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Boat Reviews By Owners

1968 -- 36' 0" columbia

Model: C 36

Cockpit: best bang for the buck... a few columbias have retained or gone up in value thru the years ( the S&S designed 29 , the Bill Tripp 50 ) but most columbias are priced more reasonably that similar boats, maybe because the name columbia brings images of floating condo's like the columbia 45, despite its modern underbody and good performace, columbia has always used world renowned designers, crealock, the 36, Sparkman Stevens, bill tripp and many others and because of that, most, if not all columbias do sail well.

Cabin: because of mass production and very fair pricing columbias were never fancy, they developped the "drop in liners " making the inside sometimes bland and tupperware like and not "yacht " looking enough for some, mostly the columbias are thought of as coastal cruisers, but their glass work was good, most hulls solid, ALWAYS lead keels and with a high ballast to weight ratio making most of them faily stiff. the only common flaw after 40+ years are the steel keel bolts, yet no keel has ever dropped and most of them are still solid... the inside layout on the 36 is good, you have to look at the potential of Columbias, lots of hidden storage, good headroom, spacious for its time, very sea kind

Construction: ive owned a columbia 30, a columbia 43 and now this 36, and like its predecessor, it sails better than i expected, a bit of weather helm in winds above 25 but always very sure footed, ive seen McGregor 65's in various places over the world, you can place you hand on the hull at most places and push it in..... yet they dont sink... so, defining a boat as coastal or a crusier is a bit tricky... personally i would not take a 65 mc gregor offshore, yes, you can stay ahead of the weather due to speed, but i still trust the columbia 36 to weather a storm and the day to day ocean life better. the 36 has 3 keel designs, the rare schell keel in the very early ones, the standard keel and the shark fin keel, the standard keel came in two versions, one with a "racing trim tab " and one without.

Handling: under power mine had the Albin 2 cyl diesel, it was adequate, i have repowered with an overkill 48 hp kubota... one strange feature is the propeller location, behind the rudder.... despite that, it still, to my amazement managed to steer fairly well at low speed despite no prop wash over the rudder. very large "head" alot of closet / locker space, nice long Vberth, two quarter berths, big ice box / reefer compartment, good engine access, very nice cockpit. decks are balsa cored, hull is solid.

Engine Room: like any boat look her over if buying one, walk the deck... look at keel bolts, these are not fancy, just good old plain fairly traditional sailboat with good performance, great value at $15 to $30,000 less than comparable boats... ive owned a hinckley bermuda 40 and behind all the fancy wood ive seen fiberglass work WAY worse than columbia's... and it cost $80,000 more...

General Comments: are they GREAT boats, NO, but they are good and with some tlc can be great boats... below is a link to pictures of my " project C36 " the boat cost less, meaning i can spend more time on the water, estimated departure is spring 2012 for a two year cruise... my third one.. and i have all the faith in the world in the 36.... and ive heard the Crealock knows something about cruising boats...lol...

Email Address: gon2sea@msn.com


Date Submitted: 2011-09-01

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