Columbia 40 Specifications

Manufactured by:

Columbia Sailing Yachts

Whittaker Corporation

The following is from a Columbia brochure:

The Columbia 40's forebear was the ketch Paper Tiger, designed by Charles E. Morgan, Jr. He designed the boat around a reltively novel steel pipe backbone. In 1961 Paper Tiger won the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (SORC) and she did it again in 1962. Morgan then improved on the design and created Sabre, the boat that became the prototype for the Columbia 40.

Paper Tiger has recently resurfaced (2004). Sharon and Phil Strenger have owned her since the late 1960s and keep her in Coral Bay, somewhere in the Carribbean.

And now Sabre has been found (2005). Dick Dungan, the original owner, found her last year, purchased her and has begun a refit.

The following is from a Columbia brochure:

The Columbia 40, designed by Charles E. Morgan, Jr. after his famous Sabre is one of the most successful racer-cruisers. A real yacht designed to go to sea in comfort while giving top performance. Her 1966 Miami-Naussa win in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit attests to her outstanding performance as does her 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the over-all standings in Class C. She has several unusual features including a steel backbone for additional strength. Centerboard is hydraulically controlled from cockpit. Below there are berths for 7, enclosed head, unique navigator's table and a complete galley. 30 HP Universal Atomic 4 is standard equipment. Her C.C.A. rating is approximately 26.0.

The Columbia 40 may be the only model that used a steel skeleton to reinforce her hull and - more importantly - spread the load of the shrouds. Here is Columbia's explanation from the Columbia News, Spring, 1965.

According to John Broughton's notes, there were 55 C40s were built between 1964 to 1969. It is entirely possible that Sabre is included in the count so hull #54 would be the last one built.

Mark Cole, owner of Echo, C-40 #54 writes:

I have (had, actually) a Coronado switch/fuse panel (ran out of Columbia ones?), and there are a few original non-structural differences on the interior of my boat compared to the C40's shown in brochures and photos I have found on the web.

Main37.61'41' - 6"18' - 6"347#
167% Genoa43' - 6"43' - 4"26' - 4"544#
137% Genoa39' - 0"36' - 10"22' - 3"400#
Working Jib39' - 0"34' - 8"18' - 8"287#
Storm Jib20' - 0"15' - 2"10' - 3"75#
Reacher43' - 6"37' - 11"29' - 3"544#
Drifter43' - 6"33' - 6"23' - 6"389#
Spinnaker43' - 9¾"43' - 9¾"27' - 0"
Spin. Stays'l24' - 6"28' - 7"17' - 6"213#
Mast & Boom - 7/8" Track
7 ½" setback for roller reefing gear

I've been told that a yawl rig option was offered sometime after production started, but I have yet to see anything in the Columbia literature about it.

Columbia 40 Deck, house, and rudder lamination schedule.

A 1965 C-40.

The following information came from Mark Cole. He got the specifications from a 1969 brochure:

Pictures and diagrams of the C-40 centerboard hydraulic system.

Literature available from Justin Thompson.

More notes from Mark:

The RM1 (righting moment) is 781.18. This comes from a 1963 CCA measurement sheet that I have. The data were obtained on hull #1. The data used are: Lenght of pendulum: 5.29 Weight: 317.0 distance from CL/Pendulum readings: 2.11/0.080; 5.21/0.195; 2.11/0.079; 5.21/0.195

Unfortunately, I have four different ballast numbers from various brochures/plans. They are: 7300 lbs (1964 brochure); 7400 lbs (1967 drawing); 6430 lbs (1963 initial marketing sheet) and 8400 lbs (1966 brochure).

Relation to the Columbia 38

The Columbia 40 was modified to create the Columbia 38. I have a copy of an original Columbia engineering drawing. It is a true lines drawing of a hull - the countour lines that define the entire shape of the hull, not just the outline. The drawing is labeled "Columbia 40" but there is no date nor draftman's name or initials. But what is there is a Columbia 40 keel modified to show a spade rudder rather than a keel-hung rudder. I've scanned the portion showing the keel modification. In addition there is a deep keel drawn in. Thus there is a direct path from the Charlie Morgan designed C-40 hull to the Constellation and C-38 hulls, which Columbia never attributed to any particular designer.

Doug Clark owner of "CARIB" suspects his boat was modified by the factory at the request of the purchaser. He thinks it may have planted the seed for the Columbia 38. He writes:

I own a C-40. She is hull # 44. I belive she is an unusual C-40 in that she has what I belive to be an original foss-foam spade rudder. I know every inch of my boat very well, and this is definatly a factory add on. It seems the end of the keel was cut off and a third molded section installed. Again this was definatly done at the columbia factory. Considering her balance and handling, I'm sure Morgan or some other desiner drew it.
He also notes that they even cast a different tiller bracket and his rudder stock angles to the stern instead of the bow.

More info from Doug (paraphrased):

One of these boats is featured in the safety section (under fire) of Chapman's Piloting (Sadly, it is on fire!). I've been told that the name of this boat is Gremlin and that the galley stove caused the fire. The boat was owned by a retired Navy Admiral. He later bought another Columbia 40 and named her Gremlin II.

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