Perusing the Hawaii Craigslist I noticed there seemed to be an abundance (four!) of one of my favorite boats the Bill Tripp designed Columbia 26 Mk 2. Which, as it happens, is the little sister of the Columbia 50.
|Very little sister
Now, a lot of people think a 26-foot boat is far too small to live or cruise on. Then again, when I was living on a CAL 20 there were a couple of 26-footers that I both lusted for and considered palatial. One of them being the Columbia 26 and the other was the Lyle Hess designed Balboa 26 either of which I considered both seaworthy enough to head out for Hawaii or down to Baja to go on an extended surfin’ safari. For the record, I also considered the CAL 20 just as seaworthy albeit it did constrain the surfboard quiver quite a bit.
Later, when I decided to build a Bolger Jessie Cooper while living in Paris I had no qualms about a couple cruising or living aboard a 25.5 foot boat sailboat but we lived and cruised it quite successfully for four years. Better yet it allowed us to live at a prestige address next to a film studio for just about $60 a month (including electricity and water).
Fact is, the only reason we decided to build a bigger version of the Jessie Cooper was not about comfort but the need to carry enough boat-building tools, film equipment, and space for a dedicated office to run a business. If we only wanted to live aboard and cruise the 25.5-foot boat would have been just fine.
The situation with the plethora of Columbia 26 Mk 2s for sale, which all seem to be close to turn key is pretty awesome. So awesome in fact that you could pretty safely just fly to Hawaii with cash in hand knowing that you could find one at a reasonable price that would be a lot cheaper than a condo or hotel. Hell, a long vacation cruising a Columbia 26 around the Hawaiian Islands would just about pay for itself compared to doing the hotel/condo ting.
Something you might want to think about…