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Old 09-14-2011, 08:36 PM
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Care to 'talk story'?

Hey Domenic,

You've been around here a while but only recently I've noticed you mentioned being a designer and boat builder. That's a background that is quite an asset to this forum. Do you have any pictures of previous designs or boat building projects in which you've been involved?

Also given your background I'd like to hear what it is about the Columbia 28 that attracted you in the first place. As I worked at Columbia Yachts, my interest goes a little deeper than most. I'm familiar with their manufacturing techniques, lamination schedules, core materials, hull & deck joints, etc. Those were good times for me.

I recently bared my soul with pictures of my previous boat that I built so I guess I'm looking for the similar experiences of others.

Thanks.

edit:
I shouldn't have limited this to Domenic, it's that his recent posts got me to thinking. Anybody else out there want to share their hands-on boat building stories?
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

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Old 09-14-2011, 09:51 PM
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I carved a wooden boat out of a stick when I was a kid and floated it down the culvert in the front of our house...

...does that count?

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Hey Domenic,

You've been around here a while but only recently I've noticed you mentioned being a designer and boat builder. That's a background that is quite an asset to this forum. Do you have any pictures of previous designs or boat building projects in which you've been involved?

Also given your background I'd like to hear what it is about the Columbia 28 that attracted you in the first place. As I worked at Columbia Yachts, my interest goes a little deeper than most. I'm familiar with their manufacturing techniques, lamination schedules, core materials, hull & deck joints, etc. Those were good times for me.

I recently bared my soul with pictures of my previous boat that I built so I guess I'm looking for the similar experiences of others.

Thanks.

edit:
I shouldn't have limited this to Domenic, it's that his recent posts got me to thinking. Anybody else out there want to share their hands-on boat building stories?
Columbia. I talked to Dick this past year. His son reopened Columbia Yachts. He is building a racing (sic) sailboat. Very long slim keel with all the ballast stuck on the bottom. I figured if that turkey goes to a 45 degree heel, they will lose the keel. The new Columbia Yachts is building boats by order only. I think that’s a hard course to hold in these times.
Things I found wrong with my Columbia. To many air bubbles behind the gel coat. I have been breaking them out, and patching.
Upper Chain plate on port side. The last two bolts were put on the liner before the liner went into the hull. Had to cut an inspection port to reach them. Found dry matt in four spots of the liner. Mast step…now there is a joke. Mast step is wood, stuck in the bilge. Have to replace it. The last owner left water in the bilge. The port bulkhead was non marine ply. I tore it out with my bare hands. It came off like mush. Every hole in the deck had to be resin packed, and re-drilled. I had to dry out the ply core in the deck behind the hatch.
Engine hatch .(cockpit floor.) This was a flush hatch resting on a flange. Any water that went into the cockpit drained via the hatch right onto the engine. Had to build a raised hatch for the cover (deck)to over hangs.
The hull…perfect.
I love the boat. Would buy a Columbia over most other boats. She can take a pounding.

I designed, built the plug, and molds for the Land N Sea houseboat. I broke away from the company when they put a fly bridge on the stock model. The boat was designed to be road legal…8’ beam. I told the company the boat would be unstable at 17 degrees with the weight of the fly bridge, and two people. One capsized in Morro Bay with three people in the fly bridge. Upside down the boat hit the bottom. The three people died.
I designed a 53’ power boat. Went to work for a design Company…did that for two years.
Designed and built a 60’ power cat T-vessel. Most of the stuff I do now is re-design work.
My love is small un-ballasted sailboats. Been in, and out of composite material design.
Tell me, what did you do at Columbia Yachts?
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:50 AM
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Tell me, what did you do at Columbia Yachts?
Columbia/Coronado yachts in Costa Mesa, California was my introduction into the industry. I was officially the plumber on the Coronado 35 line but that was only part of my duties. I was also responsible for the entire steering system, pedestal to rudder and certain operations required all hands such as mating the hull and deck. As part of a crew, we all helped each other as necessary. I cut my teeth on finish carpentry there, working overtime when available.

