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Old 15-12-2015, 11:06   #1
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1975 Columbia 35

I am in the process of buying a sailboat to liveaboard. Since i am in Michigan i have to wait until spring to proceed with the plan. I am also taking all the classes for sailing from the American Sailing Association, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106 and 107 at GT Sailing School in Holland as soon as it warms up and the ice thaws.

The plan is to sail out of lake Michigan to the Atlantic and hug the east coast down to Florida and on to Puerto Rico my home. I plan to liveaboard there and sail around the Caribbean until i die.

I am on a budget since i am using the last of my savings to do this. I lost my business and i have decided not to start again in the rat race; i have been working since i was 8 years old and i am tired of all work and no happiness. Is time for me and the sea calls me. I grew up with fishermen in Puerto Rico until i left the island for the military, so i am coming full circle.

So now to my question.

A Columbia 35 is available for sale for $15,000. I haven't seen the boat personally or done a survey, but i have seen pictures and it looks clean, well kept and very nice inside. However, i have no experience with sailboats besides the mountain of information that i have read here and in other sites (this site is fantastic!).

There were only 5 sailboats made of the Columbia 35 (1975) according to
COLUMBIA 35 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com but that data is not very helpful since without experience is hard to evaluate it.

I am looking for those who have had personal experience with this sailboat to provide information, data and subjective and objective criticism, positive or otherwise on this sailboat. I am not interested in Sailboat bashing and hearsay. Please tell me about your on hand personal experience and or well founded knowledge on the Columbia 35.

What are its characteristics when under sail? Does it sail straight or points straight, is it a good sailing boat? Is it a good liveaboard sailboat? Is a 40 footer better or the 35 will do for one person and in the future maybe two? ( i am old so no future children and i am divorced so i do not foresee anyone living with me, but, maybe occasionally and for short periods. How is the hull in this sailboat? Is the spade rudder keel a good thing? What kind of deck construction does it have, balsa cored? Standing rigging? Fin with rudder on skeg? Good? Bad?

Any information is appreciated...
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Old 15-12-2015, 11:21   #2
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptRican View Post
I am in the process of buying a sailboat to liveaboard. Since i am in Michigan i have to wait until spring to proceed with the plan. I am also taking all the classes for sailing from the American Sailing Association, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106 and 107 at GT Sailing School in Holland as soon as it warms up and the ice thaws.

The plan is to sail out of lake Michigan to the Atlantic and hug the east coast down to Florida and on to Puerto Rico my home. I plan to liveaboard there and sail around the Caribbean until i die.

I am on a budget since i am using the last of my savings to do this. I lost my business and i have decided not to start again in the rat race; i have been working since i was 8 years old and i am tired of all work and no happiness. Is time for me and the sea calls me. I grew up with fishermen in Puerto Rico until i left the island for the military, so i am coming full circle.

So now to my question.

A Columbia 35 is available for sale for $15,000. I haven't seen the boat personally or done a survey, but i have seen pictures and it looks clean, well kept and very nice inside. However, i have no experience with sailboats besides the mountain of information that i have read here and in other sites (this site is fantastic!).

There were only 5 sailboats made of the Columbia 35 (1975) according to
COLUMBIA 35 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com but that data is not very helpful since without experience is hard to evaluate it.

I am looking for those who have had personal experience with this sailboat to provide information, data and subjective and objective criticism, positive or otherwise on this sailboat. I am not interested in Sailboat bashing and hearsay. Please tell me about your on hand personal experience and or well founded knowledge on the Columbia 35.

What are its characteristics when under sail? Does it sail straight or points straight, is it a good sailing boat? Is it a good liveaboard sailboat? Is a 40 footer better or the 35 will do for one person and in the future maybe two? ( i am old so no future children and i am divorced so i do not foresee anyone living with me, but, maybe occasionally and for short periods. How is the hull in this sailboat? Is the spade rudder keel a good thing? What kind of deck construction does it have, balsa cored? Standing rigging? Fin with rudder on skeg? Good? Bad?

