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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > 34 Columbia as liveaboard
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Thread: 34 Columbia as liveaboard Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-06-2009 08:44 PM
groupa
Quote:
Originally Posted by FindingId View Post
Just for my two cents, I've been living aboard a Columbia 34 for about 2 months now.

The high clearance for headroom inside the boat is quite nice. Especially since I am 6'2". There is a clear lack of storage on this boat, and I am just one person living aboard. I have occupied the quarter birth with boxes for storage, as well as every locker. For two to liveaboard, I would recomend modifying the settee for additional storage. Remove the back cushions, cut out the fiberglass behind them, then create some doors out of that glass, and use the empty space there for additional storage. I will be doing this project, and it was recommended by another person using a 34 as a liveaboard.

Also, I don't know if youve got canvas over your cockpit or not, but IMO its a necessity. Having that additional area to occupy that is protected from sun/wind/rain, is very nice.

Another downside I found, is that the storage for the wastewater from the head is quite small. I try to avoid using it as much as I can. You could probably increase the tank size under the V-berth.

I know lighting was an issue for some on the original electrical system for cabin lights. They seemed scant. Luckily, my boat was redone and now has a ton of cabin lights. I would recommend adding some.

Also, a really annoying thing I found is that the plugin for shore power is on the transom, so if you end up docking with the nose in, you have to have a very long shore power cable. If it's not long enough, you either dont reach, our you also have to run the cable down through the cockpit area, and then the cable runs over lazerettes and is just awkward for accessing the cockpit area in general.

I set my boat up with a mini-fridge on the port side behind the icebox, and a microwave on the sliding chart table. Though this ends up being a pain when sailing and need access to charts. There doesnt really seem to be an adequate place to put the microwave.

Also, the freeboard is cumbersome for some people on the boat. I happen to like it and dont find it an issue, but some "larger" people that have sailed with me find it a small problem. Ive found it's easiest to shove off from the dock while onboard using a boat hook, than walking next to the boat on the dock and jumping on.

Also, be sure to check your lifeline stanchions (sp?). I had one that leaked. From other 34 owners Ive talked to, it was kind of common. Was really easy to fix.

As far as the upsides go, Ive never slept better, it's a high and dry sail, and seems quite forgiving. The deck is very roomy, and overall it's been a great boat to live on.
Thats exactly what I wanted to know. Thank You!
08-05-2009 05:02 PM
FindingId Just for my two cents, I've been living aboard a Columbia 34 for about 2 months now.

The high clearance for headroom inside the boat is quite nice. Especially since I am 6'2". There is a clear lack of storage on this boat, and I am just one person living aboard. I have occupied the quarter birth with boxes for storage, as well as every locker. For two to liveaboard, I would recomend modifying the settee for additional storage. Remove the back cushions, cut out the fiberglass behind them, then create some doors out of that glass, and use the empty space there for additional storage. I will be doing this project, and it was recommended by another person using a 34 as a liveaboard.

Also, I don't know if youve got canvas over your cockpit or not, but IMO its a necessity. Having that additional area to occupy that is protected from sun/wind/rain, is very nice.

Another downside I found, is that the storage for the wastewater from the head is quite small. I try to avoid using it as much as I can. You could probably increase the tank size under the V-berth.

I know lighting was an issue for some on the original electrical system for cabin lights. They seemed scant. Luckily, my boat was redone and now has a ton of cabin lights. I would recommend adding some.

Also, a really annoying thing I found is that the plugin for shore power is on the transom, so if you end up docking with the nose in, you have to have a very long shore power cable. If it's not long enough, you either dont reach, our you also have to run the cable down through the cockpit area, and then the cable runs over lazerettes and is just awkward for accessing the cockpit area in general.

I set my boat up with a mini-fridge on the port side behind the icebox, and a microwave on the sliding chart table. Though this ends up being a pain when sailing and need access to charts. There doesnt really seem to be an adequate place to put the microwave.

Also, the freeboard is cumbersome for some people on the boat. I happen to like it and dont find it an issue, but some "larger" people that have sailed with me find it a small problem. Ive found it's easiest to shove off from the dock while onboard using a boat hook, than walking next to the boat on the dock and jumping on.

Also, be sure to check your lifeline stanchions (sp?). I had one that leaked. From other 34 owners Ive talked to, it was kind of common. Was really easy to fix.

