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Old 14-05-2021, 16:19   #1
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Columbia 9.6 thread

Seems to be a distinct lack of owners talking about these, so here is mine. Sabbatical is a 1976 Columbia 9.6. I got her 4 years ago for the princely sum of 5 grand. She was in need of some attention, but there were no soft spots in the deck and it had a very clean 2GM20 Yanmar in it and the sails looked nearly new. Sailed it from Muskegon where I bought it to its new home port of St. Joseph. Along the way I made the antique auto helm 5000 work again.. kind of... and determined that she was already willing to do what was asked of her when a squall came through with 40 or so knots of breeze and she just kept going. Did not have the correct lines to reef her yet so flew with a hankie of jib out and had the main down and well tied up. 22 hours after leaving Muskegon, I had made it. After some rest, I tried to put some fresh water in the tanks, which promptly ran straight to the bilge. It would seem that pool chlorine tablets eat through aluminum.

I sailed her for the rest of the summer, tuning the rigging and fixing small issues. When I hauled her out, I made plans to install a new wheel pilot EV100 from raymarine. It installed easily. I needed new depth, wind and etc as well, but I couldn't afford it yet. As I single handed most of the time, I figured autohelm was more important. While it was out of the water, I noticed a bulge at the bottom of the rudder. Water had gotten in, frozen, and bulged it out. I had intended to pull the rudder and completely recore it and reglass, but I wasn't able to get the steering yoke for the wheel free without damaging it. So out came the grinder. At some point, someone tried to drill and fill it with something and failed miserably there were big runs of sealant under 6-7 layers of bottom paint. As I cleaned it up, I found a crack in the glass that seemed mostly superficial. Using West systems and bi directional glass, I rebuilt 6 layers over the trouble spots.
The interior was done with very dark wood. A bit sacrilegious, but its a small boat and a brighter interior makes it feel bigger inside, so the wood was cleaned and the bulkhead and area around the windows was painted white. 5 layers of outdoor latex paint. I have since replaced all lines and halyards, installed new raymarine depth, temp, wind and speed, removing and replacing the original 1976 equipment. Installed an Axium 7 plotter. (Love it) Replaced all light bulbs with the new LED versions. I have been redoing the wooden lazarette seats with hydrotech ply and mahogany and should have them ready to install soon. Companionway woods were replaced with purpleheart for both appearance and durability (might as well be stainless).
Persistent complaints are the lack of a good way to anchor. The leads at the bow are somewhat sharp and there is no good place to install a bow roller. When empty, the bow sits lower than the stern, to the point that the water line is actually just above the antifouling paint. Weatherhelm becomes an issue at heel angles over 16 degrees. Toe rail gets wet at about 22 degrees. Good times. Reefed, she doesn't seem to have any changes in handling, but I would like to get an appropriate storm jib.
A bit of a dog downwind. She goes to windward very well and I run down boats that should out class me on a regular basis.
On my list of future improvements, a new dodger, removing and replacing the teak cabin sole with teak and holly, dripless packing for the prop shaft. If I replace the standing rigging, I'm considering dynema over stainless. That said I see nothing wrong with what exists now, it looks like new, but it is original.
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Old 14-05-2021, 16:31   #2
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Ahoy and welcome to CF Greatest Lakes!
There is a long-standing thread on a Columbia 29 re-fit and I hear that Don CL is a fan
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Old 14-05-2021, 16:34   #3
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Oh. Galley maid stove needs to go.
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Old 18-05-2021, 08:15   #4
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Welcome aboard! There is a social group for Columbia owners:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...-columbia.html
you may find some info there and be sure to add your own! The guy who wrote the guide book for the islands and California coast out here used to sail his 9.6 all over the place. $5k for good engine and sails sounds like you got a good deal!
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Old 18-05-2021, 18:39   #5
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

I'm only on lake Michigan, but according to the new raymarine stuff I installed last spring I have already logged over a thousand miles. Thanks for pointing me to the group.
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Old 21-05-2021, 05:04   #6
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

