" x 1/4" flat bar that bolt to the slotted toerail. Obviously these pieces of lumber cannot be carried on the boat routinely. I don't know what the previous e-mail exchange was about. I also found the web site unavailable so I looked up the name in the InfoSpace directory for the UK. It located Sea Legs Ltd in Poole, Dorset and I phoned them. They make swim wear and are not the shear legs company. Perhaps Janis has more details of their address and/or phone number and cost.Regards, David Salter

A46g: Hello David The correct name of the company manufacturing these legs is: The Yacht Leg Company, Duttons Farm, Bangor Rd S., Iver Heath, Iver, Buckinghamshire, SLO OAY, U.K. Tel # UK +44(0) 1753-655145, Fax# UK +44(0) 1753-630517 The company does not have a web site, but is very responsive. Also, see my article on these legs in DIY Boat Owner magazine dated 1997- #3 page 40 & 42. These legs are semi custom. They have my specs for the Corbin, so it should be quite easy to obtain current pricing. We now have several other members at our yacht club sporting these legs including a C&C 44. Janis Priedkalns ( Simmerdim)


Q47: What should I look for when inspecting my deck for water intrusion damage? Lester (s/v Insouciance)

A47: Lester, saturation can be determined by a number of methods; a good source for information is Henry Mustin's book, which if I remember correctly is called "Surveying Fiberglass Boats" or something like that. In this case the first sign was that the deck surface had raised slightly around the cracks in the deck. There were no obvious spots of delamination and soundings of the deck were ok. however when moisture readings were taken it was apparent that water was entering the deck cracks and then, because the deck is slightly curved, the water was moving outboard and the deck was highly saturated at the outboard edges, primarily amidships at the point of maximum beam; this was confirmed by drilling 6 holes from the interior into the wood core in these areas and inspecting the core. Obviously the repair would have been horendously expensive. All the cracks in the deck were located either above bulkheads or radiating out from the compression post. The opinion of the surveyor was that because the deck has so little form strength (it is a very large flat surface) the deck flexes slightly and that there is insufficient support, causing it to crack around those portions which are supported and cannot flex, IE, the bulkheads and compression post. It was clear from the begining that these cracks were not simply gelcoat cracks and if the owner had dealt with them immediately, the core would not have been breached and the repair would have been much less costly. Of course that would not deal with the root cause of the cracking, a deck which is not sufficiently supported, but could have been a repair which lasted another 25 years. I hope this information is useful to you and other Corbin owners. Let me know if  you have any other questions as I have gathered quite a lot of knowledge about this particular issue. Nick C.


Q48: Does this unusually open interior layout have enough deck support? See

A48a: Nice woodworking but a bit scary on the structural engineering, I'd say. Jack

A48b: Hi, we agree that these photos indicate a lack of deck support. Looks beautiful but waves on windows could be extra dangerous for this boat. Rod Kerry (Vision Quest)


Q48b: Rod, Are you saying that without more rigidity the hull might flex, allowing the windows to pop out? Maybe the pilothouse windows also? Skippers, A few days ago I sent you an email regarding a Corbin that was built without the main bulkhead under the pilothouse windows. I was concerned about structural integrity. Thus far, I have received only three responses. I feel it is incumbent upon us as the Corbin 39 Owners' Group to comment on this departure from the original design plans. Is the present owner in danger of a serious accident? What about the person who buys this boat some time in the future? Please send your replies directly to me and I will post all of them on our Q and A page. I would like to hear from Marius Corbin and Collin Harty, especially. Lester

A48c: find the photos of the open plan Corbin rather intriguing. The layout has definite similarities to the Nonsuch 30....also the Niagara 35 Encore Edition. ...Jeremy

A48d: Hi Lester: I would think the structual integrity of the deck would depend on where this person placed all the bulkheads. The cabin roof would sit on this particular bulkhead and I have not personally seen another Corbin where this main bulkhead was not there. I would be interested in hearing what Maurice Corbin has to say since this was his design. Thanks, Christine Lawton.

A48e: lester- while the boat may look very nice on the inside (as well as outside), there is no way i would ever raise a sail. The apparent absence of the structural bulkhead between the pilothouse and main saloon is a serious issue. i would suspect that stress transferred from the rigging (even just at dock or anchor with wakes and wind loads) will cause the deck to flex because of the missing bulkhead. doug archibald (s/v chaos!) [The upper and intermediate chain plates are opposite the mast which is located at the aft head bulkhead. Therefore, the deck should not flex. Lester]

A48f: I'm surprised at the lack of comments / responses as there are many very knowledgeable owners here. Not being a naval architect or structurally inclined for that matter, I elected to decline a formal comment, but having had another look at the pics., I did not see the mast support ??? or is it keel stepped ?? any way, without the bulkhead under the P.H., I would be reluctant to go " off shore " but for coastal cruising.....??.. I'm not qualified to comment. It looks like a very nice boat otherwise, Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant) [Tangaroa has a substantial compression post under the mast which goes down to the hull. Lester]

A48g: Hi Lester, Thanks for including me in this email and for posting Tangaroa's photos on your Corbin site. As our harbor master, I appreciate your questioning and validating of this very uncommon Corbin design.This boat was designed and built in the second half of 1988 in Corbin's yard and was also completely equipped in their yard including auto pilot, generator, air conditioning, etc. It had in mast furling, electric windlass,.etc. I have all the original drawings and documentation from Corbin including some comments by Mr. M. Corbin to the attention of the original owner. The interior was designed for a couple to live aboard in complete comfort with a very large living area and only one closed cabin, (forward) . Two heads are installed, one amidship on the port side and the other aft also on the port side . The whole volume under the cockpit is the engine room where the generator with its own diesel tank, water maker, main engine, (Perkins 60 HP), water pump are installed. Access to all those equipment is very good through cockpit deck that becomes a large hatch.The first owners took Tangaroa V down the Pacific Islands for a year or so and came back to Canada afterward. My intentions are to make Tangaroa V and its crew of two seaworthy for bluewater cruising. We expect to retire in about three year and start cruising wherever the winds take us. Best regards, Guy

A48h: I have considerable boating experience but no professional qualifications. From the photos...I see a pair of semi bulkheads each side under the sill at the leading edge of the pilothouse where it joins the deck. These I assume are installed to the hull and below the floors as Corbin would have done. As the Corbin is cored and overbuilt this should be adequate support in this area, although I would add a couple of nicely finished posts from floor to deck head each side of the ladder joined to a shallow cross beam. The C & C's of old used a system like that to open up the interior. I am concerned that the large area of the deck above the main cabin has no semi bulkheads or beams. I feel that in time this might lead to some deck flexing. The mast loads are carried to the keel by a compression post which is not visible The bulkhead (in the photo) in that area looks substantial . The cabinet work and upholstery are beautifully finished. The sofas and cabinets opposite are probably integrally glassed to the hull providing adequate support . Without more detail, especially measurements from the sill /leading edge of the pilothouse to the mast area support/bulkhead/compression post it is difficult to guess how much deck is unsupported. It appears that the main cabin forward bulkhead has been moved aft, locating it in the area of the mast? I believe I read in the original builders ads that one of these boats had been rigged and sailed with no interior at all except for a compression post ! It will be interesting to hear what the professionals have to say ! I am reminded of my Navy days sailing a 40 foot open wood gaff rigged cutter with just thwarts for side compression loads and stringers to prevent hogging and sagging. If all the cabinet work in Tangaroa is well glassed in to support the hull shape, then the deck just becomes a cover to keep out the weather. It is substantially constructed....has good camber.....but it does need reasonable much structural strength the deck adds to the whole boat is open to question ! Anyhow that's my ten cents worth...and TangaroaV is one of  the nicest Corbins I have seen ! Regards, Jeremy

A48i: The photos show a very nicely finished boat, both exterior and interior. As you note, the layout is very unusual. The instructions I received from Marius Corbin regarding the bulkheads was that there were 6 structural bulkheads and that they should be located not greater than + or - one foot from where the Dufour design showed them. I would think that the absence of a bulkhead where the front of the wheelhouse meets the deck cutout would result in a significant weakness. In Photo1 I can't see any reinforcing such as a deck beam and there is no vertical pillar either. Regards, David Salter

A48j: I'll have to fall back onto the sage wisdom of the anonymous broker who said "Corbins are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get until you bite into one." [This is true of every boat. Lester] It is simply impossible to say whether the interior layout of Tangaroa V has compromised her structural integrity by looking at the photos posted. It would take a much closer inspection of the boat to know. With structural PVC foams, knitted glass and/or carbon fiber, epoxy resins and substantially engineered structural knees, the technology exists to stiffen the hell out of a design like this. I would also note from the photos you posted that there seems to be a major bulkhead inline with the mast and major rigging loads. You would have to know more about the specifications of the sail plan, pull the headliner, delve deep into the lockers, and talk directly to the builder about his laminate schedules to know it this boat was engineered to take the necessary loads. There are a number of very high-end raised saloon and pilothouse boats on the market today that have opted for this very same open layout. It is possible to do, put impossible to know if it was done right solely by looking at these photos. Best regards, Collin Harty

A48k: Guy, Does Tangaroa have a compression post to the floor (not the sole) which supports the mast? (Answer: Yes, a 6" diameter steel post) If yes, is there a bulkhead from the post to the hull, which braces this post? (Answer: Yes) Lester

A48i: As I mentioned to you, Tangaroa V has been cruised extensively in the South Pacific during more than one year. She is now almost 17 years old. There are no stress indication, (cracking, ....etc), anywhere on deck or below desk. I have attached more photographs that show the structural bulkheads on both the port and starboard side. As you can see they do not cover the whole area and thus allow the open view concept. This design conveys a tremendous feeling of space and volume that I have only seen in much bigger boats and is a great invitation to live aboard for extended periods of time. See Tangaroa Pics   Guy Viger

A48l: Regarding the present layout, perhaps a structural header that spans from stbd to port hull ribs can carry the loads anticipated on an ocean crossing? I think it would be super if Marius Corbin could weigh-in on any kind of reductions in the bulkheads. [See A48n, below] I'm not speaking about total removal, but opening up the wall area on the port side just beyond the galley or the settee for example. Thank you kindly on your efforts in establishing the website. Tim O'Neil (s/v Whaleback- homeport Boston)

A48m: The Corbin was designed to be an ocean going vessel. The plan provided for numerous bulkheads to give the boat the interior support for strength. This vessel looks to be missing 3 bulkheads that our boat has in the salon and pilothouse. I believe that this compromises the structure and could lead to possible problems such as hull flexing such as you describe. The deck is not getting the proper support and I cannot see a mast compression post in the salon. [It is in the aft inboard corner of the head compartment bulkhead. Lester] I personally would find this dangerous. Rod

A48n: Tangaroa, was one of the last layouts I designed and was factory built. Not to worry about the integrity of the design as far as strength is concerned. All the bulkheads are there and the boat is plenty strong. You seemed concerned about the one at the pilothouse. It is there, like all our bulkheads, laminated on both sides in the hull and in the deck. The part that seems to be missing, is the dash that unites the bulkhead to the windshield of the pilothouse. That part has never been structural and the bulkhead never went as high as the overhead of the pilothouse. That boat [Tangaroa V] is a 39' like all the others. Tangaroa felt a lot bigger inside than the others, because of the openness of the design and two of that version [Demontigny] were built. I must confess that this is the layout I prefer for myself, maybe because it is the latest of all the layouts. Have a great day. Marius Corbin

A48o: Guy, 1. I know what the bolt heads are; they are rivet-like fasteners holding the pilothouse down onto the deck. On my Corbin, bolts were used and the nuts on the inside are covered by 1/2" foam and 1/16" vinyl sheeting. Also, your pilothouse appears to have a lid which is riveted on. It appears a separate mold was made in order to accommodate the two large hatches and the dorade holes in the roof. 2. The longest unsupported span, fore and aft, is 7' on my Corbin. On most Corbins, it is about 10'. But on your boat, it is about 16', from the companionway to the mast compression post. I think this is too long and a potential hazard in a heavy sea with a knockdown. 3. If I were you, before taking off around the world, I would consult a competent naval architect to look into this question. I recommend John Letcher, a PhD from Cal Tech, experienced singlehander, author of the first comprehensive study of self-steering techniques, designer of sailboats, and now a designer of boats and ships using computer techniques. He is located in Boothbay, Maine. 4. In order to be a bluewater boat, I think that TangaroaV needs a substantial beam athwartship where the forward end of the pilothouse sits on the deck. A SS truss about 6" high would do the job and would fit into the open appearance of the interior. This beam could be tied to the existing wooden knees outboard and supported by two posts (lattice truss or poles) resting on the inboard ends of the two existing partial bulkheads, one in front of the helm and one between  the back-to-back settees. That's my two cents worth. Lester Helmus

A48p: Guy, Here are some further thoughts on this question One is redeeming, the other is less so. 1. In the severest of wind and sea conditions, Tangaroa should remain intact; the worst that might happen is loosened windshields, delaminated plywood, and/or delaminated fiberglass, all due to flexing of the unsupported main deck in the area of the windshields. Therefore, I conclude the Tangaroa open layout design is structurally safe. 2. When you go to stock up on victuals for that round-the-world cruise you are going to wish for the storage shelves and drawers that the main dashboard/bulkhead can provide. My Insouciance has an additional bulkhead with shelves, drawers, and icebox-turned-storage box which is at the forward edge of the galley. This bulkhead plus a post lend added support to the deck which is needed for a keel-stepped mast. Good luck, Lester.

A48q: Hi, Lester, our Corbin 39 hull #144 was built by Don Ney in consultation with Marius Corbin. There is no bulkhead under the pilot house windows as in the factory models. This boat has been around the world one and half times and is still structurally sound. The inside steering station is mounted on a shoulder- high console (same level as deck) and is about 2.5 feet aft of the base of the forward pilot house windows (sort of a cathedral ceiling for the galley and main salon which really opens up the living space.) Don Ney told me that Marius Corbin toured the boat after he (Don) finished it and said "Why didn't I think of that!" All the best, Harry and Jane Hungate, cruising in New Zealand in Cormorant.


Q49: Marius, What happened to the Corbin 35?

A49: There never was such a thing as a 35' Corbin. We were making the mold of a 35' when the factory burned and we did not have enough insurance to cover the mold and it was never rebuilt. Consequently, we never made a 35' sailboat. We had a few sold, but we made a deal with those customers to buy a 39', instead. Marius Corbin


Q50: What’s a good way to tame the mainsail? Hi Lester, With the crew aging.......( and only one on deck, usually ) the deployment of the main sail is no problem, however stowage and reefing is. We are considering the " Stac Pac " but are concerned about height of the stack at the front. Does anyone have the Stac Pac?? What's involved?? Does it work for them?? Do we have to alter / re cut / change the main?? Boom furling would be the last option, but if it's got to be then it may have to be, for safety and ease, anyway. Best regards, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant (186)

A50a: Frank, I have no experience with StackPack. A buddy of mine tossed out his "Dutchman" because the fine lines guiding the sail collected dirt, then deposited the dirt on the sail when it was raised and when it was lowered. What experience do you have with lazy jacks? I like my "E-Z-Jacks" , but I have extremely limited experience using them, especially heading into high winds. These jacks produce no chafe and have no weight aloft, but you do have to go to the mast to deploy them and to retract them. Lester

A50b: Hi Lester, We had lazy jacks from day one, they are o/k...but it's still a lot of sail to handle especially if it comes down faster than you planned on and only one person handling. Opinion I'm beginning to think that the Stac Pac may present a windage problem ?? not to mention an eye sore as our stack at the front would be 5' +/-. I am considering it, but a feedback from someone that has it would be nice. Thanks for your interest.. Regards, Frank

A50c: Frank, My boat came with a Stac Pac. The zippers were shot and it seemed to have shrunk so that it didn't fit well any longer. Even if I hadn't gone to a loose-footed main, I would have had it removed. I set up a stowable lazy jack system of my own design, so dousing the main isn't a problem anymore. And if I didn't care to properly flake the main before putting the sail cover on, I would have a sail cover that works with the lazy jacks in place - which is precisely what the Stac Pac does. The worst thing about the Stac Pac, among many, is that it traps a terrific amount of water against the sail when it's raining and funnels it directly into your cockpit. By the way, Doyle did the work converting the sail, and I don't recall them trying to dissuade me from getting rid of it. Branko Vukojevic hull #175

A50d: I installed a "Mack Pack" from Mack sails in Stuart, Fla. on my ketch, Gisela. Stowing the main is no longer a career.mackpack.htm . Stephen De Blasio (s/v Gisela)

A50e: Hi Frank, We have a Doyle Stackpack on Vision Quest. You can look at it on our photos on the website.  Our boat did not come with any sails so we investigated the stackpack. It was expensive but we have been happy with it (built 1997). The mainsail drops down through the built-in jack system and with a zip, the mainsail is put away. I love not having to drag a mainsail cover up, down and around everytime we go sailing. Our boat neighbours have avoided using their main because of the work to put the sail away. The cover stays up all the time and we are easily recognized with our boat name so large and so prominent. We put some steps on the mast to be able to reach the top of the stackpack there. We also stand on the mast guard rails to reach. At the back we can reach by standing on the coamings and pilothouse roof. I am 5'6" and I can put the main away. My husband finds it a bit easier since he is taller. You'd have to talk to your sailmaker about whether your present main could be modified into the stackpack. Kerry Black, (s/v Vision Quest)

A50f: Hi, I have installed a version of the Doyle Stac Pac, made by Mack Sails in Florida. I purchased the system when I purchased a new full batten sail from Mack. Both sail and Mack Pack are in fine shape after two years of coastal cruising. Sue and I are able to stow the sail in about 10 minutes. The sail needs to be coaxed down into the pack so that the zipper doesn't get stuck or damage the sail. Reefing is not a problem either, but may add a few minutes to the effort. My problem is that the boom creates a reach problem for me. At 6', I still need to climb upon the sissy bars at times to pull down the sail. A safer perch for me, as well as mast cars, will be a Spring 05 priority on my to-do list. Tim & Sue O'Neil (s/v Whalebackl)

A50g:: In regard to the Doyle Stac Pac the short answer is: 75 % satisfied. Yes, the stack is high. I can reach it by stepping on the canister of the raft and attach the halyard, etc. The reefing cringles will not reach the gooseneck, you need to solve that with extra line and hook. The skirt looks ugly and I had it removed. Now to the whole saga, if you are interested: In 1999, I had a new mainsail built and as an afterthought added the Doyle StacPac. This turned out to be a continuation of existing problems and added new ones. When I bought my Corbin in 1981 I had the option to get the cruising or high aspect rig. Since I intended to sail for several years on Long Island Sound known for its light summer winds I chose the latter. It took me several years of weekend sailing to learn that the boat ran much better on almost all points with one or two reefs installed. I discussed this with the Doyle sailmaker at length and wanted a smaller mainsail cut. He argued that one could never have enough sail and that I would regret not having it while sailing the Trades and maybe the Pacific and at other times I should reef. Unfortunately, he was very persuasive. While the sail was being built, I suddenly remembered having read something about the Doyle Stac Pac and added it, not having done any research at all. Already under time pressure to meet the departure date for crossing the Atlantic, it added to the preparation countless hours. Installation required a special track to be inserted into the grove of the mast. This interfered with the separate tract for the trysail. I spent considerable time removing SS rivets, sealing the holes, drilling new ones and fastening the track again. All this between heaven and deck. The sail came late, I installed the lazy jacks. The system worked but it wasn’t shipshape and I had to leave. In Spain, a sail maker improved the situation some-what, but my decades’ long problem of weather helm persisted. Fortunately, I became aware of Lester Helmus’ excellent Corbin website and the discussions regarding weather helm. Sailing the Mediterranean, a Bimini is a must, but on my pre Corbin Speciale edition, fitting one had defeated me. Sailing the Greek Island and the Turkish Coast last year the Meltemi reminded me often enough of the persistent weatherhelm, and that even under the third reef (which probably equals the 2nd reef in the cruising rig version) the Corbin was overpowered. Recounting all my problems, a radical solution was called for. And after long discussions, my wife and I compromised to shortening the boom, recutting the main, adding a fourth reef point and modifying the Stac Pac. – We would have preferred a new boom with inboom furling and integrated awning. – Now, we finally also have a bimini. All this has been done expertly by ‘Sail Service’, Netsel Marina in Marmaris, Turkey. The reduction of weather  helm I cannot yet fully judge since Meltemi conditions persisted and I sailed fully reefed before laying her up. Peter Voges, (s/v ESCAPADE) ( 99 )

A50h: The Dutchman System may just be the best improvement I've made yet. Turn her into the wind and let the halyard run free, and the main that used to blanket the deck, now dutifully folds itself on the boom all by itself. A couple of tugs to straighten out any kinks in the fold is all it takes now. We used to go out for short headsail sails and never take the mainsail cover off because it was just too much work dropping and refolding the main. Not anymore. Vince Salese (s/v Witch of the Wave)


Q51: What is the proper pitch, diameter, and number of blades for the most economical propellor? Hi, We are currently sailing in the shallow (less than thirty feet) milky green waters of Phang Nga Bay. While the Bay is not terribly big, it has many shear-sided mountains that rise vertically out of the water. These limestone mountains are small in their diameter as compared to their height. Most of the islands in the bay are uninhabited, offering secluded anchorages under soaring cliffs fringed with jungle. Many of the islands have caves in which we take Therapy into to explore. Most of the caves open up to a small lake with shear sided walls, which are opened to the blue sky. Sometimes the cave is long giving one an aerie feeling as one paddles your way using a flashlight whose beacon is eaten up quickly by the cool blackness. Watch your head as the stalactites may reach down from the ceiling and touch you. Do not worry about the moaning of the water as your wake laps the limestone walls, and the quite talking you here is only the bats that you are disturbing along your way. 2 Extreme is going to spend the year sailing between Thailand and north Malaysia. During the year, we will haul the boat, at that time I would like to change her propeller. Currently we are using a three-bladed fixed propeller that is powered by a Perkins 4-108 and a Hurth gearbox. I would like to know what the proper pitch, diameter, and number of blades for the most economical operations should be. I would appreciate the  information, if someone in the club could help me out. Thank You, Henry and Mattie, (S/V 2 Extreme), in Thailand waters.

A51a: Good morning Unfortunately I do not know the exact size of the propeller you need. To find the right prop, you also need the reduction of you gearbox. You should start with you present propeller, and determine the most important factor: the engine MUST be able to turn at its maximum RPM or no less than 100 RPM than the maximum RPM as seen in the engine manual. This would be the most efficient propeller and you should expect it to change as the engine wears and tears. If the propeller is too small you are spending more fuel for a given distance and if it is too big, you will burn your engine. The end result is otained by trial and errors. Usually, I" of pitch will give or remove 200 RPM and 1" of diameter will add or remove 400 RPM. This is not an exact science. Change the pitch when possible before changing the diameter. If you try to rev up and the engine does not reach its maximum RPM and black smoke comes out at the exhaust, calculate the number of RPM missing, divide by 200 and have your prop's pitch adjusted by the number of inches you obtained. Hope this will help and have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin

A51b: Hi Henry. A very important piece of information is needed. What is the reduction in your Hurth Gear? It varies widely, and is quite often different in forward and reverse. The propeller people want to know: 1. Gear reduction in forward, 2. Shaft horse power, and 3. Weight of the boat. I think much can be learned from the propeller you have. Since you want to change it, I'm assuming you're having a problem, and want to change the pitch and / or diameter. You said you want to achieve the most economical operation. I interpret that as meaning you want to reduce engine RPMs and still travel at the same speed. With a fixed propeller, it's tricky, and could well involve trial and error. Too much propeller (Pitch & diameter) will raise exhaust temperatures and result in engine problems. You can also experience engine lugging (No power) from a stand-still. They make all kinds of fancy (and expensive) non-fixed propellers to deal with these problems. Any decent prop shop can re-pitch your propeller, but be careful. If you are already at the best possible match between your propeller and the rest of your drive train, you could run into trouble. Perhaps knowing what I did will help you. My Corbin has a Pathfinder (gotta love that) rated at 42 horse power. Behind the engine is a Hurth Gear with 2.7 to 1 in forward and 1.5 to 1 in reverse. My propeller was a fixed 3 blade, 18 inch diameter / 12 inch pitch. This was not a good match --- I needed more prop. I went for a 19 innchh 3 blade Max-Prop (nice piece of change) because I also wanted a feathering propeller. In those days you had to haul the boat and take the prop apart to change the pitch. Today, all the feathering props allow external pitch adjustment -- in the water. Max-Prop identifies blade pitch in degrees rather than inches. You get a conversion chart to get started. Through trial and error over several years I arrived at what I feel is a very good match for my boat. My prop is now set at 24 degrees of pitch, which converts to 15.8 inches. Don't be lured into thinking that a 19 inch fixed propeller with 15.8 inches of pitch would, therefore, be appropriate. It would not. Max-Prop blades are flat. What they lack in shape, they make up for with pitch. I would be over-propped with a fixed prop of those dimensions. If you're inclined to buy a new propeller, there's a number of feathering propellers available today with a variety of features, and most are for substantially less money than the MaxProp. Feathering propellers allow you to sail faster and motor more efficiently. It worked for me. Hope I've helped. Best from Bob Cox -- o the Corbin "Dorisea"

A51c: A fixed prop is usually designed for a very narrow operating range and will not meet the requirements for all types of motoring conditions. A suggestion would be to go for a variable pitch prop such as the Brunton Auto Prop which automatically adjusts itself for any conditions encountered. Other variable pitch props require manual adjustments to get the "right" pitch and then it becomes a fixed feathering prop. We have used the Brunton Prop since its introduction in the UK in 1987 and have found it to be exactly as advertised. The Corbin now can be maneuvered in REVERSE and has very little prop walk when docking in tight spots (our prop shaft is in-line with the hull). When motoring, one just sets the most comfortable engine rpm's and the prop will adjust itself for the best pitch and speed with savings in fuel economy. The stopping power is phenomenal but I have not tried the demonstration that Brunton factory showed of docking a 36ft sailboat at 6 knots with the boat stopping within its waterline length just before it reached its dock. The Corbin does stop very quickly but I don't trust my flexible engine coupler to withstand the pull in reverse at full throttle.                                                                                                                                           When sailing just leave the engine in gear, otherwise the prop will spin in reverse. The blades will feather to the flow of the water over the prop blades unlike other feathering props that feather to the prop shaft angle. The only maintenance I have had to do was to adjust the free play in the blades (each blade is independent of each other) this can be done in or out of the water. There is nothing to dismantle, to pack, or to repack. Lubricant and a general inspection will suffice. To obtain the correct size of prop you must specify your engine/gearbox combination and preferably have a dimensional drawing of your shaft/strut arrangement. I took a photograph of my strut with a scale rule attached to the shaft and enlarged the picture. My original fixed prop size was 18 ins diameter; the Brunton prop is 17ins Dia and my engine is a VW diesel (not a Pathfinder) coupled to a Hurth HBW 150 gearbox. Practical Sailor gave this prop top marks in their tests. Janis Priedkalns "Simmerdim"

A51d: Dear Henry & Mattie, Just for you I went outside on this sunny day at -13o C to check on prop size. The hard paint on my prop conceals any engraved numbers but the diameter is 17". I am pretty sure pitch is 12". My engine is a Pathfinder 50 with 40 HP max. I think I could manage a larger pitch as the engine easily reaches max revs and in calm water we get about 7.5 knots. Don't forget that prop tip clearance from the hull should be at least 15% of prop diameter, say 2.5" minimum. It is worth checking the shaft taper as it is possible to have different tapers. SAE taper is 0.7500 in +/- 0.002 per foot (1/16" per inch). For U.K. specifications taper may be 1" per foot. Specify keyway also. Regards, David Salter, Opportunity.           We have just had Opportunity away from the dock for the first time since installing the Autoprop. It was a quick motoring trial in rather lumpy conditions but seemed to perform well although it felt quite different from the fixed blade prop. We are off for a few days and will have a chance to get some real experience with the prop. David Salter (Opportunity)

A51e: Dear Henry and Mattie. I would suggest an AUTOPROP for maximum thrust and economy. Other benefits include the ability to back up in straight lines as this type of propeller almost eliminates propwalk. Phone them at 1 800 801 8922 e mail will get you all the info you need. The propeller you buy will be tailor made to your exact configuration by them. This propeller also almost completely eliminates drag. I would suggest a V strut unless one is already fitted. Take care, keep the news coming, jeremy parrett ..(s/v Pelican1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have just installed an Autoprop.It has virtually eliminated propwalk, and I can actually drive the boat astern in complete control. Amazing!! On trials we achieved a speed of 8 knots at 2600 rpm at 2200 rpm we can maintain 7 knots....amazing!! It has put a big strain on the drive train though, and I will be rebuilding the Vetus coupling and installing a new bearing in the thrust block...both are complaining! Altogether though this add on has made an amazing difference to the boat.I cant wait to see the fuel economy figures. Jeremy Parrett (s/v Pelican 1)


Q52: What’s a good furling mainsail arrangement?

