New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-04-2017 Thread Starter
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New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

Hello all!
I have recently purchased what I believe to be the 1963 29 Defender in san francisco's pier 39. The old name was "zelda III" which has since completely faded or been scratched away (superstitions??) and was owned by a certain Joseph Lebrun, who sadly passed away and is how we acquired it through a dock contractor name Levi.

My co-owner and I are in the process of cleaning and checking everything:
-several lines on the deck which are badly frayed, which we were told to tape a travel cord to and bring to a rigging shop for proper measuring and replacement
-there is some chipped paint inside the cabin which we plan on scrapping and re-coating, as well as other cosmetics such as scuffed wood which will be refinished
-the volvo penta onboard (md7, i believe?) started up once when we bought her, but the last known oil and filter change was marked in the service manual as 1994, so I'd greatly prefer to replace all that and the fuel filter before we get out to sea!
-all the sails are in good shape other than a small hole no bigger than a dime in the mainsail. a patched spinnaker and 3 jibs also came with the boat.
-we had the hull cleaned several weeks ago with very good marks, he said hull paint should last at least 2 more years (not even one scrapper broke! and even after about 10 years floating idle)
-last saturday I had a vessel safety check by the USCG auxiliary and thankfully passed! but he insisted we replace those lines

An interesting aftermarket addition was port and starboard clutches/jammers, which I assume were to ease rigging for solo sailing?

any tips on this boat or anything for new owners would be very much appreciated!
thank you.
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

Sounds like you are planning to take her on an ocean voyage.
I would suggest you chuck the Dahl fuel filter and replace it with a Racor 500 series. It's way overkill for your system and not cheap, but you change filters by removing and replacing the elements from the top. No muss, no fuss. That's kinda handy when one is changing filters in a washing machine, er, excuse me, boat, in rough weather.
Take at least a case of primary and a half case of secondary fuel filters with you because that tank will probably be pretty dirty.
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

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Originally Posted by peezysqueezy View Post

any tips on this boat or anything for new owners would be very much appreciated!
thank you.
Nice Sparkman Stephens design - I have sailed a bit on one, and they sail well in the type of conditions you have in the SF Bay - they slip right through chop and drive nicely in 20+kt winds, yet still move nicely in lighter wind. The 29 Defender does sail on it's ear, but really locks in and gives you that "on rails" feeling. You would benefit greatly to add a traveler to the cockpit on that boat.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

Welcome neighbor! I'm over in Oakland, but a friend of mine is at Pier 39, too (D dock, if I recall). I don't know a thing about your boat, but I do know that if you plan on doing much of the maintenance work yourself, then you'll certainly be an expert in no time. If you haven't heard of Blue Pelican in Alameda, you should plug their address into your GPS and come plunder one of these day. Have fun!!
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

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Sounds like you are planning to take her on an ocean voyage.

I would suggest you chuck the Dahl fuel filter and replace it with a Racor 500 series. It's way overkill for your system and not cheap, but you change filters by removing and replacing the elements from the top. No muss, no fuss. That's kinda handy when one is changing filters in a washing machine, er, excuse me, boat, in rough weather.

Take at least a case of primary and a half case of secondary fuel filters with you because that tank will probably be pretty dirty.


Thank you very much for this tip! I am quite a fan of over preparing for things on my new financial black hole, er, I mean lovely sailing vessel!


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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

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Nice Sparkman Stephens design - I have sailed a bit on one, and they sail well in the type of conditions you have in the SF Bay - they slip right through chop and drive nicely in 20+kt winds, yet still move nicely in lighter wind. The 29 Defender does sail on it's ear, but really locks in and gives you that "on rails" feeling. You would benefit greatly to add a traveler to the cockpit on that boat.


Yes indeed with such a heavy keel it should prove quite smooth, and once I learn how to hoist the spinnaker I imaging it should move right along! And thankfully there was a traveler installed at some point. Still has the classic tiller steering too!
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

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Welcome neighbor! I'm over in Oakland, but a friend of mine is at Pier 39, too (D dock, if I recall). I don't know a thing about your boat, but I do know that if you plan on doing much of the maintenance work yourself, then you'll certainly be an expert in no time. If you haven't heard of Blue Pelican in Alameda, you should plug their address into your GPS and come plunder one of these day. Have fun!!


Thank ye neighbor! Yes I'm right in c dock slip 35, the only orange masted boat there. And yes indeed we plan on doing as much of the work as we possibly can, mostly for experience but also because all our damn money was spent buying it hahaaa!


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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

I don't see the traveller in the pics - is it behind the tiller?
I know that hull/deck leaks are common in these - something to watch for and possibly remedy.
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

Hello!

Congratulations on your new purchase. As any old boat it will require some of your sweat and money, but she is a capable blue water cruiser, I say that from personal experience. I own and live aboard a Columbia 29 MKI, very similar to the Defender. I did some restoration projects that I documented on my blog. If you think they could be helpful look for columbia 29 tranquility.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-13-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of '63 columbia 29 in SF, CA

so we have come to the conclusion that all the halyards need replacing, but we will focus on the main and jib to begin. Since they are wire to rope halyards, the sheaves can only accommodate the wire, and we were thinking of replacing the sheaves if they aren't too corroded (which they very well could be, it is a rather old boat…) but if they are too corroded we will just bite the bullet and replace them with newer wire to rope.

sadly the wind has been quite strong for bosun chair expeditions, but dammit we want to sail! so up we must go…

any thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated, and thank you for everything so far!
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