There's a lot to like about Columbia 50s and Kevin should know -- he's owned two of them. Cruising World recently named the Columbia 50 one of the best production sailboats of all time. The boat certainly inspires a dedicated group of owners who lavish attention (and boat bucks) on the old girls. The boats Kevin features on his site are sailed often, well maintained and upgraded.
|Little sister, Columbia 43.|
|Big sister, Columbia 50.|
Columbia 43 Mark 1
Ballast to Displacement Ratio
979 square feet
806 square feet
Sail Area to Displacement Ratio
153 (all three Marks)
William Tripp, Jr.
William Tripp, Jr.
The biggest difference is not the length, but in how much these two sisters weigh. A 50 is half again as heavy as a 43. The 43, at the time it was built, was considered an ultra-light racer. Now she would be a heavyweight compared to today's ultra lights. In her day, however, she was a game changer and a very competitive boat.
Both boats have an impressive racing record.
|Simoon shows her racing style in 1967.|
In 1973, a Columbia 43, Encore, won the Transpac Class B. A few years earlier, another 43, Blue Norther, was first overall in the ocean racing class in the Newport-Ensenada race.
Both 50s and 43s are actively raced today. On his website, Kevin documents several great examples of Columbia 50s that are still actively raced as the fleet enters its 50th year.
|Stumppy J, a Columbia 43 Mark III, heads for the finish line in the 2013 Transpac.|
The pictures on Kevin's web site are serious eye candy, as the two I borrowed for this article attest. I spend a lot of time just looking at them. It's an honor for Oceanus to be among them. My ideal cruising buddy boat would be a friendly couple or family in a Columbia 50. Sitting in Oceanus's cockpit and gazing across a beautiful anchorage at a sleek Columbia 50... views don't get much better than that.