Columbia Yacht Corporation announces the return of the historic Columbia Yachts, one of the most successful sailboat lines of the 20th century. Columbia Yachts will introduce their first model next year – a 30′ sport sailer designed for performance-minded enthusiasts who also desire ease of use and comfort, at a highly competitive price.
“Columbia Yachts became popular in the early1960′s, because they produced well-designed, well-built vessels that met the needs of the sailor,” said Vince Valdes, president of Columbia Yachts and son of Richard “Dick” Valdes, creator of the original Columbia Yachts. “This is precisely our goal in reintroducing Columbia Yachts. We’ve taken a careful look at what is offered in the market today, and feel that there is a large group of sailors whose needs just aren’t satisfied by what is out there – at any price. We’re developing a company – headlined by the introduction of our new 30′ sport sailer – that recognizes these needs and meets them with truly unique sailboats.”
Columbia’s new 30′ sport sailer is designed by Morrelli & Melvin Design and Engineering Inc. Morrelli & Melvin D&E Inc. penned Steve Fossett’s maxi catamaran “PlayStation” among many other notable sailboats. “When we were approached by Columbia Yachts to design their new 30 foot sport sailer, we were quite pleased with the prospect of adding to the Columbia heritage,” said Gino Morrelli.
“Morrelli & Melvin D&E is primarily a multihull design shop, but Vince Valdes explained that he was looking for an innovative design team. We both agreed that innovation in sailing often comes from the multihull world. Columbia Yachts was the premiere builder of sailboats in the 60′s and 70′s and an innovator in the industry, in fact my parents and I learned how to sail in a Columbia 24! We are happy to be a part of Columbia’s rebirth,” said Morrelli.
Carrying on a Family Tradition
Vince Valdes’ father was responsible for building the original Columbia Yachts into an industry powerhouse that put more than 30,000 boats into the water and operated production facilities throughout the world. His upbringing in a boat building family has helped Valdes to develop his own boat building and business management knowledge at an early age. Valdes works, designs and speaks from personal experience, and regularly serves as a skipper or crewmember on a variety of cruising and racing sailboats. Recently, Valdes sailed aboard the racing yacht “Bull” in the 2001 Trans Pacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, winning first in class and first overall.
For more information about the new company, the 30′ sport sailer, the executive team and plans for the future, please visit the company’s Web site at www.columbiayachts.com.