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Old 19-04-2010, 15:12   #16
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I have owned three 1971 columbia's. All Tripp designed flush deck boats. A 26 shoal draft, a 34 MKII and a 43. All built in CA and aside from some deck soft spots I had NO HULL PROBLEMS and I seriously doubt the validity of Norm's post. These boats all sail very well and I sailed the 34 a bunch in all kinds of conditions. The only time it got uncomfortable was in huge following seas coming down the Straits of Georga. We were the only boat out there and I don't think anything other than a double ender would have done better. ALTHOUGH, I made a trip in similar conditions in a Westsail 32 and that wasn't much better. Large following seas just suck.
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Old 19-04-2010, 15:29   #17
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For more on the yacht from a long term owner, see the following: Columbia 34 Mk II Review
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Old 19-04-2010, 16:08   #18
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For more on the yacht from a long term owner, see the following: Columbia 34 Mk II Review
G'Day All,

For the OP: read the above review, consider the opinion of the chap who actually saw the hulls being built, and then wonder if you really want to get involved with a boat with as many potential serious problems.

The main attraction for the boat seems to be large interior volume, but that volume is apparently poorly utilized. The propensity to oil-can is in itself enough to rule it out IMO. I had a Yankee-30 of the same era, and it had an oil-canning porblem in its bow... it took serious work to remedy the situation. Having no chain plates for the lower shrouds is a very unhealthy factor too, considering that loosing a single lower means loosing the mast in short order. The keel bolt situation is difficult and invasive to properly evaluate. The short rig means poor sailing performance in light to moderate airs. One wonders why the owner installed a 40 hp engine (way more than needed in this size yacht) and whether the additional wei(ght and power were properly compensated for. And so on...

If you decide to go ahead with the boat, do hire the meanest surveyor you can find, and arm yourself with the info in the review. Follow the surveyor around and be sure that he addresses each of the problem areas described, and be emotionally prepared to reject the boat if it fails too many of the tests.

There are, as others have mentioned, better choices to be made in the same size/price range. Selecting a cruising boat is an agonizing process, one that we have all gone through and I wish you success in your quest.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Lake Macquarie, NSW, Oz
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Old 20-04-2010, 12:27   #19
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My doubt of the validity of Norm's post is due to a couple of items that lead me to think he didn't see what he thought he saw. There is no chopped fiber in the hull. I've drilled the hull several times. It is ALL roving with mat under the gel coat. The interior"drop in" is in deed built up with copious amounts of chopped fiber, but that is entirely approprate in that application. I think, maybe Norm mistaked an interior section for a hull section. Has anybody ever heard of a hull failure in the area of oil canning? Many of these boats sail everyday with oil canning with nothing done to it...After 40 years of service. I would appreciate any proof that one of these boats has ever had a failure around the oil canning. What I see is that the depression becomes stable. Fiberglass is flexable. BTW, a 3GM30FV, 27 HP is about 30 lb. lighter than the P60 gas engine with the Walter "V" drive and the weight winds up being a couple of inches forward and an inch or so lower than the P60. The universal 40 HP is a few pounds lighter than the Yanmar and a way smoother running engine thanks to the 4 cylinders and Kubotas have counter balance shafts also. The only reason I did not use the Universal when I repowered my 34 was the lack of a robust belt drive for a good charging system. As for speed under sail, it is a matter of how healthy your sails are. BUT, in Pugent Sound, wind can be rare in the summer, so you motor a lot, OR you can make a couple of knots drifting with the current.
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Old 21-04-2010, 11:20   #20
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I don't really want to get into a pissing contest, but I was there and saw them being built. I recently ran into another guy at the Ventura boatyard who worked there at the same time and he concurred with my opinion of the construction quality. There's a reason they sell so cheap. Perhaps you should closely examine a well made boat and note the differences.

If I were to buy a Columbia it would be one from the '60s. They were much better built. In fact that fellow I mentioned above who worked there in the early 70's too was buying a Columbia 50 from the '60s when I met him.

That's all I have to say on this subject.
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Old 21-04-2010, 18:53   #21
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Nor do I want to get into a pissing contest but I have had three of these boats and none of them had chopped fiber in the hull. The interior inserts were in deed chopper gunned in a big way. But I have never had a problem with that either. Also, Columbias have used value in line with other boats of that era. If they are as bad as you say, why are so many still afloat after 40 years?
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Old 22-04-2010, 05:51   #22
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.. I have had three of these boats and none of them had chopped fiber in the hull...
I have no horse in this race; but wonder how ownership confers knowledge?
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Old 22-04-2010, 07:41   #23
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I did refits on two of these boats and I saw lots of the hulls. Are you saying that is not a way to gain knowledge? If so, how do you suppose one can learn?
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Old 24-10-2011, 15:56   #24
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

Just FYI for those reading this thread, there were over 30,000 Columbia boats built in the 60's and 70's. You can find little if none about this hull fiberglass issue that Norm suggests. What you can find is countless comments by proud owners of their solid boats.

I don't doubt Norm working for Columbia, but it was 40 years ago, perhaps he was very young and did not know what he was looking at.

Also, to note, is that Columbia yachts were specifically designed for coastal cruising, and not necessarily for trans-pacific or trans-atlantic voyages.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:18   #25
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

I can only agree with the previous posts. There was no chopped fiber in the hulls of the Columbias I have seen, and you can find countless comments stating how solid those boats are.
We tested our Columbia 34 mk II very well over several thousands miles since we left San Francisco. She turned out to be a solid boat and mastered even 4m (12ft) waves and 30kts of wind on the beam in the middle of the Pacific, on our way to Australia.
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Old 29-01-2015, 17:50   #26
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

Boat was unbalanced. All boats spin out when unbalanced, even the J-122 race boat that I race on often.

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Yuck!!! These boats were built cheaply, a lot of corners cut and their prices reflect this. The slab sided hulls oil can. Don't know about the 34 but it's smaller sibling, the 26, was a terrible handling boat. Rudder would stall out in gusts and do uncontrolled 180s. Sailed with the genoa, only, much of the time in Hawaii's gusty winds because the handling was so unpredictable with the main up. Yes thay are condominiums down below but how much of that space is usable for storage?? If you are looking at boats from that era, try the Pearsons, Tartans, Bristols, etc. They may not be as voluminous inside but are better built boats that handle decently.

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Old 29-01-2015, 18:57   #27
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

I don't know if this helps, but I own a Columbia 29 from the 60s. I love it and have full confidence in it. However, if I were in your shoes shopping for a cruising 34, I would not choose that Columbia, or most boats built in the 70s. Oil-canning, while ugly and unsettling, has not stopped many boats (not just Columbias) from sailing in all kinds of conditions. Still, I personally would not feel comfortable in a boat that did a lot of that. I have heard a lot of good things from owners of the boats though. For cruising I would avoid a spade rudder also. With these kinds of posts it is really helpful to let us know what kind of cruising you are planning and your level of experience and preferences. Bluewaterboats.org has a whole bunch of proven boats that very few will argue about. The Pearson Vanguard or others of that strength and vintage might be a good choice. They are strong, proven, not too slow and can be had, even well-equipped, for not too much money...
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Old 29-01-2015, 19:50   #28
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

Hey guys, you are arguing with a thread whose last significant activity was in 2011.

Jim
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Old 29-01-2015, 19:56   #29
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Re: Columbia 34 Mark II

That's okay with me, as you know I am getting ready to bring one up the coast, and going to compare notes.

And I regularly race offshore in boats that don't oil can ...... but I had a cal 20 that was great at doing that

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Hey guys, you are arguing with a thread whose last significant activity was in 2011.

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