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Old 21-09-2004, 11:39   #1
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35' Hughes Columbia

Anyone happen to have the details on this particular boat? I did a little searching but can't find a lot of info.
From what I gather, Hughes and Columbia were once building together and this boat was originally a Sparkman & Stevens design.
anyone know anything about the construction during the late 70's?
It seems to me that this entity is now split and producing designs under their own names. Confirm, deny?? It also seems that one of these new companies is producing a better built yacht than the other.

After looking at several boats as a possible live aboard for next year, this one came up as a contender.

Bajamas
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Old 21-09-2004, 12:43   #2
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Hughes

I don't know the history of the two companies, some say Hughes got the molds from Columbia when Columbia went bankrupt in the late 70's. I have sailed on the Hughes 35 (S & S design). Sturdy, good sailing boat, solid construction. A friend of mine had one that he took across the Atlantic half a dozen times. The engine Hughes used in the 35 was an Atomic 4. They are very good looking boats with lots of tumblehome. Designed when boats looked like boats. The boat that went across the pond was stock and stood up very well. The Hughes 38 is another good looking boat of the same era that can be picked up at a good price. The market for these good looking, good sailing boats boats is a bit depressed. It seems everybody wants fat, ugly, roomy boats. A Hughes 38 with a fairly new Yanmar in our club recently went for under CAD$30,000. Hughes picked up the Columbia line around 79, went into receivership in 82, started building again in 86 and finally went out of business around 1990 after a fire. If you want a roomy boat try the Hughes 40 center cockpit.
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Old 21-09-2004, 16:49   #3
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Hughes was a Canadian company that built reasonably high quality boats most or which were designed in house. In the 1960's they built a reasonably nice 35 footer of their own design. Hughes was also prone to buying the tooling for obsolete designs from other boat builders such as a 45 footer that was a recycled Seafarer model. They were also prone to joint venturing with other companies to develop new designs. Such was the case with the second of the three Hughes 38's, which was designed by S&S working in conjunction with Hinckley. Hughes did all of the fiberglass work and supplied bare hulls to Hinckley who finshed the Hinckley boats off and sold them as "Hinckley Competition 38's". Hughes sold them as Hughes 38's. Nice boats from that era.

In the early 1970's Hughes was purchased by US Steel and tooled up a new line of IOR rule based designs. This line of boats were designed by Sparkman and Stevens and were called Hughes Northstars. I owned a Hughes Northstar 500 QT which was a IOR quarter tonner (25 feet).

Within the Hughes Northstar line was a 35 footer that was called a Northstar 1500 (I believe). While these boats went to weather pretty well, on all other points of sail these were miserable boats from the era that made IOR so notorious. These were beamy boats with pinched ends and the centerof buoyancy quite far forward giving them a miserable motion and slow speed off of the wind. Downwind they were miserable rollers and their big genoa small mainsail sail plan was a pain in the butt to sail without a couple gorillas on the winches. If someone sailed one of these transatlantic several times they must be one hell of a good sailor or very lucky.

US Steel pulled out of Hughes at some point in the late 1970's and the company seemed to take a plunge. In the late 70's or early 1980's some investors called something like the Aura group bought Hughes and also purchased the remains of Columbia/Coronado and began producing Columbias as well. Columbia had been producing a 35 footer that was part if its "Wide body" series. These were also essentially IOR era racer cruisers and were also not very good boats. I helped a fellow sort through a bad survey report on one of these and the build quality on these had really fallen from the earlier Northstar days.

When Hughes folded its tent, the rites to the name Columbia was bought a number of times and showed up on a variety of different proposed models. There is little or no connection between the original Columbia from the 1960's and the Hughes/Columbia, and the current company.

