Designing & building boats since the '80s

0044 (0) 7798753962


86+  boats on the planet + numerous dinghies

48  designs

26  repeat owners,  four owners have owned three Corbys

20  custom new builds in house

19  other boatyards have built Corby designs

16  different countries, race, regatta & championship wins

  5  'Yacht Of The Year' Awards

  4  'Yes!'designs

  3  Overall Cowes Week Black Group wins, in a row

  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)


2011-2023:  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, boat captained 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 established designer Julian Everitt, penning the iconic varnished CHS 32ft Wavetrain being the highlight.

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.

Corby regattas

Corby transom

I'm John Corby and have been designing and building boats since the 1980s.

One-off racing yachts were the original core business in the halcyon years of custom composite raceboats when owners preferred to choose a designer, recruit a build team and rent a shed, rather than buying a production boat like they tend to 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 after, but always surrounded by eclectic people with an amazing range of skills.   When it comes to designing there have some outstanding times, and some which could definitely have been better.   Nobody gets it right every time.

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.  Since around 2022 I've been working with the Dettaglio team who now do all my exterior fairing and spraying, meaning I can concentrate on fitting out, any design & construction required, detailing and general problem solving.

My 50 years of sailing includes professional crewing and 'Boat Captaining' as well as being a boat owner myself.  This year my programme includes numerous regattas on the classic S&S yawl Stormy Weather in the Mediterranean and an H-boat in the Solent.

A long time ago I was a Royal Marines Officer in 42 Commando; I have two grown up children, Sophie & Seb, and my late Dad invented the electric trouser press.

Link to lecture at Royal Irish Yacht Club June 2020

Find us on facebook

  30 years  

Corby team


DESIGN  -  BUILD  -  REFURBISH          88/89 High Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK,  PO317AW