a favorite design…

As much as I love the CAL 34, I’d much rather have a Columbia 34 MK2 SD or Columbia 34 MK2 CB. What can I say but that extra bit of shoal draft makes all the difference.

Columbia 34 MK2 sailboat sail profile
Columbia 34 MK2 sailboat interior layout
Columbia 34 MK2 sailboat with shoal draft drawing
Shoal draft option
Columbia 34 MK2 sailboat with centerboard drawing
Centerboard option

Another reason I like Bill Tripp’s design is its great foredeck that’s big enough for a dinghy without encumbering sailing the boat. With the CAL, I always find that deploying or retrieving an anchor requires moving the dinghy or some fancy footwork.

Most folks might be interested in the fact that this Columbia has a lot more headroom than most boats of similar size and age.

I mention this because I saw a Columbia 34 MK2 for sale in the PNW for $1.5K. It obviously needs some work but seriously, what fifty-year old boat doesn’t? The big question is which keel does it have? I’ll be honest and say that if the boat was for sale down here I’d be all over it in a New York second.


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5 thoughts on “a favorite design…”

  1. It looks like a great choice (especially for someone as tall as you), but that rudder!!! Would you leave it as is? Or…?

    1. Funny you should ask…

      Being a big believer in transom hung rudders the first thing I’d do with either the Columbia 26 MK2 or 34 MK2 would be to replace the existing rudder with a transom hung rudder with a trim tab which incorporates self-steering.

      The second change I’d make is to do an Atom Voyages outboard installation…

  2. I often wonder whether fin keelers make good long term and long distance liveaboards at all. Can they dry out safely on legs? Is the prop at all reachable when the inevitable pot line or fishing net gets round it? The rudders ( as above) are totally vulnerable to getting torn off by rock or ‘playful’ Orca, get leaking bearings, etc. etc. Which is more valuable – going about quickly or easy , reliable tracking with simple tiller lines plus a long, iron/ lead keel to land on when needed.
    Lots of these oldies have trundled round the world with their families in safety and comfort.
    Long live the oldies!

    1. Rudders are always going to be a compromise but most do work so it’s best to just work out what your needs are. I expect I’ll have a more centered post on the subject soonish.

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