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Old 06-07-2010, 17:01   #1
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1967 Columbia 34

It has been a long time since I was here last year. I am still 13 and I am still in love with sailboats, but my aim has changed. I have been saving for my first sailboat since February and have saved approx. 1300 dollars. I have recently found a 1967 Columbia 34 for $800 that is ready to sail if I get new lines and a bottom cleaning, but the interior is close to stripped if not totally. This is a big boat, I am aware, but it will be the families and both my parents have some experience, so we would need a crew member until it came back to them. The reason I am here though, should i turn my head and run? My dad and grandpa are carpenters though, so if anybody could take it on we have a good chance. It is a couple day sail from St Pete to Fort Myers (I think?) so it would be good experience. Back on track, the design of the boat? Were they built solid first of all? How is their motion? How is their performance? And what is your opinion on me getting it or not?
I am going to thank you before just in case I don't remember
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Old 06-07-2010, 17:10   #2
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You're 13 and buying a 34 foot sailboat? Kid, you're in for one hell of a fun life. Do you have any pictures of the boat? Make sure you get a survey done. No matter what else you hear, *do not* buy any boat until you have a qualified marine surveyor examine it, out of the water. That will cost you a few hundred dollars and you'll learn a lot of things about the boat that you probably do not want to.

If you have a friend who knows a lot about boats, you can have them come along with you first and do a once-over before you hire out a surveyor.

Honestly though, I'd get a little dinghy first. If you were 13 or 33 I'd tell you to start with something smaller. I'm 32 and have been sailing for years and 36' is plenty enough boat for me, and in rough conditions is sometimes more than I'd like.
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Old 06-07-2010, 17:17   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.
About having somebody look over it, definately. And I know I'm going to have a fun life
As for the dinghy, I have a laser. And I'm going to call back soon for pictures. I may be paying for it, but if i go through with it, it's for my family until we all feel comfortable with me taking it out (probably not til im like 17). Thanks for all the information, and it won't be a cruising boat or anything of the sort, so rough weather shouldn't be a problem. There are a lot of things to consider.
PS
How much do surveys cost? and if it's an 800 dollar boat is it worth it? If anything i could part out the rigging and sails for more then I'm going to pay and give the hull away to somebody who is more ambitious/prepared then me.
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Old 06-07-2010, 18:07   #4
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There are two different Columbia 34's, a fixed fin and a centerboard version.

The centerboard version is an unpgraded C-33 by Dick Valdes. The C-34 is a Bill Tripp design.




Not for nothing, but owning a yacht of this size isn't a small endeavor. You'll need a considerable amount of money, just to own this scale of yacht, unless it's land bound in your backyard. Just new anti-fouling paint for the bottom of your boat, will cost a few hundred dollars (before you pull out a single brush or roller).

Maybe you should talk this over with your parents, as ultimately, they'll be the one's footing the bills for annual haul outs, paints, goo's, sealants, hardware, several hundred feet of assorted diameter line, a few thousand for new sails, etc.

It's not what most would consider a "starter" boat. $800 bucks would be better spent on a used 20' to 24' trailer sailor. You'll be easily able to park this in the driveway, so you can work on it without a slip fee or travel lift bill. The likely choices (Cal 20, O Day 19, Catalina 22, etc.) are much more numerous, easy to find parts for, easy to fix, easy to rig, etc. These boats are everywhere and great for young, future cruisers to cut their teeth on.

As for your questions if an $800, 34' yacht is a good deal, well think about that question and look at prices for other 43 year old yachts and see how this one "stacks up" in comparison.
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Old 06-07-2010, 18:19   #5
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Good on you Patrick, at this point I am thinking of the dog, who finally caught a car, now what do you do with it? While there are many here that believe a 34' boat is too big, I am not one of them. As far as the money goes, you might be getting in over your head, there is nothing inexpensive about boats except your time and it will consume all of that. It really depends on your imagination, determination and support. If this is to be a family project it will be a great learning experience. I would consult with your elders, and seek out the advice of several sailors in your area and get them to look the boat over with you. Not all will have good knowledge, but if you listen carefully, you will be able to determine which are speaking with wisdom. Usually the loudest barking dog is the one most afraid. As my father once told me " It is a lot easier to get into these deals, than get out of them.". Proceed with caution. There will always be another good deal around the corner.
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Old 06-07-2010, 18:43   #6
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Thanks for the information. I forgot to mention, it's the first design (which is the bottom of your two, the re-designed 33, not the bubble top) It has an atomic 4 that isn't running. I have talked it over with my parents and it's an open option. We have agreed that I can get it, but I have worked hard to save the money and I'm not ready to blow it. As for other deals, I would love to have a Cal 20, but with my price range it's more of a beggers can't be choosers situation. I also think this boat has potential, the reason I haven't looked it over. And another reason against trailer sailer's is that whenever I want to go sailing, I'll think about have to launch it which will majorly cut into sailing time and so on as i've heard previously on the forum. All of your advice is being considered, and I don't have to get this boat, but it's there and right now it seems to be a good option. I am going to call the seller tomorrow again and ask for pictures, i forgot about it today.
And I have been actively looking. Just the other day I bidded on a PY23 trailer sailer, and lost in the last 4 seconds :/
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Old 06-07-2010, 18:49   #7
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Columbia Yacht Owners Association