Any information is appreciated...
Wow, you found a very rare boat! As a Columbia owner myself I'd say it is a fair bet that if it has been well-maintained it could be very good boat for you. I have one of the original 29s built earlier and have no personal experience sailing the Bill Tripp designs but I know many folks really love them. I do know they are VERY roomy and I hear they sail great. Go to the Yahoo owners group for Columbia Yacht Owners. There are a bunch of very friendly folks there that can give you all the info you need I bet.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...ingyachts/info

Also go to the Columbia Owners website:
Columbia Yacht Owners Association
and look under "registry," I believe you'll see the boat registered there. If it has a good diesel it could be a great deal! I personally like that the rudder is hung on a skeg too.

My own personal reservations about the boat are not the design or the quality of the build necessarily, but your plans for Caribbean cruising MAY mean this particular boat with its deeper draft of 5 and a half feet could cause a problem. I know there are people who sail all around the Caribbean with drafts like that though so hopefully they'll chime in and give some pointers. It may be wise to keep looking for a boat like a Morgan Out Island 33 because it too is roomy (beamy) and shallow drafted. I am pretty sure the Columbia will sail circles around the Morgan (no offense Morgan owners) but the Morgan's not a dog.
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1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:15   #3
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

Pretty cool old boat. Bill Tripp was a very successful designer. I have sailed on one of these and they sail well. Probably has some issues as any boat of that vintage would. But even if you put another $20K or so into to make it good you would have a quite nice, roomy little cruiser for $1k a foot.
Definitely worth having a look.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:23   #4
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

Thanks to everyone for your input so far. I can imagine that with only five sailboats produced it would be hard to find someone with expertise on this particular boat.

Anyone else who has any experience here?
I did check the two sites suggested and i am thankful thank you.
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Old 15-12-2015, 17:42   #5
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

Also, the 35 is a later, smaller and lighter cousin to the Columbia 39 so you might compare it to that one too. They were racer/cruisers with a little more emphasis on "racer."
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Old 16-12-2015, 09:38   #6
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

The Columbia 36 was a Bill Crealock design, also the designer of the Pacific Sea Craft boats. These were not a very popular and are usually quite cheap on the market. Don't like the hull to deck joint or the aesthetics of the design. Interior volume pretty large and would definitely have enough room for you.

If the Columbia 35 is the one that was recently listed on Yachworld, it's a racing design and will have limited internal amenities and volume. Probably a good sailor though apparently had a hard time sailing to its rating as not many were made.

There are a lot of boats from the early '70s and on that are for sale cheap. I'm a little prejudiced but have seen Pearson 35's listed around $15,000. Have sailed mine to Hawaii. There are also good deals on Bristol 35s, Tartan 34s, and Cal 34s in that same size range.

Now's a good time to be looking for a boat in the frigid north. Demand is low to non-existent, they are hauled so easy to inspect and survey if you can fight through the snow drifts and sellers know they won't see a buyer for another 4 months. Good luck in your search.
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Old 16-12-2015, 23:23   #7
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Re: 1975 Columbia 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The Columbia 36 was a Bill Crealock design, also the designer of the Pacific Sea Craft boats. These were not a very popular and are usually quite cheap on the market. Don't like the hull to deck joint or the aesthetics of the design. Interior volume pretty large and would definitely have enough room for you.

If the Columbia 35 is the one that was recently listed on Yachworld, it's a racing design and will have limited internal amenities and volume. Probably a good sailor though apparently had a hard time sailing to its rating as not many were made.

There are a lot of boats from the early '70s and on that are for sale cheap. I'm a little prejudiced but have seen Pearson 35's listed around $15,000. Have sailed mine to Hawaii. There are also good deals on Bristol 35s, Tartan 34s, and Cal 34s in that same size range.

Now's a good time to be looking for a boat in the frigid north. Demand is low to non-existent, they are hauled so easy to inspect and survey if you can fight through the snow drifts and sellers know they won't see a buyer for another 4 months. Good luck in your search.
Thank you for all the input. After taking everything into consideration i have decided that for my first cruiser it is going to be a Pearson 323, perfect size and seem to fit me on paper. I am sure that as i mature in the sailing atmosphere that i will develop my own like and dislikes about a sailboat. But for right now it is going to be the Pearson.

But hey! Thank you for your help because you helped me make this crazy decision.
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