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Is it a Steal or a Scam??

Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
Hello everyone!
I am looking at buying a 43' Columbia, listing here (contact me for link) pictures are a little hazy and show a lack of upkeep. I have read a few sources on what to look for, typical issues and repairs at their current age. Example here http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1259-columbia-43.html.
My questions and requests here are, can anyone spot anything that screams run far far away? I have a survey being done this week. Can anyone find a reason for me to back out before I throw that money away? Is there any additional information that can be provided regarding the columbia production models? Any and all help is appreciated, and thanks in advance!
 

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Jul 26, 2009
184
Cal 28-2 Cape Cod
It's a 45 year old, 43' boat and they're asking $7500. What are your expectations of it? How do you hope to use it, how soon, and where will you keep it? If in a marina, you may want to see if anyone will insure it.

Have to imagine the cost of the survey is a relatively high % of the asking price. I certainly wouldn't pay for a survey w/o a personal inspection first.

Good luck
 
Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
Thank you for your response!
Absolutely, going to view it today as a matter of fact. That will definitely give me some assurance. As for my expectations, I am prepared to dedicate as much time as necessary to get her blue water ready. I am currently in a contract until April (2018), I am hoping to take her out sometime around then. Money-wise, I am aware that I will undoubtedly be sinking a good amount of cash into her, I am just hoping I can offset that by doing the work myself.
What should I be expecting in terms of a quote for the survey?
Are you familiar with any reputable insurance agencies I may want to contact?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,357
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Welcome to the Forum Zach.
No absolute answer.
Berner is right... 43 foot boat for $7500 is cheap. The scouts likely got the boat as a donation.
ALL 45 year old boats have issues!
If you are in the market for a boat and this looks good go take a look at it and verify the info. What do you have to loose?
If you bring cash they will likely sign the boat over to you today.
Expect the minimum.
  1. REPLACE THE STANDING RIGGING. Likely $10K
  2. Bottom job with likely blister repairs another $7-9K
  3. Engine issues $5-7K
  4. Running Rigging $1K maybe less.
  5. Sails $3-7K minimum
And that is just the obvious off the top with out any more information. Who knows the boat decks may have issue.

But if you have the time, the cash and the interest it might be a great boat for you. You'll never know until you take a look.
 
Feb 17, 2006
4,703
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
It is possible you are letting the size to price ratio influence you. If it isn't a scam, then it might be, as pointed out, a maintenance nightmare. The next question is are you capable of handling a boat that big? They don't turn on a dime you know, and stopping one is just a hard as turning one. Think wisely before investing. JMHO
 
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Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
Alrighty! That is very helpful advice, thank you both. I am definitely still weighing pros/cons. No judgement can be made without some more information, I will provide an update on this topic after I have seen the vessel (Along with pictures of any interesting finds). It appears as if I have broken some forum rules so I may need to remove the listing links, but can be bothered for them via pm. Thanks again gents!
 
Jul 26, 2009
184
Cal 28-2 Cape Cod
Call BoatUS and give them the details of the vessel. They won't insure it w/o a survey, but they will give you a quote.

Did you schedule a survey w/o a quote or idea on how much it would cost? It's charged by the foot and will vary depending on geography and surveyor (maybe $20 - $30 ft/plus travel). Remember that you'll also need to pay for a short haul.

If you're not trolling, you may just want to pump the brakes a bit. Go look at that boat plus another dozen or so and see what you find. Then come back to this site and search/read, search/read, search/read for the next 6 months. If after all that you still want that boat, go back. It's likely it will still be there.
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,357
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Zach
Of note, the Columbia Yachts were known to build solid hull boats. Up here in Portland a broker would say you could shoot a bullet at the hull and it would bounce off. A bit of hype but still interesting for the project you are going to explore.
Here is the Sailboat data link on the 43.
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2517
 
Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
I can assure you I am definitely interested in getting myself a boat, I gladly take your advice on gaining more knowledge (there is never enough time!). I scheduled the survey to expedite the process. I am aware that this boat may not be what I am looking for, but I would rather know that asap so that I may continue on my search for something better suited for what I want.
Again thank you @jssailem, I did read through that data, although I am not sure the model of this Columbia 43', as I am aware there are 3 main designs.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,610
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I would side with Brian's guarded commentary. Being new to the forum, your experience is not known, and if you have never owned a sailboat, never mind a large one, there may be a lot more there than you are equipped to handle. That's is not to suggest in any way that you are not up to the task or incapable of it, the reason for this note is that you suggest prepping for blue water, which is a whole different can of worms than a daysailer.
You need ALL the systems to work pretty much flawlessly, and reliably, and you're not giving yourself much time at all to verify or attend to that, in a platform that won't give you much time to learn.
 
Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
I understand the concern, and appreciate everyone's advice. There is much to learn and always little time. One can never be too experienced in any area. I find myself very drawn to the design of this boat, couple that with its price and size, I am hoping it is in a good enough condition that the necessary repairs would find themselves deserving.
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,357
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Zach. I bought an old boat (1974 Cal 35C) so I have a bit of experience with such an adventure. It is really a journey not a race to a destination.
It is most likely the boat is a Columbia 43 or a 43CB (center board) boat. A center board boat will have it's own list of concerns. The 43MIII was not built till 1973 and the boat your looking at is listed as a 1972. The HIN is listed as 79. That is an odd HIN. Most HIN's are longer and include Alpha characters. This could mean the boat is #79 in production of 153 boats. If so the boat would have likely been started the last half 1971. A quick check of the Coast Guard Name database does not have the boat listed. So it is not likely registered as a "documented" vessel. You should check the California Title for liens and debts against the boat.
 
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Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
Thank you @berner73 I will definitely be using that.
@jssailem Thank you again, you are helping me immensely. I will be sure to do that as well, may I ask where you are getting the 153 produced?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,357
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Look at the Sailboat Data info about the Columbia 43.
" # Built: 153 "
Some of them would have had Center Boards.
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,357
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
No just the 43 and the 43CB. The 43 MIII, 96 were built beginning in 1973.
 
Oct 2, 2017
15
Columbia 43' Huntington Beach
Okay, thank you for the clarification. I have checked a few different online sources regarding any open liens, but I have yet to find anything. I will keep searching. The full HIN would be helpful I imagine. As for insurance, the quick and dirty quote says yes I will be insured for 772 a year.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,489
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I echo Jssailem's comment that Columbia's had a good reputation for being solidly built. The designer is listed as William Tripp who was a well regarded designer of the era. The boat has good bones. For the money it's a lot of boat. You have to make sure you can legally own it, insure it, register it and can handle the work that it will need. But if you can do that it is a solid boat that can take you where you want to go. We had one in our local fleet for a few years. The owner lived aboard and kept moving the boat around to keep ahead of the local authorities. I hear the law eventually won. But he had a good run.