The Newbridge Coromandel
The Coromandel has been designed using the hull of the world famous Corribee with a freshly styled cabin top in sympathy with safety and comfort of sailing with the Chinese rig.
On a hull designed by Robert Tucker (the Corribee), the Newbridge design team developed the Coromandel as the first production yacht to be designed specifically for the Chinese rig. Sailing Chinese reduces foredeck work to mooring and anchoring so that the foredeck and side decks can be reduced in size, increasing cabin space; the absence of jib sheets, winches etc means that the cockpit can be wider and deeper and the less precise sheeting requirements allow us to do away with the inconvenience of a mainsheet track and traveler. Down below she has berths enough for four, one in a hammock, a neat galley, and a surprisingly roomy separate toilet compartment. The large cockpit includes an outboard well and ample locker room. The Coromandel’s sea-kindly lines smooth out unkindly sea conditions and the high cockpit coamings offer a high degree of protection to the helmsman and crew. The Coromandel is purpose built to reduce the risks and increase the pleasure of your sailing time.
These pictures are also from one of Newbridge’s brochures. They certainly make the interior look large!
Sea Trial taken from magazine of the time, Author: JJ
“.. we took care not to allow the boom forward of the mast from where it might prove difficult to retrieve. Heading up from run to reach we were able to adjust the amount of sail presented to the Force 4 southwesterly with an effortless haul on the halyard. Later coming back onto the wind, we whipped up full sail, made some fine adjustments to the yard and luff haul lines (all from the safety of the cockpit) and drove powerfully back into Poole harbour, an impressive and fascinating series of trials complete.”
Their most popular yacht for junk treatment has been the Corribee, Robert Tuckers evergreen pocket cruiser. – Newbridge decided to put their wisdom into a boat specially designed for the sail, they based it on a Corribee hull.
The result is the Coromandel. Below deck line, externally, she is identical to the Corribee. She is slim, powerfully sheered, fine ended and comes with a choice of keels. She is seaworthy with an easy motion, and has made some astounding passages.
It is in the superstructure that Newbridge have been able to make use of the junk’s unique attributes. The essential freedom from foredeck work. This means the cabin top can be carried much further forward and shaped without regard for the needs of anyone working at the mast. Side decks are vestigial, yet access forward for anchor work remains good without shrouds to get in the way.
Below decks the value of the large cabin top is clear. The Corribee hull was never renowned for its spaciousness and so it was ideally placed to take advantage of the extra volume. Newbridge have used the space unexpectedly. The Corribee is a cramped four berth; the Coromandel is a spacious (really?) three berth, which features the largest and most effective heads you will find in a 21ft yacht.
The Coromandel is certainly unusual below but the ideas work and she offers facilities that would be the envy of almost any other boat of her length. The limiting factor maybe the three berths (+ hammock). The varnished mahogany ply joinery is neatly put together and, combined with the vinyl trim to hull sides and deckhead, make for a light and attractive décor. Headroom is good at 4ft 9in (1.45m) maximum.
The cockpit also benefits from the use of junk rig. Without the need for efficiently placed winches, the coamings can be higher and more effectively designed. They are pushed right out to the topsides to create an enormous area in which to take ones ease and admire the scenery; it is not needed to work the boat. One drawback of junk rig is the yards of sheet tail, which accumulates on the cockpit sole. This is catered for with special boxes in one of the two enormous stern lockers. One of these is for general equipment and the other houses the inboard-outboard. This takes up to a 7.5hp engine plus a fuel tank in its own well. The boat can be fitted with inboard engines up to 12hp or the Seagull saildrive.
In terms of handling the junk rig is all its cracked up to be. The speed with which it can be deployed, trimmed, reefed and lowered has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Overall the Coromandel is a bold undertaking. It combines a rig, which despite its advantages remains an acquired taste, with an interior, which will rule it out of court with many potential customers. The result is, though a spacious and efficient 21-footer, well built and economically priced. There will be many people for whom it is the only possible choice and we would expect it to build up a considerable following. It is what it claims to be – unique, the only small cruiser specifically designed to make the most of the Chinese rig.
Junk-rigged Coromandel HAI SHEN, Sail number 51, lowering sail as they entered Cowes in 1993. Where is she now?
Mark Deverell found a copy of the two page Coromandel brochure which he has very kindly allowed to be posted below:
Pete Mears found a copy of the six page Coromandel brochure (along with a 1985 price list) which he has kindly allowed to be posted below:
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