Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lower Chesapeake bay
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Re: The Trouble With Columbias
My boat was newer '78 different designer and maybe yard but extremely well built. Others will speak to your model but I would prioritize an inspection as follows;
Hull inspection inside and out, blisters are costly but repairable, I wouldn't buy anything without knowing any issues and cost associated. Look at all the inside tabs, chainplates, deck leaks and delamination , motor beds etc.
Rigging inspection, anything look botched up or home-made looking, rust in swages on deck (you prob wont go aloft right away)
Interior water damage and such. Then on to systems and running gear.
Sails can be replaced budget $3000 at least each and you need good sails to feel good about sailing especially any kind of upwind duty.
Then a real survey, I wouldn't buy anything of any size without professional eyes on it. I have self maintained many Boats and hold a USCG license and a surveyor ALWAYS sees things I don't.
This is a big heavy old boat it will not preform like lighter boats, it will have its moments of brilliance, and you will motor a lot so don't cut the running gear short.
What you do have is a big spacious cruiser and in the right condition a well founded craft. Remember when they started building FG boats back in the late 50s nobody had any idea how long the materials would last, look where we are now the boats are crumbling around the fiberglass.
At the end of the day its a big boat with lots of stuff to keep in order, if you're not deterred by that find the right one and go for it.