A52: We are very happy to report that our new Shaefer Boom Furling works as intended, and then some. To save the 3 k USD, I went with the Beta boom @ 16' ( instead of the Gamma @ 18' ) Frankly, I had doubts whether the smaller boom diameter would accomodate all that luff, it just made it !! with not much to spare using the 8 oz. cloth. As far as the sail goes, we just roached the new main to the MAX... Bottom line: MUCH improved performance all around especially close hauled. I installed the whole thing in one day and the only pain was routing the main halyard and the boom furling line into the cockpit ( with least friction possible ) and I had to modify the new Shaefer blocks to suit. See pics, newmainsailcontrols.jpg and thenewboom.jpg . Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)


Q53: What’s a good homemade dinghy to build?

A53a: Right now, on the cool, wet days, I am building another boat! This is an Optimist style dinghy for our grandchildren, using 1/4" ply and the stitch & glue technique. Progress photos attached. dinghyassembled.jpg and dinghywiredup.jpg Regards, David (s/v Opportunity)

A53b: See . Click on Progress, then on Dinghy .


Q54: Any ideas on dinghy towing?

A54: Our dinghy towing system is working well, after a few minor refinements to the attachment system dinghytow.jpg . It is difficult to evaluate how the drag compares but the dinghy is always at the same close location and has looked after itself in some reasonably rough conditions. I don't have a good shot under way at present (only on video). As the boat heels the dinghy heels also! With a single step on the transom and the sheet metal at the apex of the towing A-frame I can get into and out of the dinghy when it is fully down with only a little gymnastic agility. Lowering the 15 HP Honda onto the attached dinghy has also worked well. David Salter


Q55: What coverages should I carry when insuring my boat? Read this sad story: Is there anything Frank can do to recoup his losses?

Hi Lester, I sort of sat on this as I did not know how this thing was going to shake out, so here it is anyway: Last Aug. while at anchor at our Benjamin Islands in the North Channel we experienced one heck of a storm. It blew 65 kn + through the anchorage. Fortunately, we all, that monitored the VHF had time to prepare and we held our own on our 65 lb. CQR and all 3/8 chain.

During the height of this Biblical thing, several boats got loose, and in the process picked up the rodes of other boats. So, we had a number of these guys just drifting around. I fended off 2 Albergs ( one of them twice ); however another boat, a Catalina 38 named Voila of WI registry, got me !. I just could not get my hands on him to hold him off us. His anchor roller made a long deep gouge on the starboard bow of our boat just barely missing the forward window. I met this person again a few days later, turns out he only had a 10 kg Bruce anchor with virtually no chain on the nylon rode.

Long and short of it Lester, I may have to eat this thing. Although the guy does NOT dispute the incident, he refuses to pay for ANY of the damage ( 3500.00 ), his Insce. Co. says that because it was a storm, they do not deem him to be negligent and are not compelled to cover any damages either. As of now, since the legal opinion here is that a sailor is just as negligent in bad as in fair weather, I have filed in the Small Claims Court in that jurisdiction and we will see what happens.

The purpose of all this is as point of info to others, that the Boat Insurance Industry is very convoluted, one enters the land of denial, procrastination and obfuscation, also, if you get your own Insce. Co. involved in any way, even to seek assistance, " it's a claim against you. " IT IS TOTALLY UN-LIKE the auto Insce., where there is No Fault. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN Opinion: If that happens to you, don't leave the scene, settle it on the spot, you are on your own, Insce. wise, as I don't think that there is any honour among sailors / boaters.

I am of the opinion now !! that a boat Insce. is only for LIABILITY and in event of TOTAL LOSS, the collision part of it seems worthless as you ( to make it affordable ) have to carry Hi Deductible and in any event, after 1 or 2 claims, you are no longer deemed insurable. EVERYONE that I have spoken to about my issue, was NOT aware of the " you are on your own " position, as all thought that it would be similar or identical to auto Insce.

Post it if you like, as everyone should re visit their boat Insce. policy, especially the small print, exclusions, more exclusions, etc. etc........... rest assured that if one does read it all, one wonders what exactly are you covered for ???..... Back to LIABILITY and TOTAL Loss, and if anything that I have learned ...... watch out for the other guy !! Best regards, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant ( 186 )

A55a:: Frank-- This is an blatant case, my opinion, of someone denying responsibility (the dragging boat and the insurance company). I am not sure where this incident happened, but if it occurred on the ocean or related navigable waters, you probably have an issue under admiralty law. A small claims court could well find in your favor, but just try to collect. I would suggest that you contact an admiralty attorney who can offer counsel and might very well get your claim paid, including all related costs (attorneys, etc.). Doug Archibald (S/V CHAOS!)

A55b: Apart from pressuring your own insurance company (the policies may differ), I would file a lien against the title of the offending boat for the cost of repair. This should induce some action if the owner has any thought of resale. If there is no action, then I would move to force a sale to satisfy the lien. While this may not work in some jurisdictions, it is worth the effort if the amount in question is sizeable. Ronald Jacks (s/v Yankee)


Q56: How do I upgrade my propellor ? Hi Lester. I own Kathrian, hull #127 Corbin 39 Special Edition. I am thinking of upgrading my propeller and wondered if any of our other Corbin owners had any advice for me. I have a VW 16D engine (from Pathfinder out of California in the late 70's). It has a 52bhp rating at 4800 rmp rating. It's hooked up with a Hurth V drive transmission which has a reduction ratio of 2.13 in forward and 2.22 in reverse. Currently I have a 3 blade fixed prop with these markings on it 17D 13 ( I’m assuming 17" diameter, 13" pitch). I'm thinking of changing to a feathering prop such as a MAX prop, or one of the other manufacturers. How does one determine the right size of prop, let alone the pitch, for their boat? I only want to do this once. Oh yes, I did see questions & also Marius Corbin’s answer about how to determine pitch. It didn't talk about diameter though. What I was hoping to find out was what Corbin owners with similar engines were running..Also what the max diameter of propeller people are putting on as well. I'm sure some of our owners have upgraded to feathering props and I'm wondering what parameters they used to determine diameter and pitch. Jack Verheyden

A56a: Hi Jack, In response to Lester's email, here's my $ .02 ( CDN ) you may find it of some value. We originally had a 18*13 3 blade fixed prop @ 33 HP 3600 RPM engine and 3:1 gearbox , that set up was not quite right. I looked around for a variable pitch prop and settled on the 20" dia. J Prop from bomon marine and re pitched down. Since then, we re powered to a 50 HP @ 2600 RPM Beta Engine, same gearbox as yours and re pitched up. I like this prop as it can be CW or CCW rotation and can be re pitched easily ( even in the water ) and the blades have the same profile in forward or reverse and the hub is relatively small compared to others that I have seen. I have had it 4 yrs now and I love this product. As the pitch is not an exact science, there is a table that comes with the prop that gives the initial set up ( pitch ) but I'm sure one will have to adjust 1 or 2 clicks up / down from that initial setting. Of note: Bear in mind the idle speed of your engine ( ours is high @ 850 RPM ) as when you adjust for optimum motoring, you may find that your creep speed @ idle may not be what you want ( ours is a bit high ) Regards, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant (186)

A56b: Hi Jack My Corbin has a very similar power plant to yours. but my numbers are quite different. I have the Pathfinder, marine rated at 42 HP @ 4000 RPM. (Volks Wagon rates it at 50 HP @ 5000 RPM) My Hurth Gear (HBW 10) has a 2.7 to 1 reduction in forward and 1.5 to 1 in reverse. I had an 18 inch -- fixed 3 blade prop, with a 12 inch pitch. I replaced it with a 19 inch, 3 blade Max Prop. The different reductions of the Hurth Gear (2.7 and 1.5) played a big part in the final solution, and I would like to share with you what I learned. First of all, it was my understanding that Hurth designed the ratios of the gear box to turn the wheel faster in reverse than in forward to off-set the inefficiencies of a fixed prop. The ratios that you offered for your transmission suggest that your wheel turns slower in reverse than in forward. I'm thinking that your numbers are probably wrong. If your transmission is installed in the boat, you can check the ratios as follows. Mark the prop shaft and turn the engine over by hand, counting the crankshaft revolutions required to complete 1 shaft revolution. Perform this test in both forward and reverse. This will yield the actual reductions. Feathering propellers: --- The feathering propeller is great. It enabled me to convert more of my horsepower to thrust, increasing my motoring speed and efficiency, it stopped my shaft from turning while sailing, and increased my sailing speed and efficiency.

But it didn't go off without a hitch. My old style Max prop does not have external pitch adjustments --- it does not have provisions for obtainniing different pitches in forward and reverse --- it can not be removed or installed like a regular fixed prop. (For all intents and purposes, the boat must be hauled and the prop built on the shaft) There are feathering props on the market today that address and solve all these problems. For my application it was a bit of trial and error. Here's why the different reductions in forward and reverse are important. The feathering propeller has the same efficiency in reverse that it has in forward. Therefore, the logic of Hearth increasing propeller speed in reverse does not apply. I found that the best pitch for my Max Prop was 24 degrees. (That's degrees, not inches of pitch. For some reason the world may never know, Max Prop decided to depart from the standard) 24 degrees converts to 15.8 inches of pitch. Try to imagine my surprise the first time I threw the old girl in reverse. With almost twice the propeller RPMs as in forward, the engine was overwhelmed and bogged right down. I had no power in reverse. This was totally unacceptable, and I had to haul the boat again.                                               I sent the prop to PYI and they modified the prop so that it had 6 degrees less pitch in reverse than it had in forward. This solved the problem and my prop was now optimized with 15.8 inches of pitch in forward and 11.5 inches of pitch in reverse. These numbers should help you establish a starting point once you are certain what your reduction ratios are. The greater the reduction is, the greater your pitch will need to be. Conversely, less reduction will require less pitch. The good thing about today's feathering propellers is that they feature external pitch adjustment. Instead of hauling the boat, you just take a little dip into the refreshing waters of Canada. Hope I've helped. Best from Bob Cox (s/v Dorisea) (Hull 70)

A56c: We used to install 18" 3 bladed Max Props, But 17" is OK too. For the pitch, He should start setting it to the equivalent of 13" and try it. He should be very close. Remember to allow the engine to turn its maximum RPM or 100 RPM less. Marius

A56d: Hi there Jack Nice to hear that you are coming along. We met last year when you kindly showed us your "baby". We have repowered Necessity's Westerbeke 33hp @ 3000 RPM with a Westerbeke 44Bfour (also 3000 RPM) last year. We retained the 3:1 ratio V-drive transmission. The 18"RH 16"Pitch 3 blade prop NecessityStrut.JPG was going to be too small for the new engine so we decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a 20" 3 blade feathering prop. (our old prop is for sale if you are interested.) After looking at the Max Prop & J Prop we decided on the Variprop because of it's robust hub and the damping action as it switches from forward to reverse. Also, we can set a different pitch in forward and reverse and adjust them easily. I had a Max prop on an earlier boat and found that there was often quire a clunk on switching gears. The variprop seems quite easy on the shaft. We had a slight problem installing it as there was a very slight ridge on our shaft which prevented the new prop from gong on until it was removed. We found that a 20" prop was all we could fit in the opening and it seems to work fine. With our low gear ratio our prop turns slower than yours will for a given RPM and you could likely get away with a smaller one. Adjustable pitch allows some latitude in fine tuning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We relied on Jesco Afheldt at Nautilus Propeller in Toronto jesco and for sizing and initial setting. I think it is a type of black art. Engine manufacturers sometimes will offer a recommendation but in any event, if the prop is too large or too small you risk running afoul of the warranty. Here's another site with a fair bit of info Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions. Brian Hall (s/v Necessity)

A56e: Jack, Hi Jack, I am Lou Lieto, owner of Impresa a PH Corbin 39. We are from the upstate NY area and sailed for many years in Lake Ontario. We loved Kingston; it's a great small city! We currently sail in the Chesapeake >> and along the Atlantic coast. Impresa has a Yanmar 50 HP engine configured thru a Hurth V drive. As I recall the ratios are the same as the ones you quoted so it is likely the same model transmission. The engine & shaft are canted slightly to starboard to allow the shaft to be removed past the strut when needed. We have a MaxProp installed and have been very pleased with its performance. The boat moves in the lightest of air so, although I don't have a fixed prop to compare it with, it seems that the feathering is performing as expected. The folks at Max Prop plus the yard that installed the engine selected the proper sizes. My prop is the model that may have the pitch adjusted, without disassembly, by a ring on the rear of the shaft. Some set screws need to be removed first. When the prop was first installed, I found that the engine would not get above about 2600 rpm. It is rated at a maximum of 3900 rpm. The experts I consulted advised me that the pitch was incorrect so I reset it and that cured the problem. My Yanmar runs smoothly and powering is no problem even in some rough conditions. Unfortunately, I cannot give you the prop dimensions right now. The information is on the boat which is about 360 miles from my home. I am planning to make a visit to the boat in the next few weeks so if that time frame meets your needs, I will let you know then. I can provide Max Prop model number, diameter, and final pitch setting. Is there anything else you would like? I could make you a copy of the owner's manual if you like. Incidentally, the owner & designer of the Max Prop is usually at the US Boat show in Annapolis in October and I have found him to be very anxious to help his customers. I am sure that he would also respond to an email. I do not remember his name but the web site should be able to get you there. Unfortunately for us, the shaft angle and the natural prop walk caused by the prop rotation cause the boat to swing significantly to starboard in reverse until there is significant way built up. This makes backing into a slip very interesting - either done slowly with much pushing off and other comedies or done at 3 knots in reverse with attendant trepidation. I wonder if you have a similar problem and what you have done to manage it. What direction does your prop rotate? >> >> Good luck, >> >> Lou & Marilyn Lieto >> Impresa >>

[Jack, The prop diameter is 17" and it is set at a blade angle of 18 degrees which turns out to be just right for my engine to reach its maximum RPM of 3900. Cheers, Lou ]

A56f: Hi, we repowered "Cormorant" our Corbin 39 Special Edition no. 144 with a Yanmar 4JH2E (50hp) and then added a 3 blade Max prop. Our surveyor and Fred Hutchinson at PYI (Max prop guru) both calculated the diameter and pitch which worked out to 18 inch diameter and 12.5 inch pitch. If you are planning on installing a Max prop, be sure to speak directly to Fred Hutchinson at PYI and DO NOT trust anyone else, as someone or some people at PYI don't have a clue. We have found the diameter and pitch to serve us very well in eight years and around 28 thousand NM --Annapolis to New Zealand and many side ttrips later.                                                                                                                                                 Do yourself a favor and COUNT the shaft revolutions from the engine to the prop to make double sure that your ratios are correct, as any error here will affect the pitch calculations. The prop maximum radius (not diameter) should be no greater than 90 per cent of the clearance between the center line of the prop shaft and the hull. In other words, prop tip clearance to hull should be ten percent of the distance between the shaft center line and the hull to avoid "pounding" and the prop tips pass the hull.                                                         Hope this helps. Our Corbin had a two blade fixed prop when we bought her, and was an absolute bear to handle in reverse. With the Max prop (and a bit of practice) we can now pretty much put her where we want her. It has made that much of a difference. More free advice: If and when you get your Max prop, take it out of the box a day or two before you intend to install it. Read the instruction book at least twice (maybe three times if you are slow learner like me!) and practice setting the pitch and assembling the prop at least twice or more. This will pay off big time when installation time comes. Two more points: You will need a good metal cutting blade in your hacksaw to cut off the end of your prop shaft to clear the end cap on the Max prop. The instruction book mentions this, but only in a sentence or so, and it's easily overlooked. Second and last point: Think about spending a few more bucks and get the externally adjustable Max prop, because if you get the pitch wrong the first time, the haulout fee will exceed the cost of the external adjustment. And if you get the pitch wrong the second get the picture? Happy Sailing. Harry and Jane Hungate (SY Cormorant), Whangarei, New Zealand


Q57: How can I improve this mainsheet arrangement? Hi Lester Since we bought Necessity a couple of years ago we have been looking at the mainsheet arrangement and how it can be improved. Currently, the mainsheet has a 3 point boom purchase from a pilothouse traveller. The mainsheet is led forward and down to the deck just aft of the mast, then across the deck to starboard, then aft to the PH. It then goes up and over the pilothouse and through the dodger to a winch next to the companionway. CanvasNecessity0004.JPG In all the friction involved is horrendous. In light to moderate air there is no need to cleat the main at all - friction does it . I have considered several different options but wanted to see if others have addressed this issue with success. Here is what I have considered so far: 1. leave the arrangement as it is but replace current Schaefer blocks with ball bearing ones. 2. reduce the main sheet diameter from 7/16" to 1/2" to make existing blocks run better. 3. Leave existing boom purchase but drop down from the boom to the top of the PH then across the top of the PH and aft to the winch. The issue is that the mainsheet will tighten as the traveller is eased. 4. New double ended mainsheet with triple purchase on the boom exiting at the traveller outboard from the car to both ends then back to the companionway winches. I think this is the best arrangement as there are only 2 turning blocks (1 at each end of the traveller) However, I have not seen one so I am concerned about trying the prototype as there is a substantial investment in blocks. I would very much appreciate any advice on this topic as we want to make any changes this spring. sincerely, Brian Hall (s/v Necessity)

A57a: Hi, My first reaction was; why do the lines lead all the way to the main deck and then back over the ports to the cockpit? I installed a dodger recently, which interfered with the mainsheet going directly aft, leading off my three point purchase. I now (temporarily) go around the dodger to make adjustments (the three sheave block has an attached cleat). My solution: I plan to install two (2) turning blocks just beyond the hatch cover on top of the pilot house, then aft thru the traveller support and a hemed opening in the dodger to a winch and cleat starboard. The winch and cleat are already there to handle the traveler lines. In this regard I would like also to see any helpful feedback from others regarding Necessity's possible solution. I'm also investing in the Dutchman boom brake to avoid an accidental jibe while heading directly downwind. Tim Oneil (s/v Whaleback)

A57b. On Bodacious I have the setup you have but it does not come back to the pilot house. It is adjusted from the front of the pilot house. There are no turning blocks or winches. It adjusts easily, However I was thinking of swapping the end blocks and turning the traveler car around. This would bring the traveler controls back directly to the pilot house. You might have to stand in the companionway to adjust it. Gene Byrd, (s/v Bodacious)

A57c: Brian, When constructing our Corbin 39 from a bare hull, I studied a number of mainsheet systems and decided on the one I will describe. My main objective was to have a very strong system which was devoid of the lines running aft from the mast. Friction was a factor in my decision but I was more influenced by my experience with charters that had similar systems. It seems that I was forever rolling the lines underfoot or worse, tripping over them. Therefore: no lines on deck!                                                                                                      We had an arched stainless steel bridge constructed that spanned the companionway opening and was thru bolted to the molded risers on either side that were designed for this purpose. It is not bolted to the storm cover since the cover is not strong enough to add any strength. The curvature generally follows the coach roof lines. The traveler track is bolted to the bridge. I used a Harken track that allows for flexible spacing of the bolts. Other manufacturers now make similar units at lower cost. I had Harken bend the track to my bridge curvature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The first design had a strong pad eye on the port forward side of the bridge. The sheet was fixed to this eye and led to a block on the traveler car. From there it went up to a boom block, back to another traveler block, up to another boom block, back to another traveler block, then to a block the starboard deck slightly aft of the bridge. From this block the line was led to a winch. This arrangement, where the terminus of the sheet is at the same spot on one side as the turning block (to the winch) is on the other side allows the traveler to be moved without changing the sheet theory. The theory doesn't exactly apply here since the bridge is curved while the boom swings in a generally flat arc. I guess that the matter could be solved by using a straight bridge rather than an arched one. However, the small amount of shift in the sheets did not affect things much except when the main was pulled in very hard. In any case, I didn't mind a little "tweaking" of the mainsheets. However, adjusting the traveler position required some effort. This was due to the usual forces on the system, plus the friction of the mainsheet as it proceeded thru the blocks.                                                                                                                                                                                          I have since modified this system for other reasons. I stopped the mainsheet on a becket on one of the boom blocks rather than on the bridge end. This increased the mechanical advantage from 4:1 to 5:1 which helped my spouse. It also meant that the main had to be adjusted anytime the traveler was moved. This has not turned out to be a significant problem. The original system caused the blocks on the traveler to twist and interfere with each other. This was due to the torque caused by the two ends of the sheet pulling on different sides of the traveler. It caused chafe on the blocks and made the lines tend to twist around each other which caused lots of problems. The new system eliminated those problems and generally runs noticeably freer than the old system. I use Harken blocks throughout and I find that the whole system runs freely.                                                                        Well, I apologize for all of the words and I hope that you have some notion of what my mainsheet system looks like. If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to contact me. For what it's worth, we also installed a small 4:1 block and tackle inside the boom on the main clew outhaul. This has made adjusting the outhaul while under load much easier. Best regards, Lou  Marilyn Lieto (s/v Impresa)

A57c2: Brian, I found this diagram of my original setup. Note the use of a triple block instead of a fiddle on the traveler. The boom-to-traveler distance is short and I think a fiddle will not work well. However, the use of a triple block was responsible for a lot of the twist I observed. As I described, I have made two changes. You can see the eye that terminates the sheet on the forward port side of the bridge. The sheet end has been moved from the eye to a becket on the forward boom block. Also the triple has been replaced by three singles supported by stand up springs on each. These can each find their own angle and the system, which looks cumbersome, works well. Cheers, Lou

A57d: Hi Lou, Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. You have obviously had a great deal of experience with this issue. Here are a few of my questions:                                 Do you by chance have a picture of your current arrangement you could send? I sail in the Chesapeake but I live about 350 miles away, so a picture will have to wait until I next make the journey which will be in about a month. I'll send you some then.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you have a dodger which is up most of the time? I have a dodger & bimini which I keep up all of the time.                                                                                                                            Does your mainsheet go through it to the cabin top winch? The sheet leads from the block on the traveller to a stand up block (with a spring on it to prevent it from falling over when not under tension) and from there to a cheek block. The cheek block is on the deck at approximately the location of the starboard traveller blocks just aft of these. The sheet travels straight aft along the pilothouse roof under the dodger to another cheek block where it turns to the winch. The winch is located on the pilothouse deck at the aft corner of just to the starboard side of the companionway opening.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Am I right in thinking the main is dead ended at the traveller and adjusts from only one end (starboard)? It is deadended on a becket on one of the boom blocks.

Does the final lead from the boom to the turning block pass through a block at the traveller or come from the boom directly? I am not sure of the question. The final lead of the sheet comes down from the boom block to a block on the traveller. The function of this block is to turn the rope from vertical (from the boom) to horizontal - to the stand up block mentioned above.

We currently have 3 attachment points on the boom. Do I understand that you have two? Does this create any problem with excess loading of the boom? I have two attachment points. A third may be located between these two but does not currently exist. The riggers I have consulted as well as the manufacturer of the mast were quite certain the there  would be no problems with the loadings.

Is there any need for a winch to trim the main in heavy air with the 5:1 purchase? Was the 4:1 too difficult? That depends on various things. If you reef early perhaps not. I make it a practice to use the winch when the wind pipes up. My main may be larger than average since I had the mast made 4' higher than on the original plans. Nonetheless, I do not feel it wise to have the mainsheet secured only by a cleat. The possibility for an unpleasant "surprise" while uncleating the the sheet under load is not worth the savings. My wife and I are in our mid 60's and we usually sail alone in the Bay and in coastal trips, including overnighters. I can pull the sheet in under most conditions but my spouse cannot. The winch certainly makes fine tuning the main very easy. The move to 5:1 was mostly predicated on the twisting and block chafing problems I mentions earlier. However, as I said, I like this arrangement much better than the previous design. I have enclosed a couple pics of a mock up the arrangement I am considering which would use two blocks on the traveller and a mainsheet which is double ended. What are your thoughts based on your experience? I thought the double ended model would allow the mainsheet to move "through" the blocks as the traveller was adjusted but I am concerned about the twisting problem you encountered. The other alternative which Frank Bryant on Visitant has used is to end his mainsheet with a set of cams on the traveller car itself. This requires him to open the dodger window to adjust the main. We are planning to take the boat transatlantic and I'm not sure this is workable in a high wind situation when you would most likely have the dodger closed in. Although I have not tried it, I share your concerns about the design used on Visitant. I did not use a fiddle block in my design so you may have fewer problems. On the other hand, consider the following. When the main is sheeted in reasonably tight and you wish to ease the traveller, the distance between the traveller and the boom increases as the traveller moves outboard. Net, you have to adjust the sheet anyway, albeit less than you would have to with a single ended mainsheet. You may come to a different decision, but I found that I don't tweak the main nearly as much as racers do and the convenience of adjusting the traveller without having to touch the mainsheet is just not that big a deal. By the way, hauling on the traveller with my system (which is 4:1) takes some strength. I don't need a winch but it does require some ooomph.

