When Whittaker Corp sold Columbia to Hughes in '79, Columbia's shining star began to set. Columbia closed the plant in Chesapeake, Virginia, and Hughes moved the molds to Canada. So what happened to the Columbia inventory? It appears to have gone in three directions. They are listed below.
In addition to these sources, many Columbia owners have offered to share copies of their boat and motor manuals. They are listed towards the bottom of the page.
P.O. Box 189
Irvington, VA 22480
Here's the story that's been told (thanks Eric White!):
On or about the time the Whittaker Co. was closing the Chesapeake plant an enterprising fellow named Andy Whiley knocked on the door and ask if he could buy whatever leavings were left. Well, lo and behold the payroll need to be met and they sold Andy everything that was left, that he wanted. He has/had masts, booms, rigging, KEELS, and last but not least he has port lights, you know the funny looking windows that crack and craze. He has them all, some with the paper still on them, and the price is right. I bought 2 for an old 39 I was helping a friend refurbish and I think we paid all of $25 each.
You ask who and where is Andy Whiley? Well he is just up the Rappahanock River, under the bridge and hard to port into Carter's creek just like you were going to The Tides Inn. But stop at Irvington Marina and that is where Andy lives. It's kind of a boaters junk yard but he has a lot. That's in Irvington, VA. I hope I could be of some help.
I talked to Andy about a month ago. He is also has an aluminum foundry at the marina. Primary product is hand wheels for big valves. He also casts anything he needs to make mast trucks, boom goosnecks and whatever. Well he called me looking for some help, I work in the foundry supply business here in Baltimore. So the info on the windows is current. It's really neat, you go in to this dirty old foundry into a back room, up a rickety ladder and there on a rack are all these aluminum framed windows, some even still have the paper on them protecting the plastic, and they are just waiting for someone to say, WOW I NEED TWO OF THOSE.
Sept. 14, 1999 Justin recently took possession of John Broughton's collection Columbia factory information. It will take him a little time to get organized and familiar with the depth and breadth of what he has. He has copies of almost all of the manuals (Note: there were no manuals prior to the Bill Tripp designs), original engineering drawings for many of the Columbia models, and other odds and ends of interesting stuff. The manuals are good quality photocopies, but the covers are what were used for the last years at COLUMBIA. In other words, Justin provides essentially "new" manuals.
Justin has been posting listings of materials for each model and I'm trying to add a page for each model listing what he has.
Here are prices for some of the more popular items:
Original Columbia Brochures $10-20 each depending on how big the brochure is, some are just one page others are several. (some boats no extras exist others have plenty. I can make color copy's when the originals run out.)
Owner's Manuals - $35.00 (Note that there were no manuals prior to the Bill Tripp designs)
Full Size drawings - $10-15.00 a copy depending on the size.
Laminating schedule for a specific boat $10.00
There is also a host of information on that is common to multiple boats such as hatches, rub rails, etc, I'd be happy to research and find any drawings etc. on these, most are 18X24 or 8.x11.
The same applies to Coronado stuff as well. Contact Justin for more info.
John Broughton was Warranty Manager for Columbia for quite some time and he salvaged a treasure trove of manuals, drawings, brochures, etc, when Whittaker closed the Columbia plant in VA and sold the company to Hughes. He passed this collection on to Justin Thompson (see listing above).
November 2002. Today I received an email from Barbara Broughton, John's wife. She informed me that John had passed away. I had the pleasure to spend an afternoon with John. His knowledge of '70s vintage Columbias and stories of behind the scenes events were interesting and entertaining and he was quite the character. John preserved a huge portion of Columbia history. His passing ends a chapter in Columbia history. He will be missed.
According to Jamie Hoff, Goombah's Emboidery Digitizing has extremly reasonable prices for embroidering the Columbia shield on to any garmet except hats. Very reasonable. So if you want shirts or jackets with your boat's name and columbia shield on it call Victor Schiantarelli @ 650-952-4890. You can email victor at Goombahs@aol.com. Be sure to tell Victor the Size of your boat ie columbia 26, etc so that victor can put the correct number inside the shield.
Many of the early Columbias used rubber gaskets instead of aluminum frames to hold their ports in place. This included the Challenger, C-24 (most?), and the two window per side versions of the Contender, C-26, C-29s and Defenders.
You can get the rubber strip with locking strip from J.C.Whitney. It is part #81AS2557R, and the lock strip is 81AS2568W. The site is www.jcwhitney.com. Put the part # in the search.Sea Dog Part Number 400181-1.
