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Old 11-08-2009, 20:47   #1
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Columbia 43

Ahoy all!

I've just purchased a Columbia 43 in Long Beach, CA and was interested to know of others who are familiar with these boats.

A few items of question for me are:

Any experiences with the steel keels, repair, rebolting etc?
Cockpit locker usage?
Hotwater heater location?
Soft deck repair?
Holding tank location?
Adding refrigeration?
Relocating of electrical panel to nav station?
Palmer to Perkins install?
How much hp is enough?
Living aboard?
Cruising?

I know these are all very general questions and many different variables can apply. I'm not interested in "generalities" or "variables". Anyone who has specific experiences, knowledge or suggestions regarding the Columbia 43 is gratiously encouraged to reply, suggest and advise.

I certainly appreciate your tried and true ideas and the trial and error that went into your gained knowledge!

Thanks in advance and it's good to be back in Cruiser's Forum!

Mike
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:24   #2
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See the Columbia diagrams for HWT and Holding Tank locations:
http://www.columbia-yachts.com/c43p11a.jpg

Justin Thompson has the Columbia literature and engineering drawings available for sale:
Columbia 43 Literature
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Old 12-08-2009, 18:13   #3
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I appreciate the reply Gord! I've been through the Columbia site and others as well, but what I'm looking for is how other owners have set up and tweaked their 43's. Kind of like jumping in the dink on a Sunday afternoon to cruise the harbor to see how other owners of my model have done things so I can do a minimum of this:

Thanks Again!

Mike
s/v Wa'a Nui
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Old 13-08-2009, 11:13   #4
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Man, oh man do I remember that job....

Bamboo, I re-rigged 1 of these about 14 years ago...
they required a new mast, however were without funds for same, so after severing the spar above the damage (corroded step...bad, for 12") & replacing the gap w/a teak laminated built up & Epoxied routed for a seat "block" at the base along w/freshly (& highly improved both grounding And weep holes for proper drainage) set spar back in place & new standing rigging...I can't speak to location of holding tank...it would probably be an aftermarket installation as most of these were built prior the requirement of same per COLREGS.

Keel bolts(& Nuts) are what they are...what did Your surveyor note? Are there problems?

Cockpit locker usage? Not sure of Your question? What do You think appropriate for quick/easy access in the cockpit?

HW Heater is usually located somewhere near the engine & connected to the heat exchanger via water hose

Soft Decks, no problem..."Git Rot" & depending on the amount of area determines how much You're going to need, along with how many syringes for same. Available at all Your local boating supplies stores. These boats, compliments of Columbia's selection of balsa for the deck core are infamous for this malady. Just follow the directions & know it takes a while...the hotter & drier the better for application procedures. When done, they're stronger than original. (now completely "plastic" where the epoxy has actually penetrated & replaced the fibers of the former core, then hardened).

Adding referigeration? Seek out professionals, or check out adler-barbour & other suppliers on line. There ARE a few setups that come like Mobile home "package systems" & CAN be self installed if You're Very mechanically inclined (<buying a vessel of this age, demeanor & known problems tells me You must be).

Relocation of electrical panel is challenging for the most experienced of us, extremely depending on distance between where now and desired...not for the feint of heart...given the funds, I'd call in an expert;

Palmer to Perkins Swap...OMG, YES, DEFINITELY Call the pros & shop price, this requires a new engine bed, mounts, the engine of course, takes several days done right (glassing in new engine bed PROPERLY, shimming engine properly, etc. is an ART learned from experience...NOT for the 1 time, "I'm gonna Yank this and Stuff that" type. You need professional help on this 1;

either a 4-107 or 4-108 (w/significant accessory loading...like that refrigeration, HD Alternator, etc.) is more than sufficient for moving these vessels at hull speed...keep in mind trim Matters Also...the 4-108 out weighs the Palmer by almost 2x?!

Living aboard? By Yourself? With a significant other? 3 kids? 3 dogs & 2 cats? More detail needed, although the 1st two options would be the "life of Ryan", more than 2 children...you're getting in to some cramped quarters at the docks on rainy days...& dogs/cats don't ask for the car keys or college tuition.....

Cruising? Gr8 boats as coastal cruisers...They, in their prime were also decent ocean crossers, however this 1 is far past it's prime...I'd ask the surveyor his opinion of EVERYTHING that would need repair/replacement before considering heading seriously "out there".