Thank you so much for your efforts. It is good to talk about the issues with someone else who has dealt with them. Thanks, I specialize in trying all of the unworkable solutions first! By the way, where are you located? We sail out of Bayfield Ontario on Lake Huron. We sail out of a marina on the northeast side of Kent Island which is across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis, MD. I will get you some photos later if you are still interested. All my best Brian Hall, s/v Necessity and Lou Lieto, (s/v Impressa)

A57e: I don’’t believe I can help you too much in arranging the mainsheet for you, what works for me may not work for you etc. However; I can tell you from my experience you do not want to have a load bearing block on the flat deck if it is in tension. That point loading will deflect your deck and cause lamination problems with the plywood coring and lead to failure. Even with good back-up plates. Shear loading I would guess is ok. I had to replace my mainsheet system for the same reasons you mentioned and more. I had to redo the deck coring around the area where the block was fastened through the deck behind the mast and with a good stainless steel backing plate. Good luck, Gene Whitney, (s/v Joint Effort), (Hull 69)

A57f: Hi Brian, Here are a couple of pictures where you might get an understanding of what I did for the new traveler. Originally the traveler was in the cockpit as you know, I constructed a rooftop unit and made it a mid boom system. This works well for me, I do not use a winch for sheeting in all but the most windy days. The mainsheet does not lead to the cockpit in any way. I think the cockpit is too small for this. I like to get up to the traveler on deck where there is room and use my legs to sheet. When the weather pipes up and I need to use a winch I sheet to the winch on the mast, here I can use the mast pulpit and brace myself for the sheeting while standing up. My mainsheet faces forward for sheeting. The vang is nearby also as well as the traveler controls. when I need to put the sheet to a winch I think it is also time to put in the first reef. The boat is so stable I have no problems feeling anxious about doing this. This is not a race boat and there is no reason to put the traveler in the cockpit for speed or safety. Besides in the small cockpit there is no way to put proper effort into sheeting the mainsheet without wrenching your back or putting a elbow in your wife’s or crew’s face when trying to pull in 20 or so feet of loose line. I find I do very little mainsheet trim anyway, I mostly run the traveler up and down to trim on the wind and off the wind it is very easy to trim the sheet on your feet by the pilot house. One good thing with this system is you can hardly over trim the mainsheet and that saves your main from too much distortion as what happens on most race boats. I hope I was some help to you. Gene Whitney, (s/v Joint Effort)

A57g: Hi, My first reaction was; why do the lines lead all the way to the main deck and then back over the ports to the cockpit? Brian - I agree 100% just creates friction. I thiiink the original reason was to allow the traveller to be adjusted without affecting mainsheet tension.I installed a dodger recently, which interfered with the mainsheet going directly aft, leading off my three point purchase. I now (temporarily) go around the dodger to make adjustments (the three sheave block has an attached cleat).

Brian - We have a dodger too and want to come arooound it.

My solution: I plan to install two (2) turning blocks just beyond the hatch cover on top of the pilot house, then aft thru the traveller support and a hemed opening in the dodger to a winch and cleat starboard. The winch and cleat are already there to handle the traveler lines.

Brian - See my notes and pics to Lou - we thouught about a double ended mainsheet which would essentially follow the path of the traveller lines. Probably would cleat it to port and use the existing starboard winch. In this regard I would like also to see any helpful feedback from others regarding Necessity's possible solution. I'm also investing in the Dutchman boom brake to avoid an accidental jibe while heading directly downwind. Tim Oneil. (s/v Whaleback) and Brian Hall, (s/v Necessity)


Q58: Where should I locate my propane fuel tanks? Hi Lester, I'm finally biting the bullet and reluctantly giving up our trusty Force 10 kerosene stove for a propane stove. Our Corbin, Witch Of The Wave, is hull #5 - the original design. I'd like to hear from other Corbin owners of this hull design about where they placed their propane tanks. Best Regards, Vince Salase

A58a: Ours ( 2 @ 20 Lb. ) are under the cockpit helm seat ( don't forget to put a Propane sensor in that area as well ) Regards, Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant) Hull #186.

A58b: I have a center cockpit, but I think that this would work with your boat. I have a deck box immediately in front of the mast with a 10# bottle and regulator. The copper propane line is fed through the deck and follows the mast compression post to the floor and then to the stove. The box was built of fiberglass over plywood. It helps to get up to the main when dropping it too. (I would improve the design by making the box slightly larger to allow for a second 10# bottle.) Hope this helps. Dave Lundin (s/v Romana) New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

A58c: I have a small box that fits two 10 lb tanks under that back seat. The back seat with the hump you sit on while piloting. The line runs down the port side to the stove. I have a saftly overflow line from the box right out the back center. Tom Knight (s/v Fabled Past)

A58d: Vince, I have hull # 127 which is of the newer design so I'm not sure how much this differs from yours but, I recently glassed in two propane storage tanks inside my aft cockpit locker. There is enough room on either side of center to have storage lockers to carry a 20lbs tank in each. You can set it up to have one active and one spare (replace the active one when it runs out) or, as I did I installed a selector switch so the second tank is plumbed all the time. It means an electric solinoid for each however. Part of the project included a new propane sniffer and electric solenoid shut off system. I opted for the twin sensor so I could place one sensor in the aft locker just outside the two storage lockers and one under the galley stove. The detection system differentiates the source from one sensor or the other. The plywood is only installed but not glassed in yet. Be sure to do a good job of glassing it in and sealing everything, and of course installing a vent to the outside. This location was ideal since the bottom of the locker is still above the waterline to accomodate the vent. Install a seal around the door and positive latching. Good Luck! Jack Verheyden (s/v Kathrian) (Hull #127)

A58e: Hi Vince We had a SS propane "locker" when we bought Necessity (Special Edition) which was unsuitable and unsafe. Shortly thereafter we met Art Berdusco "Work of Art" who showed us his propane locker which was built into the stern curve under the helm seat on his Corbin. It takes up part of the large locker but holds 2 - 20 lb tanks and still leaves us plenty of room and access. We had our local yard construct it out of plywood with an overboard vent and we are very pleased with the installation. There is a foam gasket on the forward facing side for tank to seal the access door which lifts out for tank removal. I'll attach some pictures. propanelocker2.jpg , propanelocker3.jpg and propanelocker4.jpg . Let me know if you have questions. Brian Hall (s/v Necessity) (#135)

A58f: Hi Vinc, I built hull #90 and have had propane since the start. She has a 3 burner stove with an oven and a 20000 btu hot air heater. Origionally I used a 20 pound cylinder located in the cockpit under the helm seat. The location works well, it is out of the way and the cockpit drains any spilled propane overboard. A couple of years ago we went to the Abacos for the winter and switched to two 11 pound tanks located in the same area (2 tall tanks fit neatly under the helm seat). These tanks are much more convienent when you have to transport them for filling, plus you have a spare when one runs out (not to mention 2 extra pounds). From NJ to the Bahamas I had little problem locating a propane fill station. I also have a rail mounted BBQ that taps into the large tanks with a hose that replaces your small cylinder (available at most hardware stores).  If anyone is considering CNG let me say that it is not widely available (none in the Abacos). I had one friend from the Baltimore area, I met in the Bahamas, who had to send his CNG tank by freighter back to the US to get it filled. Best Regards, Bill Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow) hull #90


Q59: Are powered winches justified?

A59a I am looking to "power up" my primary winches and mainsail halyard winch. At the Annapolis Boat Show we saw an exhibitor who had adapted a battery operated Milwaukee right angled drill to operate a winch, using an adapter in the chuck that fitted in the winch handle socket. electricwinchdriver.jpg The idea looked good but the price was high, about $1000 including 12V and 110V chargers. I bought the drill & chargers through and had the winch adapter machined locally, all for about $450..The cordless drill will be taken to whichever winch needs operating. Our drill has NiCad batteries but Milwaukee is now introducing Li Ion for all their tools, with greater capacity. The photo shows the size of the drill, over 10 lb. The adapter, photo 2, works OK now that I have added the high density polyethylene disk. drilltowinchadapter.jpg This gives a low friction contact surface with the top of the winch. It also prevents the adapter sliding too deeply into the winch and missing most of the splines. I had it made too long! The coming season will see if it is a good investment. It is a heavy drill but very powerful. David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q60: What is the best refrigeration kit to add to my boat? Up until now we have not had refrigeration on the boat and just used ice blocks, quite effective for a trip of 4-5 days. Eileen has persuaded me to get a quote for refrigeration and we have visited the booths of Glacier Bay (the Cadillac brand) and C-Frost at past boat shows. I sent sketches to both companies and Glacier Bay replied with a quote the same day. The price, including our 15% sales taxes, comes out similar to a small car - well at least a dinghy plus outboard. Glacier Bay, which claims the highest efficiency, says we will need to run the engine for 2 hours a day and produce 60 Ah. I guess the acceptance rate of the cold plates is the limiting factor as we have a 120 Ah alternator. David Salter

A60a: Hope all is well with you. We are progressing well with the refit of Necessity and look forward to heading out for the Med next year. A year ago we installed a Frigoboat K50 with a BD50 Danfoss compressor and a keel cooler. While we have not used it in the tropics as yet, all indications are that it will prove quite satisfactory. We looked at a number of systems and chose this one for the energy efficiency and the fact that there was no heat generated inside the boat. We also looked at the Isotherm but were concerned that the thru hull cooler would not generate adequate heat dissipation when the boat was still at anchor. The drawback to a cold plate is the requirement for regular engine operation at a specific speed. On a passage from BVI to Florida some years ago, the Sea Frost system required over 2 hours a day run time on the engine at about 1800RPM. It wouldn't have been so bad except that we were moving faster than the 1800 RPM engine speed would have driven us and engaging the prop would have actually slowed us down. I have attached an article from Cruising world which I found helpful, B. Hall

A60b: Hi David, Having read what you propose, I respectfully submit the following for your consideration: I would stay away from " Cold Plate " mainly due to engine running required and the fact that you end up freezing and unfreezing your food, that may not be a good thing. We have installed-4 yrs. ago a Novacool Evaporator / Condenser type unit, air cooled, with the compressor located in the large engine room area. We had a 2 compartment ice box so the first compartment is a freezer ( that's where we located the evaporator ) and the second compartment acts like a fridge. We installed a small 12 VDC fan to move cold air from the 1 st. to the 2 nd. comp. I can't say enough about this system and I did thewhole thing myself in 1/2 day. Our current draw is about 6 Amps and there has never been a problem with the batteries. Whole thing can be bought for approx. 850.00 CDN, on sale right now. I would further suggest that you contact Peter @ HMP Marine here in Toronto, 416 762 3821 or . I have had a on going relationship with Peter for years, I respect his knowledge above anything, even though he can be somewhat " unconventional " sometimes. Hope this will assist you, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant ( 186 )

A60c: Hi David, About the most I can do to help you is to say that the most important thing you can do is to be sure you have the most effective insulation, top and all sides, most important is the top where most heat leakage occurs. On my boat (JOINT EFFORT), I have a freezer and refrigeration. The freezer unit is a Sea-Frost custom designed by them. I have been very pleased by the unit's operation. Once it is down to the desired temperature it does not cycle on and off very often. It is a small freezer, maybe 2-1/2 cubic feet but serves us well. I would order from them again. The compressor is very compact and quiet and vents into the living compartment. I have no issues with this. The refrigeration unit is an Adler Barbour Cold Machine, This is the second one in there for the twenty or so years of using the boat, The fact I am using it again must say something for the unit. I replaced it because it needed a new temperature control switch inside the box. You can buy the switch, and I actually did, then changed my mind and bought a whole new unit while thinking about what the company said. They told me the unit should last about twenty years and I had 19 on it. The refrigerator is on the large side and I need to keep the temperature about half way down or things begin to freeze in there. My logic is; this is on the lower end of the price scale and it has been most satisfactory in its operation, I could have bought the high-end stuff but the results would have been the same. I have had good support from the companies involved. The power for those units is pretty effective too. I have a KISS wind Generator, when it is spinning good (6-10 amps.), I will need to run my engine about every three days or so but I am not power stingy as I use the boat for North Channel use mostly and will spend a day or so in a harbor to restock the boat and I use the boats batteries for many things. I even have an inverter on board and will use the microwave on occasion. I do have a battery monitoring system on board and keep a close eye on battery condition. There are 745 amp hours available and I have a 125-amp alternator. Hope this helps a bit! A lot of options are out there GENE WHITNEY

A60d: Dave. I'm a liveaboard and use ice exclusively (free ice most of the time). I winter over in Philadelphia so the ambient temps tend to be on the cold side. I usually get about 4-5 days before I need to replace. The Ice maintains the box at about 33-34 degrees. During the summer months I resupply a little more often. One thing I have noticed with using ice is that items like milk and lettuce stay fresher longer than in a home refrig. I've been investigating dfferent ice box conversion systems and air conditioning units. I've been leaning towards the Glaicer Bay system for two reasons: 1) energy requirements and 2) the fact that you can run an air conditioning unit using the same compressor as the frig. This would be used only dockside so power would not be a problem. I would save space (always a premium) and have less plumbing and electrical to deal with. The only drawbacks I've run into with this is sizing the cold plate, I keep coming up with the need for 2 plates and the price of the system - $4300 to 4700. But I believe this is the wway to go. Let me know how you make out. Bill Costello (s/v Coochi), Phila.

A60e: Dave. I have a Glacier Bay system in Impresa (fridge, freezer & AC). I have the Whisper Jet model which I believe has been supplanted by a smaller and possibly more efficient model. My review is:

Noise/Vibration: reasonable but not silent. The sound does not awaken me and the vibration is minor.You need to follow the recommendations for mounting the compressor.

Run Time: Close to the predicted value for the fridge. The freezer runs longer than expected but I am still working to optimize the superheat.

Box: I bought the super insulation panels (tops & hatches, sides, bottoms) from Glacier Bay. They claim an R of 30 for a 1" thickness. Although expensive, I am convinced that these are worth the money. I gained lots of extra space and they hold the cold very well. Also, the inside is very easy to clean.

Air Conditioning: Not really worth it. The unit does cool things down but at the expense of long run times. The newer freestanding AC units are more efficient: shorter run times and faster cool down. Impresa is in the Chesapeake. If we were in a really warm area like Florida, I would strongly suggest a different AC system. I installed the system myself and found it tedious but not overwhelming. If you have reasonable mechanical skills and can do a decent job of sweating copper tubing, I wouldn't shy away from the job. In addition, the newer unit is more integrated (fewer solder joints) than my system.

The bottom line: Skip the Glacier Bay AC. Definitely use the super insulation panels for the box (or a competitive system that is unquestionably as good). The Glacier Bay compressor/holding plates seem to be of first quality but they are pricey. If I were to do it over, I would buy the box components and see if I could find a good quality compressor/plates system for less money. Good luck. Lou Lieto (s/v Impresa)

A60f: David, there's a company that deals with marine refrigertion right near you in Picton, Ontario. His name is Marv and he knows more about the subject than anyone I know. He has a company called E-Z Kold. You can contact him and see his line of products on his website . Good luck. Jack Verheyden

A60g: Hello Lester, in regards to David Salter's question about refrigeration: We bought a 12volt holding plate unit from EZ-Kold in Kingston Ontario. They made the holding plate into a box (custom sized) and we use the inside for a freezer and the outside for a fridge. It works fantastic. We bought the air cooled unit and put the compressor (comes with 12 feet of copper pipe) next to our fuel tank, behind the settee in the pilot house, mostly to be out of the way. We've used this system from Nova Scotia to Trinidad with perfect success. I know everyone says you need water cooled and such, but we've never had a situation where we didn't have ice in the fridge or more than 25 ah per day draw. (and I watch diligently since we're strictly solar charged) I have 6 inches of insulation all around the fridge except the bottom (where heat may "rise" into the fridge, or cold may sink out of it) where we have 9 inches of insulation. No the unit does not make any noticeable heat in the pilot house. We also have some 3" ducting from the compressor compartment, 4 feet to the lazerette (I suppose that helps eh?). There's also an opening at the bottom of the compartment to the bilge to suck fresh air to the compressor. The best part is that this unit cost us less than $1600 Canadian Brand new and custom made to our specs!! (2003) All for now, we're preparing for our trans-Atlantic and will be leaving from Beaufort NC in May. Cheers. Paul and Christine on Quintana. (hull 58)

Hello Lester, just to confirm for you that our fridge is indeed a "holding plate" with eutectic fluid (antifreeze) in it, not an evaporator plate like a home style fridge. It runs about 2.5 hrs every 24 hrs plus or minus 2 hrs (22-26 hrs between running times). Cheers. Paul Melanson on Quintana.

A60h: Lester, Thanks very much for forwarding all this correspondence re refrigeration. After getting a recommendation from Jack Verheyden, Kathrian, I visited E-Z Kold, only about an hour away, including a short ferry ride to Prince Edward County. I spoke with Marvin Nye, the CEO (maybe the only employee??) and saw his shop. I have now ordered a system. It has 2 plates, one for the freezer and one for the fridge, plus the air cooled compressor. As Paul said, the price is very reasonable, currently $1449 US. See This is the "conversion kit" for an ice box and all plates can be customized for this price. It is nice to read Paul's confirmation of the performance of the system and his energy consumption. We are anticipating higher energy demand and will let you know how it works out in due course.
We have decided to make the originally planned big "freezer", 5.9 cu ft, into the fridge. The smaller unit above, 1.75 cu ft, will be the freezer. A minor drawback is that the freezer will be the one with 4" insulation and the fridge has 6". The sizes are a lot more realistic this way. Regards, David Salter. (P.S. to Paul & Christine. Best wishes for your transatlantic trip).


Q61: How should I install a “counterpoise” to my single sideband radio? Hi Lester, hope all is well with you. I am installing a SSB in Whaleback and am seeking any assistance regarding the installation of the "counterpoise" grounding system. I am using a 3" copper foil and would like input from any skipper who has experience with adhesives, connections to tanks, etc. or general feedback on the overall "counterpoise" install. Tim O'Neil (s/v Whaleback) Constitution Marina, Boston

A61a: A link for some info on SSB, . Regards, Frank Bryant

A61b: (SSB Ground Plane) I used 3M 5100 to attach my copper. I was told by a radio man in Seattle that I should shoot for 100 sq.ft. of ground plane. I have 75 sq.ft of 18" copper foil that is soldered to adjacent copper foil of similar size. I have kept most of this foil below the waterline which is important. I used 3" foil to connect between my large copper foil area and two 12"x 3" Dynaplates. I have also incorporated one of my fuel tanks. There are a lot of people that don't think that is a good idea. Electrolysis can be a problem .I have been told that the signals ??? travel along the service of the foil. People with good radios will keep their foil clean and replace it when corrosion starts to deteriorate it. It's also important to use 45 and 90 degree folds when changing direction with the 3 " foil. One should also solder the folded edge.I am not an expert, I do a lot of listening , but I have one of the better radios in a fiberglass boat. I was able to routinely talk to New Zealand from the entire length of the west coast of North America. A good radio is a lot of fun and your in a position to help others when their radios are not doing the job. There are a large number of radios that will not reach very far. Richard Bacon (s/v Balmacara)

A61c: Richard, Thanks for your helpful response. Can you advise me regarding the source of your 18" copper foil? I called the local metal people around Boston to no avail. I was going to try to source copper insect screen next. I was also concerned re the airex core...that it could affect or interfere with counterpoise, but it appears in your case it does not. Again thank you for your response and three cheers for Lester. Best Regards, Tim O'Neil (s/v Whaleback)

A61d: I got my 18" foil from an outfit called Pacific Steel. They are located here in Missoula, MT. They ordered it from the west coast. 1 800 446 4766 . I don't think that the airex is a problem but you can get away from the airex if you get close to the center of the boat where there is no airex. I think the key is to have it below the waterline. R. Bacon

A61e: Hi Lester, Here is a link to a supplier of copper foil ( SSB Counterpoise ) you may have it already ............. I ordered some myself too. Regards, Frank Bryant


Q62: What watermaker do you recommend? Hi Lester, One of the last items on the "to do" list, is the watermaker. To that end, I would appreciate any info/feedback from Corbin owners that have/had one. Specifically: Recommended capacity ( 2 person extended cruise ) ? Engine driven/electric ?, Make/model ?, Maintenance issues ? Thank you in advance, Frank Bryant, s/v Visitant ( 186 )

A62a: Hi, I'm Bill Schwartz and built (and still sail) hull #90. We spent the winter in the Abacos 2 years ago and although there was no trouble obtaining water we almost exclusively used our Pur 160e watermaker. It produces a solid 1.5 gallons an hour and although it draws a bit of current we found that we had to run the engine or generator for about 2 hours a day to keep the refrigerator, house and anchor light going anyway. We have too large of a generator and alternator so we never missed the extra "juice" it took to produce unbelievably clean and good tasting water. Much of our time was spent motoring from anchorage to anchorage and we ran the watermaker while we traveled, usually having to shut it down before we reached our destination because our tanks were full. As for maintenance, the only times we had to check the filter or pickle it was in the States where we used it infrequently. Pickling is easy and takes abut 15 minutes. I did not connect the watermaker directly to the tank but left a long coil of hose so I could roll it out to the deck fill and stick it in there. This also allowed me to fill jerry jugs that we used for drinking water without extra piping.                                                                                                                                                      I would suggest buying the highest capacity water maker that you think is practical. If we had a smaller size we would have to forgo showers after swimming or run the electric longer to produce the quantity of water we wanted. Forget running the water maker from battery power only. Even the smaller sizes draw too much to make this practical. A wind generator or solar panels might power your refrigerator but not the water maker so you might as well take the plunge and plan on running your engine or generator and with a larger size water maker you can do this less. Best regards, Bill "heading out again soon" Schwartz (s/v Moonshadow) (hull #90)

A62b: All watermakers require a lot of management and good maintenance. People that put them on prior to extended cruising will develop water use habits that are in line with their water production. I have cruised with people that had 30 to 40 gallon / hour watermakers that will take showers every day and I have seen them doing washdowns in remote anchorages.  In my opinion the best value watermaker is a Spector. The smaller Spector produces about 8 gal./hour and uses about 7 to 8 amps per hour. The Spector is a little more money but it would be a good investment if one were just starting to do some extended cruising. You need to be careful with engine driven watermakers . You can put to much load on your crank shaft pulley. I would not put one on a Perkins 4-108. You need to talk to your engine manufacture about this.  My wife and I spent the first six years without a watermaker and did fine in the Pacific. We installed a Katadyn 80E for our trip across the Indian Ocean and up the Red Sea. I am glad we did and it has served us very well. It produces about 3.5 gal per hour and consumes about 7 amps. We make water whenever the engine is on. I requires a lot of attention but does a good job. We have not allowed ourselves to change our water consumption rate. This has allowed us to get by with a small watermaker. Good luck Richard Bacon


Q63: Should I upgrade my staysail stay and make it removable?

A63: Jack, we chose a staysail without a boom partly because of the ease of removing the stay when not needed. I don't know how you will handle moving the boom readily or dealing with the bulk and lines of a furler. We also chose to use a hanked on staysail to avoid this situation. We also have experienced the problem of tacking a large yankee through the space in front of the inner forestay. I have been told, and have had some experience to confirm, that tacking the yankee when the staysail is flying results in an easier operation, presumably from wind off the staysail. However, I don't believe a staysail is recommended when beating. It comes into its own further off the wind.                                                              To remove the inner forestay I slacken the turnbuckle (by hand) and pull out the clevis pin which is a light friction fit (only slightly opened) and remove the clevis. Before going further I replace the clevis and pin in the turnbuckle. I have a parking spot for the inner forestay on the port rail staysailstayparkingbracket.jpg. When parked here it is tensioned by tightening the turnbuckle, with the clevis held by a captive pin shackle permanently mounted on the toe rail. [Lester's Note: The shackle is to the right in the pic but is not shown.]                              I usually leave the running backstays set at all times, just slackening the leeward one and leading it forward to allow the mainsail boom the maximum travel. I have a Velcro strap holding the excess runner rope to the upper lifeline and another strap, attached to the runner upper block to loosely attach the runner to the aft lower shroud, out of the way runningbackstaywithvelcro.jpg.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My runners are tensioned by hand, using a 3:1 pulley system and a cam cleat on the lower block. I am sure that leaving the runners set up all the time is overkill unless one is in very high winds but since they are there I use them! Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q64: What's the best steering system for the Corbin 39? Lester, I have hull #127 a "Special Edition" aft cockpit cutter which I'm currently overhauling. I am looking at improving the steering systems which currently consist of dual mechanical stations. The pedestal is an Edson classic, the upper station has cable in conduit (conduit about 10' long on each side) and the lower station is also cable in conduit which has about 17' on each side. Each station has it's own quadrant with the outside one fixed and the lower one backed off so it is not operable without a pin being engaged to connect the rudder post to the shaft.My concern is twofold: First, the outside station has a fair bit of drag in it which I'd like to eliminate or at least reduce considerably. My second concern is that the connecting pin for the lower station is inadequate for the forces on the quadrant that should rely on clamping friction to transfer the loads. I'm thinking of adding some idlers and sheaves to operate the upper station with an open cable arrangement, along with ensuring the lower station quadrant is not dragging which hopefully will resolve the friction in the upper station. Next I would replace the wire & conduit in the lower station to reduce that friction. If lucky I can connect both stations all the time without too much friction. Can any of our members suggest anything else? I don't think I want to change over to a hydraulic system. Jack Verheyden (s/v Kathrian)

A64: Thanks Lester but I have my question answered. I installed a Jefa steering system, similar to the Whitlock, but with reduction gears and shafts...Works GREAT. Jack


Q65: Any ideas for fuel sampling, engine oil removal, or other vacuum-related procedures?