Need some of those little red and green eyeballs for navigation lights?
Try Sea Dog. Here is a link to the catalog page.
A few owners have had rudders made by the Foss Company. It turns out there are two companies. They once had a common owner, but now longer. Here's their information:The Foss Company
The Foss Co. Newport Beach, CA Their owner, Donald Proul says they built rudders for Columbia when they were in California and have most of the specifications needed to make new ones. He says they do not need your rudder to make a new one. The Foss Company, Newport Beach fosscompany (at) dslextreme.com Ph# (949) 646 0244 Fax# (714) 973 2832 ***** Foss Foam Products of Florida, Inc. 7060 Highway 41 North, Williston, FL 32696 Their site says the can make a 9.6 rudder. They can also make a mold from your old rudder. The Foss Company BobWalker10@aol.com phone: 352-529-1104 Fax: 352-529-1106
Danny Crump was in contact with WEFCO http://www.wefcorubber.com who were listed as a supplier of Columbia/Coronado rub rail. Here is what he reports (2004)
It's a long story. WEFCO doesn't want to produce the rub rail. They reluctantly will produce it but won't be responsible for the results. The issue involves the unique manufacturing process required to produce rub rail. Immediately after the rub rail is extruded it must be cured in a large oven. WEFCO's oven is only about 20' long. An order for a longer quantity of rub rail will require the rub rail to be coiled and laid on it's side while it is curing in the oven. It seems that the unique geometry of Columbia/Coronado rub rail will cause the bottom edge of the extrusion to deform while the curing process occurs. What I did was have WEFCO extrude rub rail that was less than 20' in length. This allowed the rub rail to be cured while lying in a straight line flat on it's back. When I received the shipment from WEFCO I found that the quality of the rub rail was excellent. To successfully mount the rub rail I will be required to splice it. I haven't tackled this project yet. I am waiting to pull the boat for a bottom job before beginning the installation process. The big challenge is to find a way to miter the ends of the splice. I don't think that sawing with a blade is going to work. I don't think a saw blade will produce a smooth cut. It is also possible that a saw blade will melt the rail. I think I will have to slice the rub rail with a blade. Picture framers use a machine called a chopper. It uses two extremely sharp blades that are set at precisely 45 degrees. If I can convince some framer that making a couple of slices for me will not damage his/her machine then I think I can make a fairly inconspicuous splice cheaply.
Many of you are looking for literature about your boat, such as owners
manuals, brochures, and other similar items. There were no manuals for the
early boats. Only the Tripp, Crealock, and Payne designs had manuals. The
following is a list of people who have some of these items and are willing to
provide copies. The list is a bit old - please let me know if any of the links
do not work. If you would like to share items with other owners, send me an email
and I will add you to the list.
If you don't see what you are looking for here, try joining the Columbia email list at Yahoo Groups and asking there.
As mentioned above, if you are willing to spend a few dollars, Justin Thompson has the manuals and literature saved when Columbia closed the Virginia plant. He can provide originals of some brochures and copies of others. He can reproduce manuals that look almost identical to the originals. He also has some engineering drawings and can provide copies. You can contact him at email@example.com
Eric White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
|C-23T||74||Owners Manual||Ted Fuetsch 702 329-7624 or e-mail BFarchReno@ AOL.com.|
|C-24||64||Brochure||Eric White email@example.com|
|C-7.6||?||Owners Manual||Denis Hearn Denis.Hearn@turner.com|
|C-7.6||74||Owners Manual||William Parnell WHATISAY@webtv.net|
|C-26 MkII||Sales brochure (color)||Michael Fellows firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-26 MkII||72||owners manual||Ed Scheetz EScheetz@GTE-ERS.com|
|C-26 MkII||74||owners manual on-line thanks to Blair Arden|
|C-28||69||Brochure (8 pgs)||Lori Saldana email@example.com|
|C-8.3||?||Sales brochure||Mark Laliberte firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-8.3||78||Owner's manual; Original sales brochure||Tom Henderson email@example.com|
