The Columbia 43 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Columbia 43 was designed by William Tripp Jr and built in the USA by Columbia Sailing Yachts. Her gentle sheer and flush deck make for a very attractive sailboat. From a purely aesthetic point of view, to me anyway - sailboat perfection.

A Columbia 43 MkIII sailboatSweet lines on 'Kailani', a Columbia 43 at anchor off St Georges, Grenada in the West Indies

Published Specification for the Columbia 43

Underwater Profile: Fin Keel & Spade Rudder

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 43'3" (13.2 m)

Waterline Length: 32' 0" (9.8 m)

Beam: 12'4" (3.8 m)

Draft: 6' 11" (2.13 m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop, although 'Kailani' appears to have an inner forestay for a staysail or storm jib.

Displacement: 18,900 lb (9,769 kg)

Ballast: 22,000 lb (8,573 kg)

Designer: William Tripp Jr

Builder: Columbia Sailing Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1974

Number Built: 153

Owners Association: Columbia Yacht Owners Association

Published Design Ratios for the Columbia 43 MkIII

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.2

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 50.3

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 257

4. Comfort Ratio: 29.1

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.9

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Columbia 43

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18,2 suggests that the Columbia 43 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 50.2 means that the Columbia 43 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 257, tells us the Columbia 43 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 29.1 suggests that crew comfort of a Columbia 43 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.9 tells us that a Columbia 43 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Any Questions?

What other versions of the Columbia 43 were built?

There were two main versions of the Columbia 43: the standard model and the centreboard model (Columbia 43 CB). The centreboard model had a retractable keel that reduced the draft from 6.5 feet to 4.5 feet, making it more suitable for shallow waters. There was also a MkIII version of the Columbia 43 that had a slightly longer hull, a taller mast and a lead-ballasted keel, but only a few of these were made.

What is the accommodation like in the Columbia 43?

The Columbia 43 has a spacious and comfortable interior that can sleep up to six people. The layout consists of a V-berth forward, followed by a head with a shower to port and a hanging locker to starboard, aft of which there are two further single berths. The main saloon has a galley with a stove, oven, sink and refrigerator to port and a U-shaped dinette to starboard that converts to a double berth.

What keel options are available for the Columbia 43?

The Columbia 43 has two keel options: a fixed fin keel or a centreboard keel. The fixed fin keel is made of iron and has a draft of 6.5 feet. It provides good stability and performance in deep water, but limits the access to shallow anchorages or marinas. The centreboard keel is made of fibreglass and has a draft of 4.5 feet when retracted and 8.5 feet when extended. It allows more versatility in sailing in different water depths, but adds some complexity and maintenance to the boat.

What is the Columbia 43 like to sail?

The Columbia 43 is a fast and agile boat that can handle well in various wind and sea conditions. It has a moderate-displacement hull that can plane in strong winds, but also has enough ballast to keep it stable and balanced in moderate winds. It has a responsive helm and good manoeuvrability, making it fun to sail both upwind and downwind. It can also perform well in races, especially in long-distance offshore events.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Columbia 43?

The average cost of a secondhand Columbia 43 depends on several factors, such as the year of manufacture, the condition of the boat, the equipment and upgrades installed, and the location of the boat. Based on some recent listings on YachtWorld, the price range for a used Columbia 43 can vary from $25,000 to $65,000 USD.

Is this boatbuilder still in business?

No, this boatbuilder is no longer in business. Columbia Yachts was founded in 1958 by Richard Valdes as Glas Laminates, producing fibreglass products such as camper shells and canoes. It later changed its name to Glass Marine Industries and then to Columbia Sailing Yachts in 1965. It became one of the largest sailboat manufacturers in the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s, producing models ranging from 20 to 57 feet. However, it faced financial and managerial problems in the mid-1970s and was sold to the Whittaker Marine Group, which also owned Coronado Yachts. The production of Columbia sailboats ceased in 1978, and the company was dissolved in 1980.

What other sailboats have been created by this designer?

This designer, William H. Tripp Jr., was a prolific and influential naval architect who created many sailboats for various boatbuilders, such as Hinckley, Pearson, Nautor's Swan, Baltic Yachts, and of course, Columbia Yachts. Some of his most famous designs include the Bermuda 40, the Columbia 50, the Swan 36, the Baltic 51, and the Tripp 47.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

Other sailboats in the Columbia range include:

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