A65: Lester, I have just siphoned the fuel out of my outboard motor tank as part of winterizing. I used a small hand pump that I had used in industry and I have found many uses for it. For example, it could be used to suck from the bottom of a fuel tank to check for (or remove) water. It can also be used for water siphoning. See details at GOLDEN THIEF, sampling pump, 4520 Cleveland St. Gary, IN , 46408-3715, Phone: 219-980-3848, FAX: 219-980-2937 PumpPrice.htm Also see “Home”. Recommend Aluminum Model U, $55.81, that seals to a rigid bottle, e.g. glass, so that a vacuum can be pulled. A plastic bottle can be used if only a light vacuum is used. Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)


Q66: Can you help me with a rudder repair and a skeg repair? Lester, the skeg on my boat got hit and has some movement....cracking at the skeg - hull joint and the rudder does not turn all the way to the right. I think the rudder post may have a bend i

A66a: Dear Bill, I presume your boat is out of the water! If the rudder shaft is bent it son it. Do you know anyone who has any experience in how to best pull out the rudder post, as well as in reinforcing the skeg. Thanks. Bill Swales. (The boat is called Blondie Too.)unds as though it might be close to where the skeg joins the hull. To remove the rudder, if the boat is sitting on its cradle, you will need to dig a hole below the rudder, maybe as much as 3 feet deep, depending on the shaft length inside the boat. The rudder may be quite heavy, depending on whether it is filled with foam or a more solid fibreglass mixture. If it has the standard 1.5" diameter shaft then it is pretty heavy on its own. The shaft should also have a web of stainless flat bar, or other shapes, inside the rudder structure to counteract the torque on the rudder. The photos show: the Corbin drawing with location of rudder, shaft and skeg corbinrudderdrawing.jpg ; my drawing of the rudder internal steel structure salterrudderstructure.jpg ; and a photo of the rudder internals, with plywood fitted to stainless flatbar to improve cross-sectional curvature salterrudderskeleton.jpg . To remove the rudder you will need to remove the metal tiller arm inside the boat and any collars, plus loosen the stuffing box nuts. If the shaft is bent it may help to remove the stuffing box completely from the support platform as you will then have a larger diameter hole to allow a non concentric shaft to be removed.. Outside, you will need to unbolt the heel fitting. On my boat, Hull #50, it is a bronze fittin held with 4 or 6 slotted head machine screws that clamp the fitting around a reduced size section of the skeg. Be prepared to support the weight of the rudder as the heel fitting is removed!                                                                                                                        I had to bend my rudder shaft back into a straight line after I got it back from the welding shop as the heating had caused distortion. This was before the rudder cheeks were installed so it was a somewhat easier job. I used a heavy section I-beam and pulled the rudder shaft onto it with large C-clamps. I had a thin piano wire stretched along the shaft to show when it was straight. It required "overbending" as there was some spring back after the clamps were removed.                                                                                                                                   The attachment of the skeg to the main hull was probably done in one piece during the initial moulding. It would appear to be a potential area of weakness. When I drilled out for the original installation of the shaft there was a solid, blue, thickened resin filler material in the centre. To reinforce the area for a repair one method could be by embedding stainless rods by drilling from immediately above, provided you can get access to the area. Grinding back on each side of the skeg/hull area would allow epoxy and fibreglass patches to be added. A heavy roving or unidirectional fibreglass (Liasil) may be suitable. This may be where an naval architect should be consulted. Good luck. David Salter "Opportunity" located in Bath, west of Kingston, ON .

A66b: Hello Bill. How are you? How did you damage your skeg? Did you hit something or just by using it. Could you send me pictures. When you knock on it with a hammer, does the skeg feel soft or solid? Where are you located? And what is your hull number? Maybe I can help you. Best regards, Gaetan Duchesne, Hull 165.


Q67: Where can I obtain quality stanchion bases?

A67: In reference to my stanchion bases I was able to have them made here in Halifax. Excellent job for about $90 and better quality than original. If anybody needs any I can provide details. stanchionbasesnewandold.jpg Capt. Hiliary Shea (s/v Arjuna)


Q68: Air conditioning in the corbin? Lester, Could you ask the group where they have installed AC units and dealt with the routing of air flow etc? I'm looking to put in a unit on my Corbin and would like to know the experiences of others who have gone before me. Thanks, Tom Knight, (s/v Fabled Past)

A68a: Tom--I had a Cruisair 2-part system with reverse cycle installed in my corbin 6-7 years ago. It was a nightmare [to install] to say the least, but once in, it has been flawless with absolutely no maintenance, except for replacing the seawater pump a few times. My boat is the "Edition Speciale" aft cockpit- I believe that yours is the same, judging by the year. If the system I have is of interest to you, i will be happy to send pictures of the installation, parts required, and the duct routing. doug archibald, (s/v CHAOS!)

A68b: Tom, I own Perpetua, previously known as Half Normal Saline. She has a water source heat pump located in the hanging locker opposite the head, just forward of the main cabin. Ducts are routed to the foc’sle and to the main cabin. I live in Oregon, so have had need of the heat, but little need of the A/C. The system works great, although the pilot house does not stay as comfortable as the main cabin.  Good luck, Bill Gifford, (s/v Perpetua)

A68c: In Sunshine the AC unit is under the sink in the galley. It is tucked over to port out of the way and it is a 16,500 btu unit. All vents and hoses run on the port side. Digital photos are available if you need them. David Williams (s/v Sunshine)

A68d: Hi Tom, My A/C is located behind the forward head mirror, with the piping running along the port hull. All I have is three ports, one in the v-berth, galley & pilothouse. I may add one to the main cabin over the table because this seems to be a hot spot. All in all being slipped in Florida and doing a majority of my cruising in the Caribbean, it is fairly adequate. Hope this helps...Regards, Keith Boettger, (s/v Agape)


Q69: What's a good lining for the pilothouse interior? Thanks for all the great replies with useful advice. This group must be fairly active in helping each other! Perhaps someone could suggest any thoughts on material to replace the teak plywood inside the pilot house....I was thinking of using a white covered plywood (?melamine) rather then the teak and then reusing the teak trim. Does any one have any experience with this, and what kind of material did they use. Tks. Bill Swales (s/v Blondie Too)

A69a: Hi Lester, In response to this email, I have used an excellent material for this which is a thin (1/8”) fiberglass sheet material. It has a bumpy textured finish. It is very durable and glues on with construction adhesive or contact cement. It is commonly used to line commercial or restaurant kitchen areas. It is really easy to keep clean, does not absorb moisture and will last forever…costs about $50.00 per sheet. It is available from plastics, Plexi-glass suppliers in a variety of colors and has trim pieces that are used to join, create inside and outside corners, etc. It is awesome for lining the shower in the head also. It can be cut very easily with a mini grinder with a thin cutting disc. I use a laminate trimmer with a carbide tipped flush trim cutter with a top bearing. Just clamp a straight edge along your cut line and the bearing from your trimmer will run along the straight edge. The dust from cutting is fairly hazardous to breathe, so wear a good respirator. Handle the dust as you would fiberglass insulation….will make you itch if not careful. Take care, Mike & Cathy Cashin (s/v Sea Dream) Hull #45.

A69b: Hi Bill, This is a very good idea. I did the galley on my previous boat and after 15 years it still looked new. It required very low maintenance and did not need any special "boat glue”, just the regular contact cement. I know now that they have different kinds of contact cement; I used the original one. It stinks badly while you use it but it held all these years. A light color lining will make the space look bigger, also. One more thing. Do not use the already made board with melamine covering. It is made with pressed wood and willl go bad in a year or two. Glue the melamine ( formica) on top of the existing wood, if it still sound ,or replace the existing wood with marine plywood that you will cover with formica.Good luck with your project. Valois Nadeau (s/v Gulliver)


Q70: Can the boom on my staysail be replaced?

A70a: Hi Lester, I am sending you two photos of my staysail since I got rid of the club boom and rigged a single sheet to the cockpit. I was lucky; the location of the blocks and the foot and leach tension are just right. See staysail1.jpg and staysail2.jpg .Works like a charm. Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)   [Also see ]

A70b: Note: Since I changed my staysail to the single line and NO boom I have been using it quite extensively and LOVE IT ! Frank Bryant


Q71: How can I attach an emergency tiller to my rudder post? Lester, My name is Bob Schwartz and I own ALAUA VI (formerly Gran de Sel). She is a pilothouse with dual hydraulic helms. I would like to install an emergency tiller and am considering accessing the rudder post via an inspection plate in the cockpit and fitting the emergency tiller over the rudder post. I was wondering if any other owners have experience with this and was hoping you could post this question on your site. Cheers, Bob

A71a: Bob, The top of my rudder post extends thru the cockpit sole and ends within the pedestal. I have an emergency tiller which fits on top of the post, for use with the Monitor windvane. Lester Helmus, (s/v Insouciance)

A71b: Hi Bob, I have the same set up as you, plus the emergency tiller. My system consists of the following: A stainless pipe that fits over the rudder stock. The pipe is prevented from rotating by using keys set into a groove in the stock and held in place by a clamp. The pipe goes through a snug nylon bushing in the cockpit to about 6 inches above the cockpit floor. Two wedges are welded into the top part of the pipe where I insert a tiller with a stainless steel fitting. The tiller is placed backward and thus must be angled upward to clear the seats. You just snap on the tiller, switch the steering to bypass and that's it. It works like a charm. I originally installed it for the windvane since, as you surely know, windvanes and hydraulics don't mix. In fact, while crossing the Atlantic, after experiencing a problem with the windvane, we used the emergency tiller for about 5 days of hand steering simply because it was there and was easy to use. You could have the pipe not go through the floor and, instead, install an inspection porthole or something like that, but then you would have to build some sort of support on the inside and make the male tiller fitting longer. Here are two pictures of the pipe attached to the rudder stock (see rudderpost extension 1 and see rudderpost extension2), Here are some more pictures of the emergency tiller setup (These close-up pictures really make rust and dirt stand out!). You might consider improving the way the tiller fitting attaches to the pipe coming through the cockpit deck (see emergency tiller3 ).                                                                                                                                                                Mine works OK, but for windvane steering there's always a bit of undesirable play (See emergency tiller1). The round silver lever at the base of the pedestal is the "normal, feedback and bypass" lever. The actual mechanism is hidden in the pedestal. (See emergency tiller4 and emergency tiller2). Good luck, Horacio Marteleira, (s/v Jakatar), Peniche, Portugal

A71c: Hi Bob, We have added an emergency tiller to Necessity. We removed the fibreglass gland which supported the upper end of the rudderpost and fabricated a cup which was glassed to the underside of the cockpit sole in its place. We had a bronze bushing made which is fitted into the bottom of the cup so the post sticks through. This provides the necessary support for the rudder. Perhaps a bearing would be better but the bushing works fine. We have had to lubricate it occasionally during our transatlantic passage as the salt seems to build up. (See emergency tiller access). The final step was to cut out the cockpit floor to expose the cup and the top of the rudderpost which has two keyways. We covered it with an inspection plate. The tiller is a piece of stainless tube the same diameter as the post with a larger diameter piece of tubing welded to the lower end so that it slips over the top of the rudderpost. We added a key which locks it to the shaft. A smaller diameter stainless rod fits through a hole in the top of the vertical tube and faces aft as a tiller, just clearing the helm seat. Not the ideal way to steer 1000 miles but it should work in a pinch. Fortunately we have never had to use it. Hope this helps. Let me know what questions you have. Brian Hall, (s/v Necessity), Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada

A71d: Hello Bob, I see that you have a Mark 1 Corbin, like mine, You will probably find that the rudder shaft is directly below the cockpit pedestal. The original Corbin drawing of an emergency tiller system showed the use of an angled shaft connected with a universal joint, to bring a stub shaft up through the cockpit sole ahead of the pedestal (see rudderpost pantograph).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I figured the cost of a universal made of non corrodible material would be very expensive, even if I could find one. During a trip to the Corbin factory I saw a clever alternative system being installed. It used a dummy rudder shaft ahead of the rudder connected to the rudder shaft with a pantograph linkage. This required a second tiller arm on the rudder shaft (additional to the one used for the hydraulic steering ram) and an identical tiller arm on the dummy shaft (see emergency rudderpost in opportunity). This is the system I have used and it works well although it takes some effort to move the rudder manually because of the friction in the various bearings. Also, it wasn’t cheap!. My dummy shaft is the same diameter as the main rudder shaft, 1 ½”, but it could probably be smaller as it doesn’t carry a heavy load. I have a bearing (bushing) on the hull at the bottom of the shaft and a stuffing box at the top end, below the cockpit sole. The dummy shaft is a few inches ahead of the pedestal and just ahead of the pedestal 1" guard tubes. It protrudes a few inches from the sole and I have a system to quickly connect the emergency tiller. My photo is the best I have on file and it is too cold to go out to the boat and dive under the tarp at the moment. If you would like more details I will get a photo and some measurements later on. Regards, David Salter, (s/v Opportunity), (hull #50).

A71e: David, Thanks very much for the information. The base of my pedestal is about 3 inches ahead of the rudder post so I should be able to rig something directly above the rudder post. On a separate note...your spotless bilge puts mine to shame!!! Cheers, Bob Schwartz


Q72: Is Spartite the best and only solution to the problem of water proofing at the mast-deck joint? My mast has a one piece elastic which is held to the deck collar with a large hose clamp and to the mast with a similar large hose clamp. The elastic deteriorates over the years and develops leaks. I have been caulking these leaks and then spraying with a rubber waterproof liquid. But now I need a better solution to the problem. Spartite is very expensive. Is it worth the expense? Lester Helmus, (s/v Insouciance)

A72a: Yes there is better solution than Spartite. On my previous boat (ketch rigged) I used on old truck inner tube protected with Sunbrella, matching the sail cover. When I sold the boat after 17 years, I did not have any leaks; I just replaced the Sunbrella to make it look new again. Here's how you do it. Clean both sides of the rubber because you will have to seal it with silicone later. Cut open the inner tube to make a flat piece of rubber. Wrap it around the mast (4" above the deck collar) and the deck collar using the big hose clamp to hold it in place and make sure that you overlap at least 3" on the wide side of the mast. Stretch the rubber as you do it to make a tight fit around the mast and the deck collar. It will wrap on diagonal because the size of the deck collar and the mast is different. Do not worry about that you will cut the excess later. When you begin wrapping have a bigger size inner tube piece than necessary and start wrapping and pulling the end of the piece up or down to make a good fit around both the mast and the collar while keeping the whole piece smooth and flat. It took me a few tries before I got it right. Clamp the inner tube at the collar and the mast paying attention that the end of the overlap lays flat. By stretching in all directions you will achieve a perfectly flat end. Now that everything is tight and flat, cut the excess inner tube below the deck collar clamp and above the mast clamp leaving a little excess to keep it from slipping of the clamp. Now clean the mast above the boot and the deck collar below the boot. Also clean the rubber at the end of the overlap. Apply a generous bead of pure silicone on top, bottom and overlap edge. Smooth out the silicone bead with your finger and let it dry. Now make a boot to cover the rubber boot with matching sailcover material. Wrap it around the mast on top of the rubber and attach it with Velcro to close it and put a string in the hem at the top to tie it snug to the mast. That way the cover stays in place. Valois Nadeau s/v Giva


Q72b: Valois, how do you prevent the rubber from slipping while stretching it? Here is my understanding-so far. A new rubber inner tube, like a bicycle tube, comes folded flat in a box. If you unfold it and open it, the ring (or annulus) lies flat. Then, you can cut a part of the ring into an annulus segment, and it will lie flat. Then, you can cut the annulus segment along the inner diameter and along the outer diameter, and get two identical annulus segments, both of which will lie flat. Right, so far? Yes. Now you are ready to attach the rubber to the mast. But, how do you prevent the rubber from slipping while stretching it?

A72b: Put one hose clamp at the bottom or at the top and work it out to have a good fit. You do not need to stretch it very much. You just need to make it snug against the mast and the collar. Et voilà. You will have the best waterproof boot that costs close to nothing and will last for years; not to mention that it matches your boat's canvas. Good luck. Valois Nadeau (s/v Gulliver)


Q73: How can I repair or replace my strut (propellor shaft support)? Hi Lester, I’m trying to find out from the group if anyone has had to replace the prop strut and how they managed to get a new one. I hauled my Corbin this week and the yard found that my strut is broken. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Andy Jeschke, s/v Tilikum

A73a: Andy, my strut was custom cast in bronze from a pattern that I made. It is offset to port so that the propshaft would clear the skeg. (See strut pic) It was made by Atkins & Hoyle, the hatch people, in Toronto. I don't think it could break - the hull would break first! Regards, David Salter (s/v Opportunity)

A73b: Andy, my strut was one of the last produced, and was constructed of 1/2" stainless steel and a section of stainless tubing. Use the pieces of your old one and find a good metal shop. Good luck, Hope this helps. John Milburn on s/v KATIE (a PH-CC).

A73c: Andy, don't fret my friend I have good news....In the past, I tried Buck Algonquin, General Propeller- and other companies throughout the internet. No luck... General Prop said they could fabricate one out of SS for $1200-1500 but it would take 3 weeks-backlogged. I called Mar-Tec Engineering and they said they could have one made in California out of bronze in about 2 weeks for $800. I shipped the pieces of my old strut with 2 day delivery. They had the strut back to me in no time and held to their price.They have a website... Cheers, Kent Dudley (s/v Jack Iron) Hull #86.

A73d: Andy, The strut on Visitant is NOT cast but fabricated in pieces from 1/2" S.S. and welded to suit the angles etc. ie. hull flange, tube etc. I would further respectfully suggest that if a new tube is fabricated that it be made shorter than the standard strut bearing or get a bearing that is substantially longer, Reason: future bearing removal. ( Just my 2 cts. worth Canadian ). Frank Bryant, (s/v Visitant) hull 186.

A73e: Andy, depending on the condition of the existing strut and the extent of the break you may be able to bring it to a stainless steel welder and have it welded and reinforced...assuming it's stainless steel (it should be). If you need a new one I would take the old one as a pattern to someone who can fabricate stainless steel parts. Have him use a good grade like 316 Stainless for the part. Most good machinists should be able to do this for you. I think the chance of finding a factory replacement part is slim to none. Jack Verheyden (Kathrian #127)

A73f: Hi Lester, Thank you for your help with the prop strut. I got a response from John on Katie but he suggested repair which I don’t think is possible with the condition of my strut. The yard manager thinks he can come up with something from off the shelf or their fab shop can probably make one. I’ll send an email with the final resolution. Thanks again , …Andy


Q74: If any member would have recommendations for a bow thruster I would appreciate it. Regards, Guy Viger (s/v Tangaroa V)

A74a: Hi Lester, Regarding the bow thruster: I am satisfied, the power is OK and the consumption of electricity is reasonable. If I have to say something is wrong is the fact it has a double propeller which gives me a hard time to clean off barnacles, because you don't have access inside to clean without taking out the propellers. If you have only one propeller, you can clean it with a snorkel. Excuse my english. Normand Bouchard (s/v Urantia)

A74b: I have bought the Volvo Penta model QL-06-CT600-12. It has a 132 lbs thrust and is a single prop with a tunnel size of 160mm, ( 6.29''). It is compact, internal dimensions are 12.44 '' X 5.91 '' . The cost is at bit less than 3000 $ + installation when all accessories are included. I could have chosen a more powerfull model, but with the space available, that model seemed the most appropriate. Normand had already anwered me after your request for info. I guess he forgot to copy you. Regards, Guy Viger


Q75: How do I replace a rudder shoe? Lester, I just hauled Coochi (hull no.95) to change the zincs and paint the bottom. To my surprise the bronze rudder shoe was cracked completely through. I was hoping the group could point me to a source for this item or information on having one machined. It appears to be the orginal, 23 to 25 yrs. old. I would like to have it replaced with stainless. Thanks, William Costello.

A75a: Hi Lester, I made two rudder boots for two Corbins I built, using 316 SS three eights inch bar and one and one half inch pipe with quarter inch wall. The pipe 0r the shaft may have to be machined 10thou or so for a proper fit. Also inside the pipe i placed ss ball bearings to eliminate friction. 5 years later and 15000 miles still good as new. I hope this info is of some help, Cesar Marteleira (s/v Sea Czar).

A75b: Bill, I got the original bronze shoe from Marius Corbin. He may still know the source for the casting. I have also seen stainless steel fabricated shoes (welded) on other boats. You will need to get the dimensions off your skeg or the broken shoe. David Salter , s/v Opportunity.

A75c: Most any good machinist should be able to make a pattern from the old one and fabricate a SS one. Jack Verheyden (Kathrian hull #127)

A75d: Hi! Lester, Regarding your problem, Contact: Gaetan Duchesne, i think you know him. Gaetan was the assistant to Marius Corbin and Gaetan has his own Corbin now. All the stainless on the Corbins was done in St-Jean Québec. Gaetan: Moules Hyteck 450-245-0575 Normand Bouchard, s/v Urantia


Q76: How do I replace my fuel tank? Hi Lester, Here's a question I'd like to pose to the group. My plan to launch early this season were dashed when I opened the boat up for the first time in about a month to a reeking odor of diesel fuel. Turns out my 125 gal fuel tank has finally given up the ghost after 29 years and has been leaking into the bilge all winter. All I could find to identify the leak was an area of the tank along the rear bottom seam that seemed to be weeping fuel. My tank sits directly under the cockpit behind the companionway bulkhead. There's no way short of tearing the entire aft section of the interior apart and cutting the tank up into smaller pieces that I'm going to get this tank out. Even if I can accomplish the removal, what kind of tank am I going to be able to replace it with? Any hard tank of any suitable size will not be able to be installed without major surgery both to the interior and the exterior. After a lot of thought, I've come upon a much more radical but probably easier solution. What I'm proposing is to open the hull underneath the tank and drop the tank out in one piece. I could then either repair the tank (not likely) or use it as the female "mold" for an all fiberglass tank; i.e. encase the tank in fiberglass, then remove it, leaving the FRP shell as the new tank - lighter, stronger and corrosion proof. The hull cut-out would be re-used to fill the hole in the hull and the new glassed area should be as strong or stronger than the original. After all, if I were to hole the hull on a reef, I'd do much the same as a repair. I'd like to know the following:

1) Please verify that the hull below the waterline is solid fiberglass

2) I've heard of ethanol damaging FRP tanks. Does marine diesel contain ethanol?

3) Has anyone built an FRP tank? Do I need to use anything special to create the new tank; ie is West System Epoxy sufficient or is there something else?

4) Does anyone see any problems with this plan that I've probably overlooked?

All comments will be very much appreciated. Best Regards, Vince Salese Witch of the Wave, Hull #5

A76a: Vince, Your solution seems radical, indeed! Won't you have to tear out the interior in order to fiberglass the hull section back in? Sounds to me like you want to put a removable floor into the cockpit and go in that way. Maybe, you should contact Collin Harty, still lists an 80 gal aluminum tank for 'Tag Sale'. I have a similar tank, I think. It fits in neatly thru my companionway and down below the removeable pilothouse floor boards (soles), just aft of the galley bulkhead.. My floor timbers were spaced for it. Mine is v-shaped, sloping down foreward and up sideways to fit the centerline of the hull bottom. But, I don't have any propellor shaft; I have a saildrive with the engine under the aft cockpit. Lots Of Luck with your problem. Lester Helmus

A76b: Hi guys. Tell you what I did when our steel tank gave up the ghost a year ago (luckily I was on board on the hard and could organize a drum). Same problem as you: tank too large for the opening. Took an angle grinder to the thing and got it out in 3 pieces. Designed and ordered two new polyethelene (??, black, weldable plastic in any case) tanks from a Turkish supplier, dropped number one, and shoved it to the stern, dropped number two and hooked it up to number one. Case closed. Only problem: the design was not executed faithfully and we now have tanks with about 2/3 the previous capacity. Hope this helps. Gerry and Brigitte Stuurop s/v Octopus I

A76c: Vince, If your tank is structurally sound, and it sounds as if it is with only weeping or a pin hole, and if you can access it by installing a new access through the cockpit sole and a port(s) into the tank top; I would check out a product called "RED -KOTE". It was developed in Australia to repair tanks in place. Go to Damon Industries, Alliance, OH, Rad@DamonQ,com Ray Sullivan (68)

A76d: Hi All. Thanks for the comments and believe me I will take every suggestion, criticism, encouragement etc before I take a saws-all to my hull. Coincidently, after posting my question last night, I found this website that explains exactly what I was intending to do First a couple of things. Witch of the Wave is a rear cockpit not a center cockpit - just a clarification. Luckily I don't have a finished interior in the aft section behind the companion way bulkhead. It's nothing but painted plywood used for storage. We call it the garage. Yes I could cut and remove all that to access the tank, but I still couldn't get the tank out in one piece unless I also remove the cockpit floor. Reglassing and refinishing the cockpit sole and reinstalling the interior is as daunting a prospect as cutting the hull so long as, and here's the key, the section I cut is solid fiberglass - I just don't want to deal with the Airex core for some reason. Cutting the tank certainly is easier but, as Gerry implies, I'd have to compromise on the replacement tanks. Removing the tank intact means I have a plug mold for a new fiberglass tank. Is it your opinion(s) that I'd be compromising the hull's strength? I'd grind down the seam/cut area before cutting so as to leave room to lay-up as much as 3/8" of new matting before fairing the whole area. When I reinstall the cut-out section I'd epoxy "glue" the seam and lay-up matting both inside and out side. I would think that this section would actually now be stronger than the the surrounding area. My biggest challenge is to reinstall the cut-out in exactly the same position to maintain my shaft alignment because, of course, the shaft strut sits smack dab under the tank. Keep the comments coming. I'm not going to cut anything inside or out until this is well thought out and planned and any and all alternatives are exhausted. Whatever I do, I am going to document it fully so others can learn from my experience good or bad. Best Regards, Vince Salese.

A76e: Hello Mr Vince Salese, I think the solution of cutting the hull would be the right thing to do. I suggest you:
1st Check to see if you have two tanks or only one big tank,
2nd Cut a hole in your floor to get access to your tank,
3rd Take your tank out through the hole and cut it up so that you can get rid of it by way of your companionway,
4th Install a new tank in place with "Vinylester Resin". If you need, I could send you the number etc.
This method is the only way that you will avoid having a bigger problem then what you have now. Best, Gaëtan Duchesne.

A76f: My previous boat, a Fisher 37, had a similar problem. The fix was to have a custom fuel bladder made that was installed through a hole cut in the top of the old tank.

The repair was done by a company in Seattle WA but I do not have any contact information. I would hesitate to cut a hole through the hull unless it was a last resort. David Williams (s/v Sunshine)

A76g: I'm in the process of replacing my fuel tanks. The tanks are located under the pilot house deck, aft of the navigator's seat and just forward of the aft bulkhead. The pilot house deck is divided in half for excess to the transmission/ prop shaft thru a hinged lid and aft of that is the deck over the 2 fuel tanks. I've got the deck above the tanks removed and just today removed the tanks themselves, what a job. I'm looking for someone to build the tanks locally. If anyone is interested I'll take pictures and send them to you. John and Anita Baumgartner (s/vBright Eyes)


Q77: Can I repower my engine while retaining my saildrive? I have a 120S Volvo saildrive and a two cylinder 24 HP Volvo MD11C engine. Lester Helmus, s/v Insouciance

A77a: Yes. Volvo saildrive owners now have the option of retaining their saildrive transmission when repowering with a new Beta Marine engine. For example, if your engine is a Volvo MD11 with saildrive, you may order the new Beta Marine 20hp or 28hp engine so it will fit your presently installed Volvo saildrive transmission and engine bed. This is ideal for the boat owner wishing to save money and time when repowering. Please contact Joe DeMers for details at


Q78: Is there life after death for a 12V cordless drill?

