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Old 17-06-2009, 05:32   #1
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'71 Columbia 34 - Opinions?

I have been looking to upgrade and found a 1971 34' Columbia. On this forums I've seen some negative and positive comments....Not sure what to beleive. The draft i almost 6', which I am not thrilled about...but oh well.

The one I found needs a bit of work..mostly appears cosmetic....but the price is almost dirt cheap...could probably get it for around $5K. At that price I expect I'll be putting at least $10K into it......

Of course I'd have a surveyor check everything out first...but are these boats made well? Are their hulls strong, stable? Can they handle the bahamas and ICW? Maybe Bermuda?
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:17   #2
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is it the mk II flush deck? cool design. seems it might be a little dark below but looks to have a good layout. the draft is on the deep side. all boats are a compromise in some way ... make your decision and go with it.
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:21   #3
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Bahamas and ICW? Yes, definitely. There are some who have very negative opinions re. build quality. Evidently oilcanning of the hull up forward is common enough that owners have added stiffening up there. I had also heard that care has to be taken to ensure the hull around the companionway is strong enough as there is no bulkhead there to provide additional athwartships strength for haulouts.

But it's a great design from a master designer, Bill Tripp. Tons of room below, and a very good sailing boat. Buying one for $5k that needs mostly cosmetics is almost a no-brainer IMO if you are looking for that type of boat. Especially if the engine is a good diesel. But the survey is crucial, to keep you from having to invest any more than $10k or so, because I think $15k is kind of an upper limit value-wise.

One odd thing to be aware of... the sheer is very high vs. the waterline which makes them difficult to climb into from a dock for normal sized people, so you need some kind of step-up.

Have you looked at the Columbia owner's site and mailing list? Very active, and lots of great info.
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