Forestay

Nathan Whitworth writes:

I agreed to write this article a few weeks ago, and I’ve only just got around to doing so, but I’d consider it important enough for any Corribee owner to take note of, just in case.

My boat, Kudu, is a Mk1 Corribee, and after a recent set of problems three hours out from Wells-next-the-sea, I decided they were severe enough to turn back. Luckily, having had the boat lifted out of the water, I spotted another, more serious problem, which I will document here.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the original bow roller, but it was a Sowester aluminum  type, which also served as the fixing point for the forestay. With the boat out of the water, I noticed a crack of considerable size running right around the stem, under the roller. Further investigation led me to find what is pictured below. The entire load of the forestay was being taken up by the 1mm thick aluminum backing plate, and the deck was lifting under the load, with forces large enough to produce the crack.

Corribee Bow roller backing plate

It is worth noting that all MK1’s should have a bolted strap running down the stem, to direct the force of the rig via the bolts as a shear load, NOT a direct lifting load as I had found on mine.

A friendly and very skilled local machine shop, Kiss Works, has since fabricated me a new fitting, which is much more substantial, and features the requisite stem strap. There’s a picture below, but I’ve since finished the job and painted the nose of the boat.

Before I fitted the new roller, I ground out the crack, and filled it with West System epoxy.

New bow roller, and stem strap

Check your rig folks, because this could have been serious had I not spotted it.

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3 Responses to “Forestay”

  1. Ian crockatt Says:

    I have recently acquired Corribee 28, Cloud 9, and am doing her up after years of neglect. A glance at the first brochure for the GRP Mk 1 makes it clear that the forestay was led, as Cloud 9’s was, to a fitting on the foredeck back from the stem, entirely separate from the bow roller. The heavy stainless steel fitting is backed by a strong wood piece glassed in, the same one as backs the main cleat, and then two stainless straps under the glassed wood to take the fitting’s six bolts and nuts. The wood acts like a king plank except that it stops short of the bowroller – which was never intended to take the loads of the rig and is very adequately supported for its original purpose. It’s owners who have wanted bigger foresails and have attached the forestay to the bowroller who have unwittingly caused the problems discussed above. The strap to the stem is a good solution, but for me the best is sticking with the original rig.

  2. scorribee Says:

    As far as I know there is nothing ‘off the shelf’ that will fit, which means doing what Nathan has done and getting a local fabrication place to make one for you. If you can make a template from card and do some reasonable drawings you can probably save them the time (and cost) of a site visit. Repair the hull and deck joint with epoxy (eg SP106) and woven glass cloth.

  3. Anthony Kerr Says:

    I have an early mk2.
    While I was out sailing in a regata my forestay,fitting and part of the deck came away. I would note that there was no strap to the stem.
    Any advice on repairs would be most appreciated.

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