A78: Dear Editor, I have had a daunting number of cordless drills go through my workshop, with ever increasing battery voltages.  Eventually the NiCad batteries fade away and replacement costs are not competitive with a new drill package.  Maybe the new lithium batteries will have a longer life cycle.  A while ago I decided to convert one of my defunct 12 volt drills to plug-in power on my boat.  I removed the battery units from the battery pack, put in a dummy battery of the same size made from wood dowel and wired in a flexible cord, as shown in the photo.  I can now plug it in and use the boat's house batteries for power.  I have several 12V receptacles on the boat, at least one in each cabin and I used the Australian mains receptacles and plugs.  These appear to be made of all non corrodible materials, stainless steel, brass and plastic. There is no risk of confusing their function (except perhaps by an Aussie).  I completed my Corbin 39 from a bare hull so the boat wiring was designed in from the beginning. See Converted Drill . David Salter, Corbin 39 "Opportunity", Ontario, Canada


Q79: Can I add a bypass, with hand valve, to my hydraulic steering system? It is a slow, dangerous nuisance switching back and forth between steering with the Monitor windvane (mechanical) and steering with the pedestal wheel (hydraulical).

A79a: Lester, My Wagner system came with a selector (normal, feedback and bypass) at the base of the pedestal. Bypass valves are available on the market, such as the one below (I assume it's the right kit). If you want it simply in case of steering failure so that you can use the emergency tiller, the valve may be redundant because if your hydraulic system fails you've got no pressure, and if you've got no pressure the emergency tiller will not face any resistance (or you could also detach the hydraulic ram). In an extreme, albeit weird, case when you lose steering and still have pressure and can't remove the kingpin from the ram arm, you could always drain the oil, attach the tiller and deal with the mess later. Cheers, Horacio Marteleira See Bypass . [Ed. Note: This bypass could be assembled with conventional Home Depot parts.]

A79b: Horacio, My system was set up for hydraulic hand steering or for Monitor steering (also emergency), and hydraulic autopilot. I'll have to trace the circuitry, make a drawing, and analyze the system carefully. Currently, to use the tiller, someone has to lie on his back and crawl backwards under the cockpit to the aft end of the boat, and reach up to disconnect the ram. That was okay for the original owner who always had crew on his trip to New Zealand, but not okay for a singlehander. I have never needed to do it while sailing, because I haven't gone anywhere, not even out the Golden Gate. I'm 78 years old, whose greatest adventure was three singlehanded trips from New Jersey to Bermuda and one singlehanded trip from Bermuda to the British Virgin Islands in a Bristol 29 sailboat..This Corbin is really too much boat for little old me - bought on an ego trip. Incidentally I owned two boats for a year but fortunately sold the Westsail 32 to Warner Bros for the making of the movie "Perfect Storm"!! My system has ordinary 5/16" flared copper tubing probably with check valves and blocking valves, for maintenance purposes, I think. Is that Vetus valve a two position valve, go - no go? It looks like an ordinary close or open valve with two T's, a screw end and 2 compression ends, something I can buy in the local hardware store! Lester Helmus

A79c: Lester, Four singlehanded oceanic trips seem like quite a feat to me. And you're right about the Corbin being too large for singlehanding. I'm 49, 6 feet 2 inches and relatively fit and I find it a bit too much for singlehanding, especially docking and also anchoring with a manual windlass in a blow. I do it, but it would be more fun and cheaper in a smaller boat. Sailing is not so bad once I get going and after working up a sweat hoisting three sails with a lot of friction in the halyards.Except for my yearly monthly trip, I don't sail that much because it's too much work for an afternoon out. I don't even have roller furling. My wife doesn't like sailing, which puts a damper on weekend trips. But she likes meeting me at the marina in the Algarve during the aforementioned trip and staying on the boat. The valve seems to be an off-on device. There's lots of information on the Internet about this topic, it would be wise to research about your pump make or ask somebody who knows hydraulics. Late last year, I finally installed a Raymarine hydraulic autopilot. It seems to work OK but I haven't really put it to any gruelling test yet. My hydraulic system has three pipes and the autopilot pump has three ports, so it was a matter of hooking them up correctly. Tried the "feedback" position a couple of times, but didn't like it at all. Never tried the feedback with the autopilot, but can't see the advantage of doing that. Horacio


Q80: In making a deck repair, how can I duplicate the deck pattern? Unfortunately the coring on parts of my deck needed to be replaced and an additional unfortunate is that I hired the wrong guy to fix it. (See deck repair 1 and deck repair 2 .) Before I knew it he cut the deck up and tossed it and a long list of other incompetence's Should have just done it myself from the beginning. I found a product called Flex-Mold and they have a pattern that matches the Corbin diamond non-skid. However, since I don't have the original section anymore and no good pictures I'm unsure of the original non-skid patterns in the area. Could you please ask the group and see if anyone would be willing to send me some good pictures of my repair areas? Thanks, Tom Knight, S/V Fabled Past, Pilothouse Cutter [Ed. Note: The need for deck repairs usually results from improper sealing of any holes cut through the deck. Be sure to epoxy the exposed layers of the deck.]

A80a: Tom, No replies, yet, although Marius Corbin did send an email to the man near Montreal who supervised the building of the Corbins. Everyone else is busy sailing. If you have located a company that supplies a rubberized sheet material with a pattern that matches our decks, then you have 90% of the problem solved. Could you send me an email link to that source? Lester Helmus, Director

A80b: understand, I should be sailing also vs doing all these projects ;-) The product is called Gibco Flex-Mold and it's available from . The part number of the Corbin pattern is GFD302. I called them and they sent me a free sample of about 60 different patterns they have. Tom


Q81: Do you have construction drawings for a Corbin cradle?

A81a: Yes, see cradle1  (Submitted by Guy LaRoche, s/v Sarbacane, Hull 192).

A81b: Here's an inexpensive, though temporary, way of supporting a Corbin on the hard, sealegs. 

A81c: Here's Cap Ocean's fixed cradle: Pic 1,  Pic 2,  Pic 3,  Pic 4,  Pic 5,  Plans 

A81d: Here's Opportunity's fixed cradle:  Pic 1,  Pic 2,  Pic 3,  Pic 4,  Pic 5,  Pic 6,  Plans Sketch 

A81e: Here's CAD plans, minus the pads:  CAD

A81f:  Here's a commercial source. Most cradles in this area come from "The Cradle Shop". I don't have the coordinates but am sure they can be found online or in "Boat for Sale" magazine. It's a very popular source. They have the design for a Corbin since that is where I bought mine from. Jack Verheyden

A81g: Here's Saw-Whet's cradle: Pic 1

A81h: Boris Steipe, I have a CAD drawing for a cradle for the Corbin. I will dig it out for you. Mike Cashin


Q82:  What are the storage options for a Corbin owner?

A82a:Traveling around the world afloat the massive sea is an experience like no other. Storing your Corbin will ensure its longevity. Other storage questions relate to the objects that do not join you on the journey and come aboard the Corbin. Liveability on a well-equipped boat is a dream for many boaters. While storage issues are always a question, they can easily be fixed with pods storage, UPack. Pods storage is a necessity as some things are just meant to stay on land, or maybe it's just easier to stay afloat without those certain items.


Q83: How do I access the packing gland on my v-drive? Lester, I have the Westerbeke 33 with a V drive and I need to repack the packing gland under the engine. It drips more than it should after running.. What is the secret to getting to it? There must be a trick since it is in very difficult location. David Williams

A83a: David, Pull your v-drive back. It may seem like a hassle but it does not take long; you will have a chance to never seize your trans bolts and a better understanding of your v-drive and how once freed from engine you will then do it again with little effort. You will spend less time and effort trying to get at those packing nuts with much more satisfaction. Cappy deMontigny (Vessel "CAPBAM")

A83b: Hi David, Brian Hall here. We have hull 135 with a similar v-drive. We replaced the packing gland with a PSS shaft seal and have had no problems with it. They don’t need periodic repacking. It was put on by the yard at the time our engine was removed for replacement. Not sure whether it could actually be installed with the engine in place. Hope this is a bit of help. Brian Hall, s/v Necessity, Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada

A83c: To Mr Williams. I had similar problem. I have a Westerbeke 40hp, V drive, shaft 1.25`. To open the stuffing box locking ring I used a tool that is used in the plumbing trade.. Its adjustable jaws will fit most nuts. But for me the lesson in humility was to learn that it was a LEFT HAND THREAD..... Cheers. Dale (sv Tranquilium)

A83d: Hi David, I am the owner of Corail IV Hull # 159. Indeed it is very difficult to access this important gadget. I assume your engine is located under the cockpit like mine which is the Yanmar 50. Also assume your V drive is located under the stairs leading down to the pilothouse from the cockpit. In my case, I cannot see the packing gland and have to feel blindly my way with both arms on either side of the V drive which is cornered by the the battery banks. Once you have located, by feel, the locknut the best way to unfreeze it is to tap it with something like a hammer head until it moves a little bit. Then using a special homemade key you can move the locknut back and tighten the packing nut. In my case special keys sold in marine store are too long which is the reason I have a homemade one. Attached are the pictures of the tool used to adjust the packing: packing gland tool , packing gland tool dimensions . Please let me know if you need further assistance. Good luck and feel free to contact me for any questions. Claude Gagnon, Sechelt BC

A83e:  This is a rather tardy response, nonetheless it was of interest to me since I have a W-33 and just changed my stuffing box. I replaced the original stuffing box with a much simpler unit that only requires  9/16 or 1/2" wrenches to tighten up the stuffing box. The original unit was impossible to adjust when water flow increased. It is a Buck-Algonquin rectangular Flanged Packing Box. Check it out at Tim O'Neil (s/v Whaleback)


Q84:  Is it possible to install a thru-hull at the bow lockers so seawater can drain overboard without coming into the boat? Charlie Haskell (s/v Pinguescence)

A84a: Hi, Our Corbin came with the bow lockers interconnected via a small hole in the separation nearest the bow and one drain on the port side. Works very well and drilling a through-hull above the waterline would be simple. Best regards. Gerry & Brigitte Stuurop (s/v Octopus I)                                                                                                                                                      [Ed. Note: Or simply allow the water to drain from the bow anchor locker into the nearby bilge, from which it will automatically pump overboard.]

A84b:  Charlie, The bow lockers on my Corbin, Perpetua, drain directly to outside. A little water tends to collect at the bottom, but, for the most part, they stay pretty dry. I believe the drains are just a simple hole, with a stainless steel vent cover located on the outside of the hull. Good luck! Bill Gifford (s/v Perpetua)

A84c:  Charlie, I imagine most Corbin bow lockers are different if they are owner finished.  Mine has a sloping bottom (down towards the bow) where it is above the foot of the forward-cabin berth.  The forward end of the locker has an athwartship "bulkhead" resulting in a well each side after the central divide is installed.  I have a drain at the bottom of each well, where they exit the hull, about 12" above the waterline, I have small stainless clamshell vents (see West Marine P/N 180356 type) with the opening facing aft and angled down slightly.  See photo Sail Locker Drain. The base of these wells is a continuation of the forward berth.  It is more or less "dead" space but I have put some chain there.                              I took care to make the sail lockers entirely sealed off from the rest of the boat interior.  Originally I had some mildew form on the underside of the locker lids so I installed vents there and that cured the problem.  It allows any wet ropes, etc. to completely dry out although I generally don't put anything wet in there.  Your rot problem might have been accentuated if the lockers were not ventilated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I presume your central locker divider is where the inner forestay is attached, which is what I have.  Where the chainplate is attached I doubled up on the divider.  I recall that this wood is 3/4" ply.  Everything is heavily glassed over. I hope this is helpful. Regards, David S.,  S/V Opportunity


Q85:  I’m interested in getting some info and ideas from other owners on designing an arch for a solar panel and wind generator. Bob Becker (s/v Emmalou),

A85a:  Lester, visit my site and look at my arch built by Gatean Duchesne,   Normand Bouchard, (s/v Urantia)


Q86: What's a good davit for hauling a dinghy?  I am going to build a davit for my zodiac (both boat and engine, 15 hp). I need something strong and good looking. I'd like to know if there are members of the list who had pretty good results, and the way they did it. Do we have any images of good-looking davits for the Corbin ? I need the zodiac to be high enough in heavy seas. On top of the davit, I will install solar panels. Thanks a lot for any help. Bernard V. (s/v Rosa)

A86a: Lester, We don't have davits; there are some out there, I don't know the names.  I was brainwashed into thinking that davits were incompatible with ocean cruising. Regards, David (s/v Opportunity)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [Ed. Note: (1) I agree. Dinghies belong on the deck of the mother boat when sailing offshore, where a disabling blow or gale can spring up on a moment's notice. (2) If you add davits, be prepared to spend more in slip fees.]

A86b: Here are my davits, Frank Bryant (s/v Visitant)  Pic1, Pic2,  Pic3, Pic4, Pic5, Pic6, Pic7, Pic8.



Q87:  Which is the preferred headsail, a 130% or a 150%?  David Hibbard writes, " Our Genoa at 130% is smaller than the 150% recommended in the Builders Guide. I have another 130% on order. I was interested in talking with people who fly a 150% and see what their opinions are before the cloth is cut." David sails a Mark II PH-CC.

A87a:  I use a 150% genoa, with roller furling; It seems to work great especially in light air. When the wind picks up, we just furl the genoa to match the conditions; with wind really blowing we furl completely and fly the hank-on staysail. John B.,  S/V Bright Eyes

A87b:  David, I have both and always use the 130, except in very light conditions. I don't see anything ahead of the boat with the 150 and have to rely on a crew. No fun. The 150 almost touches the deck and mine has no mica windows in it. I would strongly recommand to install some if you take the 150 route. Plus, to tack, the 130 turns more easily around the staysail than the 150. Finally, for the girlfriend, winching the 130 is easier when I'm at the wheel and taking care of the mainsail, which is the case 90% of the time. In less than 10 kts winds, I would use the 150. Over 10 kts, I get plenty of speed with the 130. I have a PH-CC, hull 124.  All the Best, Bernard V., s/v Di Rosa

A87c:  Hi David and Lester, The 150% will give you more speed in light wind than the 130%.  It depends on the area you sail.  If you frequently have to deal with light wind where you normally sail, the 150% is the way to go. You would think that you can reef or roll in a 150% and have the equivalent of a 130% but rolling a sail changes its shape and the loss of drive is dramatic.  The same thing with those mainsails that were made to roll-in the mast thru a very narrow slot.  They had to change the shape of the sail so that it would not get stuck in the slot when you rolled it in (the sail became essentially flat) and that change of shape changes the dynamics of the sail and makes it inefficient.  I once changed the rigging on a boat from a perfectly working and efficient standard mainsail, that you had to hoist up, to a a rolled-in-the-mast mainsail.  The salesman warned me that the system would not be as efficient by 10%, so we increased the sail area by 10%.  The result was a loss of efficiency of 50 % or more.  Bad choice...  All this to say that the shape of the forward part of the sail is where the horsepower is and if you change it, it will dramatically affect your relative speed.  I always had 150% roller furling genoas on my own boats, but if you cruise a 130% will be fine.  When you cruise you are not worried so much about speed. Have a wonderful day.  Marius Corbin

A87d:  here's my .02 on this ....  I had Doyle Sails make me a 150% Jib / Genoa a few years ago.  I flew this for one season and found that it was just too much sail up front.  I prefer to use the staysail as well so I very seldom flew the 150% fully deployed.  Packed it up after one season and am very happy with the Yankee and / or ....... Staysail only !   Of note: Since I  got rid of the Club Boom and made a single sheet to the Cockpit for the Staysail, I use the Staysail all the time. [See Hanked-on-Staysail w/o boom & w/o track]  Good luck ................. Frank Bryant  (  Visitant, 186 )

A87e:  After sailing around the world, I suggest that one should get the largest headsail possible.  This is based on the fact that the Corbin is a heavy boat and needs large sail area to move in medium to light air.  Also Tan Bark sails outlast white sails 3 to 1.  Henry M. S/V 2 Extreme

A87f::  David, We have the earlier version of the Corbin and fly a 135% genoa.  Because our boat develops weather helm as wind speed increases we furl the genoa first.  This moves the sail area centre of effort forward, much more than reefing the main sail, and helps to minimize weather helm.  I don't know what your helm balance is like but if you go to a 150% genoa you will be moving the centre of effort further aft and may induce some weather helm. Regards, David S., s/v Opportunity

Q88: How do I add steering inside my pilothouse?  HI Lester, I have Corbin 39 # 154 and it does not have an inside steering arrangement. As the boat is on the Gulf coast, it may not even need one. However if we ever headed north it would be good to be in the protected pilot-house. Any thoughts on systems and solutions? Tim B., s/v Brillo del Sol

A88a:  Tim, for my Corbin I changed both steering stations with a direct shaft & gear system from Jefa and couldn't be more pleased. Jack V., s/v Kathrian

A88b: Two Pelicans is "fitted for but not with" inside steering and engine controls. It would be simple to connect the engine controls with a Vetus steering pump coupled to a bypass valve and some hydraulic tubing. Then, she could be operated from the pilothouse. I have never considered this option as the operator would have extremely limited vision. Jeremy P., s/v Two Pelicans

A88c: I have inside steering, but no engine controls. The steering wheel is a nice luxury, especially with the Captain's chair; but I would use the Monitor when sailing on the open sea and I would use the autopilot when motoring. In addition, when motoring in close quarters I would be outside, in the cockpit, Inside steering is not needed, really.  Lester H. s/v Insouciance.

A88d: Tim,  a little more info would be helpful. What is your present setup (i.e., cable, hydraulic)? If your system is hydraulic it would be easy to expand to include a second station and autopilot. I have a two station Wagner & Novice AP. The installation is strait forward, copper tubing, flaring and compression fittings. This is not a cheap way to go but if your present system is hydraulic your half way there, and it's pretty bulletproof .
Bill C.

A88e: Tim, We have inside steering on "Opportunity", hull #50. We never use it, partly because of our "local" sailing activity. If you stand in the wheelhouse and look out of the forward windows you will realize how restricted the visibility is. Additionally, you cannot see much of the sails. However, if you were out for an extended period in bad weather I suppose it would be useful to be able to steer from inside but only if you were not concerned about visibility. That would mean that you were not close to hazards and there was little boat traffic nearby. We have Wagner hydraulic steering for both the cockpit and in the wheelhouse so the installation was not difficult (when building the boat!). Both sets of hydraulic lines lead to a Tee near the hydraulic ram. The hydraulic autopilot (a pump) links in to the same system. I don't know what your primary system involves.
           We also have duplicate engine controls. Parallel cables are attached to the throttle and the gear shift so operating one moves the other. Friction isn't a problem. There is also an ignition switch and glow plug heater switch (for our VW diesel) adjacent to the inside steering. The analog rudder angle indicator is also duplicated here. So that is a lot of extra equipment. I was surprised to find I don't have a decent photo of the set up, just this scan of an old photo. The wheel is on the centreline and the "step" is needed to cover the rear of the engine. It is also useful to see out a little higher up!
I hope this helps. Regards, David S., s/v Opportunity

A88f:  Hi Tim, I have a second steering station in the pilothouse. The outside and inside steering wheels have individual hydraulic pumps hooked up to the same ram. It works beautifully. HOWEVER, I've sailed many miles since the year 2000, including an Atlantic crossing, and, as far as I can remember, only used the inside steering one time while motoring on a cold rainy day (that's before I had an autopilot).  Why? because you can't see what lies ahead all that well...or not at all. (by the way, I'm 6' 2" and my head touches the ceiling).

          The flaw is that the Corbin pilothouse is too low. Sailing in close quarters, it's useless; sailing in open ocean, it's also useless because you have the autopilot on. I suggest that you stand in the pilothouse, as though steering, and ask yourself whether you'd feel comfortable with your field of vision forward (with the boat in the water and preferably not with the boat stripped in "on the hard mode"). If you add a dinghy on deck, an unrolled genoa, staysail, etc., it's like sailing into the unknown. Setting the autopilot and ocasionally scanning the horizon while standing on the companionway ladder is much better and safer.

If you were in Portugal, I'd sell you mine and use the money to buy a radar and AIS. Merry Christmas and safe sailing.

Horacio M., S/V Jakatar, Peniche, Portugal

A88g:  Thanks Horcaio, I am getting pretty much the same opinion about wheelhouses--no one uses them. Just felt if we ever came your direction it would be great to have. I do have autopilot with remote so that should do. On a side note I just read Laurence Bergreen's OVER THE EDGE OF THE EARTH a tome about Ferdinand Magellan's adventure to locate the Spice Islands. It is very good. Thanks for your time and the very informed response. Happy Holidays, Tim Baggett, Nacodoches, Texas


Q89: Does any Corbin owner use spinnakers and do they have a positive impact to help balance the boat, specifically for the hulls built before 1984?  If there are any Corbin owners who did use spinnakers extensively, either assymetric or standard, I'd love to hear from them on their choice and # of square feet. Bernard V. s/v di Rosa

Q89a: I have used a spinnaker on my Corbin several times. On the Pacific crossing I poled out the spinnaker and let it fly for four days and three nights with the windpilot steering the boat. My spinnaker has a sock and while we were in Darwin, Australia I made a bell shaped fiberglass entry for the sock. It really helped with the retrieval of the sail. Henry M. s/v 2 Extreme

Q89b:  May I suggest you call Mr Jean Saintonge of Voile Saintonge.See: Spinnakers Martin St-Pierre s/v Nordan


Q90: How do I stop water leaks at the compression post?  Dear Lester, When it rains we have water driveling down the post which supports the mast. The mast rests on a bronze metal plate(step) with hinged U-shaped stainless line 'keepers'. Then, the bronze plate rests on a 2 inch thick teak spacer. The teak spacer rests on a on a stainless plate, which rests on the deck. Where can the water  be getting by? Probably, at the thru deck fasteners and/or the thru deck wiring. Does someone have a drawing or photo,  with the mast unstepped?  Lester, here are the photos of the mast base, Mast Base 1 Mast Base 2 . I really worry about it wetting the deck core. None of the other openings or fastener holes were cored with thickened epoxy in the rest of the boat deck. Wow! Too bad! So what is under this 3 layered  mast support is a mystery to me. Yes, delamination of the deck would be an expensive problem to solve. Also, I would like to re-bed the fasteners and epoxy core of all openings on the deck. Does the vinyl interior roof material have to be removed to get  to the nuts in order to remove the bolted items on deck? Tim Baggett, s/v Brillo del Sol

A90a:  Tim, in my case, a metal plate is welded to the S/S conpression post that supports the mast, inside the boat.  Perhaps there is NO sealant between your deck plate and deck OR NO sealant between your  mast step and deck plate or [NO sealant] at the deck plate mounting bolts .............. ???  don't know man !! See a photo of my arrangement ..mast step  Cheers .......Frank B., s/v Visitant  ( 186 )

A90b: Tim, First, you want to remove the overhead liner covering any thru deck fasteners or nearby vent holes, such as a dorade vent. Second, you want to wet the entire deck area near the mast base  to see the true source of the leak or leaks. Third, the mast may have to be removed. Fourth, the keepers should have no effect on leakage thru the deck. Fifth, The water is coming thru at the deck fasteners and/or the deck wiring, probably. Lester H. s/v Insouciance

A90c:Hi Tim, this is an unusual thing: to have a teak spacer between the mast step and the deck.  The spacer was added, probably, because the stays were too long or the owner wanted the boom to be higher.  I would think that the leak originates at the weathered teak (we can see cracks in it on the pictures), going to the bolts, and then following the bolts to the inside of the boat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 It is very hard to seal any wood and metal together permanently.  Wood and metal expand and contract, with temperature changes, at different "rhythms".  If the spacer could be replaced by aluminium it would be weathertight for a longer time.                                                                                                                                                                                                       The deck under the SS plate is not cored and you should not worry about it rotting.  The bolts are thru bolted and it should be visible from inside the boat that one of them is leaking. Hope that helps and have a great day.   Marius Corbin


Q91:  Any ideas on replacing the holding tank? It is stainless and has developed a leak. My hope is that the tank is standard for Corbins and that there is a company that makes a plastic replacement. I have read that plastic is the best choice  for sewage. The tank is located under the berth, more or less built in, sort of wedge designed and maybe a bit of a parallelogram. Any advice is very much appreciated. Take care, Gene S.  S/V Swell Dish 

A91a:  Hi Gene, in response to your mail to Lester, I respectfully submit my experience with the Waste Tank. Somehow I don't think it's a standard fit. I replaced my tank in its entirety with  a stainless, reason being that I easily pulled the old one out through the forward hatch and had a model for a new one. I had the new one made out of heavier gauge stainless, c/w baffles, extra welds in all the seams & corners etc. and enlarged it a bit as well. BTW, I did look into a plastic and bladder type of tank but it just did not work for me as I felt that a stainless tank would be less prone to collapse during a pump out. (That's how my original tank failed in the first place).  Here" a mistake I made: When installing the new tank, I sealed it in place with " expanding foam "  which worked very well, but I should have wrapped the tank in plastic first and then foamed it in place. This would have made future removal very easy and may have given the new tank that extra seal in event of a leak ..... Just a few thoughts Gene, good luck with the project. Frank B. s/v Visitant  ( 186 )

A91b:  Lester, I have a holding tank under the forward cabin, on the centre line, and another one under my port, aft cabin.  Both were custom made by me of fibreglass.  First, I made a mold using Masonite/Hardboard for the flat panels with softwood lumber for the edges and corners. Then I painted it with polyester resin to seal it. Next, I polished the mold with paste wax, 2 or 3 coats.  After this hardened, I applied a mold release agent.  Then, the tank was laid with 3 layers of fiberglass, alternating matt/roving/matt, of suitable weights.  I believe I used 1&1/2oz matt and 24 oz roving (the specification weights apply to different areas!). See Holding Tank (without lid) . Note the interior anti-sloshing baffle. I made the lid of the tank separately and bonded it to the top of the main tank. Finally, I installed a cleanout hatch, an inlet, an outlet, and vents.  You may want to have a method of gauging.  I originally used oil tank float level gauges but they always corrode.  Now, I have to check the level by opening the cleanout (ugh!) and looking in with a flashlight. David S., s/v Opportunity

Q92:  What comprises a grey water tank system and why have it?

