28' Columbia vs. Catalina 27 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2006
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28' Columbia vs. Catalina 27

I'm daydreaming about buying a small cruiser for around 10K and came across this 28' Columbia. There are a lot of Catalina 27s out there for the same price. The Catalinas I've seen are outboards, but maybe this inboard on the Columbia isn't that great since it's gas.

I'm mainly interested in daysailing from seattle with as many friends as I can fit on the boat, then secondly to camp overnight with my kids and/or wife or friends. I'd be borrowing money to buy the boat, so 10k is about all I want to spend.

Other tham marina fees, what might it cost to maintain it in reasonable sailing condition each year? I've been daysailing almost every weekend for the past two months. I'm not sure it'll continue at that rate, but summer isn't too far away either so I may want to sail even more.

Last edited by RayMetz100; 12-05-2006 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-05-2006
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I really can't speak for the Columbia, but when I had my Catalina 27 she was great fun. I would PHRF race on one weekend and then head out for a cruise the next.
Some of the draw backs were, I had the inboard and the engine was really hard to work on. Get the outboard. It will also give you more room below. If you do end up with the inboard, most of the Catalina 27s have gas but there are a couple of diesels. I had the Atomic (bomb) 4 and she ran like a dream. Easy to fix, once you got to it. It was as basic as a lawn mower engine, even I was able to rebuild the carb. The greatest upside to a Catalina is the support from the manufacturer. Catalina has put together kits for everything. They even have off the shelf sails which, as long as your not racing, work great. I choose to go with UK due to my racing habit.
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Old 12-05-2006
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Ray

The Columbia looks pretty clean and well kept, and is probably a lot of boat for under $10K if there are no hidden problems such as deck delam.

The engine looks cared for, and is not a real problem - market does seem to dictate a diesel for various reasons, but there are thousands of A4s chugging away out there. The access looks better than most (but make sure that cockpit hatch is well gasketed)

In the pics the boat looks good - I'd try to find the source of the rust staining off the exhaust.

One negative is the prop location - being behind the rudder, it will make close quarters maneuvering under power more interesting as the propwash does not get deflected by the rudder. This is a very unusual set up.

Our son bought a Ranger 29 out of Tacoma this past spring, with an A4 (fwc - which was nice) for a similar price. We motored overnight through the La Conner ditch 31 hours straight to Vancouver without a hiccup - smooth and quiet compared to our diesel!

So if she's sound you'll probably get your money's worth!
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Old 12-06-2006
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Thanks for your responses. I asked my club about this boat and they said they can't take anything with a gas inboard. I'll see if I can find a diesel with the prop in the right spot or an outboard. I liked the wood burning heater in the pics. Any thoughts on that? I've never sailed a boat with a heater.
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Old 12-06-2006
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Ray,
Woodburning heater? How quickly can you extinguish that when you're heeling 40 degrees and ashes rolling everywhere? Mine has an electric heater that works like a charm. Do you really want to be carrying firewood as well? Just my 2 cents.....



-Nick
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Old 12-06-2006
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That is a good looking boat. If the pictures reflect it fairly, it is a very nice boat.

A gasoline inboard that is well kept is not a bad deal. If you are cruising, you may have a gasoline outboard too, so you will have gasoline in the boat even with a diesel. The one in this boat is a Palmer, which is no longer in business, but I think the basic block is an International tractor engine, for which parts are readily available.

The wood heater is an enclosed marine type (It looks like a Cole Stove) and should pose no problems even when underway. I suspect you would most often use it at anchor.

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 12-06-2006 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 12-06-2006
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
this is personal opinion.

First, there is no way on Gods green earth I'd consider anything close to that amount of money on a 1971 Columbia, unless it came with 2 female 23 year old virgins.

Second...Compass on the hatchboard?

Third, Wood Heater?

Fourth, its a Palmer 18 HP, an IH Cub, Low-Boy engine, lots of them in use in that configuration, not so many marine, and it is only 18HP. max.

Fifth, What kind of club wouldn't let you have a gas inboard (Atomic made over 40,000 of them) but a wood heater is just fine? Some body should ask them if they don't find "gas" all that acceptible, what do the outboards run on, Wesson oil?

There are Catalina 27s in your area that are newer and less money... you also get a company that is still in business.
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Old 12-06-2006
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I think gas inboards are hard to insure because it explodes unlike diesel. Even on their J/80s with built in gas tank for the outboard, my club has it sealed off and uses a gas can on the deck instead. I don't have any expierence with inboards, but from what I've read and my training there, gas is more dangerous than diesel.

The heater caught my eye because when I'm trying to find crew(guests that can help me dock) this winter, the first question most everyone asks is "does it have a heater?" and my response is always "no".

I'm waiting on some other answers from my club. I'd like to use their marina space and get lower dues to cover the cost of the loan. In the meantime, I'll look closer at those catalinas or another boat. This is my selection:
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Old 12-06-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
A lot of power boats have gasoline-powered inboards... provided they have the required blower fan setup, it really isn't a problem...no more than propane on a boat...
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
The gas inboard issue is a red herring at best. Hundreds of thousands of powerboats have gas inboards/I'O's. They aren't harder to insure. Given the age range of what your looking at is a larger factor of insurability than is the gas inboard. Is Diesel less dangerous? Sure, but don't limit yourself to that choice because of the "safety" issue. It's not that big of a deal.
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