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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to Sailnet, and have been reading so much on here about all the different sailboats and reviews. What I have not found much review on is the Columbia, I did read a few blurbs in other posts saying to avoid it but giving no reason why. Well I am debating purchasing a decent condition 35ft as a live-aboard and then later to learn to sail on. I wanted to get a 27-30ft to live/sail on but I found a good deal on this one. I understand that a 27ft range with tiller is ideal but this 35 footer is in the same price range as the 27 footers and since I want ample space to live aboard why not purchase this right?

Question is: Why is there a seemingly negative aura surrounding the Columbia boats? Should I just get a 27-30ft. instead for learning purposes and deal with less space? Thanks

-Loofa
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Columbia boats are no worse and no better than many other boats out there. If the 35 foot boat is selling for the same price as the 27 foot boat, there are probably several things wrong with the 35 foot boat.

Read a bit and find out what it costs to maintain a 35 foot boat. It's a lot of money. Repairing and replacing things on a boat that size costs about twice as much as repairing and maintaining things on a 30 foot boat.

Stick with the smaller boat until you learn a bit about what you are doing. Trust me, you will regret biting off more than you can chew...

Good Luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the only thing wrong with it is that there is some water damage to the interior (nothing drastic) other than that all seems to be fine. I would have a survey done of course. However I am looking for something to live aboard, and seeing as how I am 6'2" really makes the 25-27ft class feel a bit small and cramped. I will try to get in to read about upkeep costs of a 35ft vs a say 28ft. My primary goal though is to have a decent sized comfortable boat to live on, second comes sailing, not even opposed to taking lessons on someone elses boat until I get the hang to take the 35ft out of the harbor. Is there any major cost/upkeep difference that you know of from a 35ft to a 28ft?

Anyone here have a Columbia 35/10.7 ?

Thanks

-Loofa
 

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Meat Popsicle
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Loofa

My situation's similar. I was looking for a 1st boat to give a go at living aboard. I put out a want ad for a 27 and was approached by someone wanting to sell a 30 for much less than it's worth. It's a crazy market, a bonanza for buyers, but I know how such a wild opportunity can become a source of stress and conflict.

I've seen 27s and I can see where you're coming from. There's not much there. I can imagine living on a catalina 27, saw a cal that has no storage space. I'm getting one with a head hot water and a shower, but i'm coming to find out that more often and not the easier path is to just use marina facilities, and it's not even an option to use plumbing when the boat's been winterized. So its just a matter of how much stuff do you need to have, does the boat have storage space, and can you stand up in it.

Let me tell you what i've paid so far and perhaps it will help your decision. This is Maryland.
I got a year slip for 3050 +60 environ fee. Split into 5 monthly payments. Normally you're making payments months before the term begins, but i guess the market's changed things. Add a $90 a month liveaboard fee. I'm guessing your columbia has a 5'6" draft, in my marina you'd pay at least 3750 for a slip that long and deep. Some marinas are more or less.
Survey was 20/foot.
Survey lift + powerwash was 6/foot
Seller insisted on a certified captain for the trip to the lift and sea trial, 75/hr, 225.

If you can convince the buyer to leave the boat on the hard after the survey lift, you could save some money. See, it's good to scrape and paint the bottom yearly. I didn't, so another 6/foot haul and powerwash, then over $100/gal for antifouling paint. Marina may require you use a vacuum sander, may have to get your own, may want someone else to do it. $.

Oh, and sales tax. And my buyer wanted a 10% deposit before he allowed a sea trial. And if you need a loan, you may need insurance.

So even when the boat's cheap, buying it is expensive. Don't think i'm trying to talk you out of it, I just want you to be prepared.

There's a book called inspecting the aging sailboat by don casey, it basically tells you a great deal of things a surveyor would look for. It could save you the grand it's gonna take for the survey. Read, read read. Theres a lot of things new sailboat owners never think of, like stopping the clang clang clang of the halyards banging against the mast.

