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Cornish Crabbers – a potted history

Cornish Crabber 24

The history of Cornish Crabbers started over 40 years ago in Rock, North Cornwall. The first boats were made under the Westerly Boats brand and after its inaugural launch at the London Boat Show in 1975 it soon became hugely popular, so much so that the company was launched as an independent yacht builder and renamed Cornish Crabber.

Roger Dongray first designed the Cornish Crabber as a 22ft (6.7m) gaff-rigged cutter made entirely of marine plywood.  However, as the business expanded, they started building GRP hulled versions, with wooden decks and coach roofs.

The Cornish Crabber is often described as a “character boat” and is instantly recognisable on the water with its classic gaff rig and sturdy lines. The factory still builds all its boats with moulding done on site in Rock.

The Cornish Shrimper 19 followed in 1979 and proved to be the company’s best-selling design. It is still a popular yacht model today and arguably one of Europe’s favourite trailer sail boats.

By 2001 the company had established itself as the leading producer of gaff-rigged boats.

All the Crabber boats are built to order, and customers are encouraged to visit the factory during manufacture, leaving safe in the knowledge that they have ordered a yacht that will be built to their specification, using the skills and experience of the Crabbers excellent craftsmen.

Cornish Crabber Range and popular models

Cornish Crabbers 24 / 26 / Pilot Cutter 30

Cornish Crabber 24

The earliest version of the Cornish Crabber 24 (the Mk1) was probably the most iconic of the Crabber range from the early 80’s. It was built from plywood and then converted to full GRP construction with a simple interior layout and good sized cockpit – which meant it was a perfect family cruising yacht.

In the early 90’s the Crabber 24 Mk 3 changed tack dramatically with a move to a deeper fixed draft and long keel characteristics. A new Mk 5 version is currently being manufactured and this new boat will bring the Crabber 24 up to date whilst retaining the traditional charm of the original.

Cornish Crabber 26

The Crabber 26 is straight out of the classic styled gaffer mould, offering generous accommodation below deck and good all-round sailing performance.

The ‘Gaff Cutter’ rig and shallow draught of the boat makes it an ideal family cruiser and the highly specified rigging makes for ease of handling and great performance in all conditions.

Pilot Cutter 30

The Pilot Cutter 30 sits at the top of the Cornish Crabber gaff rigged range and is a combination of classic beautiful lines and finish with modern features that enhance any time on the water.

You have a choice of layouts either 4,5 or 6 berths – giving you total flexibility as a yacht owner.

Cornish Shrimpers 17 / 19 / 21

Since 1979, over 1100 Cornish Shrimpers have been built and the original boats are still being sailed all over the world.

Cornish Shrimper 17

The Cornish Shrimper 17 is great starter boat for sailing newcomers and a fantastic day boat for enthusiasts. It has a high peaked gaff rig and lifting keel, and bears all the characteristics of the outstanding Cornish Crabber range.

The Shrimper 17 is a roomy day-boat, which handles superbly both under sail or power. A central, internally mounted engine well can accept up to 6hp and gives great manoeuvrability and drive in all conditions. According to the team at Cornish Crabber… she is in our opinion “the perfect trailer-sailer.”

Cornish Shrimper 19

The Cornish Shrimper 19 is the most popular model within the range and is classically styled that appeals to sailors from any generation. It also has build quality that has led to her reputation as the best British production Gaffer of all time.

Unusually for a boat of this size the standard outboard engine version can be upgraded to take a Yanmar 9hp inboard Diesel. This sets her apart from the other trailer sailors on the market.

Cornish Shrimper 21

If you are looking for a spacious modern boat that still has all of the classic finish and build quality of the original Shrimper series, then the Shrimper 21 is the boat for you.

The lifting keel ensures a shallow 1’10” draught making this boat ideal for both cruising and inshore exploring. Drying moorings are also easily accessible keeping running costs to a minimum.

The rig is optimised to make the boat easy to prepare for launching using a clever pivoting bowsprit making mast lifting safe and easy. The boat features a Yanmar 9hp inboard Diesel engine as standard, another unique feature that sets this boat apart from the other trailer sailors on the market.

Drag Reducing Propellers for Cornish Crabbers

Darglow have supplied drag reducing props for many of the models in the Cornish Crabber yacht range. We keep an expanding database of technical information on many of our installations along with feedback from our customers.

Check our full list of Cornish Crabbers we have supplied propellers to here.

Rope Cutters for Cornish Crabbers

We have supplied rope cutters for various boats in the Cornish Crabbers range. We keep a database of technical information on many of our installations along with feedback from our customers.

Check our full list of Cornish Crabbers Yachts we have supplied rope cutters for here.

Visit the Cornish Crabbers website

Visit the Cornish Crabbers Club website

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