Columbia 30: The Legend Lives Again

Columbia 30 Sport Boat marks the return of Columbia Yachts

4th June 2004.
By Staff

img11145The new Columbia Yacht Corporation was incorporated in September, 2001, under the guidance of Vincent Valdes (President and CEO) and Justin Wallin, (Vice President and COO). The company secured Richard “Dick” Valdes and William R. Lennartz as founding directors. Each member of the management team brings extensive experience and achievement to the new Columbia Yacht Corporation.

The original Columbia Yacht Corporation was founded as Glas Laminates in 1958 by Dick Valdes shortly after college. Glas Laminates, a fiberglass contract company, eventually focused its fiberglass development expertise on the production of sailboats and became Glass Marine Industries (GMI). Early Columbia models included the Columbia 24 and the Sparkman & Stephens designed Columbia 29. By 1964, Columbia Yachts was generating over $2.5 Million in revenues per year and growing.

By the late 1960s, Valdes had built the company into the world’s largest fiberglass sailboat manufacturer with manufacturing plants throughout the world. He sold the company to Whittaker (listed on the NYSE), but retained his position as president of Columbia Yacht Corporation and was instrumental in the development of Whittaker Marine Group, which ultimately included Bertram Yachts, Trojan Yachts, Riva, Desco Marine, Kettenburg, and Balboa Marine. Total sales of the Whittaker Marine Group reached between $250 and $350 Million in the early 70′s during Valdes’ tenure.

Following Dick Valdes’ departure from Columbia Yachts, the company was reheadquartered to the east coast, and was eventually sold to Hughes Boat Works, and later to Aura Yachts. In the mid-80′s, Hughes regained control of the company. Eventually, Columbia Yachts faded from history.

Columbia Yacht Corporation will rekindle this history with the introduction of the new Columbia 30, scheduled for launch in the summer of 2004.

When the new team considered how best to reintroduce the world to Columbia Yachts, they took a careful look at the state of sailing today. And found something missing. There are some wonderful boats on the market-boats that are quick … boats that are agile … boats that are comfortable … boats that are comparatively inexpensive-but to date no builder has delivered a vessel that successfully incorporates the best of these elements for the sailing enthusiast.

Designed by Morrelli & Melvin (the same team that penned the world-record breaking “Playstation” catamaran), the Columbia 30 will be a 30-foot sport boat designed for club racing, buoy racing, and pleasure sailing.

img11144Lead designer Tim Kernan describes the special alignment that the Morrelli & Melvin design team has with Columbia Yachts, and to the Columbia 30 in particular: “When client Vince Valdes approached us to design a new 30′ sport boat to mark the renaissance of the venerable Columbia marque, we were intrigued on several fronts. First, the Columbia 30 would be the first monohull sailboat from the Morrelli & Melvin office, which has become known primarily for designing fast racing and cruising multihulls. Second, many of us grew up sailing Columbias, so to be involved in the rebirth of the marque had a special appeal.”

Designer Tim Kernan on the New Columbia 30:

“For me, the first boats that come to mind when you mention the name Columbia are the distinctive high-freeboard “bubble-top” designs that Bill Tripp Sr. did for Columbia during the sixties, the Columbia 26 and the Columbia 50. Side by side with a vintage Columbia 26, I believe you would see the family resemblance in the new 30, the re-invented bubble-top and distinctive bullet window.

“The 30 has a large open cockpit, with molded seats forward, allowing the helmsman and crew the option of being outboard on the side decks or protected behind the cockpit coaming. The seats allow generous space below for the quarter berths as well.

“The mast is carbon with wire shrouds. There is no backstay and rig tension/adjustment is achieved via highly swept spreaders and an adjustable forestay. Asymmetrical spinnakers are flown from a retractable carbon sprit. The interior offers moderate accommodations for day or weekend cruising. The settee comfortably seats four, with a centerline drop leaf table for dining. The dinette table rests on top of the keel trunk and removes for lifting the keel. There is a large v-berth forward, with a covered marine head to port, which is fully enclosed per the forward cabin door. Although there is 5’8″ headroom throughout, the galley counters are located abreast of the companionway hatch so that taller crew can stand at the galley. An optional dodger will provide protection from the elements while the hatch is open.

img11143“Two large quarter berths aft provide comfortable sleeping arrangements for four (quarter berths plus v-berth). Hull construction will be resin infused E-glass w/ PVC foam core. The deck will be resin infused E-glass w/ Balsa core, eliminating the need for local high-density plants in way of hardware. An extremely lightweight Carbon Fiber Backbone spaceframe (w/ unidirectional carbon fiber reinforcement) handles all the rigging and keel loads. In addition, most joinery does double duty as structural framing, minimizing weight. The 30 will be a light boat, and with a ballast/displacement ratio of 43%+, and draft of 7′, she will be very stable. The hull form is designed to promote planing with the boat on its feet, and to provide a lower prismatic shape when heeled for upwind performance. The Columbia 30 will be a blast to sail.”

The new breed of Columbia delivers on the Columbia Yachts heritage. It was created with the experience and expertise of the original Columbia founders and was crafted with a mind towards building on the reputation of one of the sailboat industry’s most respected marques, Columbia Yachts.

Specifications (subject to change)

LOA 30′ 0″
LWL 27’0″
Beam 9′ 6″
Draft 7′ 0″
Displacement 3400 lbs.
Sail Area 433 sq. ft.
Ballast 1500 lbs.
S/D 30.60
D/L 77.12

Key Features

  • Morrelli & Melvin Design
  • Trailerable
  • Lifting Keel
  • Carbon Mast
  • Lewmar Self-tailing Winches
  • Retractable Carbon Bowsprit and Asymmetrical Spinnaker
  • E-glass/PVC foam core/vinylester construction
  • Fully Enclosed Head
  • Inboard Diesel Saildrive
  • Factory Direct Pricing

Columbia Yacht Corporation
1311 East Orangethorpe Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831
Phone: (714) 773-9212
info@columbiayachts.com
www.columbiayachts.com


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