As far as the upsides go, Ive never slept better, it's a high and dry sail, and seems quite forgiving. The deck is very roomy, and overall it's been a great boat to live on.
07-20-2009 06:55 PM
OldColumbia Dear Groupa,
The attraction of almost all 34-50 ft Columbias is the interior space and layout.
The drawbacks are the lack of opening ports, ancient and inadequate electrical panels and wiring, Palmer engines in the 34 ( with V Drive), plumbing that is (unless already replaced) archaic, and standing rigs at least 10-15 yrs old. Hence the price.
That being said, they are one of the most workable platforms to customize with sweat equity because they're built thick and strong and along with old Coronados have room below. The 34's and 43's usually benefit from replacing the solid deck hatches with opaques that let in more light and opening ports will mitigate the tendency of the solid hull liner to sweat in colder weather. Dorades and deck prisms lighten it up below as well.
The 34's always sell well because they're alot of boat for the price and everyone that we've known who owned one loved them. The other drawback, like the Coronado 35 (which is the same hull) is the high freeboard requiring a good boarding ladder.
Great Old Boat!
07-19-2009 02:06 PM
johnshasteen
Quote:
Originally Posted by groupa View Post
Its a bubble top, ugly as sin!
You make think it's ugly, but the couple that lived aboard Laughing Lady could sit out on the foredeck in deck chairs in the evening and drink a cold one. Try that in the better looking version of the Columbia - or most other boats in that size range.
07-19-2009 08:47 AM
imagine2frolic It maybe ugly to you, but functional when green water is washing the deck. Possibly there is a Columbia owner's site where your specific question can be answered? As fullkeel posted it may be a while before an owner comes along. On the other side of the coin. There's more knowledge here than you can realize until you hang around for a bit. BEST WISHES in finding your answer......i2f
07-18-2009 07:32 PM
groupa
Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkeel7 View Post
Hey groupa, welcome to sailnet.

IIRC, there were two versions of the C34, one sometimes refered to as the 'bubble top' and the other with a much longer coach roof and they had different interiors. Which one are you looking at so if there is a member with that particular model, they'll be able to help?
Its a bubble top, ugly as sin!
07-18-2009 06:16 PM
fullkeel7 Hey groupa, welcome to sailnet.

IIRC, there were two versions of the C34, one sometimes refered to as the 'bubble top' and the other with a much longer coach roof and they had different interiors. Which one are you looking at so if there is a member with that particular model, they'll be able to help?

Anyway, it may take a little while for right person to see your post. Does't happen ALL the time, but more often than not, you'll usually get some help. In the meantime, enjoy the humor. Although sometimes a little skewed, it's all usually good natured and I found it takes a little time to learn the dynamics of it all. I also find that 99.9% of the members here are most knowledgeable in a lot of different areas pertaining to all things sailing and will bend over backards to help a fellow sailor. I've had more than my share of coffee laidened nose spews with some of the humor and consider it 'value added'. Relax a little and enjoy the ride while waiting for your specifics... Good luck with the prospective boat.
07-18-2009 05:25 PM
johnshasteen Back in the '80's there was a couple with a cat, with down the dock from us that had been living aboard Laughing Lady, an aircraft carrier-decked Columbia 34 for five or six years - they seemed quite comfortable.
07-18-2009 04:09 PM
imagine2frolic Well now,

You weren't real specific in your question the first time....were you! If you can't figure it for yourself how to present a question to get a specific answer. Then so sorry....it will get mucked up. It is the internet, and that's kinda what happens. Maybe you need to lay down some specifics you want answered instead of vague questions. Possibly you need to reread your own original post.....have a nice day.......i2f
07-18-2009 03:04 PM
groupa
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Maybe I wasn't clear..

If you love eachother the boat is big enough for your situation. If you 2 can't live on this boat you better buy a house boat. I know this boat well. I nearly bought one, and a fellow sailor had one. Sorry maybe my humor isn't for you? ......i2f
respectfully, your not getting it, I know this boat is big enough, actually we have been living on one much smaller for 5 yrs. So thats not the issue, the issue is what have other who HAVE owned one and HAVE lived on this particular make/model boat HAVE experienced, and what would they change about the boat, hence the specifics... get it now?

And no I didnt come here for humor I came here to get others EXPIERENCES having actually OWNED this make/model boat and it seems you haven't sooooo your attempt at humor is just mucking up the the real question being asked.
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