A92a: Lester, We have a grey water tank located in the bilge, adjacent to the galley sinks.  It is custom made of fibreglass, like the head holding tanks.  The capacity is about 14 gallons. By using a grey water tank we avoid having three thru-hull seacocks and three valves for grey water discharge.  Items feeding to the tank are: 1. the galley sink(s), 2. the fwd head sink and shower sump, 3. the aft head sink;  [The sinks drain by gravity and the shower sump is pumped.]  The tank is hand discharged by its own diaphragm pump (Whale Gusher 8 - discontinued) through a seacock above the water line; it is emptied daily.  The tank has a vent and a cleanout hatch. Here is the wooden mold, Grey Water Tank Mould.Here is the  Grey Water Tank (fiberglassed) and the Grey Water Tank Installation. My grey water discharge is protected against ingress by the flap check valve in the Gusher  diaphragm pump. David S., s/v Opportunity

[Lester Note: I destroyed an 8 mm movie camera and damaged an expensive Plath sextant when I had a grounding in my Bristol 29 sailboat in Manasquan Inlet, NJ in 1978.The boat lay over on its port side while seawater rushed in via a sink. I had to call the Coast Guard to pump out the boat; I was too dazed to realize what was happening because I was exhausted from too little sleep during my nine day ordeal returning from Bermuda singlehanded. Moral of story: Close sink seacocks before grounding or better, install a grey water system.]

A92b:  Good morning Lester, Endorphin is equipped with a grey water tank (sump) which receives grey water from the 2 showers and head sinks onboard. It is located high in the aft area of the main salon's bilge. The galley sinks drain directly overboard. A bilge pump drains the sump with a manual switch. There is an inline screen filter. Our whole system is less than ideal. The sump is not water tight. When full the sump over flows into the bilge. All in all, at this time, our grey water system does not provide much in the way of an example for other boat owners. Thank you, David H., s/v Endorphin

A92c:  Lester, the builder, Swift custom boats, put a tank center of bilge, with a float, and a macerator pump under a seat. All galley, sinks, and shower drains to it. Float kicks on pump when full out to a thru hull at water line. Works great!  Cappy D.  s/v CapBam

A92d:  Hello Lester,  Yes, Simmerdim is equipped with a grey water tank.  The 4 gallon tank is located under the salon floor, center, a meter in front of the mast post.  A 12 volt pump discharges the contents via the head sink thruhull.  There is a screen filter between the tank and the pump to prevent clogging.  The filter needs to be cleaned once a month. The tank drains the galley sink, the ice box, and the shower.  So far, our main usage is with the galley sink and the 4 gallons is not large enough in a liveaboard situation.  It fills quickly and requires being pumped too often, once every two days.  Our galley sink is double so it is my plan to divert one of the sinks directly to a thruhull so we can choose direct discharge or tank discharge. An access is needed to clean the tank at the end of the season; otherwise you can get bad odours.   Gilles L. s/v Simmerdim

A92e:  Ahoy, I have one because at one time it was suggested that the Ontario government would make them mandatory. Basically, the system collects the grey water from the sinks and the shower and pumps it directly overboard or via the holding tank. Charles L. s/v Melodia

A92f:  May 22, 2011, Boat got launched, the usual plumbing issues, seals and gaskets dry up over winter ......other than that all OK !  Enclosing a photo of my Grey Water Tank.....Frank B.,  s/v Visitant

A92g:  Hi Lester, I don't have a grey water tank on my personal boat but I dealt with them on larger yachts that I operated for other owners.  Grey waters are all the drains from sinks, showers, washing machines (clothes or dish).  It accumulates in a tank so that you can dump it out at a pump out station or offshore.  Some boats only had the shower and sinks and drained the washing machines directly overboard.  Although there was no law where I sailed to have them, it just seemed a good idea not to send overboard grey water when you swim around the boat.  In most cases it did not mean much.  I think that a 40' boat is too small to have a grey water tank unless it is mandatory in the area you sail (like Lake Champlain in Vermont). I think that most important is consider using soap that has no phosphate and that is biodegradable,  deal with any cooking oil separately and put the solids in the garbage. Avoid using chemicals that will have a negative impact on the environment.                                                                                                                                                                 This is also true for the black water tank.  People put tons of chemicals in their toilet to cut down the smell. The smell has to do with the installation of the toilet and tank. Chemicals don't help much just like the lady who went to the doctor because she had gasses.  The doctor gave her a small spray can with wild pine odor that she was to use in emergencies.  She found herself in an elevator with a young man and decided to try the system.  After a minute she asked the young man if he smelled anything.  After sniffing and thinking about it for a second or two, the young man said:" Yes it smells like someone sh..... under a Christmas tree"  I have been in many boats that reminded me of that story                                            All plastic hoses will eventually transpire the contents that circulates through them, hence the smell.  We used PVC (household) piping throughout with flexible joints.  If the tank itself is plastic, you glue  aluminum foil on all its surface to prevent the smell from going through. That is the way my boat is now and I have no need for pine scent. Have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin


Q93: What do I do about cracks in the deck?  Hi Lester, We are planning to paint the deck and we were wondering if anyone can advise us regarding the paint, non-skid areas and the cracks. We want to sand the actual deck pattern and put normal anti-slip (it is already like this in the hatches area). Any advice, especially regarding the cracks on the deck? Thank you! Best regards, Cristina Mandras (s/v Sunrise)

A93a: Cristina, I can tell you what I did, but it did not really eliminate the cracks. I used a dental pick and acetone to clean and flush the cracks on the deck. I then filled them with penetrating epoxy, which, after the epoxy cured, did not quite bring them flush to the deck. As a cosmetic solution, it was a failure, although I felt like it improved the integrity of the deck. I then lightly sanded and painted the decks with a two part polyurethane paint. In the non-skid areas, I put one coat of paint, which gave them a nice appearance without significantly reducing the non-skid. In the smooth areas, I put two coats of polyurethane. When I was done, it looked pretty good, but after a couple of years, the cracks were clearly visible again. So, I guess I failed. I think your approach of sanding off the deck pattern and putting normal anti-slip is a good one. At least the cracks would be covered in those areas. I don't know how you get them to totally go away in the smooth areas. Good luck! Bill Gifford

A93b:  Hi Lester, Respectfully and sight unseen, I would not sand the non-skid deck pattern ! I think the existing contrast between " smooth & non skid "  gives the deck character ..... Why just not re paint over the non skid deck pattern ?? Cheers, Frank Bryant

A93b:  (9/23/2011)  Hello Cristina.  We are Harry and Jane aboard Cormorant, hull #144.  We have been living aboard since 1997 and have been sailing west around, via the Panama and Suez canals, since then.  We are now in Gibraltar and planning to cross the Atlantic this winter.  We just had some other Corbin owners aboard (Hobo, Branko and Maggie) last night and showed them our deck, so you might be able to get another opinion from them.  We used a product that has been 100% satisfactory.
Our molded in non-skid was slippery and dangerous, but we didn't want to spend all the serious money and time to remove all the deck hardware and paint.  Not only was our deck slippery, it also looked "tired" and some areas, especially in the curves of the mold, had gelcoat cracks.  We were in New Zealand at the time and saw the product,
"KiwiGrip" on another boat.  It looked good, they loved it, and we figured it was worth a try.  This was in 2005.  We bought two 4-liter tins of "cream" colored paint.  It also comes standard in a light grey and a blue, but the cream is a perfect blend with the Corbin brownish decks. 
To begin, we washed all the decks thoroughly, sanded all the areas we wanted to paint--very lightly!  We spent only about 4 hours sanding.  We did not grind down the old non-skid at all.  After sanding, we washed again and then carefully taped all the areas where we wanted the non-skid.  This took the longest time, because of all the curves, but it is important in getting a nice looking job done.  In a couple of areas where there were cracks or where we had removed deck hardware and had unsightly patches, we just continued the paint without stopping it at the molded in edges.  Then we were ready to apply.  All this took less than one day.
Kiwi-Grip is a water based paint, so it can be shipped and is easy to use and to clean up.  It comes very thick, and it is put on thick.  It is best to do with 2 people, one to glob the paint out of the can and spread it thickly with a brush.  The other comes along behind with the texture roller (supplied with every can) to create the surface.  There are clear directions on the can and they should be followed.  It dries quickly, so they say to do smaller areas at a time.  They also say to remove the tape right away and not to let the paint dry first.  This is important.
We did our entire boat in two days, and the only reason it took 2 days instead of 1 is that we thought it would be nice to have half the boat to walk on while the other half was drying.  It dries right away to walk on, but then it continues to dry and bond to the deck for about a week.  We put ours on in 2005 in New Zealand, and since then we have sailed to Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indian Ocean, up the Red Sea, and across the Med.  Just a few months ago, we bought some in Italy (found it searching chandleries on-line.  Probably the company could help if you contact them via the web) and re-did the cockpit seats and a deck area where we had removed an unused water fill deck plate.  It goes on easily over the old paint and sticks well.  We could only buy white in Italy, but going to the
Kiwi-Grip website we contacted the owner and he told us how much of what tint to add for a match.  Unless you look closely you can't tell which is new and which is old.  (Actually the old is now a little flatter, but it is still providing excellent grip--see the foredeck photo.  One side is renewed, the other original).  Not a single crack has come through after 6 years, and we put it right over the cracks without digging them out and re-filling them.  None of the paint has peeled off, cracked, or blistered. See cockpitseatnew.jpg, foredeckoldandnew.jpg, pilothousetopold.jpg
We never expected such an inexpensive and easy job to be as attractive and long lasting as it has been.  In another few years, we might put another coat on all the decks, but we'll just wait until it needs it.  We have attached a few photos so you can see what it looks like.  It is hard to get good deck photos because of the color and the shadows, but you should get the idea.  This is the worst it looks because we were leaving Almerimar Marina to head to Gib, and the air there makes the decks very dirty. Harry and JaneHungate, S/Y Cormorant, blog site

A93c:  Hi Lester, The reason for the cracks on the deck is that the gelcoat is thicker in the area of the antiskid due to the diamond pattern which tends to gather more gelcoat.  Thick gelcoat tends to crack.  The good thing is it is only surface cracks and is not structural. If you sand the gelcoat and refinish the surface with paint using sand as an antiskid, like it is usually done, it should solve the problem. I wish you good luck and a great trip.  You bought yourself a great boat. Make sure the painter does not only fill the cracks and paint over them.  The gelcoat has to be sanded down some.  Not necessarely to the fiber, but down some. Have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin

R93c:  Hello Mr. Corbin, Everyone in the yard and in the marina admires our boat. But no one loves her like we do :) I am supervising the painters every day; I will be careful for them to sand as much as necessary. We are in Valencia, Spain and the workers in Spain are not as good as we would want. Best regards, Cristina


Q94:How do I rewire my mast? Lester, can you please help. I am trying to do some rewiring in the mast (Isomat): radar, coax, and a triplex wire for deck and steaming light. Are there internal conduits in the mast that extend below the side exit? Do I need to pull the mast? Gene Stoddard

A94a:  Gene, all masts are probably different.  I have an Isomat clone (Cinkel Canada) and it has 3 extrusions inside the mast, 2 either side near the front and one aft..  They go the full length except that one or two (I forget which)  are cut by the upper spreader supports.  The extrusions each hold a plastic conduit tube and may be cut at whatever height one desires.  I believe the only way to resolve wiring problems is to pull the mast. David Salter  (Here's my mast base, Pic 1)

A94b: Ahoy Gene, We had an Isomat mast previously on our Corbin. It had two conduits, one fore and one aft. The wires within our conduits were bound together with cable ties every couple of feet or so. These wires flex snakelike back and forth across the conduit taking up much of the conduit space. We needed to take our mast down to get the wires out of the cable wraps and add another wire in the conduit. We disconnected all the wires, slid the entire bundle out, added a wire, attached it with cable wraps, slid the whole bundle back in, and reconnected everything. It was not as difficult as it sounded, and went quite smoothly.Hope that helps,  Stephen Lefneski

A94c: Gene, I have an Isomat mast which I rewired several years ago.  I had no conduits in the mast initially but Isomat sells various size conduits which can be slid up the mast from below into a retainer slot so they are fixed.  In order to rewire your mast properly, and certainly to nstall additional conduits, the mast must be removed and put on sawhorses.  Pull out all the old wiring and even remove the mast head temporarally for ease of pulling.  Find the supplier of Isomat masts and accessories and purchase the new conduits you need.  The conduits can be trimmed at the exact point where wires need to exit such as at the spreaders for spreader lights or radar domes before continuing on the the mast head.  I would suggest signal wires be in separate conduits from the power wiring.  If you have room in the conduit you might consider a spare wire for some future device or antenna you might want to install.  Be sure to file smooth the holes where the wire exits the mast and that the wires are not pinched when exiting.  All new wiring should be in double insulated sheaths and be tinned stranded wire of the proper gauge for the devices run.  When the wires exit at the spreaders or at mast head they should exit at 90 degrees and make a slight bend down before heading back up again to the device.  This will prevent  water from entering the mast.  Good luck with your rewiring.  Jack Verheyden (Kathrian - Hull #127)

A94d:  Gene, there is no way you can deal with this mess without pulling the rig.  The wires in the conduit will be impossible to pull out or use as pull throughs for new wiring.  I rewired Two Pelicans mast down. The reason the wiring exit is higher than the conduit end is to form a drip loop.  This exit would be the one to use for all the wiring including the radar if its cable is properly shielded. On deck I would mount an inverted U-shaped stainless steel conduit, one end attached by a flange to the deck where the wiring feeds below, the other end half the length of the U would be where the cables are fed in, then up and over the U and then down. With a suitably  sized piece of pipe and a flange welded on the longer end you will have a barrier to sea water going below through the conduit.  Plug the pipe after the wires are fed in, either with putty  or with a piece of plastic tubing where the wires are fed through, one end inside the mast opening, the other slipped over the inverted shorter end of the conduit.  Use the proper sized  silvered copper wiring......expensive but a one time fix.  Good luck,   Jeremy Parrett

A94e:  Gene, at the time most Corbins were being built, Isomat spars did not have conduits in them. Instead, they had two internal extruded tracks, similar to the sail track on the aft outside of the mast tube.  Isomat would take the appropriate lengths of mast wiring, secure miniature slides every 12 - 18 inches along them, then "hoist" the wiring harness in one of the internal tracks, while fishing wires out of the mast tube at appropriate locations.  With more complex wiring harnesses, they would split the bundle into two harnesses and use both internal tracks.  There is no way to adjust the wiring on a setup like this unless the mast is unstepped. 
You may have something that's been retrofitted, including a conduit (you should be able to see fasteners on the outside of the mast tube used to hold the conduit in place).  In some cases, where advanced planning was employed, it may be possible to fish new wires through a conduit while the mast is stepped, but it is always easier while the mast is laid flat.  In any event, your biggest issue may be the exit plate on your mast; a non-standard fitting for an Isomat spar and one I've never seen before.
Good luck, Chris Reynolds, former owner of s/v Tamalmar, Corbin 39 pilothouse cutter, hull 083

A94f:  Gene, The rewiring of a mast is much, much easier done with the mast down, especially if you are going to replace all the wiring. That being said, many times the wiring is filled with 3M 5200 at the base of the mast to prevent water from entering. To get wires out of 5200 is not an easy task if you don`t have access to it. There are internal conduits but the radar wire was big and often times did not make it inside the conduits. The radar cable usually goes out at the 1st spreader so it is about 20`long. Again, May I suggest that the mast be taken down for re-wiring.  Have a wonderful day.  Marius Corbin


Q95:  Hi Lester, Can you tell me who manufactured the Corbin bowsprits and if they are still available. Mine has some small cracks and I am considering whether to repair or replace it. Sim Hoggarth

A95a:  Sorry, I do not know. Mine is in good shape. If I was him I would call a marine stainless fabricator for a repair  Stephen Lefnesky

A95b:  The original bowsprits were made of stainless steel by a company called Tops . Tops was located in Michigan, I think; not sure where or if they are still in business. Mike Cashin

A95c:  Sim,  Some of the Toronto area owners had bowsprits made by Klacko Spars.  I imagine they could repair or replace your unit.  They also made a lot of other stainless steel parts for the Corbin.  Regards, David Salter  s/v. Opportunity

A95d: Hi Sim, My wife Wendy and I have a Corbin 39, hull number 195 -phcc. We bought our boat in Nassau Dec. 2010 and keep it at Grand Bahamas. I expect that we have the same bow sprit. I do not know know who built it.  Shortly after we bought our boat we had to have the bobstay replaced. The bobstay had been a threaded rod. We replaced it with a combination of rod and chain (at the water). A welder/machinist in Marsh Harbour, Abacos did the work for us. David Hibbard  (Endorphin)

A95e: Hi Lester, While I was on the hard in Beaufort NC (Bock Marine) during 2006, I found a 1/4" wall 3" in diameter SS bowsprit from an old Abekin Ramussen ketch that had fallen onto the ground. Haggling with Kenny Bock......for $350 it was soon on the ground under Two Pelican's bow!! It weighed a ton. I shortened and sleeved the 'arms' so we could align it to the Corbin's hull before welding; built a scaffolding to sit it on and then bolted it on . There are 8 x 3/8" bolts on each attachment plate, through bolted into the fwd deck locker above the airex core, backed up with equivalent sized 3/8" thick backing plates!! I used an old chainplate welded to a fitted 12" x 12" ss plate to secure the bobstay which is a 1" ss solid rod. The end of the chainplate pokes through the hull while the plate is well expoxied into the inside of the hull. A bead of 5200 around the protruding chain plate finished the job. Moving the whole foretriangle fwd 48 inches has eliminated all the weather helm. I removed the staysail boom; moved the staysail inner stay at deck level to the old forestay fitting at the bow, and fitted a new attachment higher up on the mast. I now have a very useable inner foretriangle as well . Two deck tracks for the sheets finished the job. Fair winds and calm seas, Jeremy Parrett                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           [Editor's Note: The headstay will try to pull the bowsprit aftward. You must secure the sprit very securely to the hull and to the deck to prevent this from happening.]

A95f:: See Joint Effort, Joint Effort bowsprit

A95g:  Hi Lester, The name of the company that did the bowsprits was Tops-In-Quality in Michigan I think....  I do not know if they are still in business. Have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin


Q96:  Hello Lester,  I'm going to be looking at an older Corbin 39 that has soft spots in the cabin sole.  I'd like to know how the boat was built to determine  how serious the damage is. Could you please tell me, if in your opinion, if soft spots in the cabin sole are structural problems related to rotted thwarts (knees) or a cosmetic problem?  I was "told" the boat was a factory boat, but the owner is dead and his widow may not really know.  If the boat has structural problems I probably won't buy it, if all I have to do is replace some flooring, I'll try to buy it. Thanks & Sincerely, Tom Hally"

A96a:  Tom, I don't know how the factory-built boats dealt with the cabin sole.  In my boat the supports, or floors, are like vertical mini bulkheads made from 2 layers of 3/4" mahogany ply that were bonded [together] with epoxy and then covered with fibreglass.  Then a piece of solid mahogany, about 3"x3", was attached to the top to span the hull.  I
made most of my cabin sole consist of removeable panels so that the bilge and hull could be inspected.  This is particularly important in the even of external.hull damage.  If you are keen on buying the boat I suggest you ask the owner if you can cut out a section of the sole.  This is fairly drastic but I can't think of another way to resolve the question.  You should be able to advise the owner that other potential customers will have similar concerns.  The cutout panel should obviously be in a position that would allow it to be used
as a future keel access hatch [and for storage]. Regards, David Salter s/v Opportunity

A96b:  Lester, Don't know what to make of this !  Certainly it's nothing structural, just an underfloor issue. maybe ?? the plywood got soft somehow ... ?  or maybe it was too thin in the first place ?  My sole is on 3/4 plywood. Sorry I could not contribute much. Cheers,  Frank B.

A96c:  Recommend that he take a look below the floor boards to see if there is an obvious reason for the soft spots. If he is still interested in the boat after that then a surveyor can help him determine whether this is a big or little issue. Stephen L.

A96d:  Hi Lester, Our 1984 Corbin #153 also has soft spots and one place where you can see the sole was replaced. Getting a closer look, it seems to just be some sole lamination deterioration and not structural (a future project I'm sure). In one spot it looks like some penetrating epoxy was used with limited success and some discoloration. Gene & Patti S., s/v Swell Dish _/)

A96e:  Hi Lester, Many people say their boat is factory built but it is not always the case. The flooring is built with 3/4" mahogany plywood, covered with 1/4" teak and holly floor.  It could be that one of these two parts has separated or is rotten. I would doubt very much it is structural.  There are openings in the floor that will allow you to check for rot from under the floor. Have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin

A96f:  Tom, Lester, It's going to be difficult to tell what the issue is and how extensive it is without taking a good look.  Then there's the question of differences in how each boat was built. When we purchased our Corbin, we had the sole factory-installed.  In this case, the knees and stringers below the sole were well encased in 
fiberglass but the sole itself was just raw marine plywood without any sealant applied to the underside, allowing for the potential for rot. We didn't have issues during our time owning her, but who knows now. Chris Reynolds, Formerly s/v Tamalmar (hull 83)

A96g:  Tom, If factory finished, the supporting floors should be of substantially thick solid mahogany beams and thick marine mahogany plywood bulkheads. Because most of the boats were sold in various kit plans it is impossible for me to answer your question. However, if the joinery inside looks professionally done then the boat was probably factory finished. If the boat was kit finished only a careful inspection of the supporting flooring (the supporters of the sole) will tell if the problem is structural or cosmetic. The entire interior of my boat was finished by the previous owner and is still very solid despite the intrusion of fresh water on at least two occasions when the hull up to the salon sole was immersed in fresh water. Your problem is probably cosmetic. Inspect the flooring. Also, smell for rot. Lester H.

A96h:  Hi Tom-- Attached are two pictures (I thought that I had more) of my boat under construction at the factory in '84. The first picture shows the forward bulkhead in the main salon.  Looking closely, you will see just aft of the main bulkhead, a stringer glassed to the hull; there will be one glassed to the starboard side also.  Salon Sole Support Stringer Fwd  There is also a bilge bulkhead glassed into place a few feet behind the main bulkhead.        The second picture shows the underlayment plywood (appx 3/4" marine grade) sole resting on the above mentioned stringer and bilge bulkheads and glassed into place with tabs on the outboard edges.  Salon Sole Plywood  The underlayment plywood sole was secured to the bilge bulkheads, I believe, with Morebond and screwed down with SS screws.  There would be another bilge bulkhead between the two tanks seen in the picture.  All of this created a solid floor, covered with an appx 1/4" teak and holly plywood which was secured with Morebond.                                                                                                                                  I I I I would suspect that water, perhaps from a leaking tank, may have somehow collected onto the plywood underlayment between the top covering teak and holly and the underlayment.  This, over time, would cause punkiness and softness.  Just a wild guess.  Doug Archibald  S/V CHAOS! (ex)                                                                                                                                                                                  [Ed. Note: The two pictures show a very solid substructure that not only supports the cabin sole but makes the hull more solid and rigid.]

A96i:  Tom, I have hull #25 and have been installing new sole for awhile now. Thing is on my Corbin the sole is not structural but can add support to the overall stiffness. I would inspect the soft spots to see if it is in the stringers or supports. More than likely the sole is the issue. I am using an African rosewood that can be submerged in water for long periods without ill affect with only teak oil applied. Even if it were a small amount of rot due to poor sole installation it would not scare me from the purchase. These Corbin's are literal tanks of the oceans and if water intrusion is caught early and repaired properly the boat has many more oceans to cross.......Fair winds, Keith Boettger


Q97:  Dear Lester,  Q: Keel sole repair: (A) What material is the sole of the keel and how has it been joined with the rest of the hull? (B) What is the best strategy for repair, especially: what should I use to fill a cavity? Background: When we surveyed my Corbin, we noticed damage to the sole of the keel. No information was available as to the type of damage or when it happened, but by the looks of it this may be many years old grounding damage. I have attached two images: (1) an overview showing the crack at the leading edge and the "cavity" at the stern See Pic 1: Overview and a close-up of the stern damage  See Pic 2: Closeup. Forward, I think the crack around the edge suggests that the sole was not laid up with the hull but cast separately. Aft, probing with a screwdriver dislodged a few walnut-size chunks of material, almost like gravel, and this left the white spot that is visible in the photo. No fibers are apparent at that spot. Since this was pre-purchase, we refrained from probing more vigorously.  Boris S.

A97a:  Boris, I have one of the early Corbins and I'm still building it. Nearly finished though. The Corbins were laid up in two longitudinal halves. Then the two halves  were lifted together and glassed on the inside to form a single structure. In my understanding there were no old or new hulls. There was but a single hull mold from which all the Corbins were made. There was, however, a fire at the factory which destroyed the deck molds . So today you will see two configurations , for example, of the pilothouse, the old and the new.  Since the hull is one piece there is no separate keel. You will not find a line where the keel attaches to the hull. No keel bolts or anything like that. The ballast is internal. It was placed in the bilge from the inside of the hull. It was glassed in place and covered over with fiberglass. In looking at the photograph of the underside of the keel  I believe I can see  the line down the middle where the two halves of the hull were put together.  This would mean that I am looking  at fiberglass, with the gelcoat having the barnacle growth attached. No problem here. Some epoxy or acrylic filler material should solve the problem. If, however, I am looking at exposed lead, and i'm suggesting this because I don't  see a radius where the side of the keel turns to the underside, then you will need to glass the underside of the keel. 
          In reviewing your note i find that I failed to address the issue of the walnut size chunks you've extracted  This has me puzzled. I don't believe this is fiberglass,  Is this lead that has been in touch with salt water and it's corrosive effects?  If so how extensive is it?  Until you've made a determination on these issues it's pretty hard  to suggest a solution. Sincerely, Richard Bakker= , s/v no name yet.

