1963 Columbia 29, hull #37, "Pythagoras"

by Don Litton
(Channel Islands, CA, USA)

As a former owner of a Columbia 24 many years ago, I was glad to find this 29 for sale last summer. These old boats were built tough and are part of the old-school tradition of full keels molded with the hull, keel-hung rudders and narrow beams.

I probably won't be winning any races but for sea-worthiness and sea-kindliness, she is wonderful. My cruising ground is the Channel Islands here in southern California. Although they aren't far, the Santa Barbara Channel can offer up a lot of fun and challenging seas at times so it's nice to have a boat that is at ease under a variety of conditions.

She is a bit tender, but designed by Sparkman and Stephens to be that way to switch to a longer waterline. On a reach she easily jumps to 6 knots. I found one with no inboard engine, so no cut-out of the keel and rudder for a prop. I like that. Yes I have to deal with an outboard but the reduced weight, smell, through-hulls, maintenance and leaks that come with an inboard make it worth it to me. I am sure not all would agree.

In my old 24 I cruised many miles around the Channel Islands and plan the same for many more with my family.

Additional info by Sailboat-Cruising.com

  • Hull Type:~ Long keel
  • Hull Material:~ GRP (Fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:~ 28'6" / 8.7m
  • Waterline Length:~ 22'6" / 6.9m
  • Beam:~ 8'0" / 2.4m
  • Draft:~ 4'0" / 1.2m
  • Rig Type:~ Masthead sloop
  • Displacement:~ 7,400lb / 3,357kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:~ 16.46
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:~ 202
  • Designer:~ Sparkman & Stephens
  • Builder:~ Columbia Yachts (USA)
  • Year First Built:~ 1961
  • Year Last Built:~ 1965

Pythagorus is a 1963 MkI version of the Columbia 29. That year a raised deck version known as the 'Columbia 29 Defender' was introduced.

In 1965 production of the MkI ended and a MkII version was introduced, which sported a sleeker deck and coachroof than the MkI.

Production of the Columbia 29 came to an end in 1969, with some 600-odd boats having been constructed.

Comments for 1963 Columbia 29, hull #37, "Pythagoras"

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Jun 16, 2015
by: Don Litton

Mr Morgan, I am going to write you and we'll take her out together one day soon if you are up to it!

Jun 02, 2015
First Owner
by: morgantm@venturamail.net

I brought it up from the factory in January 1963 and cruised in it for 25 years. I have Sparkman & Stevans drawings of it, given on the condition that they not be used to build a boat.
I thoroughly enjoyed the boat and only sold it because I was getting too old to single-hand it.

May 29, 2015
5 stars to the boat
by: Fabio

Good to read about your boat Don, and I am sure the outboard engine is not a big deal when you have such a manouvrable and forgiving boat.
I am doing tons of work on my Columbia 29, but everything has to come to a stop by November.
Enjoy your summer of sailing!

Dec 30, 2014
More on these great little cruisers...
by: Dick McClary

For more info on Columbia 29s, have a look at http://www.columbia-yachts.com/c-29.html

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