Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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CRUISING IN A CLOUMBIA 28
To some extent this depends on the age of the boat and which 28 foot model Columbia you own. There were two distinct models and a lot of variations on the first model. None of the 28''s were intended as offshore boats and I certainly would not consider them to be suitable for prolonged offshore work without a huge amount of modifications.
The older 28 was a pretty good boat for its day in terms of sailing ability, although even in its day it was considered to be quite comparatively slow. In its early days, Columbias were seen as being bargain boats and were held in the same disrespect as Hunters are today. Over theu years their reputation has changed some predominantly based on perception of their sheer weight compared to boats that followed. Columbia''s glass work was considered to be light for the day, but heavy compared to the boats that followed. In its day, the quality of the glass work on Columbias was considered to be a bit shoddy. Columbia used a lot of accelerators and bulked their layups with mat or chopped glass cores (depending on whose version you believe). This results in an inexpensive and fast to produce, but brittle and fatigue prone lay-up. Engineering on the early Columbias was pretty poor.
Probably the biggest vulnerability for offshore work on these boats is the hull to deck joint which had comparatively small contact areas and used a polyester slurry as the adhesive. This rolled out edge is pretty vulnerable in a docking situation as well and can be weakened without failing by the normal small bumps of docking.
Other areas of concern would be the codition of the tabbing and the 30 or so year old chainplates, and systems of the boat. While you could do a lot of beef up these elements, you could buy a lot better boat for less money that it would cost to put a Columbia 28 into suitable condition to go ofshore.
The other 28 is the 8.7. While better constructed, the hull design of these would not be a good choice for heavy air work.