Corroboree

Corroboree2017-01-02T12:38:36+00:00

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LOA 10.75 M, LWL 8.80 M, B 3.80 M, D 1.22 M, DISPL 6,320 Kgs., SA 57.33 M2.
LOA 35.27’, LWL 28.87’, B12.47’, D 4.00’, DISPL 13,920 Lbs., SA 617.15 Ft2.

This is my very first commissioned yacht design that Arliss and I bought back from the original owners in 2014. This is the boat on which we now live and are sailing around the world. The owners had come to me in 1984 on the recommendation of the Gougeon brothers because I had experience with carbon fiber free-standing masts. They wanted a wood-epoxy, free-standing rigged sailboat about 35’ long that they could keep at their dock in a creek in Michigan which had 4’ of water depth on a good day. So Corroboree has a shallow draft of 4’-0” at the DWL, and quite a wide beam, 12’-5”. I went to a lot of trouble to engineer this boat the best way I knew how according to scantling specifications from Lloyd’s Rules for Yachts. It was built by Stevenson Yachts in Auckland, New Zealand, out of Western Red Cedar and Kauri which is a conifer indigenous to New Zealand and very good for boat building. The carbon fiber free-standing mast was built by PLP Composite Technologies in New Hampshire.

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Cruising World had this to say about Corroboree in April, 1986: “Sponberg has managed to fit an extraordinary amount of accommodations into this 35-foot hull.” (I like to joke that there is enough storage space in Corroboree to smuggle large families of small children.)

And then, in 1993, SAIL magazine named Corroboree as one of the 100 Greatest Sailing Yachts of North America, calling it a “unique, new-age cruiser.”

I did all the drawings for Corroboree by hand in pencil and ink on Mylar in 1984-85 as this was the time before computer-aided design. I much prefer using 3D and 2D CAD because you have so much more versatility in design and drafting. Calculations are so much easier, you can do more variations in less time and with greater accuracy using the computer. The computer does not design the boat for you, however—you still need good drafting and artistic skills to create understandable drawings.

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The owners sailed Corroboree on the Great Lakes for 27 years. She was in an unfortunate fire in 1995 which burned the mast and all of the deck. She was rebuilt in 1996 with all new deck hardware and a new mast by the same mast builder. By 2014, the owners were getting ready to sell her at exactly the same time that Arliss and I decided we wanted a boat again. We came to a purchase agreement very quickly. We had Corroboree trucked down to St. Augustine where we spent more than a year doing repairs and upgrades: new water tanks and plumbing, new AC electrical system, a new heat exchanger and new water pump on the engine, and complete new paint and varnish inside and out, plus repairs to two broken keel bolts. The drawings came in very handy as we carried out this work. “She’s got good bones,” as one of our friends said, and so we hope she lasts another 25-30 years.

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