As for learning, you're gonna need a buddy to push you away from pilings and run up the sails. One of you two should be trained.

Oh, and water damage. With the market the way it is, you can afford not to get a project boat. Do you really feel like repairing it? Where did the water come from? What else did the water do? Leaks can cause delamination, are there soft spots on the deck?
 

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Telstar 28
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Sailormann's advice on costs is a good... also, if the Columbia 35 is selling for considerably less than it should, there is probably good reason for it...and as a N00b boat owner, you probably don't want to get involved with those reasons, especially if the goal is to liveaboard, since some issues would require repairs that would make the boat untenable as a home until finished.
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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Differences in cost between a 27 and 35 footer? Big difference- your slip fees will be based on your footage, you will need more paint for a bottom job for each foot, your anchors will be priced higher to accomodate the added length, your sails will be more expensive to purchase/repair , etc, etc. Everything will be more expensive and it will be non-stop. Boats require an awful lot of care and and feeding and those extra 8 feet will add up quickly.

I'm not trying to disuade you, just trying to help you keep your eyes open before you enter into such a big comittment. I wanted a 35 footer, hubby wanted a 44-46 footer. We are looking at 42s now because of the issues listed above. It still bigger than I wanted but 2-4 feet smaller still makes a significant impact in cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still a good deal?

Thanks for the responses! I probably should have clarified my financial situation in relation to costs. I am a single guy, 27 years old, no kids, no car needed and the only rent is what I would be paying for marina fees. And I make a very decent salary. Point being if having a 35ft vs a 28-30ft is a few hundred more a month in cost/upkeep I am more than willing to eat that additional cost as I have pretty much no overheard and a decent wage. So, having said that:

Is it still a good deal to purchase a 35ft Columbia that has minor water damage inside due to windows needing to be re-siliconed that leaked slightly. Also the boat has a few small soft-spots on deck. I hear fixing the soft spots can be quite a chore. Again I will be living on this boat first and fore-most, fixing her up and sailing her is second. She is very sailable as is, but I would like to get the small soft-spots taken care of early on and fix the minor interior problem. Everything else on the boat is looking/working good. Thanks again guys,

-Loofa
 

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Loofa—

Read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, and take a very close look at the boat armed with the information that is in it. That should give you an idea of how much work this boat needs and whether it is worth looking at further.

If you do decide to consider buying the boat after that, get a good survey. The survey will be a checklist of issues you'll have to address.
 

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I lived on a Columbia 30 for years. I single-handed it to Cabo Mexico, and back to S.F. CA. with a side trip to Puerto Vallarta. The boat had everything for cruising when I sold it, and lots of it brand new. Such as sails, canvas, cushions, and it went for $10k.

There are many reasons why a boat sells cheap, and right now it could be because of the economy. My reason was because I had lived over 4k miles away from the boat for 4 years. There are great deals to be found. Timing can be everything. Being in the right place at the right time is crucial, and having cash allows for bargaining.........i2f
 

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Meat Popsicle
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If you have to resurface the cushions, that will cost you. The soft spots will really cost you. The windows are no big deal, i'd replace the rubber gaskets, recaulking alone is a shabby stop-gap that will keep cropping up year after year.

How many others have you looked at? A fun thing to do is to put a want ad on craigslist and cherry-pick the deluge of replies. The market is crizazy! I'd say, look up the nada value, dock it with half the cost of anticipated repairs for fair market value, then cut that price in half for crazy 09 market desperate seller value.

If you've got all the mental preparation done then it's just a matter of kicking the awful process into motion and finding a surveyor with a good reputation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah i've been pounding craigslist up and down the eastern shores looking for something in the 28-35 range that was decent priced. On this particular boat apparently there were only a couple small softspots, from what I read it isnt that expensive to do just labor intensive. The other thing that sucks about this boat is that there are no furlings and would be hard to man solo.

Sailingdogs blurb on Boat Inspection Trip Tips was most helpful, i'll definately be putting some of that into practice. I'll let you all know what develops! >.<
 
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