Jeff
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Old 21-09-2004, 18:39   #4
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Jeff,

I'm not sure if they called this 35 a Northstar but it was a S & S design (late 70's I think) and my buddy sailed across singlehanded 5 times. ( He's a bit deranged). There are so many Hughes, Hughes/ Columbias, Hughes/Northstars it's hard to keep track of them. This 35 didn't have any IOR bumps. It was a real tough boat, looked like a little Swan and finally met her demise falling 50 ft. off a elevated highway while being towed home for winter storage. A very sad day.
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Old 21-09-2004, 20:07   #5
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Here is the Hughes Northstar 35 that I was thinking of. Notice the pinched stern and bustle:

http://cruisersforum.com/photopost//....php?photo=640
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Old 21-09-2004, 20:09   #6
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Ouch That'id make a little more than a scratch in the paint job wouldn't it. I hope no one was on the lower highway. They may still be there. Nothing more than some small bump in the road surface.
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Old 21-09-2004, 20:52   #7
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The boat was beyond repair. Just missed falling on a parked truck . Trailer and boat went. Luckily it broke off the hitch and didn't take the pick up towing it over the guardrail too. Picture looks very similar but the stern and bustle looks a bit different ( going from memory). I understand the Hughes brothers bought the company back from US Steel in the late 70's and dropped the Northstar name.
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Old 22-09-2004, 04:42   #8
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You are correct that US Steel and Hughes split tacks at some point in the later 1980's but they kept the Northstar names on the Northstar models and the Columbia names on the former Columbia models.

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Old 22-09-2004, 17:56   #9
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Bajamas, Lived aboard and cruised the 8.7. It is the 35s little cousin. Built very well and sailed well too. Sailed her up and down the east coast and to Bermuda. If you find a 35 in good condition go for it if that design suits you. My opinion. Chuck
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Old 23-09-2004, 19:59   #10
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That is truley what I love about this forum, ask and ye shall be answered!!
From all the searching I have accomplished in the last few days, I have found a-lot more information about the Hughes columbia and really like what I have found. That coupled with some good recommendations from you all, this will be on the list of finalists when we make a full blown decision next year. We are still seriously looking at the Bristol 32 with full shoal draft keel, although my wife would really like to see a little more room in a quarter berth.
Much thanks for all the info.
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Old 23-09-2004, 21:15   #11
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Columbia 34

A Columbia 34 is just departing Vancouver BC for a nonstop trip all the way around. On board is a 23 year girl who wants to be the youngest women to do this. The boat was given to her by a guy who said she reminded him of his X girlfriend. The core needed repair which was done with a lot of volunteer help and she now has a sponsor for the trip. Her site which I have not checked yet is www.roslinforrest.org Just checked the link and the site looks good. I sure hope she knows that Stewart Island is not the only Island South of the South Island in NZ. Auckland Island is further South and has been hit before. There is now a supply station with some provisions on the Island.
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Old 24-09-2004, 14:28   #12
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Yeah but it ain't a place you want to stop off at. In fact, with the history of that place, it's a rock you would be very happy you missed altogether.
If she finds Stewart Island, she has found one of the wonders of the world and she can't miss the South Island or Mainland as us South islanders like to joke to the North Islanders.
But I would have to say, at 23, isn't she older than someone that has already done it? Can't remember the name. What about Ellen McArther, who old was she?
Oh and BCMike, what reminded the guy of his X. The boat or the new girl?
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Old 24-09-2004, 14:46   #13
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Bajamas,

A couple quick thoughts;

First of all if you are planning to spend much time offshore or in a venue that either has a reasonably high amount of chop or which has a lot of light air then the Bristol 32 would be a terrible choice. I know that they have a cult following but having spent a fair amount of time sailing these old girls I would suggest that you scratch them from your list. These boats began life as CCA racing rule beaters and are made to be sailed by a band of gorillas making them exhausting boats to sail short-handed.

Also just for the record, by the classical definition of a fin keel (i.e. a keel whose bottom is shorter than 50% of the length on deck or the length of the sailplan which ever is the shorter) the Bristol 32 is actually a fin keel boat with an attached rudder. Fin keel boats with attached rudders tend to have all of the negatives of both a fin keel and a full keel with none of the virtues of either.

Good luck,
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Old 24-09-2004, 18:06   #14
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Wheels ?

The girl from BC remminded the guy in the South ( US ) of his old girfriend. Provided the girl from BC gets around with a daily run of 100 miles for the whole trip she will be back in time with a little bit to spare to be younger than Ellen McArther
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