In 1977 Marius Corbin commissioned Robert Dufour of Montreal, Quebec to design him a sailboat based on a one-off 39-foot Dufour design named Harmonie. Mr. Corbin asked Mr. Dufour to increase the freeboard and flush the deck. In 1979, the first Corbin 39 came out of the resulting mold, and the Canadian manufacturer produced 129 Corbins until 1982. Most were sold as kits in varying degrees of completion. In 1982, a fire destroyed the deck molds, but because of continued strong demand, they decided to update the molds and continue production. The last Corbin 39 produced, hull number 199, was launched in 1990.
The Corbin 39 is a double ender in the classic Scandinavian lineage of serious offshore cruisers like the Westsail 32. She features a long fin keel of 6′ draft, high freeboard, and a blunt bow. Corbin produced various deck molds including flush, pilot, center cockpit, and aft cockpit variations.
Corbins have have an impressive 11 layer schedule of mat and roving with a 16mm Airex core. The deck is a 3/4″ core of marine grade mahogany early on but later Airex foam. The ballast is 9,000 pounds lead encapsulated with extra layers of fiberglass around the keel for protection. Most spars are by Everett Bastet of E.B. Spars Inc. in Quebec. Early ones had either a 46′ single spreader main or a 51′ turbo charged double spreader. Later most had 49′ double spreader rigs. All rigs are deck stepped.
Corbins with their fin keel and skeg rudder combination are better sailing than their 26,000 pounds displacement might suggest. They are meant as Marius Corbin writes to take someone, “safely and comfortably around the world…We get postcards from all over the world…what better recommendation is there for a strong and seaworthy vessel.” The cutter rig with a reefed main is a safe and seaworthy combination.
Of the 199 hulls, 184 were owner finished. These owner finished hulls were shipped in varying degrees of completion out of the Corbin yard. In 1982, a fire destroyed the molds. Post-1982 Corbins have larger cockpits and a further forward mast step to lessen weather helm. Corbin 39’s with bowsprits also sail more balanced. Look for a Corbin 39 with a double spreader spar.
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