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Old 17-01-2012, 18:59   #1
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Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

I am looking at a 1962 Columbia 29 to purchase, it is a one owner boat. My plans are to do a little work on it and head out the Erie Canal then down the ICW then maybe to the Keys and on to the Caribbean.

Anyone out there have any experience with the 29? And what I should plan to upgrade, Rigging, chainplates, power " it has the original Atomic 4 that was rebuilt in 2005.

Also is there any known weaknesses of the 29 that I should aware of?

Thanks,
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:24   #2
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Good 'ol S&S design Not a whole lot of them around. Typically overbuilt from that period, also will have typical issues of an aging boat. Everything should be inspected and repaired/replaced as needed. Condition is highly variable on older boats, so theres no way of us knowing what needs to be replaced.

I researched them quite a bit when I was shopping, never got to see one though. I assume it's quite small for a liveaboard based on similar designs I've seen, but you probably know that already... In my research, I never found much information, no known weak points, etc.. Might want to check for Columbia owners groups on Yahoo and other websites.

I followed a blog for a while with a few people that sailed on one from California to the Rio Dulce Guatemala...can't remember what the website was now.

I'm sure it's a sturdy boat by design, but it'll need a thorough going-over simply because of it's age.

a 2005 A4 should be pretty much bullet proof for the next 15 years, provided it's regularly maintained.
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Old 19-01-2012, 21:32   #3
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Just missed getting one for a first keelboat. Been aboard them and sailed them. Headroom issues for me at 6'2" and yes, not a lot of living space...because of the layout not quite as "open" feeling as the Tartan 30. As I remember wonderful sailors... well balanced, will steer themselves quite handily and have a pretty comfortable motion. Tough boats as per early 60s Columbias. I wouldn't be afraid of taking one just about anywhere
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Old 19-01-2012, 23:48   #4
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

G'Day all,

Many years ago whilst searching for my first "serious" boat I romanced that model Columbia. Local research in the SF Bay area turned up an opinion from local shipwrights that there was a lot of chopper gun glass used in these boats. This means of construction does tend to build up those impressive hull thicknesses, but is kinda variable in actual strength. In particular they were worried about the transom strength in way of the back stay chain plate, and had instances of failure to report.

So, if you find a boat worth surveying, have the surveyor look carefully at this area as well as other highly stressed areas.

Good luck with your search, mate!

Jim
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Old 20-01-2012, 10:56   #5
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

In 1962 I don't believe the chopper gun had been invented.
kind regards,
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Old 20-01-2012, 11:23   #6
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
In 1962 I don't believe the chopper gun had been invented.
kind regards,
Now I want to know who invented it and when. All I could find on boat design.net is that the gun was invented just before 1960 and enabled mass production of fiberglass boats by 1960. So, it's possible that a 1962 hull was created with the chopper gun.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:05   #7
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Very surprising to me. Thanks for your research. I don't think Columbia used it that early if they did at all but I could be wrong just like before.
kind regards,
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Old 20-01-2012, 14:02   #8
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

G'Day all,

Well, I could be wrong in my memory, or the guys I talked to could be wrong... The time frame of my searching was around 1978 and by then the dreaded chopper guns had created a lot of poorly built hulls for a lot of manufacturers, and shipwrights were well aware of this.

Historical vagueness aside, my advice still stands: have a surveyor check the high stress areas carefully (not that a good surveyor wouldn't do this automatically). Pay particular attention to the transom area... just in case they were correct!

Cheers,

JIm
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Old 20-01-2012, 21:28   #9
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Absolutely get a surveyor. You can tell by looking at the inside of a glass hull is you see woven roving showing through whether it is handlaid but some boats don't have easy access to the inside of the hull.
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Old 21-01-2012, 04:26   #10
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Thanks to all, for the advice and information. I am going to look at her Tues. I'll post an update Weds.
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Old 21-01-2012, 05:48   #11
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

Why wait and endure a cold winter. Here is an Alberg 35 with a new westerbeke diesel (2 hrs) autopilot sails etc. Needs some work. It is sitting at the Jibroom in Marsh Harbor Abaco. $5,000. Engine was put in last year for over $10K Duty is paid so you can keep it there.

PM me for details
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Old 21-01-2012, 05:49   #12
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

That may be confusing.... They want only $5,000
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Old 21-01-2012, 06:27   #13
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

I think the common method of layup back then was alternating layers of woven roving and chopped strand mat (hand layed). I could see how by just looking at it, a person may see the chopped strand and assume it was blown glass.

A survey is always a good recommendation, but chances are if it's 42 years old and still going strong, it's fine. (and I know other people disagree with this, but I think history speaks for itself)

Also, shipwrights in the late 70's were probably extremely weary of chopped glass boats, so it would make sense if they were quick to dismiss a boat they weren't entirely familiar with it. (and that still seems very typical today.. To many 'professionals' are just as biased as anyone else, and will just say whatever sounds good to make themselves appear knowledgable for their potential clients)

The columbia 24, 26, and 29 were build by a different company, in a different era, than the later (1967 and on) boats. There were other versions of the 29 later built and could easily be confused between the two by someone not entirely familiar with their history.

If the transom was pulling out, it probably would have done so about 20 years ago Of course, You'll want a survey anyway just because the boat may have any number problems.

this is just my opinion... do your research, find the truth, and Good luck
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Old 21-01-2012, 10:59   #14
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

If it is the Columbia 29 with the full keel then it is a great sailing design while being a bit "old school" and narrow beam with less interior space than more modern designed boats.
regards,
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Old 21-01-2012, 11:23   #15
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Re: Thoughts on a 1962 Columbia 29

It's the first boat I did any serious long-distance sailing on back in the 1970s. Crewed for a great guy named Charlie Tillinghast and the boat was called Little Auk. We sailed from Camden, Maine, up to Halifax and then on to Labrador. Went as far north as Cape Mugford with nothing but a flasher depth sounder and sextants. There were places in those days where we sailed off the charts too. In any case, the boat was were narrow and cramped and sailed on her ear, but very nicely. They were not great runners before large following seas due to that rather narrow and petite stern and overhangs, but they were very fast and handy to windward. I would say that is a typical characteristic of boats of that type: wineglass hull, overhangs, narrow beam, heavy ballast, etc. One thing's for sure, if she ever rolled she would come right back up. Those type of boats also tend to pitch a lot unless you are very studious about keeping weight out of the ends of the boat. For example, Charlie insisted on disconnecting the anchor from the rode every time it was brought onboard and then the anchor was stowed on the cabin top aft of the mast, and the road was mostly nylon with a short length of chain. Ours leaked extensively through the hull-to deck joint, which I recall was bolted and fiberglassed, but still it leaked. That is one area that is frequently a problem in older fiberglass boats, whatever their construction method and it is hard to detect until you are heeled over and pounding to weather. The accomodations are more like a modern 24 footer, but if that is all you need OK. We went aground on some poorly charted rocks and she came off with lots of winching and some tide help. You could see daylight through the bottom of the keel for the rest of the trip, but no leaks. Charlie subsequently took her trans-Atlantic a few times. You can read about him in the book After the Storm.
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