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Old 19-09-2013, 12:08   #1
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Columbia 36 First Time Buyer

I'm dangerously close to buying a 1968 Columbia 36 sailboat. I've only been sailing a few times but have been a fisherman/tugboat/research vessel/charter fishing worker all my life. Grew up in Alaska on the water, currently work on ice breakers for the USAP, I'm familiar with boats to put it simply. But not sailboats. I looked at the boat yesterday and it seemed solid, nothing soft or rotted, clean bilge, engine started right up (first start in fours months apparently) the rigging felt solid, shifted smooth.... The price is 16,900 asking. I'm getting this also for the cheap livaboard moorage it comes with. The guy hasn't been able to sail it in a few years, lives 300 miles away and just had a kid. Is there anything I should look for? Is this a good deal? I have a friend diving on it tommorow. Also, insurance... I have a 100 ton near coastal, would I get better insurance rates with this? Excited to learn to sail, been thinking about it for years, but don't want to get ripped off. The deck seemed solid, could use a bit of love in the wood department, but my weekends are usually a few months long so I've got time, and I'm familiar with other rigging and diesels and ships systems. Just not sailing.... Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 19-09-2013, 12:58   #2
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Re: Columbia 36 first time buyer

Contact insurance companies and ask if a current survey is required. If it is then get the marine survey before you purchase so that you aren't surprised.
It sounds like a good deal but if there are any hidden problems like a rusty piece of steel under the compression post for the mast or some chainplates that might be ready to let go that you haven't found it could be a costly repair.

If you do get the boat then just a simple basic sailing class will help you learn sail trim in a hurry.

kind regards,
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Old 19-09-2013, 14:29   #3
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I became a first time sailboat owner a year ago (1985 Ericson 35) and the survey was invaluable in learning the boat's condition.

The insurance company required a survey and amended the policy with a port risk only clause until certain survey items were repaired.
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Old 19-09-2013, 15:41   #4
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Cool, thanks for the tips on this. Anyone know any lore strong points or weak points regarding these boats?
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Old 19-09-2013, 16:03   #5
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Re: Columbia 36 first time buyer

First of all, you might want to measure the boat because I don't think Morgan built a 36 until later than that, lol. It may be a 34, which I grew up admiring as a kid. Not sure but if it's shorter, maybe you can get a pro-rated discount.

Check the sails and the running rigging as the cost of replacement of the entire lot could approach the value of the boat, depending on the number of sails he has on board. Look for general wear on the sails, and see if you can spy daylight through stitching at stress points. If the running rigging is frayed or mildewed it will probably be due for replacement.

Also, inspect all the deck hardware like blocks, winches, shackles, etc. This stuff is incredibly expensive, and if it's not in good working order you'd get a shock when you went to replace it.

Lastly, if it has a centerboard make sure that it functions. A centerboard in a boat that old that has not moved off it's mooring in years will probably require a lot of work to get operational.

Morgan's are good solid boats, for the most part. You know what to look for, outside of the sailing gear.
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Old 19-09-2013, 16:15   #6
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Re: Columbia 36 first time buyer

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
First of all, you might want to measure the boat because I don't think Morgan built a 36 until later than that, lol. It may be a 34,......................
Good point, but he did say Columbia.
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Old 19-09-2013, 16:25   #7
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Ya it's a crealock designed Columbia 36 from 1968.... I've found some others in some sites. The insurance company told me one of that age and length and size was "blue booked" at 11 grand.... But she also said its very common for the blue book value to be much less than the "going rate". Probably just how much they would replace it for if insured I'm guessing. I've found others of similar size and make going for 25 and up.... I think in this case he just knows he can't use it and the market is flooded and that it's time for him to let it go. But I'm trying to be cautious. He replaced a lot of the wire and had it professionally tested two years ago. It has a lazy jack setup and dollar fueling job and self tailing wenches that all turned easy. The stuff I can see and is obvious to me could use a bit of polishing but its functional. It's the stuff I'm not familiar with or don't know to look for that I'm trying to dig into. I do a lot of rigging for my current job and any working sailor has learned long ago how to take things apart and put them together, so I'm not scared of a little work. I know at this price it's not going to be a dream boat. But we're taking it sailing this weekend so any help as for things to watch is greatly appreciated! Thank you guys for your advice and don't be shy!!
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Old 19-09-2013, 16:26   #8
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Roller furling jib.... Auto correct.
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Old 19-09-2013, 17:47   #9
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Re: Columbia 36 First Time Buyer

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and self tailing wenches...
Buy it.
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Old 19-09-2013, 17:55   #10
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I probably will.... And then there will be many more questions!!! So self tailing wenches are a good point I take it? All the lines lead aft and it looks like its set up for easy sailing.
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Old 19-09-2013, 17:57   #11
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This is the boat


http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/36624
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Old 19-09-2013, 21:10   #12
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Re: Columbia 36 First Time Buyer

The blocks and winches needed to run the reefing lines aft can easily top a boat unit. Roller furling is another 3 units. Self tailing jib winches for that size boat will sell for a boat unit each, used, or two units if bought new. You didn't mention an engine but if it's not a diesel, I wouldn't buy it for that price. Nothing wrong with an A4 but gasoline engine is very expensive to replace with diesel and lowers the price of the boat accordingly. Have seen a number of gasoline engined Col. 36s available for $10K

If boat slips are dear and live aboard slips are hard to find. The slip may be worth price of the boat. Know I've thought about buying a $10K boat for $16K just to get a slip in Oceanside, CA.
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Old 19-09-2013, 21:57   #13
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Re: Columbia 36 First Time Buyer

The link shows a 27 HP diesel, and a diesel heater. Those are a plus for the soggy NW. It shows an alcohol stove which is not great for the soggy NW , in that for the amount of heat they give, they give off more moisture into the cabin atmosphere. Overall it looks very nice for a reasonable cost cruiser. Good Luck with it. ______Grant.
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Old 19-09-2013, 22:41   #14
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Re: Columbia 36 First Time Buyer

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Buy it.
I think the "Buy it" was in response to self-tailing wenches not winches.
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Old 20-09-2013, 10:13   #15
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Drum roll!!!
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