A97b:  Boris, The keel and the hull were built and laminated together, and so is the bottom of the keel. The center of the hull, including the keel, had additional layers put in  and in order to do so, and since the back end of the keel is so narrow, we had to fill the aft end with putty (about 2 feet). Additional layers were then put in. Therefore, the aft end of the keel is not structural and is considered sacrificial. Consequently, when damaged, you only need to fill the  damaged part with putty and cover the repair with a couple of layers of fiberglass. The bottom should be repaired using alternating layers of 24 ounce woven roving and 1.5 ounce mat, starting laminations with mat.  There are many layers on the bottom and you only need to replace whatever was damaged. But, putting too much is better protection for future groundings (I know, I know, you never ground...).  Personally I would put a minimum of 10 layers of alternating mat and roving and finish with 2 layers of mat.  At 1/32 of an inch each you should have 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch thick.  The more, the better. Hope the above will be of some help, and have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin 

A97c:   Hi Boris, I'm assuming that the photos you provided are of the bottom of the keel... Perhaps Marius can elaborate further on the building process, but it appears to me that after the hull is removed from the mold, the keel void is liberally lined with a filler before the lead keel is dropped in. The yellowish-orange stuff at the centre of the keel damage is probably the filler, and I'm guessing that whatever caused the damage knocked out a bit of the filler.  To repair the voids you will need to fill with a resin/filler mix - you could even use finely chopped fiberglass to thicken the resin. Since you will be filling something upside-down, there will be a tendency for the filler to spill out. Get some heavy cardboard and shape it so it can catch the filler and keep it in the hole. To do this you may have to clamp the cardboard in place accross the vertical sides of the keel, so the cross section of the cardboard is a U. Put a plastic drop cloth on the inside of the cardboard and you will have no problems removing it after the filler has cured! Obviously you must sand the surface of the repair area and clean it so everything bonds well.                                                                                                                                                                      Once the filler has cured, grind down the vertical sides of the keel to about 12 inches above the bottom of the keel. Clean with acetone and cut fiberglass cloth to complete the repair. The cloth should be: (1). a piece just wide enough to span the horizontal bottom of the keel, (2). a piece that covers the bottom of the keel and goes 3 inches up either side, (3). a piece that covers the bottom ond goes 6 inches up, (4). a piece that covers the bottom and goes 9 inches up, (5) a piece that covers the bottom and goes 12 inches up. This will give a solid repair and roughly 8 - 10 mm of glass on the bottom of the keel. Use biaxial /chopped strand fiberglass and epoxy resin. To finish you will need an epoxy filler like Interlux's interfill 830 lightweight epoxy filler (it is good stuff, I have used it alot) then sand til fair and coat with one more coat of epoxy resin. Sand lightly and reapply primer and bottom paint. Charlie G.

A97d:    Boris, As far as I know, the layup for the keel was poured resin to set the first lead ballast into and then many layers of matt and roving between the 4 layers of lead ballast topped off with a final 14 layers of matt and roving at the turn of the bilge.  The keel itself was laid up as an integral part of the hull.   If Phoenix has a "shoe" attached to the foot of the keel it was a previous owners modification. Hope this helps.   Jeremy P.

A97e: It looks to me, from the pictures, that someone has cut the fibreglass cover off the bottom to the entire keel.  Corbin hulls were laid up as an encapsulated keel which would be filled from the inside.  Normally the keel enclosure would be filled with lead although I have also heard of concrete being used at times.  It also looks to me as if this keel is filled with concrete.  However I could be wrong and misinterpreting the photo.  Take a chisel to it and see what comes out.
          My advice would be to ensure this keel is well dried out and have that fiberglass reinstalled.  This needs to be done properly with the right amount of layers which Marius can comment on.  Boris, if you don't have much experience with this I would suggest you engage someone with experience in fireglass repairs.  Left unprepared it will certainly lead to serious delimitation of the keel enclosure…especially in freezing winter climates such as Toronto. Jack V.)= 

A97f:  Boris, the following comments are from a beginner in fiberglass work, although I have made one repair to the bottom of my keel.  I was able to enlarge Pic 1 by clicking on it. The sides of the keel, at the top of the pic, looked normal and the forward half of the bottom looked normal, but the aft half of the bottom with the cavities looked awful and your comment about being able to remove walnut size chunks that looked like concrete aggregate causes me to be concerned. Here is a pic that may be helpful, Scaled view of Corbin profile.      Sorry that it is sideways. When I click on the view it enlarges. It shows, to scale, where the putty is in the keel and where the lead ballast is. Note that the lead is immediately above the bottom layers of fiberglass. I would follow Marius Corbin's advice and strengthen that part of the bottom  that appears weak and crumbly. Lester H.

A97g:  Hi Boris, Two weeks ago our Corbin was about to be put back in the water after being on the hard for 9 months, during which she had her topsides repainted, when a yard worker noted water dripping from the keel. It transpired that a previous owner had hit the bottom and the repair was to put a fibreglass 'patch' over the damage; over the years water had got in behind the patch and up into the keel! The repair involved chipping out the resin until there was no water, leaving a hole about the size of a walking boot. A gallon of acetone was then used to ensure all dampness was removed. Then two gallons of resin, four gallons of thinner and three yards of fibreglass were applied. This took two guys two days lying on their backs with 'Antic' waiting in the slings! Hope this gives you some idea of what has top be done. Regards, Matt E.


Q98:  Ahoy Skipper Lester, I am cruising in Cuban waters at this moment and I will be cruising till the end of April, then be on land for the rest of the year. On an other note, after a very nasty overnight of sailing (30 knt on the beam, sea 10 ft) off the Cuban coast, I noticed that I had water seeping through the joint hull to deck. Is it a common problem of the aging Corbin or is it a rare occurrence? I already re-caulked all the fasteners at the joint. What is the fix for this problem? Valois Nadeau,  s/v Giva

A98a:  Hi Lester, Wow, that is a first.   I thought the hull to deck joint was done at the factory........maybe Marius has some comments.  My bet would be the chain plates deck seal are leaking. I have had to dig all mine out and using 5200 I refilled the recess and reinstalled the cover more leaks !!       Jeremy P.

A98b:  Hi Valois, My preferred fix is to take off the toe rail, sand/grind the joint surface beneath and then run a 2 or 3 inch strip of fiberglass over the joint. Fill the surface, fair it and then paint. You will then have to re install the toe rail. Although you will still have the holes created by the bolts that hold the toe rail down, you will have eliminated the vast number of hull/deck thru bolts as sources for water leakage. If you don't have the time to lift off the whole toe rail, be sure to fully renew the caulking around the edge of the toe rail at the point where it meets the hull/deck. Use a quality caulk with a good UV resistance. I'm sure West Marine, Cuba (!!) will be able to advise. All the best, Charlie G. S/V Pinguescence

A98c: Valois, (1) Here is what John Neal said Solving Caprail Leaks "Hull to Deck Joint: There are several methods of attaching the hull and deck of fiberglass boats. The most common method utilizes bolts or screws protruding through on the inside of the hull to the deck joint. This a mechanical clamp joint is relying on the bond of a sealant adhesive (3M 5200 is often used) to stop leaks. After eight to 12 years and several thousand miles of ocean sailing the sealant/adhesive loses some of its elasticity. Due to the working of the boat and the different climatic conditions the toerail and hull expand, contract and flex at different rates eventually weakening the bond, allowing water to follow the bolt or screw threads down, and drip on the inside of your lockers. Two Methods of Solving Caprail Leaks Remove the teak cap rail or aluminum extruded toerail and clean and re-bed each bolt. Radius the inside of the joint with epoxy and microballoons and then lay several layers of fiberglass tape over the inside of the joint, totally sealing it and strengthening the area at the same time. A more trouble-free hull to deck joint utilizes substantial fiberglass bonding on the interior of the joint, eliminating mechanical fasteners and leaks.

(2) I say that leaks are caused by: (a) adding thru-deck fasteners improperly, (b) pushing the boat by the upper part of a stanchion instead of its base, and (c) etc.


Q99: What sealant should I use?

A99a: What Sealant Do You Need? by Don Casey  In every Marine Center you will find an array of different sealants and caulks sufficient to make your head spin. With so many choices, how do you know which one you need? It is not as difficult as you might think. Virtually all modern marine sealants fall into one of just three types, each with specific characteristics that make it the best choice for some jobs and unsuitable for others. Selecting the right sealant is essentially a matter of identifying the materials you are wanting to seal--specifically if any component is plastic--and of determining the likelihood of ever needing to separate these components. If neither component is plastic and if you want to preserve your ability to disassemble the joint, use polysulfide. Polysulfide is the most versatile of marine sealants. It is a synthetic rubber with excellent adhesive characteristics, and you can use it for almost everything. As a bedding compound it allows for movements associated with stress and temperature change, yet maintains the integrity of the seal by gripping tenaciously to both surfaces. It is also an excellent caulking compound since it can be sanded after it cures and it takes paint well. However, the solvents in polysulfide sealant attack some plastics, causing them to harden and split. Specifically, you must not use polysulfide to bed plastic windshields or plastic portlights--either acrylic (Plexiglas) or polycarbonate (Lexan). Don't use it to bed plastic deck fittings either, including plastic portlight frames. Plastic marine fittings are typically ABS or PVC, and polysulfide will attack both. If you know that the plastic fitting is made of epoxy, nylon, or Delrin, you can safely bed it with polysulfide. Below-the waterline through-hull fittings are in this group, but when there is any doubt, select an alternative sealant. Polysulfide adheres well to teak (a special primer improves adhesion), and is unaffected by harsh teak cleaners, making it the best choice for bedding teak rails and trim. The black caulking between the planks of a teak deck is invariably polysulfide. For this application, a two-part polysulfide gives the best results.  Polysulfide is the slowest curing of the three sealant types, often taking a week or more to reach full cure. Because it will adhere to almost anything, polysulfide has a maddening propensity to get on everything, so neatness is called for in using this sealant. Polysulfide sealants will have polysulfide printed on the package, or sometimes Thiokol--the trademark for the polymer that is the main ingredient of all polysulfide sealants regardless of manufacturer.                                                                                                 If you want the two components to be joined together permanently, use polyurethane. Think of polyurethane as an adhesive rather than a sealant. Its grip is so tenacious that its bond should be thought of as permanent. If there seems to be any likelihood that you will need to separate the two parts later, do not use polyurethane to seal them. Polyurethane is the best sealant for the hull-to-deck joint. It is also a good choice for through-hull fittings and for rubrails and toerails, but not if rails are raw teak because some teak cleaners soften it. Like polysulfide, polyurethane should not be used on most plastics--acrylic, polycarbonate, PVC, or ABS. The cure time for polyurethane is generally shorter than polysulfide, but still may be up to a week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                For bedding plastic components or where insulation is desirable, silicone is the default choice. Calling silicone a sealant is something of a misrepresentation. It is more accurate to characterize it as a gasket material. If you accept silicone's adhesive abilities as temporary, you will find it is the best product for a number of sealing requirements. It is the only one of the marine sealant trio than can be safely used to bed plastic. It is an excellent insulator between dissimilar metals--use it when mounting stainless hardware to an aluminum spar. It is the perfect gasket material between components that must be periodically dismantled--beneath hatch slides, for example. Silicone retains its resilience for decades and is unaffected by most chemicals, but it should not be used below the waterline. Because it depends upon mechanical compression to maintain its seal, silicone is not a good choice for sealing hardware on a cored deck. Exposed silicone is a magnet for dirt and repels paint, so never fillet with silicone, and don't use it on any surface you plan to paint. Silicone sealants typically set in a few minutes and reach full cure in less than a day.                                                                                                                                    For an adhesive seal of plastic components, select a silicone/polyurethane hybrid. An adhesive sealant maintains its seal even when stresses pull or pry the bedded components apart. The sealant stretches like the bellows joining the two sides of an accordion. This accordion effect can be especially useful for plastic portlight installations where the portlights are captured between an inner and outer frame. Although silicone has amazing elasticity, its lack of adhesion means any expansion of the space between the frames is likely to cause the seal to fail. Either polysulfide or polyurethane would provide a more dependable seal, but polysulfide is certain to attack the plastic, and polyurethane prohibits any future disassembly. The answer to this dilemma is a hybrid sealant--part silicone and part polyurethane. Marketed by BoatLife as Life Seal, this mixture promises a longer-lasting seal for portlights and other plastic fittings where compression of the sealant cannot be assured.                                                                                     For more information about sealing and bedding, consult Sailboat Hull & Deck Repair by Don Casey.


Q100  "Lester, I would be interested to know what other boat owners have used when changing out the cutlass bearing on their propeller shaft?  I am chiefly interested in knowing if their replacement had a brass sleeve or if it was non-metalic. Thanks for your help. David Hibbard"

A100a:  David, I have a bronze (or brass) sleeved cutless bearing and it has not needed replacement. I bought a non metallic bearing as a spare part when building the boat. This was made by Thordon and they still exist!  The bearing is made slightly oversized and is fitted by freezing to shrink it and allow an interference fit according to the installation instructions I have. The following comes from :
XL Propeller Shaft Bearings - are available in a full range of shafts from 3/4" to 40". These bearings have their water grooves moulded in. They are designed as direct replacements for bronze/rubber Cutless type bearings. XL Propeller shaft bearings are available fully-finished, ready to install, and semi-finished for machining to suit specific shaft and housing dimensions. Semi-finished bearings are designed with a small amount of extra material on the inside and outside so that they can be machined to accommodate minor variations in shaft and housing dimensions.  D. Salter, s/v Opportunity

A100b:  David, Brass ............. replaced in 2002 / 2003 still good as new in 2012. Get at least 1" longer than you need, that will help to get it moving if you need to take it out again & grease it before re install ) Oooops ! Grease the brass sleeve ...... not the rubber insert Frank Bryant ( Visitant # 186 )


Q101:  Tim writes, "Have been reading about the Autoprop propeller brand on this site and elsewhere. My Hull # 154 has Westerbeke 33 with hurth 150 transmission. Currently have 18" fixed prop which seems adequate under limited conditions ; however reversing is tricky to say the least. Anyone else have experience with these props? I read Jeremy's and David's accounts, but these were quite a time back. Perhaps they and others might update their views. Autoprop has proposed a 19.5 inch (h5-506mm) for this application. Best regards", Tim Baggett

A101a:  Tim, Although I don't have an Autoprop I do have a 3-blade Variprofile propellor. It is 21" with approx. 13" pitch and drives our boat quite well. It has a feathering propellor so that in reverse it reverses the blades and gives the boat equal thrust in reverse as in forward. This has greatly improved our boat handling in tight places and reversing is also improved somewhat. I don't think you will ever get a Corbin to reverse all that well due to the fairly long keel. It will never back into a dock like a Beneteau with a fin keel. I think a reversing prop is the best you can achieve and the rest…well you just learn to live with it.   Jack Verheyden (Kathrian – hull#127)

A101b:  My Autoprop is working fine after 6 years.  Jeremy Parrett

A101c:  Hi Tim, Responding to an email from Lester re: your Autoprop. Don't know anyone that has one. I assume that Autoprop has the same profile Forward / Reverse eg. my 20" J Prop does. The only issue being the pitch. I don't know if the Autoprop's pitch is field adjustable. Again my J Prop pitch is and it took a few tries to get it right. Cheers, Frank Bryant ( Visitant # 186 )

A101d:  Tim, I only understand the prop diameter from your message and don't see the pitch. This sounds too large for a 33 HP engine. I have a 40 HP Pathfinder and my prop is smaller than the one you refer to, at 18" dia and 12" pitch. It is also an H5 with 3 blades. Regards, David Salter

A101e: Dear Tim, This response might be a bit late to be of much use to you but here is my experience with Autoprop…  "Blue Run" has a Westerbeke W58 with a Hurth V-drive transmission (15 degree down angle). Engine under the companionway steps.
          I installed an 18" Autoprop in 2006. Under flat water no wind conditions we get 6.5 knots at about 1800 rpm. At 2100 rpm (the engines torque peak) we will make 7+. With wind we lose about a knot and with waves in the 3 to 4 foot range about 2 knots all at the same rpm. I do not usually run at higher rpm however the engine is rated for continuous output at 3000 rpm and a maximum output at 3600 rpm so there is some reserve available. I have been very pleased with the performance of the propeller.
          Regarding backing: the Autoprop has lots of bite in reverse however the geometry of the hull, the 15 degree downward slope of the propeller shaft, and the shaft offset to starboard combine to create a substantial prop wash effect due mainly to the wash from the propeller hitting the hull and pushing the boat sideways. This effect will vary from boat-to-boat depending on the geometry of the drive-train. With a sail drive the prop wash effect should be near nil and only the prop walk will be present. A boat with a flat or near flat bottom will be little affected by the prop wash.
          Something unrelated to the propeller that can affect backing is the installation of a hydraulic autopilot servo. If it limits rudder angle on the wrong side it may make it impossible to compensate for the prop walk/prop wash effects. George Weeks


Q102:  Jeremy writes, "Hi Lester, Recently I have my hooks into a Yanmar 4JH4-HTE turbo diesel. This Yanmar has 2000 hours on it, new alternator, engine mounts, etc and a rebuilt KM4A transmission. The price is $5700 complete. Question: Has anyone installed a 4 cylinder Yanmar as a repower ? If so I would like to hear all about the issues a project such as this can produce." Best wishes, Jeremy and Jane

A102a:  Jeremy, Some loose thoughts re: your repower ........ Having repowered ( former Visitant ) to a new 50 HP Beta BV2203, the big issue with me was the mounting. Specifically: Compatibilty with existing engine bed, incl. the final allignment of the shaft with the boat's Stuffing Box.
In my case, since I did not want to do this at the boat, I had the time to duplicate the existing engine bed in my shop and only minor re location of the Beta engine mounts were needed to meet up with the old engine bed. Obviously you need to research the Yanmar foot print prior to ........ or have the Yanmar engine on hand. By having the duplicate engine bed off site, allowed me to allign everything incl. the final height ( angle ) of the drive shaft / engine before hand and all that was done on site was re drilling the engine mount in the boat's bed. In my case, there was a 3/8" thick s/s flat bar moulded into ( inside ) each length of engine bed stringer. You can re drill and re tap it, or some people just lag bolt the engine mounts.
Regardless how you proceed, I would strongly suggest installing a " squeeze " bulb on the fuel supply line. This will allow you to prime the fuel filters etc. by hand until you hear the fuel returning to tank. Doing this I have NEVER had to air bleed the system, esp. after filter change.
You may also want to service your Stuffing Box, ie. new or double clamps, shaft seal, packing ( put 1 xtra ring of it ) incl. tightness as this will NOT be accessible after the engine is mounted.
Hope that helps, good luck Jeremy & don't hesitate to write if you need more. Frank Bryant

A102b:  Hi Jeremy and Jane, Before taking my Corbin down through the South Pacific I replaced my old Volvo engine with this same Yanmar. The engine ran beautifully for the whole 4 years but there were problems with the installation. The transmission is a 2 to 1 ratio. My existing V drive is also with a 2 to 1 ratio. One had to be changed. New V drives would not fit into my boat without major changes so a ZF hydraulic transmission was added to the Yanmar. The transmission failed several times until I got it properly overhauled in Australia. (Another problem with a hydraulic type transmission is that it does not stop the free wheeling of the prop under sail.) My Yanmar now has over 2500 hours and runs very smoothly and dependably. It is a very common type of engine in the South Pacific so parts and help is available. The price sounds great, I ended up with a total bill for $25000 for one installed new. Good luck, and great sailing. Nick Fenger, Dragon Star

A102c:  Hi Jeremy! Just repowered with a yanmar 4jh5e, not the turbo but the naturally aspirated version. Am ecstatic about the result, now doing 8 knots at 3k rpm if needed, cruising/motorsailing at 6kn with 1500 rpm. In my case the transmission was too long and had to be replaced with a shorter one so that the front of the engine could be raised so that the shaft would meet the transmission flange. Engine bed was redone twice at my expense although the installer screwed it up. Make sure your prop matches the engine too. Write if you have questions.  Gerry S.

A102d: Hi Jeremy, Yes, I have recently repowered from a Westerbeke 38B to the bigger Yanmar. Also with the km4a tranny with zero angle. We had to modify the bed rails slightly and raise the doghouse about 3 inches. The exhaust had to be upgraded to 3" and a new prop fit to handle the horses. What a difference in overall close handling and backing! If you do go ahead with it make sure you are prepared for a major upgrade and not just a motor swap… Fair Winds Keith B. s/v Agape

A102e: Lester, The specs state that the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE is a 110 HP Turbo. For what it's worth, Beta is Kubota based, a simple & uncomplicated " Cast Iron " engine that is widely used in mining equipment etc. or where the eqpt. runs 24/7 for days on end.
I was not involved in the calculations regarding the HP / Transmission or the Prop Size / pitch etc. for a given boat, It is done by people much smarter than I.
Suffice it to say that the Gearbox ( if it comes with engine from the factory ) is always sized to accomodate the HP of the engine, the important variable being gear ratio. That is important with regard to the output shaft speed for a given type of prop. That's why it's worth looking at adjustable pitch prop, as no matter what one calculates, it will NOT be the right thing and would need to be field adjustable. Cheers, Frank Bryant


Q103:  Lester, I've been looking on line to find a Corbin logo so we can get some hats and clothing apparel made up with our boat's name but can't seem to find anything. I didn't know if this is something new or you've entertained this request before. If there is nothing available I was going to work with a local embroiderer to make one up myself with an outline of the boat and "Corbin 39" across the image. See please let me know of existing artwork or an embroidery image already available. Dan N. s/v Trustworthy


A103a:  I had this same question when I first bought my Corbin, and after lengthy research, came across a silhouette of an animal seal. I have also seen an image of this seal on a sailing Corbin 39, with the seal pointing nose down. I would be curious to know what other owners have found or are using on their mainsails.

     My mainsail is from another Corbin boat because there is a black crow or raven silhouette on it. A bec de corbin is a type of pole weapon that was popular in medieval Europe. The name is Old French for "crow's beak". So as “Corbin” is Old French for “Crow”, possibly an earlier owner decided on this Crow silhouette as an appropriate logo. Tim T. s/v Silent Running

A103b: Lester , I have a Corbin logo on my mainsail as shown in this photograph of Jakatar taken by a fellow boater along the Portuguese coast. See Jakatar Mainsail Logo . I had the sail made by Lee Sails in Hong Kong. At the time they said they would place the Corbin logo on the mainsail for free. I have no idea where they got the logo or if they simply invented one. Horacio M. s/v Jakatar

A103c:  Lester, we looked into the logo situation when we bought a new mainsail in 2005. We got some sticky black fabric from the sailmaker and made the logo shown in Photo 2.   Photo 3 was supplied by Corbin as transfers and we have one on each side of the wheelhouse.

     I think the origin of the logo is the French word, Corbeau, which translates as Raven. David S. s/v Opportunity .

A103d: My wife and I have hull 195 built in 1989 and factory finished. Currently named 'Endorphin' and kept in Freeport G.B. The original mainsail was still in use when we bought the boat in 2010. The following season we ordered a new mainsail from Halsey UK's Miami loft. (Not the best service,  though the sails are good). They had the Corbin logo in their database. Most sail lofts will have just about all of the logos available for recognized production sailboats. We used the Seal logo with the hull number 195 below it. David H. s/v Endorphin

A103e: Here is the Corbin logo as a Seal, shown in AngelFire, Corbin Logo.  Robert H. s/v Est d'Eden.

A103f:  This is what was made for me by the sailmaker (also, the one in the original sales brochure) Visitant's Mainsail Logo.  Frank B. s/v Visitant

A103g:  My mainsail has an upright seal with a 39 under it. Guy V. s/v Tangaroa V

A103h:  [Ed. Note: I think the majority of owners are using the upright seal with a 39 underneath. Lester]


Q104:  Lester, I have a question about my bilge. The bilge has a bulkhead aft of the galley, a bulkhead forward of the galley , then a chain holding partition two feet forward, and lastly a partition forward of the mast.. My two bilge pumps are at the forward end of the bilge, just aft of the head bulkhead. I want bilge water to move freely from under the pilothouse to the pumps.                                                                                                                                                                                  The first owner cut a two inch hole in the PH bulkhead and a two inch hole in the forward partition. Both holes are an inch above the bilkge bottom so they do nothing to drain most bilge water. They were probably intended for emergency drainage. There are one inch slits in the two partitions at the sides but these limber "holes" get clogged easily and become useless.

I want to drill a 1/4" hole in each of the bulkheads/partitions in the center bottom, as low as possible. Is there a problem developed by doing this? Does this sound OK with you? Do you have any other suggestion?  Anonymous

A104a:  This is a tricky job, face down in the bilge! I made quarter circle cutouts each side in my original bilge bulkheads; easy to do before glassing them in. I can't see a problem in drilling holes now but I would suggest larger than 1/4", say 3/4" at least. You will also find this easier using a right angle drive drill or adapter I should think. After drilling you should paint the raw wood or glass with epoxy. Regards, David S.

A104b:  Hi Lester, Weird !!! As my bilge had a few bulkheads but there was a 1" channel along each side of the bilge cavity that was below the floor level of the bilge. Those channels ran right to a 12" Sump cavity (lower than the bilge floor) at the mast compression post in the bilge.

You need to drill about a 1" hole in each corner of the bulkhead at floor level (remember, because of heel ...) and then saw out the part that's round at the floor level.  You will end up with a horseshoe shape with no wood at the floor level.

Maybe you could try to position your wood bit or holesaw at the very lower corner of the bulkhead and you may get away with minimum sawing after ...... ?????
Paint the raw wood with epoxy.  Cheers, Frank B.

A104c:  Hi Lester , There is no problem doing this. I would make those holes a minimum of 1" because a 1/4" hole will always be clogged. Have a wonderful day.  Marius Corbin


Q105: Lester, I would like to post a question about replacing the 8 port lights in the hull. Mine are leaking badly and I was hoping to get some feedback from other owners who may have already done the job. Vince S. s/v Witch of the Waves

A105a:  I am presently replacing all the acrylic windows and the hatch lens as well. Use ½” cast acrylic, tinted in the shade desired. Make sure it comes with peelable paper on both sides. Use Cast–not extruded, it’s stronger. There is one extruded with a scratch resistant coating, if you want, but Cast is quite scratch resistant. Don’t be tempted to use Lexan (polycarbonate) just because it’s what they use in bulletproof glass. It isn’t as stiff as acrylic – it bends easily – that’s what absorbs a bullet, but you don’t want it to bend and pop out of the window frame. It also yellows quite quickly and scratches easily.

You will need to take out a window and make a template. My center cockpit has radiused edges. I laid out a cutting pattern that accommodated all my windows on the size of sheet I was working and cut them on a table saw. The corners are radiused as well and I did that with the saw and final shaping on my bench sander. I made a router stand and rounded all the edges with a ¼” roundover bit.

Don’t take the paper off until you want to install them.

Making them was easy – cleaning all the silicone out of the boat window frames is an ongoing job. I ground an old kitchen spoon handle to the shape of the cove and sharpened it. It works OK but it takes 2 hours per window and up here it’s usually cold rain while you do it. Silicone Remover doesn’t work very well. Did I tell you I hate silicone!

I did a lot of research on how to get them to seal when they are installed and talked to our 3M rep. They suggest using 3M 730 clear hybrid sealant. It doesn’t react with acrylic and a lot of things like polysulphides do. I am even considering a strip of the bedding Butytl tape, that MaineSail sells, along the inside edges of the frames, and the 730 out from that.

You need to clean the acrylic with acetone before you install it to make the adhesive stick well. Usual caveat – don’t touch the glueing edge after you clean it.

Note: do not use windex to clean your acrylic. We did that at work and watched the spider cracks ruin a lot of good acrylic. Use soap and water. The plastics shops won’t warrantee it if you do.

When I took off out stainless frames the screw holes were in bad shape. I will be Dremelling out the cracked ones and filling with epoxy – then redrilling.

John G.

A105b: Vince, Obviously it's a seal problem. You did not say whether they were existing or new that are giving you problems.