All the lines in the plant built a single model except my line. My crew built three different boats: the Coronado 35, the Columbia 34 and the Coronado 30. The good thing was I got more diverse experience, the bad thing was since we were shifting gears all the time we never made our production bonus like everyone else. They all banged out the same boat day after day but not us.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67c&ccorv View Post
I carved a wooden boat out of a stick when I was a kid and floated it down the culvert in the front of our house...

...does that count?

LOL - mine is almost as bad, but when I was a youngster, my Dad & I ripped the old failing plastic off our dink (a Sunflower, now called Super Snarks!) and recovered it with glass & resin. I recall we had to use some special type of resin that wouldn't eat the foam hull.

I think my old man finally ditched the dink. I told him I didn't want it when I bought the Catalina, after it had been sitting in the woods for the last 20+ years.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Columbia/Coronado yachts in Costa Mesa, California was my introduction into the industry. I was officially the plumber on the Coronado 35 line but that was only part of my duties. I was also responsible for the entire steering system, pedestal to rudder and certain operations required all hands such as mating the hull and deck. As part of a crew, we all helped each other as necessary. I cut my teeth on finish carpentry there, working overtime when available.

All the lines in the plant built a single model except my line. My crew built three different boats: the Coronado 35, the Columbia 34 and the Coronado 30. The good thing was I got more diverse experience, the bad thing was since we were shifting gears all the time we never made our production bonus like everyone else. They all banged out the same boat day after day but not us.

Neil, here are some owners of Columbia's, and their boats.

Columbia Yacht Owners Association
Welcome to the Columbia Yacht Owners Association website. It is the online resource for classic Columbia yachts.
www.columbia-yachts.com
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:28 AM
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As a designer and builder I'd be interested in your opinions of the Columbia hull/deck joining system and their lamination/coring schedules.
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:26 AM
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As a designer and builder I'd be interested in your opinions of the Columbia hull/deck joining system and their lamination/coring schedules.
The joint can be inspected from the outside if the molding is removed. It can't be inspected from the inside. I know the inside extrusion has to be full of water...I know it...it has to.
When I haul out this winter, I am going to drill a few holes to see how much water there is.
Inside liners restrict a builder from Fiberglassing deck to hull. I don’t like inside liners. I think they look cheap, hide bad workmanship, and compromise the integrity of the vessel. Getting to stuff behind the liner is a bitch.

As to the use of plywood in the core...that is just plain stupid.

Did you ask the question because you know something bad the rest of us don’t?
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:45 AM
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Did you ask the question because you know something bad the rest of us don’t?
Well, you're right, I do have opinions having experienced a number of building techniques spanning my employ over 4 different manufacturers. I'm pretty careful about expounding on them because like you, many adore their boats and I'd rather not offend. Boats can get emotional.

For example, you say you dislike liners. I happen to prefer them in terms of finish and appearance. My current boat has liners and it's hard to argue with the success of the Catalina 30. I've seen interiors without liners finished with stipple paint and glued on foam backed fabric. Can't say I'm a fan.

I hafta say though, as I read your response to my original invitation I saw more criticisms than praises yet the conclusion was "I love my boat." It struck me as an interesting contradiction. Well, maybe contradiction is too strong.

edit:
I was curious too, before knowing what your design and building background was, that you would prefer a vintage manufactured boat over one of your own design. I guess I'm a curious sort.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:47 AM
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The hull to deck joint is precisely why I love the old C&Cs (not the ones with cored hulls though). The joint is through bolted and you can access the nuts from the cabin. If you get a leak, you can see where it is happening from the cabin via periodic inspection, put a socket on the nut and tighten it up. The butyl tape under the toe rail lasts, from my experience, a long, long time. Plus, I do like the balsa cored decks versus plywood coring. My old Ericson 27 had plywood cored decks and they definitely had widespread delamination issues. Those dudes at C&C were ahead of their time.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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Domenic,
It seems all your complaints and likes of the Columbia boats are present in my 1968 Columbia 36 too.
Regarding that deck joint; Some P.O. tried caulking in the top of the aluminum "H" extrusion to keep out water. I don't think it was too effective. I get mystery water under the deck from time to time, but I have so much to do that I haven't chased it down.

