From the Beginning
02 February 2008
My first sighting of what I eventually learned to be a Corbin 39 was back in the mid 80's when I saw 2 such boats simultaneously docked at the Gananoque Marina (Ontario, Canada). I wasn't immediately drawn to the esthetics of the boats as a whole as much as impressed by the sheer size of the flat deck, substantial hardware and formidable bow sprint. It appeared to me that this was a seaworthy boat. Over time I learned more about these boats built by Marius Corbin along the Richelieu River, just south of Montreal. All but a hand full of the 199 Corbin's were sold as unfinished hulls, in various stages, later to be finished by their respective owners. As I have come to understand it, a fire in the plant brought about an opportunity for the builder to redesign the aft half of the deck mold and thereby improving the visibility from inside the pilothouse by raising it by 6" and also enlarging the cockpit. From that time on all remaining Corbin's had compulsory bow sprints as well as, what I consider the most important improvement made to the former design, the mast position was moved forward by approx 30". The latter two improvements eliminated the weather helm which haunted the earlier design. This later design was dubbed the 'Special Edition' with I believe Kathrian (hull #127) is the first of. Hull #128 is missing (presumed lost by fire at the plant) and hull #129 was used by Marius Corbin as the promotional boat called 'Stratamarius".
In 1989 Cruising World would feature an article entitled 'Crunching Numbers for a Quality Cruiser' were in they found the Corbin 39 rated top of the list of the several featured boats.
It would be several years later after many disappointing visits to boat yards and after having just viewing probably the worst example of a Corbin 39 I had ever seen, I decided that since I was in the area of St. Paul de liIle aux Noix, Quebec, the home of the former Corbin factory, I would take an extra hour and search out any other boat yards in the area. That extra hour was worth the time for there it was at the next boat yard, by far the best example of a Corbin 39 I had ever seen, hull #127...the future 'Kathrian'.