When I replaced my own, I used 1/2" tinted safety glass. Because the new glass was absolutely flat, I had to router out a bit of the curvature that was in the old frame cavity. Because it was glass, I used automotive grade silicone sealant and everything was fine. (Had I used Lexan or any other plastic, I would have heated it to adapt to the shape of the existing window cavity and then used Sika Flex or something that would bind to plastics.)

In any event, it's a easy fix. Good luck with this Vince, Frank B.

A105c:  Hi Vince, I replaced all the portlights in the hull and pilothouse; a long job but now, no leaks.

You will need: a scraper, a knife, sander, drill, epoxy, screws, caulking, and the windows

Caulking: I used butyl rubber tape. This stuff is very sticky and a guaranteed seal. It does take time to complete the job because you need to gradually tighten the frame screws, squeezing the excess out. There are many types of this tape; the link ( is the best out there.

What you may find, if your old ports are Lexan, the caulking used did not stick. If you use new plastic portlights and you do not want to spend the money for the butyl tape I suggest you do some research on caulking that works with the plastics. [Ed. Note: See ] Another caulking to look into is

the stuff used on buildings that have glass siding; this is usually two parts sticky tape, to mount and hold the window in place, and then a caulking to seal the edges.

Windows: I used laminated glass in both pilothouse and hull except for the ports in the forward cabin. There, the hull curves, so glass would not work. If you choose glass you can take one of your old windows to the glass shop and they will make a pattern and have the windows made. If you choose laminated glass one tip is talk to the glass shop about how well they will match the two pieces of glass to make laminated glass. What happened to me was the two halves (inside/outside) did not match perfectly.

This was mostly a problem with the pilothouse windows. As with the pilothouse the forward portlight windows need a little grinding to put a slight bevel to the inside edge. For a good match around the edges the place that makes the glass can grind them but I understand that gets expensive, Just be aware. If I did it again I would look into tempered safety glass. [Ed. Note: See A105b:]

Carefully remove the stainless frames. Use a thin scraper, flat on one side, pointed on the other. Find a weak area in the caulking, push in the blade, and work around using a wedge to hold the frame away from the hull as you break the caulking seal.

Next step is to remove the caulking from the frame and the hull. I found the caulking was much harder to scrape off from the hull than from the pilothouse. The tool I used was an Exacto knife (the bigger one) with the blade that angles around 45 degrees. After cleaning both frame
and fiber glass you can start preparing the hull.

You will likely find that some of the screw threads are stripped out from the fiberglass. For any hole that was slightly poor, I drilled out and
ground out (Dermal Tool) the cracked and broken fiberglass, filled with fiberglass epoxy, then drilled new holes. I polished the frames and secured them with all new screws.

The other thing you might find, especially in the pilothouse, is the fiberglass insets vary in thickness and require some sanding to make them level. You will also need to sand flush your epoxy hole repair. Once you have your frames clean and your fiberglass repaired, you can temp mount your frame, mark, and drill the holes you repaired.

Now you are ready to install the windows. First, you might want to check the evenness of the window to the fiberglass surface. Depending on the sealant you may need to build it up thicker in certain places. I had the window held in place, then went inside and marked the fiberglass frame with a pencil for areas I felt I should build up with the butyl tape. Remove the window and add layers of tape as needed. Next stick the window in and recheck if you need more tape in any places.

Next get your frame lined up and gently install the screws so you do not strip them out. If you use tape, snug up the screws and as you work your way around the frame the tape will ooze out. If you are doing this on a cool day the butyl tape will be hard so be careful snugging the screws. The butyl will take weeks to gradually snug up. You can trim off the oozed out excess as often as you like. With tape you should have a good waterproof seal right off. If you still have some gaps you can pack in some putty with a putty knife.

After all the tape was squeezed out I prettyed up things with 3M 4200. I masked off the ports inside and caulked the seam with white 4200. On the outside I masked and caulked with white 4200 where I had the stainless next to white fiberglass and black 4200 between the stainless frame and the glass.

Two problems; the butyl tape continued to ooze out in places through the 4200 and in the sun the black 4200 was getting gooey. It continued to ooze for about a year. I have trimmed of some of the 4200 on the outside and I do not see any drawbacks having the butyl rubber seam exposed. I might
try something beside 4200 eventually. It sure looks good having the edges finished off with a well beveled edge of 4200. Kind regards, Gene & Patti S.

A105d: Hi, Thanks for your responses. I was too broad in my original question. The questions I should have asked are: What have others used to replace their port windows? Has anyone found a manufactured “off the shelf” fixed or opening port light that works? Has anyone had custom manufactured port lights made? Who made them? Cost? etc etc.? What unforeseen problems arose in the installation and how was it handled? If you maintained the original set-up (glazing in the indent and frame on the outside), what materials were used for the glazing? What was used for the exterior frame? What sealants were used?

I know there’s one port area that could be a problem, and that’s the forward ports on the bow. That area doesn’t look flat to me. It actually looks like it twists: ie the rear end may be 10 degrees from vertical while the forward edge looks to be 15 degrees.

Boman [Bomar?] Marine is willing to manufacture the portlights, but the indent in the hull area either has to be removed making the opening larger, or filled in, making the opening smaller. Also the cost is considerable.

I’m leaning right now to just staying with the existing set-up and replacing the glazing with acrylic and having frames made that match the footprint of the original fiberglass ones. I can have them made in polished stainless steel or anodized aluminum. This seems to be rising to the top as the most cost effective and simplest solution.

Again thanks for the response and feel free to comment, advise, chastise etc.

Best Regards, Vince S.

A105e:  I am replacing mine now and what I understand from the portlight supplier, I must use a special sealer that they use commercially . It is specific to the material that the portlight is made from, either acrylic or Lexan. I replaced the pilothouse portlight and it was successful. Removing the old caulking, sanding and washing with acetone seem to be the secret. Talk to your supplier, he will give you all the tricks. Good luck. It is a tedious work but worth it. Valois N.


Q106: Do you have experience with the Auto-helm self-steering Windvane? Fellow member Bill Dougan wants to know. He writes," Lester I am wondering if you can ask our members if anyone has any experience with the Auto-helm windvane. This system runs independently of the steering system of the Corbin with no lines into the cockpit. It can be used with hydraulic steering only [Ed. Note: also cable steering]. Our Corbin has both options with an override system but I am unsure whether I want to go with the  Monitor windvane or the Auto-helm.” Bill D. s/v Alecaiden

A106a: Bill, Our Capehorn windpilot took us across the Atlantic and we strongly recommend it for a Corbin. We have it connected to a RayMarine ST 1000 to steer magnetic headings. Branko V.

A106b: Bill, I use the Hyrdovane system. I have hydraulic steering . Hydrovane will keep compensating for the hydraulic creep. It works independently of the main rudder. It also gives me an emergency steering system, if needed, with Autohelm capability .It is a brilliant system. Best wishes, Jeremy P.  [Ed.Note: I do not recommend the Hydrovane. I do not believe a system which draws its power from the wind only can steer a boat at high speeds in strong winds and rough seas.]

A106c:  Hi Bill / Lester, It's been a long time since I was researching the windvane steeering thing and when I was, I liked the Monitor. Downside: If the concept of using any selfsteering windvane is to conserve ship's power on long passages, in case of the Monitor or some others, the hydraulics must be energized all the time, so I see little .... if any advantage. [Ed. Note:  I think that ordinary hydraulic steering does not require any electric power.] On the other hand, on long passages, any windvane steering system will [conserve energy] and preserve the life of your conventional wheel auto steering system ........ Frank B.

A106d:  I have a Hydrovane.  John G.

A106e:  Lester/Bill:

I am also reviewing various windvane selfsteering options as my Wagner autopilot is acting up and replacement options are limited. I am partial to windvane systems and the Scanmar products look interesting. Based on the Scanmar website info, one or more of their solutions seem compatible with the Corbin. I too would be very interested in seeing any feedback from Corbin owners who have used the system.

I am not sure I follow your comment “It can be used with hydraulic steering only. Our Corbin has both options with an over ride system but I am unsure whether I want to go with the Monitor or the Autohelm." ​

What do you mean by “both options with an over ride system?” It is my understanding that Scanmar is the supplier of both the “Monitor” system as well as the “Autohelm” system. Are you talking about some other system/supplier?

In my systems documentation on Silent Running, I have 1995 correspondence between Gordon Nash at Scanmar Marine and the vessel owner at that time. In that fax, Gordon states “We can not in good conscious recommend the Monitor to steer an emergency tiller that is located on the floor and in the forward part of the cockpit.” (This is the setup on my boat.) [Ed. Note: My Corbin Insouciance sailed in 1985 from San Francisco to Australia and back with such a setup with no problems.] Gordon recommended the Saye’s Rig for the Corbin 39, which is also a Scanmar product.

Perhaps the products have evolved since 1995, but a call to Scanmar would likely give you some upfront recommended solutions for the Corbin configuration you have that will work and those that won’t.

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend visiting the Scanmar site, where they discuss extensively the advantages and disadvantages of the three windvane systems - Servo-Pendulum (Monitor), auxiliary Rudder (Auto-helm), and the hybrid Saye’s Rig. At this point in my research, I am leaning towards the Saye’s rig solution, which is incredibly simple and acts on the main rudder. While you lose the potential of an emergency rudder with the Saye’s Rig system, Scanmar offers an opinion and a solution on the use of a self steering system as an emergency rudder. Here is a link to a couple of pages, but there is much more on the site to digest.    and

Hope this is helpful. The proof of the pudding will be user experiences, so I am looking forward to seeing any feedback from those who have “been there, done that, got the T shirt” with self steering systems. Kind regards, Tim T.

A106f:  Hi Bill, I've fitted a Norvane, windvane. I have a Corbin CC, and have both windvane and autopilot fitted. The autopilot is the new Simrad AP24, with the electro magnet drive unit DD15. It is brilliant, I sailed from Mexico to Polynesia late last year and it didn't falter. It was like second crew; it was that good. I didn't use the windvane.

However if you are taking the boat out of the water to fit either windvane, please check the shoe at the base of the rudder; it supports the rudder. Mine is held in place with 4 bolts, two of which were stainless steel and were 75% corroded. I'm glad I checked; there was a danger of losing the rudder.  Alan E.

A106g:  Hello Bill, I have no experience with the Auto-helm selfsteering windvane, but very much considered it many years ago. The power drain on long distance sailing made me decide against it. [Ed. Note: There is no power drain. I think he is thinking of the electric Autohelm] I am very happy with the Monitor Windvane. On the high seas and especially in bad weather it is the best and never tiring crew I could wish for. The lines are a nuisance but are not really in my way since I spend no time in the back of the cockpit, where they connect to the reversed tiller. Close to land and for short sails I prefer the Autohelm [electric] connected to the hydraulic system. I also bought the Autohelm 1000?? [Electric] tiller steering unit. I intended to connect it to the Monitor Windvane instead of the wind paddle but never installed it so far. As a further backup I have the Autohelm 3000 [Electric] that connects to the wheel. It served me well enough in the past but I have not used it since 1997 when I installed the hydraulic unit. I wish you good luck and many happy hours on your Corbin. Peter V.

A106h: [Ed. Note: Collin Harty is planning to use a Cape Horn windvane in his highly innovative Corbin, Galene. See .]

A106i: Bill, The present design of the Auto-helm windvane lacks feedback, so it may oversteer and cause a zig-zag motion. Both the Monitor and Saye's Rig have feedback and should not oversteer or cause zig-zag. Scanmar uses a change in tension in the control cables of the Auto-helm to avoid oversteering; this is not a good solution to the problem.

The Auto-helm's rudder appears to be large enough to steer a Corbin, even in strong winds and rough seas. The absence of lines, in the cockpit, to a tiller is a plus. No rudder post in the water is a plus. Having an emergency rudder for hand steering is an additional plus. A minus is the possibility that the shaft of the auxilliary rudder may bend backwards due to the water pressure of motion; the Saye's Rig may have this problem, also.

I have figured out how to put feedback in the Auto-helm, so if you decide to buy it and it oversteers, I can help you correct the problem. Lester H.


Q107:  How do I inspect hoses on my boat?  Lester H.  s/v Insouciance

A107a:  See BoatUS article,


Q108:  At some point we will be hauling our boat and plan to trailer it to our shop. We need any information from those who have experience moving this heavy boat. Our trailer builder needs to know the center of gravity of the boat. Best regards", Tim and Vicki Baggett  s/v Brillo del Sol

A108a:  I moved my Corbin (Jakatar) from the storage area where it was being finished to the marina about 50 miles away by contracting a specialized boat-transport truck with a hydraulic trailer.  If my memory is correct, it cost 300 Canadian dollars for a highly professional job (but that was 14 years ago).  My point is that it may be cheaper, and less hassle, to truck it rather than build a trailer unless you plan to use the trailer a certain number of times. Best regards, Horacio Marteleira (s/v Jakatar, Peniche, Portugal)

A108b:  I have moved our boat twice, once a long distance and another a short one. In each case the boat, in a cradle, was placed on a flatbed by the Travel Lift and the issue of center of gravity never came up.  Regards, Frank Bryant


Q109:  Where is the Center of Gravity in a Corbin 39?

A109a:  Lester , I don`t have any drawings of the Corbin 39 left. Maybe someone in the group has and could locate the center of gravity on the drawings. The center of gravity should be between 6" to 1' in front of the longitudinal center of the keel and about 1' above the bottom. This was a theoretical center because not all Corbins had the total ballast of 9000 lbs of lead. That should be enough info to build a trailer. Have a great day. Marius Corbin

A109b:  I should imagine the centre of gravity is near the middle of the keel along its length and somewhere between 2 and 4 ft above the bottom of the keel, depending on how much of the interior has been finished. Our lead ballast was 23" deep, I believe, sitting on the bottom of
the fibreglass which was probably about 1.5" thick Regards, David S.


Q110:  Two Crows is a 1982 Mk. II. Her aluminum fuel tank began weeping fuel a few months ago and I have now emptied the tank and removed it. The source is a spot of corrosion in the sump: gentle scratching with my screwdriver caused the disintegrating spot to open up to a 5 x 3 mm hole. I'm probably very lucky not to have the whole contents of the tank in my bilge. Don't ever ignore fuel leaks.                                                                                                                         Now the tank is out and needs to be welded. The welder won't touch it before I have it steam cleaned.
(A) Does anyone know of tank steam cleaning services in or near Toronto? (B) I have been quoted $500 from one company. Does this sound reasonable?
(C) I want to install a visual inspection port. I am thinking of a 6" circular opening with two aluminum backing rings holding a 0.5# plexiglass disk via 8 bolts and a rubber gasket. Does anyone have experience with or comments on that?
(D) Also, I was thinking of running a tube to the bottom of the sump to be able to manually pump out sludge/debris from time to time. Good idea?
(E) The tank was made by Unitech Manufacturing, Woodstock, ON - does anyone know how the baffles in the tank are arranged? Thanks all, Boris Steipe

A110a: I just added an inspection port in my SS tank and found baffles kept me from seeing and cleaning everywhere. Then I cut another one on the other side of the baffle only to find yet more baffles. It would take at least 4 ports to see everything so plan well before cutting.                                                                   Also, I would worry about plexi plates because the plastic expands differently from the aluminum and it will leak eventually even if diesel doesn’t attack it. Sump drains leak, as well; better to suck up debris through a top-hung fuel pickup.                                                                                                                      Make sure your tank isn’t sitting in bilge water or on a soaked piece of wood; aluminum oxidizes to protect the surface but if it rubs on something it will keep deoxidizing and wear thru. Also, salt water in contact will wear a hole. These tanks often leak at about 20 years so anything we can do to prevent that is important.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   When you cut a port use aluminum plate, a nitrile gasket, and aluminum bolts (aircraft hardware) to prevent dissimilar metal corrosion. Make the tank thicker and it will last longer. By the way SS isn’t any better as I have learned with my water tank.  John Gleadle

A110b: Hey Boris, when I installed an electric fuel gauge on my aluminum fuel tank I found:
1) Bottom of fuel tank has a slight v shape and slants down towards a 6 * 6 * 4 deep sump at one end,
2) One baffle in the middle of tank, and
3) Pick Up line was just above the sump bottom.
Respectfully, I am not sure if figerglass panel would be kept clean enough to see anything. I would just cut a 4" sq. inspection hole in the top above the sump and make a good gasketed cover for it. You could make a " squeeze bulb " thing long enough to reach the bottom of the sump (like a battery tester thing) to clean out the bottom of sump now and then. Anything that has vacuum would do as well.
Note: Measure fuel when filling up and note quantity @ 1/4 , 1/2, 3/4 and full as it's not quite linear. That is very usefull with electric gage. [Ed. Note: I use a wooden dowell to measure; I've had no luck with electric gages.] Good luck with this ................ Frank Bryant

R110b: Thanks Frank and John, useful advice. Yes, I would expect the plexiglass to age over time. I think I'll just give it a try - if it holds up for less than say five years, I'll replace with glass. Great idea about the squeeze bulb. Boris Steipe

A110C: Hi  The design of the fuel tanks called for a sump lower than the bottom of the tank and a pickup that went to the bottom of that sump so that you could suck any water or solid trapped in it. It had it`s own pickup on top of the tank. If this sump pickup is not there, it`s possible that the tank does not have a separate sump. Then, it is better to have the fuel pickup at the very bottom of the tank so that it picks up anything that could lie there including water and any solid. If the pickup is higher, like it is often the case, then solids and water will accumulate at the bottom and when the weather is bad, from the movement of the boat, will mix with the fuel and clog the filter at the worst time.                                                                                                                                                                            As far as the inspection hole, I would not do it on my boat, because any opening below the top will eventually leak and you will have fuel in the bilge. Rubber gaskets are known to be eventually eaten up by fuel and leak. If the tank is full when it happens you will have to empty the tank to fix the problem. If you want a manual fuel level check, do the hole at the top, small, and use a dowel rod to check the fuel. The gasket should be of a material that is resistant to fuel (not rubber). Hope the above will help and have a great day, Marius Corbin

A110D: Boris, I don't recommend an inspection port in the side of the tank or any opening except at the top. You would be initiating a chance of a leak. Your proposed method could result in attack of the gasket/caulking by the fuel over time as well as differential expansion between the Plexiglas and the aluminum. I have used a dipstick successfully, a piece of wood dowel marked in inches, litres or gallons, and inserted by a removable plug on the tank top [Ed. Note: Over the deepest part of the tank]. It is crude but trouble free. You probably know that there are commercial level gauges that use hydrostatic pressure with a small nylon tube inserted from tank top to the bottom. See                                                                                                                                                       An ability to pump out the sump is also a good idea, again using a tube from the top of the tank. For example, use a suction pump with a piece of copper tubing extending to the tank bottom. I insert mine through the dipstick port! An engine oil vacuum suction kit could also be used for this job. See Bigboy Topsider. I have one of these but have not used it for fuel. It should be OK for diesel (not for gasoline) but you should check compatibility of the gaskets.
Regards, David Salter   [Ed. Note: I think you could make your own kit using a car electric fuel pump and copper tubing.]

A110E: I have hull #174; it's an aft-cockpit pilothouse. My aluminum fuel tank is underneath the pilothouse sole. I was going to add a similar port so I found some cleanouts at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. They're called Seabuilt tank access plate system. I was able to pull out the tank sender and see the baffles. My tank has six compartments. That's when I gave up. I didn't want to put six access hatches in. I bought a paste you can get from the home heating industry that detects water in diesel fuel. You rub it on a stick and dip it into the diesel fuel to detect water. I was able to access my fuel through the sender hole. I had no water in my tank probably because the fill is underneath the cockpit seat.      [Ed Note: You might also want to buy a filter that removes water [Funnel Fuel Filter.]  Regards, William Schmid 


Q111: Do I need to cut the cockpit floor to remove a saildrive? Lester H.

A111a:  I removed my saildrive two times by pulling it backwards, by hand, from behind the engine. It is awkward but doable. The unit weighs only 60 pounds. It is a two man job; one inside the boat to pull and one outside to push and helping to angle the drive so it passes thru the hole in the bottom of the boat. I do not understand why you want to cut out the floor in the cockpit. Good luck, Valois Nadeau

A111b: Hi Lester, In 2004, while in Australia, I replaced the original 35hp Volvo engine and 110S saildrive for a 50hp and 120S saildrive from the companionway. The engine was a tight fit but the saildrive was easy and carried inside by hand. I see no need to cut the cockpit floor ;-) Good luck, Michel Z, “ex” Corbin owner

A111c:  Lester, Sorry for your troubles. Try not to get into it if you can help it. I have no photos or drawings. Visitant had 3 removable panels. 2 large ones (full width of cockpit floor, from companionway to pedestal) and 1 small aft of the pedestal.
The base floor openings of the cockpit floor were molded with a " turned up & raised " 1" lip (similar to the forward deck lockers) with the covers overlapping. This gave water a way to drain into the channels without overflowing and without the need for excessive gasketing. These hatches had 8 x 1/4 - 20 round head (carriage) bolts with rubber washers and through bolted to below. Sorry Lester, of all the photos that I have, I never took any of the cockpit floor ........... Regards, Frank Bryant

A111d: I have a centre-cockpit that has a swing up floor section. There is a water drain lip in the floor around it.  John G

A111e:  Hi Lester, Our Corbin CC came with a large opening hatch on a recessed cockpit floor to act as a gutter system for the cockpit drains. This looks like it was moulded in the construction of the cockpit frame when the boat was built at Corbin ( I have no drawing or plans). I will be going to the boat next week and can send you some pics. Not sure how you would do a solid floor but I would suggest you re-enforce the opening and cutout of the cockpit floor and get a good gasket to seal the opening from green water.  Will the saildrive not come out through the companion way door? Regards, Paul  W.                                                                                          

A111f:  Lester, There should be some stainless steel sheet metal screws holding the removable cockpit floor panel in place. These are accessed from underneath. Once the screws are removed, just pry up on the panel. I found some bedding compound in between the two floor panels when I removed the upper panel. The lower floor is a molded flat surface inboard from the cockpit drain channels. Lay out the opening cut-out lines at least 2" inboard of the inside edge of the drain channels. You will need this flat area to mount the upper floor panel seals. At the corners, mark the centers for a 3" hole saw to give you a nice 1-1/2" corner radius. You do not want square corners here in order to eliminate any stress concentration. Drill out the four corners with the 3" hole saw, then cut away the floor with a sabre saw, or sawall. Make sure you have help, the panel is very heavy and must be well supported as you complete the final cut. It is cored with the mahogany plywood. The upper panel was cored with end grain balsa. I elected not to hinge my panel as it could only open towards the companionway due to the taper of the cockpit (newer deck design). 4 cams hold it in place against the hollow Buna D seals installed inboard of the drain channels. Very dry, no leaks. I'll be working on my boat today and will take some pictures to send to you this evening. Best Regards, Jeff Shutic S.V. Luff Shack                 A111g:  Hello, I have a saildrive on Bodacious. I had the gear box replaced a few years ago. The saildrive is attached to the gear box right behind the engine. There is no cockpit floor board; the saildrive was removed via the companioway after removing 4 or 5 bolts.                       Regards, Murray F.

A111h:  Ahoy Lester, My 1982 aft cockpit model (built after Marius' fire) has a partially removable sole, about 3 ft. fore/aft, bolted in which would expose the engine space. All the best, Bill Ullmann

A111j:  Hi Lester, We have a hatch in the cockpit floor that hinges up in order to access the engine room.. I want to warn you that the hatch might impact the structural soundness of the cockpit floor. We felt it necessary to reinforce the floor under the steering pedestal. (We won’t be going to the boat for another month so I can’t send you pictures right now.) Just something to keep in mind. Nancy L.


Q112: I am looking for boat insurance for sailing offshore and into the southern Caribbean. Our current supplier will only cover us for the eastern US and the Bahamas. Would you pls. inquire with the membership about who they may be working with for a more extensive boat insurance package? Thanks for your help. David and Wendy Hibbard Endorphin 195

A112a: Hi Lester, I was in a similar boat and was able to get insurance for the caribbean and pacific from Blue Water Yacht Ins in Jupiter Florida. Cheers, Willi Steinke

A112b: Hi Lester, Here is another potential insurer for David. They are used by a number of rally boats. Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Contact Scott Stusek at or 914-217-7991.  Note that the World Cruising Club requires you maintain third-party liability coverage and most foreign countries will allow entry only if you're insured (as with most marinas). Check out Pantaenius, with whom many rally boats are insured, and whom Mia and I use for Arcturus. They're world-class and offer the best rates & services we've yet encountered.   Cheers, Willi Steinke


Q113: Hi Lester, Glad to see the Corbin owners page is up and running again. A group email like this seems a great way to share info and we're wondering if you could put out a query; we would be most grateful. We're replacing our Perkins 4-108 with a new Beta engine and are on the fence about whether to go with the 43 HP or the 50. Both have the same footprint and are naturally aspirated.  The 50 weighs an extra 66 lbs and the cost difference is not very significant. We would love to hear from anyone who has either of these: about how they came to choose it, any installation insight, and more importantly, what size and pitch prop they have, and what performance they get from it. Many thanks for keeping the group going. It's a great resource. Jan and Doug, s/v Hanna,Hull #49

A113a: Hi Jan, We repowered our Perkins M60 in 2013 wiyh a Beta 50. We wanted a Beta 60 but the folks at Beta US told us the 50 would match the 60 and they were correct. We do 7.1 - 7.3 knots/ hr at 2300 rpm depending on the conditions - very happy. We have an 18"- 3 blade Max prop, which we like, and feathered under sail gives us 7 - 7.6 knots/hr at 18-20 knots of wind. We can recommend Beta to all our sailing friends and the service is great. Paul and Paula W.  s/v "RKalliste" Hull 190

Q114: "Hello ! Lester . I need the drawing of the rudder shoes." Tom Amundsen s/v Rio Nimpkish

A114: Tom, I presume you are referring to what I believe was called the rudder shaft HEEL fitting.  This was one piece of hardware that I purchased from Marius Corbin so I never had his drawing.  However, for some reason I made a sketch a long while ago Heel Fitting.  I also made a drawing of the rudder shaft, to have it fabricated, and it includes some of the heel fitting detail Rudder Shaft.  You will see that in my case the 1 1/2" dia. shaft was turned down to 1 1/4" dia. to fit in the heel fitting.  There was also half ball bearing in the bottom of the heel fitting, presumably to reduce friction, although I don't think that was much of a factor.  I hope this helps you. Regards, David S

A114b: Hi Lester, I did up a drawing of the rudder shoe casting that came with Bad Agent. See attached pdf. Rudder Shoe .
If anyone would like the Solidworks models of the shoe I would be happy to send them on. Thanks Lester for all the work you do. Don Sauer, s/v
Bad Agent