Congratulations on Your acquisition, they are nice boats, gr8 lines, keep an eye on that rudder bearing, re-bed EVERYTHING Remotely close to, or "uphill, as in water weeps Downward from those soft spots, get that GAS ENGINE out of the boat asap, and trust in a good surveyors advice. I wouldn't take on relocation of the Main Panel unless You simply Can't STAND it where presently located. It's a task under the best of circumstances. Check out the bottom of Your Mast Foot for corrosion. Let me know what You see...a historic problem for these specific vessels/design flaw that can be repaired relatively easily & cost effectively.
HTH,
-Mick
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Old 13-08-2009, 12:50   #5
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Haven't repaired the soft decks of a 43 columbia but have on a 40 foot Trawler and I'd look at using Smiths penetrating epoxy instead of git rot. Nothing against git rot but the Smiths is just about the best thing since sliced bread. Not having seen the boat (and I am no expert surveyor!) I can't say whether injecting is the best way, with that big beautiful flush deck it may require more, even replacing some core.

You bought a beauty! I love the flush decks and great interior
Cheers,
Erika
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Old 13-08-2009, 13:15   #6
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Not to divert topic but I been using git rot for a couple years, what makes smith a better product? Just curious.... I have been treating outside teak before varnishing not for deck soft spots (yet).
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Old 14-08-2009, 11:07   #7
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Me 3 hoping for more info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewingengr View Post
Not to divert topic but I been using git rot for a couple years, what makes smith a better product? Just curious.... I have been treating outside teak before varnishing not for deck soft spots (yet).
I also hope to learn this answer... was able to avoid cutting & patching, even on a 37' 'er where the poorly installed/thereafter maintained Teak decks were REMOVED (about 10,000 holes, or seemed like it at the time, literally used GALLONS of the stuff) yet when done it was stronger than original which on the particular boat (w/balsa core) had a bit of "flex" straight from the factory (to the "trained" foot ). Thank GOD it DIDN'T have Flush Decks (ergo MORE Teak & MORE HOLES), although I'm partial, like Ocean Lady to the flush decks now...mo room is always a welcome thing;

Sooo Ocean Girl...
Tell us about Smith's Penetrating Epoxy & why You're sold on it please?
Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 14-08-2009, 23:00   #8
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Capt. Mick and Ocean Girl,

Thanks for the input! I do know I've got a bit of a project ahead of me but she's a lovely lass and a one-owner lass at that! Make that two owners now. The one and only other owner cared for her annually with a haul out, keel grinding, fairing, bottom paint and varnish.

He apparently was a race fanatic and removed the original Perkins 4107 and installed the smaller, lighter Palmer for the obvious weight advantage. It was an estate sale so I didn't get to speak with her "captain" or her "first mate" as I purchased her through a broker. It became apparent he was a "racer" when I found 22 bags of sails aboard and a "fanatic" when a gentleman on the dock (who's father raced the previous owner of my boat in his Columbia 43) recanted the story of him yanking the Perkins and putting in the Palmer.

The boat had been in Long Beach her whole "commissioned" life and was well known as "Flame". Now she is Wa'a Nui and is going to make the transition from "racer" to "liveaboard cruiser". Solid hull, great survey, plenty of space and lots of "aloha" coming from you-know-who and she'll get to see more than just the bouys!

Thankfully the mast step situation had been addressed and is sitting on an epoxy block. As to the holding tank, no doubt a custom job. I'm thinking about "doing as the French do" and installing a Beneteau holding tank up high with a 2" discharge line straight down and out. I have the 50L (12 gal) tank and have the intention of installing it in the hanging locker outboard of the head sink. My only hesitation with that is it will be using up some great space to build in custom cabinetry(not wide enough to hang clothes well) and that the head to the holding tank will be a 5' rise. Otherwise I'm fine with that location. I certainly am trying to avoid putting the stink under the v-berth.

Cockpit lockers on this boat are exceptionally large. So much so, I've considered making one of them a workshop. With the cockpit seat up, I can stand comfortably in the locker and with built-in bench and cabinets could have a great workspace. Sounds crazy, I know, but where do you think he stored those 22 bags of sails!?

I've been thinking about the propane instant hot water heater in lieu of 110v/Heat exchanger. Any experiences with the propane models? The thought of these seems to make perfect sense to me, so I don't understand why they are not the standard.

The soggy deck is something I'm not unfamiliar with. I had a similar experience on my Ericson 32. In that case I drilled through to take a core sample and it was decidedly wet, so I re-cored the entire foredeck. I'd like to try to avoid that if at all possible. My intentions are to do the core sample, drill holes every 1/2" in the delaminated areas heat to dry and then inject penetrating epoxy. I would much rather go this route than to scarf the fiberglass skins and re-core.

Refrigeration question centered around additional insulation necessary for the box. If someone with a C43 did or did not add insulation and to what effect? I have an Adler Barbour cold plate system I'm going to install, I was curious of others results in their installations.

