Which 26 Is It?

The Problem

OK, so you just bought a slightly used Columbia 26 from a little old lady who only sailed it on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. She's had it since the beginning of time, but she's been saving the pin money and all she had to do was sell her 26 so she could move up to a Columbia 30 Sport Sailor.

You are now a yacht owner - but not yet a sailor so you motor over to your marina. Slips are in demand and you are lucky to get one on the new dock. As you are tieing up your boat boats pull into the slips on either side of you. Your neighbors are new on the dock, too, so it's introductions all around.

Someone pulls out some cold ones and soon the talk turns to boats. Proud as a peacock you announce that you own a Columbia 26. You neighbor looks at you funny and tells you that you must be mistaken because your boat looks nothing like his and he has a Columbia 26. Your other neighbor announces that you are both daft because he has a Columbia 26.

It turns out you are all right - Columbia made three completely different 26s.

The Columbia 26

It's not a MK I

Dick Valdes jumped into the boat business fairly quickly with the purchase of the Columbia 29. He needed a variety of models so that a customer in the showroom could choose one that matched his dreams but stayed within his budget. The company designers modified the Islander 24 to create the Columbia 24 and the Columbia Challenger. Then they stretched the Columbia 24 to create the Columbia 26.

The original Columbia 26 is a fairly traditional boat. It has a full keel with cutaway forefoot, a rather square house and square companionway opening, and a lazerette with an engine well. The inboard shown in the diagram was a rare option.

The diagram shows the original version. It had two large ports on the main cabin and a teak toe rail. The interior is mahogany and tabbed or bolted in place. Here is hull 172, an example of the early version.


Here is Marisol, hull #247.

early 65 158 fl 65 172 65 215 md 66 244 tx 67 309 fl 67 314 me 67 316 ma

late 66 247 md 66 299 md

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