columbiasailingyachts : Columbia Sailing Yachts

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Old 06-07-2010, 19:02   #8
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Original old Columbias had a pretty thick hull and are considered good coastal cruisers. $800 is just the start of all the expenses. If it isn't on a trailer it'll be at a dock or on a mooring and sometimes that can be $800 a month. I've dreamt like you are doing now and know how much you really want it but as others have said, I'd wait until a bit of a fixer trailer-sailer like a Catalina 22 comes along.
Good luck in whatever decision you make. That is a lot of boat for the money.
kind regards,
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Old 06-07-2010, 19:24   #9
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I am a dreamer. Thanks for the links. The boat is to wide for a trailer which is a limit. I just think if there is a problem, I still could make money with the equipment already on it. I am most likely going to get a survey even if it sounds obsurd for such a cheap boat. I think it would be way more friendly for my family of four and sometimes more on trips. I am not saying that it's going to be bought by me. Let's just say, there is a columbia 34 in good condition, for an average price, what are pro's and con's of this boat? (to answer some original questions) Thanks for every bit of advice.
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Old 06-07-2010, 19:44   #10
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The average price for a Valdes C-34 would be 10 times the asking price of this particular yacht.
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Old 06-07-2010, 19:57   #11
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So, what about the average boat makes it better/worse then comparable boats?
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Old 06-07-2010, 22:20   #12
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I don't understand your question . . .
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Old 06-07-2010, 23:14   #13
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My question(s) are:
A) Is she a good design, in your opinions, for the gulf coast with a new(ish) family of four, and eventually up the East Coast with experience
B) Does the design handle rough weather well, why or why not? And if you don't know, does the design look to handle itself well?
C) Is it a fun design to sail? I'm not sure how this question will ride, but speed doesn't neccesarily define fun for me
D) How is the motion, is it a big problem, or is it comfortable? Some boats motion is just scary
E) This is just a question and it won't really effect much- Does she perform well? Considering her waterline is like 23 1/2 feet or something like that.
F) Does weight kill the performance? Not that I will be packing her down like a pack-rat, but how does she handle weight? Some boats turn out like a goat with extra weight, and some handle it well.
Hope that's cleared things up with you.
As for the boat it self, we are going to ask for pictures of it and decide if the car ride is worth it to look at it more closely, and if I like it close up, most likely a survey will be ordered and we will see from there
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Old 07-07-2010, 00:45   #14
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Columbias of this era (I owned a 26) were solid coastal cruisers. Some design issues are the high freeboard (height of the boat fro waterline to toerail or sheer) and thr\e draft of 5'6". The high freeboard gives you lotsa room below but makes trhe boat harder to dock in a crosswind. Kinda acts like you have a sail up. It also requires you to heav a dependable engine for docking. It has a dependabale engine? The 5'6" draft is about as deep as you'll want to go, maybe too deep depending on where you'll be sailing, in FL as the water's pretty skinny. That Catalina 22 trail sails and doesn't have these issues to be dealt with. I'd hate to see a very labor intensive "Project" boat turn you off of sailing.
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Old 07-07-2010, 00:53   #15
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About the draft, one of the things that is a deal breaker for boats with me because of my location. For me 4 ft is the max. This boat has a centre board with 3ft 6 draft which is fine, and once I get a little bit from the shore I won't have a problem. I am aware of the high freeboard on the mkii but what about the earlier design, it is way different and doesn't appear to have a high freeboard. I have a lot to consider, and before anything, I am going to get the pictures. As it was explained to me, the exterior needs cleaning and some lines and it's ready. At the time being this is all that matters, it sails. And if the interior just needs some woodwork and simple things, this isn't going to scare me. But sometimes things aren't as they've been described. Thanks for the input.
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