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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-09-2004
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Another One Bites The Dust

Oh well after weeks of bickering with the owner surveys cleaning to see what was under that scum the deal went south. I think they should have boat buyers insurance so when you spend allot of time and money and the seller drops the ball you can recoup some of your effort (cash) ect. Ok so stop whining and get on with it. I am now looking at a Columbia 50 and hope to put something togather with this boat,fingers crossed toes crossed rabbits foot sweet grass oh ya and maybe a cross and some garlic. Ok so now I need some info on fiberglass laminates on 1967 Columbia Yachts how thick were they I hear they were built to Loyds specs. Where can you get information on Loyds specs. Also The vessel I am now looking at has a Panama canal passage certificate what the heck is that????????
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Old 02-09-2004
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Sail:

You might review some of the info Jeff H has provided in the past about the evolution of Lloyds build certificate (and the many derivations thereof) but I think you can safely assume that a Columbia 50''s build was not even remotely supervised by a Lloyd''s inspector. Perhaps Tripp or someone from the factory read Lloyd''s build spec at some point and claimed to have emulated it...but I don''t think it would have been more than that.

The Canal certificate is issued the first time any vessel transits the Panama Canal, the purpose being to verify what fees it should be assessed. During better times, as measured by yachtie cruising budgets, this cert could be reused during the next Canal transit and the admeasurement fee waived. My understanding is that now all smaller vessels are assessed fixed fees independent of their exact measurements...but you could visit the Canal website (an interesting one) and read up on their current (and also any proposed) fee structure, perhaps even place a question with them if that route is in your plans. Given the cost of upgrading and maintaining a C50, that certificate is w-a-y down in the noise level, tho''.

Jack
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Old 02-09-2004
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Another One Bites The Dust

forget the loyds certificate . You can safely assume that if the boat built in 1967 is still somewhat floating, somebody has looked at the loyds procedures at the time she was built. And thats more or less all you can expect from the Loyds certificate.

Thorsten
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Old 02-09-2004
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Another One Bites The Dust

Columbia Yachts during the mid- 1960''s were essentially the Hunter, Catalinas and Beneteaus of today. They were very much high proiduction budget oriented boats. Compared to better built yachts of that era everything was pretty lightly constructed, which is not to say that it is light weight by modern standards. Before someone trots out the myth that "they were over built because designers did not know how strong fiberglass was", designers knew just how strong the fiberglas of the era was and they engineered to that strength. There was tremendous research into fiberglass performed by the US government during WWII and Korea and the better designers of that era understood the material quite well.

The problem was that fiberglass of that era was did not have the strength of modern materials. Not only did they start out with a lower strength but fiberglass resins and fabrics of that era were also more prone to fatigue over time. Columbia was notorious for using a lot of accellerators and non-directional fabric (mostly mat). Accellerators greatly increase the tendancy toward fatigue and brittleness while non-directional fabrics also greatly increase the tendancy towards fatigue but also greatly reduces the impact resistance of the hull.

These boats were extreme CCA racing rule beaters with very short waterlines, as a result they have the accomodations. carrying capacities, and sailing ability of a modern 40 footer with the maintenance expenses of a 36 year old cheaply built 50 foot raceboat. The short waterlines, heavy displacement and small sailplans resulted in boat that by any objective standards are quiet slow for their length. Their long overhangs and deep canoe bodies result in a boat that pitches and rolls far more than would be ideal for offshore work, or even coastal cruising.

The early 50''s used a lot of formica on the bulkheads. That has a tendancy to trap moisure against the wood allowing it to rot out concealed by the formica. This can be a serious problem when the boat is pushed hard in a seaway. (I looked at the repairs to a smaller Columbia of this era that had lost its rig when the main bulkhead had rotted out totally hidden from sight behind the formica and the chain plate bolts pulled through the bulkhead and deck.)

You sometimes see these boats listed as ''full keel'' when in fact they were a good example of a fin keel with an attached rudder. Fin keels with attached rudders are not a wonderful way to go since they exhibit all of the negatives of both a fin keel and a full keel, and few of the virtues of either.

In the end, while I know that there are people who really love these boats, unless you are looking for a ''welcome to yesterday'' experience with the ''Wayback'' machine set to one of the poorest periods in the history of yacht design, there are much better ways to go, expecially when you consider the sheer costs involved in taking a 36 year old, inexpensively built, 50 foot, 33,000 lb. "Ready to be prepared to travel the world" boat into shape to really do lengthy voyaging.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 02-09-2004
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One minor note, the later Columbia 50''s were available with a separate spade rudder. One discussion of these boats suggested that the spade rudder was an option on the earlier 50''s.

Jeff
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Old 02-13-2004
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If you have been through several boats, and never been able to close the deal, maybe you are expecting to much. Or maybe you are not spending enough time crawling through your prospective boats before you make that offer. Or quite possibly you expect to be purchasing a new boat at a used boat price. I have delt with a few buyers that felt that a 1970s boat, should be completely re wired, because the wiring was not tinned, and it is thus noted on a survey. Well wire was not tinned in 1970. And this boat is not the same price as a boat that is new. So some times the buyer is also wasting the sellers time and money. I am not saying that that is what is happening with you. But it is something to think about.
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Old 02-14-2004
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According to the people in the Columbia owners club in fact the Colombia 50 was built to Lloyds standards however I have not documented this as of yet. I do however know that the practice of to much catalyst in fiberglass so they could do a rapid lay up was done buy some builders. As for the issue of the matt the same applies I am not sure about that but it is possibly that much of it was used and not directional cloth. I am sure they used one layer of heavy roving and then matt maybe alternate layers but I will investigate this further. To our friend who thought maybe I was looking for too much in a buy well you should look for the best you can afford. I have many years of boat building experience but most was in yachts under forty feet. I take pride in the fact that the vessels I built were some of the best ever built buy a large custom builder in Florida. Lou Ralls the singer was very happy with the boat I built for him and said I was the only guy at the boat builders that had soul. I still get a chuckle out of that when I think of that. Not bragging but I know my boats fair enough but I am always open to comments and advise. I donít think you can ever know enough and that when you think you have the game figured out they change the rules.
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Old 02-15-2004
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Sail:

That was a cute anecdote about Lou Ralls. Which builder did you work for in Florida?

Jeff''s earlier post, describing Columbia boats as yesteryear''s Beneteau or Catalina, is correct to a fault...Columbia boats lacked the thoughtful structural engineering you find on the contemporary mass-produced models. However you find the linkage described between Lloyd''s specs and a Columbia 50, I would suggest not only being deeply suspicious of it but also accept that it''s far less important than what you see, touch and feel on your own. You''re lucky; you know boats. See what you think with your own two hands, especially WRT how that monocoque hull/deck structure was designed and what shape the structural components are in today.

Good luck!

Jack
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Old 02-15-2004
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HELP
I want a 36 foot boat so bad i cant stand it
But my credit has had a rough time after 9-11
is there anyone who can help get me a loan company that might take a large down payment and get a payment plan going my credit was always good and is now but that dip has made it tough to get anybody to listen to me
What do i do!!!
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Old 02-15-2004
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I worked for Black Fin as a supervisor babk when it was still fun to be a builder. People use to respect you for that but now allot of people look at the boat builders like they are framing carpenters. Oh don''t get me started hahahahha. I do agree I have not put my hands on that Columbia yet so it is a hard call. I have some info she was well cared for only raced on sunday bal bla bla.
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