|C-8.3||79||I have a good deal of information on the 8.3 including systems drawings, engine installation drawings, electrical schematics and more.||Mark W. Shirley firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-8.3||79||Owners manual||Chris Mathewson email@example.com|
|C-28 MKII||1969||Owner's Manual (70 pages, $35)||Bob firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-28 MKII||1969||Owner's Manual and misc brochures||Roland O'Brien Roland693@Hotmail.com|
|C-29||1962||Brochures & the plans from Sparkman & Stephens||Richard P Loud email@example.com|
|C-8.7||77||Owners Manual||Paul Jirtle firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-8.7||77||Misc Sales Literature||Paul Jirtle email@example.com|
|C-8.7||77||Owners Manual||Michael McEwen Downwind26@aol.com|
|C-8.7||79||Owners Manual. Will make copies for cost.||John & Gwen Sunderson firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-8.7||84||Canadian Yachting Magazine review of the email@example.com|
|C-8.7||(82-86?)||AURA 8.7 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-30||72||Owners Manual||John Hamilton email@example.com|
|C-30||73||Owners Manual and sales brochure||Jerry Staunton UStaunton@AOL.com|
|C-9.6||'78||Owners manual||Roger Morse firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-34 Mk II||71||"Blueprints" from owners manual.||Paul Gerard email@example.com|
|C-34 Mk II||71||Owners Manual||Chris Ross COROSS2@aol.com|
|C-34 Mk II||71||Owners Manual and electrical and plumbing system schematics||Marilyn Eaton e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-34 Mk II||?||Owners Manual||John Shaw JTAndLinda@email.msn.com|
|C-36||68 (70?)||Sales Brochure, plumbing plans||Richard & Sharleen Heagle SHeagle582@aol.com|
|C-10.7||?||Manual, sales brochure||Paul Esterle email@example.com|
|C-36||68||Misc. notes, details, & drawings||Richard Yeager firstname.lastname@example.org|
|C-45||Owners Manual (manual#90)||Mike Johnson email@example.com|
|C-45||74||Owners manual (manual#95)||Barry Blann BarryBlann@aol.com|
|Atomic 4||68||Owner's Manual||Roland O'Brien Roland693@Hotmail.com>|
|Atomic 4||68||Owner's Manual, brochure||Richard & Sharleen Heagle SHeagle582@aol.com|
|Atomic 4||72||Owner's Manual||John Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Atomic 4||Owner's Manual on line||http://www.geocities.com/atomfour/|
|Atomic 4||77||Owner's Manualemail@example.com|
|Atomic 4||?||Manual (gas)||Mark Laliberte firstname.lastname@example.org|
|ISUZU Picies Diesel 25 HP||Engine Manual||Richard Yeager email@example.com|
|Palmer||1962||Engine Manual||Richard P Loud firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Palmer||71||Engine Manual||Chris Ross COROSS2@aol.com|
|Palmer||?||Engine Manual||John Shaw JTAndLinda@email.msn.com|
|Volvo Penta||MD6B||Engine Manual||Paul Jirtle email@example.com|
|Volvo Penta||MD6||Engine Manual, Parts Catalogue||John Somerhausen firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Volvo Penta||MD7||Engine Manual, Parts Catalogue||John Somerhausen email@example.com|
|Volvo Penta||MD7A ('77)||Engine Manual, Parts Catalogue||Michael McEwen Downwind26@aol.com|
|Yanmar||1GM 2GM 3GM 3HM||Operation Manual (78 pages)||Ron Globe firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Yanmar||1 GM 10, 2 GM 20, 3 GM 30, 3 HM 35||Service Manual||It's about 1 1/2" thick, but if somebody needs a portion of it, I can get it Xeroxed. Steven Gaber email@example.com|
|Yanmar||2QM15||Manual||Kip Keller Tuxedo@henderson.k12.nc.us or Joe Ziehl firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Yanmar||2QM20, 2QM30||Service Manual (280 pages, $?)||Jack Christensen email@example.com|
3240 SW 42nd Avenue, Palm City, FL, 34990 Phone: (561) 287-6464 / Fax: (561) 287-5373 firstname.lastname@example.org
American Trim and Upholstery Supply. Gasket material for ports. http://www.atrim.com/Page153.html
Barlow and Barient winches. It is my understanding that both of these companies are out of business. The Australian Yacht Winch Co. (http://www.arco-winches.com/barient.html) advertises OEM parts for both brands.
This company seems to make a perfect match for the C-23T mast. Got the following from the Columbia email list:
I wanted to pass on that the supplier of the mast was more than terrific to work with. An absolute pleasure and their prices are great too! They only make 2 extrusions but the one I bought was 4.5" x 3 oval end, flat sided. I'm sure that other Columbia models in the 22'/24' range used this size mast as well. They also sell a variety of other products too. They are Glen-L of Bellflower, CA and their web site is: http://www.glen-l.com