It’s funny how some posts will fill up the mailbag and it would seem a lot of folks are interested in my thoughts on turning a Columbia 26 into a VolksCruiser. On the other hand, a lot of folks also wrote to tell me that the Columbia 26 was just too small because they “really needed a…”, “there’s no room for a…”, and “but it’s not a catamaran…” or other such things.
What can I say but life can be disappointing…
So, back to what I think about the Columbia 26 MK 2.
First things first… It’s a small boat though, to give it its due, it’s a pretty big 26-foot boat when compared to most its age. The real question you have to answer is whether it’s big enough for your purposes. Personally I’ve lived (with my better half) and cruised on a similar sized boat that was less roomy for several years and don’t recall any issues that were problematic or deal breakers. The bottom line is that it’s a pretty sensible boat for someone who gets the whole simplicity thing and realizes that it’s a boat and that living on a boat is not the same as living on land nor should it be.
Of course, no boat is perfect and the beauty of rehabbing a cheap classic plastic production boat is you can adapt it to your needs to your heart’s content. Since it’s a small boat it won’t cost you a lot in materials or labor to put most things right and if your ideas don’t work out you can simply redo it.
In my mind there’s nothing really wrong with the Columbia 26 but there are some things I’d think about changing… We’ll get into that next time.