My boat has been sitting in the water for 43 years! It does not even come out for the winter. The hull is still sound, it's just the deck that was not built to last through the ages. I use my boat mostly as a poor man's cabin-by-the-sea. but it sails well and is fun. I guess the light top is because it was a racer/cruiser so the top was made a bit lighter. I'm sure no one thought this boat would really be in service after 40 years

At first I thought the keel bolts were a bad design, but now I'm enlightened. They are relatively easy to replace. I did mine in the water at the slip.(one at a time) I also drilled new holes down thrugh the keelson to put a few extra sistered bronze keel bolts in and I was delighted to find dry mahogany under the bilge fiberglass. I understand the keel was bedded in polysulfide or something. It was still bonded and the goo was still good.

The A-4:
Others have seen my boasts of a huge engine space I refer to as my engine "room". The prop is visible from the dock, and I can clean it with a long brush just standing on the float.

Russ
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:36 PM
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Niel, as to why I'm not sailing my own design;

William Atkins designed the boat I love..."The Little Maid of Kent." Why waste time designing a boat that meets your dream boat? The Maid is a wood boat.
Some years ago I missed buying one by one day. I have far to many things on my plate, to take a year building myself a boat. Most of my time is spent writing.


Atkin & Co. - Little Maid of Kent A V-Bottom Schooner by William & John Atkin ... The total sail area is 438 square feet and if Little Maid of Kent was built for my own use ...www.atkinboatplans.comLittleMaidOfKent.html - Cached

Neil , I am going to drill holes into the bottom of the inside extrusion joint, and drain it. It there is nothing in there, I will seal the holes with sheet metal screws. If I do find water, which I think I will, I will leave the holes open near the transom.
I'd like to remove the section of the liner between the mast step, and the hatch, and building that section in wood. Wish I had the time.

Neil, when you pulled your keel bolts, what shape were they in?

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:23 PM
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William Atkins designed the boat I love..."The Little Maid of Kent."
Well then you'll like this. A different "Maid", to be sure, but an Atkins "Maid" nevertheless, and a right pretty little thing she'll be when complete.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:27 PM
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I do love everthing he designed. I used to follow his work as a young man. He was the reason I became a designer.
I love wooden boats. The problem today, and it has been a problem for the last 50 years, is wood. Finding clear, dried white oak is a problem. Douglas fir is a fine wood to work with, but it's life is shorter than white oak.
I don't know why, but boat builders want their boats to last a hundred years after they die? I'm the same way.
The Eastern half of The United States in the 17, and 18 hundreds, was white oak heaven. People used it for everything, even fire wood. It's gone now, not much left. What there is runs alongside the price of gold.

Somewhere in the North sea, there is a lost Island. In its center is a lush valley, it's slopes filled with giant white oak. In the center of the valley is a river leading South to the sea.
It is said, “He who seeks, and finds the Island of oak, will build a vessel that will forever sail the seven seas.”
Many have searched, and given it up to Davy Jones. A threadbare old seamen hunted the water fronts from Boston to Main, mumbling he had found the Island of Oak. The old Captains, Shipwrights, and Seamen alike tossed him off..."Here ya old fool, have a drink, and be off with ya."
After these two hundred years, I still find no one who will believe me.
What say you...will you listen?
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:18 PM
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Funny you guys are talking about Columbia boats. For a couple of years I have admired a boat named "Fandango" moored near us in Salem Harbor, thinking it looked so much like a Hinckley 48 that it must have been a Bill Tripp design. I finally went looking on the internet, found that association site Domenic posted, and learned it is a Columbia 50 designed, indeed, by Bill Tripp. A very pretty boat.

