My name is Marius Corbin and I founded Corbin les Bateaux Inc. in February 1977.
Preceding this event, I read magazines and visited many boat factories. My
requirements were quite simple: about 40', comfortable, giving good performance
to windward and in light air, strong enough for around-the-world cruising, an
interior layout suitable for two persons or a small family, and built to the
I was unable to find a boat that could fill all these requirements on the North
American market. Since I was already a professional boat builder, I decided to
look for a satisfactory design and build the boat myself. My search led me to
Dufour Yacht Design and the drawing of a 39'. It had nice lines, canoe stern,
flush deck, pilot house, aft cockpit, cutter rig, medium displacement and was
designed for fiberglass building.
The pilot house, cabin, cockpit, deck layout and interior were redesigned to suit
my needs, and a tall rig was adapted. The Corbin 39 was born.
I later considered that many people must have been in the same situation as I was.
How do you get to build the strongest pruduction hull without disturbing the
important ballast/displacement ratio?
We found that the only suitable material for high impact strength to relative
weight is Airex cored fiberglass. It provides very high impact resistance as
compared to other materials such as solid glass, wood, steel or aluminum.
In the event of an impact, Airex will not delaminate from its inner and outer
skin. It will recover its original shape after impact and should both fiberglass
skins break, the hull remains watertight. It has a secondary beneficial effect, it
insulates the hull against cold, heat and noise and also cuts condensation which
is the main cause of uncomfortable dampness in a boat.
One of our customers who asked a competitor if his boat was built to
"Corbin's Specs." was immediately answered, "No, Corbin's boats are overbuilt."
Of course, it was not a compliment but we took it as such.
In addition to using Airex core and more layers of alternate mat and roving than
recommended, we tripled the number of roving in the center of the boat (25 layers
of hand laminated fiberglass including 12-24 oz. woven roving), and quadrupled the
number of roving in the keel (a total of 35 layers). The sides of the keel and the
turn of the bilge incorporate 21 layers of hand laminated fiberglass, including
ten 24 oz. woven roving. When we install the lead in the keel, we hand laminate 8
layers of fiberglass on top of it to isolate the keel from the inside of the boat.
These 8 layers of alternate 1 1/2 OZ mat and 24 oz. roving are, therefore, added
to the thickness specified for the turn of the bilge. Our hulls are hand laminated
and we are sure that no other builder offers this much. We use 1 oz. and 1 oz.
mat with 24 oz. roving throughout; all this to achieve the strongest production
hull in North America. Hull lamination schedule : Gelcoat (20 mmj, I oz. mat,
1 1/2 oz. mat, 24 oz. roving, 1 1/2 oz. mat ,24 oz. roving, 1 oz. mat, 1 oz. mat.
# AIREX: I 1/2 oz. mat, 24 oz. roving, 1 1/2 oz. mat, 24 oz. roving.
No liner !!
Why don't we use liners in the construction of our boat? Since our customers may
use this boat to travel around the world, super strength must be achieved.
Therefore, six structural bulkheads are laminated on both sides in the hull and
deck during construction. Most of the boats that are available on the market today
have an inner fiberglass liner which is glued to the outer shell, and the
bulkheads are bolted to that inner liner.
Under the effects of wind and wave, a lot of stress is applied to the rigging and
the hull in almost unpredictable ways. If the structure is not integral, it has a
tendency to twist under load. If you have sailed in one of these boats before, you
may have experienced a door that will not close on one tack but will on the other.
A Corbin hit a buoy at full hull speed in the St. Lawrence Seaway. The buoy was
damaged but the boat only suffered two minor scratches (gelcoat).
Performance results are just beginning to be compiled on our boat but, eventually,
its strength will be recognized. The quality of our product is not only in the
hull structure. Just to mention a few items: the interior construction is of the
best quality solid mahogany or mahogany plywood and the finish is Burma teak
throughout. The chain plates are oversized 316 stainless steel. All ports are
/8" Lexan, deck hatches are double-framed and a 2" Edson manual bilge pump is