Electrical panel is presently in the galley and the nav station is forward. Seems to make more sense to have it all together and away from wet countertops. Certain to be a challenge but a worthwhile one I perceive.

Perkins was the original motor and the engine mount holes are still visible, though filled in. I'm looking to locate another 4107 and V-drive if that is sufficient for this 22,000lb behemoth. My Mariner 32 had a 4107 in it and it was only 12,000 lbs. I did do hull speed at idle in calm water though. ; ) Shaft size, V-drive angle and ratio are my specific questions.

I do love the flush decks, however I think mast pulpits (or sissy bars as my friends call them) are in order. My dogs haven't complanied about all the extra space though! If I had 10,000 lbs of fishing weights, I'd pursue casting a lead keel, but the survey was good so I'll just try an hold off on that compulsion.

A roller furling here and a diesel there and all will be well. Thanks for all your advice and and I'll be sure to keep everyone up-to-date with pics on progress. Send any other Columbia 43 owners my way if you come across them

Keep The Rig Up, The Water Out and The Glasses Full!

Mike
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Old 16-08-2009, 07:49   #9
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More thoughts for You!

Mike,
Your Ericson was SERIOUSLY overpowered. Idling at hull speed sure sounds cool (for the drag racing fans), however never getting the engine to it's sweet spot makes for some serious carbon buildup....wouldn't want to be behind You when You finally decided to rev' 'er up to a "Normal" cruising RPM & traveling through that "smoke screen". I've seen everything from 36' 'ers to 45' 'ers w/107's...frankly it depends on how much wetted surface there is and hull shape/lines as much as weight. I'm certain if the 4/107 was in it originally it wasn't underpowered. Overpowered (like Your former Ericson) is just a waste. Your boat (in the water & from the waterline down) has sleek lines & like the ericson, won't ever go past hull speed short of being towed or racing down waves so it's Your call...both it & the 4/108 would/will be an easy install.

I'm confused, did the V-Drive get "uninstalled"? I'd bet if so, his widow has both IT AND the 4/107 sitting in the garage, shop out back, somewhere. Sounds like he was the type to not part with anything! 22 sails, wow! Anything a little small, let me know, my rig's quite similar (on a 4' shorter boat LOA). Sails can always be cut down;

You might want to consider either a lectrasan, or composting head if You need space and Hate the stink (who doesn't)?

Make SURE there are weepholes at the base of the mast, they historically were probably where Your block is, and grounding I'm guessing the surveyor checked thoroughly for.

ALL the Columbia's have MONSTER Lazarette's usually both aft and in the cockpit...we had a 24' & 26' that I could stuff both our kids in (when they were little) or 3 big sail bags; they were less than HALF Your boat! For that work"shop" just add a hook for that hatch so You don't wind up in the dark, or stuck in there.

More success faster with a boat in the water for the soft spot repairs can be accomplished by an elevated tarp above the worst area(s) directing all moisture overboard, including most of the dew settling in the mornings. If he was that much of a racer, deck covers of any type (SOP for liveaboards) were probably never pursued. You can jury rig something fairly easily.

A propane Instant hot water heater is a GOOD idea, just note (like their 110v/220v counterparts) they really, REALLY Suck Down that propane when in use. Another concern is co1 (carbon monoxide)...You'll need to get a detector that alarms on both it and gas leaks as well as an airtight (or topsides) tank locker that's vented Overboard/Outboard.

Mast Pulpits? Good safety Idea, as well as strategically placed pad eyes and swaged wire rope between them for a "static line" right dow the centerline of the cabin top. Perfect place to secure those jacklines/tethers in to. Run it all the way up to just aft of the anchor pulpit/windlass servicing area. 1 more safety addition with dogs would be lifeline netting.

There's a Columbia Owners Group on Yahoo, a "shout out" there may find You more connections and suggestions?
HTH,
-mick
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Old 12-02-2011, 15:03   #10
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43' Columbia

Ahoy, Congratulations on the new 43 Columbia. I have one on the great lakes (burried in snow in dry dock for the winter).

The hot water heater is located behind the engine, under the cockpit floor. Best wat to get to it is through the Port Side Lasserette. Once inside, remove the pannel, and whola! can miss the water heater.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:32   #11
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Re: Columbia 43

I'm new at this. I thought I had left a message for the new owner of Flame, however, I don't see it. To summarize, my brothers and I there from the beginning. Racing her with Doc. 2nd race was to Ensanada, the Doc & Flame took PHRF honors. 1st PHRF to finish,first in class , among other awards. Flame only had 4-5 sail then, counting the main. Anyway if your interested in the history I remember. You can call me (760) 940-1827 (760) 201-5420 M Monroe
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