The builders of the Columbia 29 were originally known as Glas Laminates Company, which was founded in California in 1958 by Dick Valdes and Bill Tripp Jr. The company started out by producing fibreglass camper tops, shower stalls, and chemical toilets. In 1961, they decided to enter the sailboat market with their first boat, the Columbia 29. The boat was so successful that they formed Columbia Yachts Corporation and adopted the Columbia name for their entire line of subsequent boats. By 1967, Columbia Yachts became the highest volume producer of fiberglass yachts in America.
However, in the early 1970s, the company faced financial difficulties due to increased competition from other builders, rising costs of materials and labor, and changing consumer preferences. In 1975, Columbia Yachts filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. The company was briefly revived in 1978 by Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation but soon went out of business again.
Today, there is no active company that produces or sells new Columbia sailboats. However, there are several websites and online forums dedicated to preserving the legacy of Columbia Yachts and providing support and information to current owners.