I owned a 1969 Columbia 28 (hull# 359) for 18 years (1980-1998). During that period, I coastal cruised her all up and down the California
coast and to all the Channel Islands. I lived aboard for more than 5 years and had thousands of hours operating time on her which I used for sea experience to obtain my 100 ton masters license
Take it from me, the old "Artemisia" was built like a tank. Never had any structural, cosmetic or equipment
problems-i.e. no blisters
, no delamination
, no anything! She sailed extremely well on a broad reach, but was also fairly fast close hauled. We once sailed her from Los Angeles Harbor's Angels Gate Light to Long Point, Catalina Island
, on a beam reach, in just over 3 hours-that's averaging about 7.5-8.0 kts!
I was concerned about the external lead ballast since the keel bolts
were regular steel
and rusted where standing water
in the bilge
kept them wet. I put new stainless steel hardware
on them. However, there were never any separation problems with the ballast or the rudder, even after I grounded her a couple of times at Catalina Island
She had the original, reliable Atomic 4 inboard, which also never failed me, and only required periodic tune ups and oil
changes. I replaced the original steel exhaust
system with a new plastic tank unit which worked great. The old unit was clogged and caused water to back up into the head
which damaged the valves. So, I did an easy valve job on her, in the boat, and off we went again.
I can't tell you how many wonderful times and great sails I had on the old girl. I single- handed her most of the time and she was a joy to sale
. I would recommend that an extender be attached to the tiller and that you have an automatic pilot. Since she is a fin keel
, spade rudder design, she will not hold a point of sail very long if you release the tiller to take a leak, etc. The rudder is hung in space with a single
steel post, which can loosen up in the tube over time. Simple fix by replacing the gaskets. Also, I had to beef up the bronze tiller bracket for additional strength.
Overall, she was a great vessel, and roomy enough inside to be a comfortable environment
for two large adults. We would provision with ample food
stores, water and fuel
, and take her cruising for 1-2 weeks at a time.
Overall, I would highly recommend a Columbia 28, MK II, especially now that you can pick one up for as low as $2,000.00. I paid $15,000 in 1980, and never regretted the decision-it was worth every penny.
I still miss her and dream more about her than any animate mistress that has crossed my path!
Feel free to contact me for additional information.