86+ boats on the planet + numerous dinghies
26 repeat owners
16 different countries, race, regatta & championship wins
20 custom new builds in house
19 other boatyards have built Corby designs
5 'Yacht Of The Year' Awards
3 designs in the Royal Thames YC model room (by invitation)
1 design included in Yachting World's '50 Yachts that changed the way we sail'
copy also in Nautic magazine (no 32)
2011-2022: Vast number of refit projects including non-Corby designs. Cowes Week Black Group overall win three times, plus RTYC 'Yacht of the Year' twice, and overall winner of RYS Bicenterary Regatta.
2010 Rockall & Roxy 1st and 2nd Overall in class in Commodores Cup.
Launched MiRC App for iPhone and iPod touch. Since developed into race finishing iPad app with RORC.
2009 Possibly best ever year of results.
2008 - 2010 Major refurbishments to older Corby designs: Gloves Off, Cracklin’ Rosie, Independent Bear, Rosie/Rockall.
2008 Quokka: overall class winner in Commodores Cup and top boat in top team. Turkish production started.
Inaugural Corby Cup to celebrate 20 years in business.
2007 Retro style Catherine launched. Full Metal Jacket & new Flirt built in NZ and Oz respectively.
2006 Blondie 3 (Impetuous & Aurora) mixed wood and carbon fibre to great effect. Awesome Commodores Cup and results ever since. Prototype 24ft powerboat also built, famous for garden chair seating.
2005 Polish production range started, 29, 33 & 26. 29 Yes! won every race in Cowes Week and Black Group Overall.
2002 Corby Yachts built their largest yacht to date, the original Flirt 50ft. Now in Australia and called Vamp. Recent Hobart class win
2001 John refitted and raced the 12 Meter Crusader in 8 regattas including the America’s Cup Jubilee
2000 Barlo Plastics (now Hummingbird) and Gloves Off won just about every major regatta in the UK & Ireland. Production 25 started.
1998 3 Corby designs widened to counteract massive rating increases by RORC. (All are now thin again)
Cracklin’ Rosie won Ford Cork Week overall, and a car. Launch of Zzap youth skiff dinghy.
1997 Independent Bear won so much with ease that the RORC Rating Office rewrote CHS.
1996 Mustang Sally won ‘windy tuesday’ in Cowes Week by 15 minutes, (Silk nosedive day) as well as the lightest day, and Class 2 overall for the week.
1995 Mustang Sally: total change in design direction. 33 firsts from 53 starts in first season. First appearance of Corby Transom. Several more commissions followed including Cracklin’ Rosie.
1994 Frenzy built in Dublin and first ever Irish Corby. Since then over 45 Irishmen have bought Corbys.
1993 Converting Machine (now Njos) considered too radical with its bulb keel, non-overlap jibs, asymmetric spinnakers on retractable sprit, sweptback spreaders and no running backstays.
1992 - 93 Corby Yachts built 3 custom yachts over the winter in what is now Cowes Yacht Haven Events Centre.
1992 Joyride: 35ft, plywood, 1500kg. Regularly 20 knots +. Cowes Week radio RIB couldn’t keep up.
1988 Chance meeting in Pier View pub in Cowes led to commission for design & build of 27ft light displacement CHS yacht, so set up own business. 2 boats built from same hull mould, one now in France other in Dubai.
1986 - 88 Taught myself CAD and got a job with an established design office.
1976 - 86 Sailing prior to designing: Transatlantic; Fastnets; Bermuda Race; Swan Weeks; Onion Patch; IOR Half; Three Quarter and Two ton Level Rating; IOR Maxi; RORC offshore; AC trials; JOG; Solent Points; Cowes Weeks; Etchell; Dragon; Daring; J24s; Flying Fifteens; Tornado; Int 14; Contenders; 470; Laser; Lark; Firefly; Illusion.
I'm John Corby and have been designing and building boats since the 1980s.
One-off racing yachts were the core business for many years, in the days when owners preferred to choose a designer, recruit a build team and rent a shed, rather than buying a production boat like they do now. I was unusual in being both a designer and a builder. Wonderful, exciting and pioneering times with often mad amounts of man hours in the build shed and partying in the pub.
Then around 2010 refit, refurbishment and consultancy took over, plus a few powerboats too, all of which has been less stressful but still immensely satisfying.
A long time ago I was a Royal Marines Officer, I have two grown up children, Sophie & Seb, and my Dad invented the electric trouser press.
Link to lecture at Royal Irish Yacht Club June 2020
DESIGN - BUILD - REFURBISH 88/89 High Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK, PO317AW