So. Columbia used dark woods extensively. The problem with this is it make the whole boat quite dark and small feeling. Sabbatical is a 1976 9.6 and I painted the bulkhead by the mast and the wood around the windows with an off white exterior latex paint. I removed as much trim and parts as I could to reduce how much had to be taped off and aid in the wood prep needed. As there had been some leaks in the past, some of the ply had delaminated prior to my purchase. As the wood had not yet rotted, I used titebond 3 and injected it in numerous areas in the afflicted spots. I then used bracing to press the ply back together while it cured. Used regular bondo to fill the holes before painting. Pardon the debris in the photos. One thing the 9.6 I got was severely lacking was actual storage space. I have seen pictures of several with added cabinetry and it is something I'm considering changing soon. I'm also looking at completely replacing the cabin sole with teak and holly. From the measurements of what exists, I should be able to redo the whole boat with just a sheet and a half of new flooring. If any of you have had a floor out, I'd like to hear what you found.
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Old 23-05-2021, 18:45   #7
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

My weekend was a bust. Wind died, and on return to the slip, so did my auxiliary. My little yanmar slowed and died. I tried increasing the throttle, but it still quit within 20-30 seconds of noticing the issue. I seem to have gotten some water in my tank. My fuel filler cap is deck mounted and despite my best efforts to fix the seal, seems to let some water in. So now my long weekend plans involve replacing old fittings, replacing the lift pump, engine fuel filter, primary separator filter, somehow getting rid of 20 gallons of old, probably iffy diesel, and possibly pulling and flushing the fuel tank and lines. Which may be the biggest trick.
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Old 23-05-2021, 19:42   #8
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Sorry to hear that. Does one need to replace the lift pump or ? Could you just do the filters and give it some 'sweet juice' new diesel from a jerry can / day tank until there is time to polish or dispose of the other fuel?
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Old 23-05-2021, 21:10   #9
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

It has the original lift pump and diaphragm, so at this point I'm doing it just to make sure it's something else I don't need to worry about for a bit. As I'll be bleeding all the fuel from the system, it seems like as good of a time as any to change it out.vThe hour counter doesn't work, so I'm just looking to check everything I can. I'll be changing out the thermostat as well. I have been considering pulling the motor entirely for an overhaul during the winter, depends on how satisfied I am with the operation after it's upcoming work. Speaking of the control panel not really working, I'm wondering if any of you happen to have the wiring diagrams for the panel and motor connections?
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Old 24-05-2021, 20:41   #10
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

You have done a wonderful job making her beautiful on the interior. The new paint looks great and really brightens it up a whole bunch. We did the same on the inside of our Columbia, really sets off the teak or mahogany nicely as well.

I really like the dodger as well and the sea-hood, those are on my to do list.
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Old 31-05-2021, 17:24   #11
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Update. Replaced all my filters, lift pump, and cleaned out my fuel tank. Found my initial problem to be caused by gunk plugging up my fuel line about 2 inches from the tank. Got everything cleaned out and added 5 gallons of fresh diesel from a Jerry can. Decided to go to the nearby fuel dock for the other 15 gallons. The attendant promptly filled it with regular gasoline instead of the diesel I requested. I knew something was up because it didn't smell right. Got a tow back to my slip, and now I get to pump my tank again.

Good times.
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Old 31-05-2021, 19:20   #12
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest Lakes View Post
Update. Replaced all my filters, lift pump, and cleaned out my fuel tank. Found my initial problem to be caused by gunk plugging up my fuel line about 2 inches from the tank. Got everything cleaned out and added 5 gallons of fresh diesel from a Jerry can. Decided to go to the nearby fuel dock for the other 15 gallons. The attendant promptly filled it with regular gasoline instead of the diesel I requested. I knew something was up because it didn't smell right. Got a tow back to my slip, and now I get to pump my tank again.

Good times.

Oh man...too good of times for me.

Any chance of getting the dockhands to pump and dispose for you?
I can understand if you a skittish to have them near the deck fittings.
Did you get a couple minutes of glory on the diesel before the tank was mis-filled?
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Old 31-05-2021, 19:29   #13
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Well, ran it in the slip long enough to make sure everything was good, then a few circles in the river waiting for the bridge to get to the fuel dock. Yeah, nah. I dont trust them near my boat at the moment, so I'll just do it all myself. I have a fuel transfer pump and enough Jerry cans to do the work. I just need to figure out disposal.
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Old 31-05-2021, 19:41   #14
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

Glad you had a little run time to affirm your hunch and repairs were good.
I would call the dock manager and play it soft, ask if they can empty the mixed fuel cans for you since you lost a day on the water and are doing the pumping. I am not sure what else to do with 75% gasoline + 25% diesel. Does the city or county have a hazardous waste collection?
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Old 01-06-2021, 04:25   #15
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Re: Columbia 9.6 thread

County has hazardous waste.
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