Mark
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:50 PM
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Check this site out....you can check everyday and see the progress...so I am told. I sailed on the Bluenose II just for a couple of hours. This is the rebuild...well from what I know they started from scratch.

http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/sou...uenose-ii.html

Enjoy.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
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Neil, when you pulled your keel bolts, what shape were they in?
I haven't pulled my bolts.
What I have done is chisel off the old ferrous nuts to examine the threads underneath. The threads above the nuts were/are rusted to the point of being untrustworthy. To my great surprise, the threads under the nuts were pristine like the day they were new. I replaced the nuts with stainless (I know, dissimilar metals) for the time being. I rationalized the dissimilar metals issue by keeping my bilge bone dry. That is, no presence of an electrolyte.

There is a plan afoot to sister up the existing steel bolts with stainless lags and transfer the loads off the keel stump (for reasons unique to the Catalina 30) up to the hull at the turn of the bilge. I've done the engineering calculations and also had them done independently by a professional engineer. Our figures were within 1% including a 3:1 safety factor. The required custom stainless castings are currently on hold waiting for the next planned haul out.

Hope this addresses your question. Apologies to anyone else bored to tears.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:45 AM
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Re. Keel bolts:
Maybe that was me he was thinking of?
I posted this before but here is the story on the Boat design.net forum:
Very nice guys there.

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3860

I am still curious about the chainplate repair/inspection on these Columbias.

Rus
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:39 AM
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Russ, the two bottom bolts on the port side (upper chain plate) were put in before the liner. I had to make a hole to reach the head of the bolts. This is on the C28.
I did not remove the whole bulkhead. The inboard part was okay. Just saw, or cut it right down the center, and pull the bad section out. I took some paper, and traced the shape first. Cut a new section, and seal it with resin. fiberglass both sides, and cover with 1/4" sheets of wood.
I covered the hole I had to cut with a inspection plate. Be sure to seal where the chain plate comes through the deck.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:07 AM
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Drill baby drill!

Thanks Dom,
I have some rot in the bulkhead too. I stopped it but someday it will have to be replaced.
I think the two boats are similar like we talk about last year. I don't mind opening up inspection ports for this kind of thing. A guy has to see to fix things and I like the idea of just popping off a plastic cover to see the chain plates.

Go to bed
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:16 AM
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Russ,I told you this last year...Didn't I? No? Sorry, I thought I did.

My tabe was bad also, so I peeled the 1/4 top from it (by hand) and used it to cover the cabin side of the bulkhead. That table was junk. I'm building a solid wood table.

DON"T sail with rot in the bulkhead, you could pull the chain plate through the deck.

Last edited by domenic; 09-16-2011 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:30 AM
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One of the several things I like about my old Pearson is how easy it is to access, inspect, and remove if necessary, the chainplates.

It's on my list of "to-dos" - the surveyor recommended I pull them one at a time (so I won't have to take down the standing rigging) just to make sure there's no crevice corrosion or anything. Just eyeballing them from within the cabin, they look perfectly fine - there are no rust streaks anywhere.

But yeah, on the list... sigh....
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domenic View Post
Neil , I am going to drill holes into the bottom of the inside extrusion joint, and drain it. It there is nothing in there, I will seal the holes with sheet metal screws. If I do find water, which I think I will, I will leave the holes open near the transom.
The hull and deck joint extrusion was called H-metal. Caulking was placed in the crux of the H, it was slipped over the hull edge and pop rivets were used in holes drilled through the extrusion but not all the way through the inside cosmetic piece. The deck was then installed the same way. The rivet heads were casually caulked to prevent leaks prior to installing the rub rail into the extrusion ears. As I recall, the ends of the extrusion were not sealed. Any water in there should find its way out without additional permanent drainage holes depending on the slope of the extrusion.

This is one of those building techniques where I prefer to keep my opinion to myself if you get my drift. Dang, I installed a lot of these.

Drawing attached, you'll probably have to rotate it after opening.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf H Metal.pdf (15.0 KB, 349 views)
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:01 AM
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Neil, you are a gold mine. On the drawing in Columbia Yacht Owners Association, It looked like it was two sections. Thank you.
You might want to think about writing a how it was done book for the guys who own Columbia boats. It could be lose pages...I'll be the first to buy one.

Domenic
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:22 PM
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Yea, thanks for that . It clears up a bit for me too.
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