New Corby 50 launched

James Boyd spoke to designer/builder John Corby about his first all-carbon boat
Aside from Peter Harrison's new Wight Lightning, the British America's Cup team's new steed, just one other custom built race boat was being built in the UK over this winter. Owned by Oyster boss Richard Matthews and Oyster 68 owner Dr Jose Alvarez, Flirt is a new 50footer from designer John Corby and took to the water for the first time last weekend. "It started at 46.5ft to which I added 18inches onto the front in the form of a flying bow," explains the designer. "As we were going to build the boat lightly I was after reserve buoyancy up front. Our thinking was that the flying bow was a good way of doing that." The flying bow Corby describes as being more like an America's Cup bow - although less extreme - rather than a normal IMS-type bow. It was also supposed to be a convenient platform from which to set asymmetrics. The reason for the light weight is that Flirt is the first Corby designed and built boat to be constructed entirely in carbon fibre. Structured by SP Technology, she was built using what might be termed 'low tech' carbon fibre construction using uni and some bi-directional carbon fibre skins over an Airex foam core and with a wet lay-up using Amprex 22 resin cooked at 40degC. She was built by Corby and five of his "regular band of misfits" in a shed next to the chain ferry in Cowes. "The finished hull and deck came in at 1.5 tonnes," says Corby. "The deck was lighter than my 41footer Barlo Plastics and at 50ft that 50% more deck area". Thanks to her carbon fibre construction Flirt weighs the same as the Corby 41 Independent Bear, built five years ago. As they were midway through construction the Royal