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Old 21-12-2013, 21:00   #1
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1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Hello all! Happy Solstice & Merry Yule!

These are both selling for a great price and I want to know how far I could get with one of these. The prices are about the same and they're both in great shape. I'd like to sail as far as I could get after cruising the East Coast and the Great Loop.

I thought either of these would be fairly easy to sail solo yet have enough room for an occasional guest. I'm not a 'girly girl' and wear my hair in a short pixie so I won't have a lot of clothes and grooming equipment. I do want to carry my Fuji Hybrid bicycle and a folding shopping cart for groceries and errands.

The Columbia has 6'11" headroom and I'm 5'10", but it needs some engine work. I'm pretty mechanically inclined and used to work on my own car. I'm not sure of the headroom on the Hunter 25 & it has no outboard with it.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 21-12-2013, 23:53   #2
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

To my knowledge, the Hunter 25 is more of a daysailor while the Columbias, varying in design and build-quality, are generally more ruggedly built. Not sure exactly how a '78 8.7 fits the curve here.

What's a great price? Lowest asking prices are often the most expensive boats, especially if you're not totally sure what you're getting into.

Happy holidays!
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Old 22-12-2013, 03:35   #3
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I'm no expert but I would agree with the above. At 5' 8" headroom the Hunter would only really be comfortable for day sailing and weekending. For more extended cruising the extra space, and the 6'1" headroom, of the Columbia would feel more comfortable and afford much more room for guests and folding bikes and such.
To get the best advice from forum members you might want to give a little more info re: your experience and type of sailing you want to do.
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Old 22-12-2013, 07:24   #4
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

I owned a Columbia 8.7 for almost 25 years, and I found it to be an excellent coastal cruiser. Most of those 25 years were spent on the Chesapeake Bay with a few years in S. New England sailing out of Newport, RI. I can definitely recommend the design for the purpose of coastal cruising and extended live-aboard periods. However, the devil is in the details of the specific boat.
While the Alan Payne design provided good sailing and lots of interior space in a 29' boat, the Columbia construction left a lot to be desired (e.g., leaking portlights). Many of the original owners were not up to the maintenance required to fix these short comings and the boats quickly deteriorated and then were sold for less than half what the original owner paid.
My Columbia was a 1976 model (first year of production). By 1978 Columbia was going out of business and by 1979 the molds and Columbia name were sold to a Canadian builder. I sold my 8.7 in 2001 for around $13k. I suspect your "great price" is much less than that. If the engine is the original Volvo MD6 it may be on its last legs. Repowering will cost around $10K, unless you buy a used engine and do the installation yourself. You might be able hang an outboard off the transom, but that would be very inefficient and difficult to operate given the high free board.
That said, the 8.7 could be a great buy, just priced low because the owner wants to stop bleeding money for a slip or storage. If you do not have a lot of experience with boats I would hire some expertise to evaluate the boat for you.

John
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Old 22-12-2013, 07:36   #5
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Columbia. Better quality, kinder sea motion. Have fun boat shopping
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Old 22-12-2013, 07:46   #6
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pirate Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Its a no brainer... Go Columbia..
If the engine turns out to be stuffed chuck it... fit a bracket and hang a 5 to 9hp longshaft OB on the back.. use the engine room space for extra storage..
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Old 22-12-2013, 13:36   #7
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Its a no brainer... Go Columbia..
If the engine turns out to be stuffed chuck it... fit a bracket and hang a 5 to 9hp longshaft OB on the back.. use the engine room space for extra storage..
I sailed as crew on a Columbia 28 (and its lighter than the 8.7) from Oahu to the Big Island through some nasty channels and was surprised at the way she took on the weather. It did very well. I would never have done that in the Hunter. Hunters that size are much lighter built boats.

As Boatman said, the owner replaced the Atomic 4 with a Honda 7.5 and was happy he did. The Honda just sipped gas.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 22-12-2013, 21:51   #8
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

I purchased a Columbia 7.6 new in 78'. I wish I could have afforded the larger 8.7 but I was a poor tv cameraman back then. I loved the boat. It was my second sailboat and I spent many wonderful hours sailing her around the Florida gulf coast. It was quite sturdy and seemed well built, but I only owned it for two years so I don't know how well it held up. I was bitten by the racing bug and found that the Columbia was simply too slow in lighter winds to be competitive so I bought a light weight racing boat.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 24-12-2013, 08:34   #9
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Excellent input! These are the kinds of things I can take care of myself, being mechanically inclined and not afraid of the work involved. My son has fiberglass repair skills from auto shop class as well. I wanted to wait but things have changed again with work so I need to act quickly.

I'm leaning heavily toward the Columbia myself because I actually know the person selling it. He wouldn't have bought it if it weren't seaworthy and solid and wouldn't sell it to me if he thought it wasn't safe. I trust him so that helps a lot.

I'm in a pickle right now because my work schedule has been reduced again and I'm looking at either not being able to afford my rent at all after a few months or moving up my liveaboard plans. The boat will cost less than 6 months rent for me to own it. I can still anchor out near where I live now and get to work with little effort. I would still be able to afford sailing lessons and put money into making the boat safer and more liveable. The Columbia would be more comfortable for me and my 16 year old and we could rent a small storage space for things he wants to keep that won't fit on the boat.

I'm going to offer a few bucks to the owner for us to stay in it for a few days over the winter break to see how we do staying on the water.

Thanks again for all the great info!

Merry Christmas!!
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:55   #10
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Glad you'll be staying aboard a few days to get the feel of the boat. Let us know how you like it.
Sailing lessons don't need to cost a lot. USCG Auxiliary boating safety lessons are a bargain. It isn't sailing lessons but it does give you a lot of other good information. Find an old sailing instructor around the marina who will mentor you. Not just an old sailor but one who was actually a certified instructor. They won't skip the importatnt stuff you need to know.
kind regards,
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Old 27-12-2013, 06:43   #11
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

10' of beam, and 6'2" of head room. Columbia 8.7 for sure. I own the last of the Canadian built Hughes 8.7's for 10 years now. It is a solid but it is a cruiser, not a racer. Sails well in all wind conditions, accept very light airs. In heavy wind & waves she shows her forte, well balanced and stable and safe. Keep it simple with a working head, engine, and portable electronics, any boat (to maybe 32') can be reasonably affordable to mange for live aboard lifestyle.
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Old 27-12-2013, 08:43   #12
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

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10' of beam, and 6'2" of head room. Columbia 8.7 for sure. I own the last of the Canadian built Hughes 8.7's for 10 years now. It is a solid but it is a cruiser, not a racer. Sails well in all wind conditions, accept very light airs. In heavy wind & waves she shows her forte, well balanced and stable and safe. Keep it simple with a working head, engine, and portable electronics, any boat (to maybe 32') can be reasonably affordable to manage for live aboard lifestyle.
Yeah, I'm in no big hurry to get anywhere. I think it would be very comfortable and fun to cruise.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:20   #13
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Re: 1978 Columbia 8.7 29' or 1982 Hunter 25'

Welcome Journeygirl! Found your post while looking for other Columbia owners. I know mine has done extensive blue water cruising (though I haven't yet- will get my pro-crew friends for my training missions). It also has a good beam and lots of space, though mine is a 9.6, 35 foot. IF you do get the Columbia, please do let me know. We'd be two Floridian Columbia owners and I may have some parts/documents that I can email. I look forward to cruising far away too and picked my Columbia for this purpose. The headroom was important to me as other boats I checked out I always felt like 'Dino' in the Flintstones. Is your [potential] Columbia the Alan Payne design?
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