In Brief

Columbia 29 Lines and Sail Plan From the prestigious drawing board of the Sparkman and Stephens office, the Columbia 29 was introduced by the Glas Laminates Company of California who were producers of fiberglass camper tops, shower stalls and chemical toilets. The first hull was laid up in 1961 and introduced to the market the subsequent year. The Columbia 29 was successful enough for the company to form Columbia Yachts Corporation and adopt the Columbia name for its entire line of subsequent boats, the company eventually became the highest volume producer of fiberglass yachts by 1967.

Primarily designed for coastal cruising the Columbia 29 is easy to sail and has reasonable comfort for its size. The boat has sleek lines and good performance for her era.

According to the sales material of the time, the boat can sleep 6 (at a pinch) having two quarter berths, a forepeak double, and a convertible dinette. The boat came standard powered by an outboard motor operating within a cockpit well, there was an inboard 8hp Atomic 4 gasoline engine as an alternative option. Early models had 3120 pounds of ballast which got bumped up to 4,100 pounds in later models before the introduction of the MkII. In total 304 MkI hulls were built between 1961 and 1967.

The boat appears in Atom Voyages list of proven boats for offshore voyaging so we’ve included it here. We’ve heard that construction quality was good through to the end of 1967 where quality started to decline. Most of the tabbing was glassed over marine ply which becomes saturated over time.


Columbia 29 MkII Designer Notes By 1967 a MkII version was introduced which shared the same hull, rig and sail plan as its predecessor, but a redesigned trunk cabin to keep it cosmetically inline with the rest of Columbia range of sailboats.The new cabin featured a one-piece fiberglass headliner. They also retained the extra 1,000 lbs of ballast which was added to the late MkI models. A total of 383 MkII hulls were produced between 1967 and 1969.

Defender 29

A raised deck version was built as the Defender 29, which offered more interior room and a flush deck. Though some may cite higher freeboard at first glance as a disadvantage, the overall windage when compared the equivalent Columbia 29 cabin profile is actually reduced.


LOA: 28′ 6″
LWL: 22′ 6″
Beam: 8′ 0″
Draft: 4′ 0″
Ballast early MkI: 3,120 lbs. (lead)
Ballast late MkI: 3,120 lbs. (lead)
Ballast MkII: 4,100 lbs. (lead)
Displacement early MkI: 7,400 lbs.
Displacement late MkI: 8,400 lbs.
Displacement MkII: 8,400 lbs.
Sail Area: 382 sq.ft.

Headroom: 6′ 0″
Engine Standard: outboard well (standard) / Atomic 4 inboard (optional)
Fuel: 16 US Gal.
Fuel: 12 US Gal. (with optional inboard)
Water: 25 US Gal.

Designer: Sparkman and Stephens (Design #1508)
Year Introduced MkI: 1962
Year Introduced MkII: 1967
Year Ended MkI: 1967
Year Ended MkII: 1969
Builder: Columbia Yachts

Similar Boats

Bristol 29
Grampian 30

Links and Further Reading

» Columbia 29 specifications and details at the Columbia Yachts Owners Association
» Columbia Yachts Yahoo Group, information and owner discussions.
» Heart of Glass: Fiberglass Boats and the Men Who Built Them by Daniel Spurr, a short history of Columbia Yachts (p182)


Columbia 29 Sailboats for Sale

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12 thoughts on “Columbia 29”

  1. Colin Adams says:

    Hi All,

    I’m looking for one of these boats. Does anyone have one they are interested in selling or know of one being sold?
    Your help is greatly appreciated.



  2. david davis says:


    I have a 1966 Columbia 29 I bought in 1989. Fantastic boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Email me for more info anytime.

  3. Don Litton says:

    Here is a great article for all Columbia 29 enthusiasts.

  4. Fabio says:

    Hi all, I bought a 1965 MKI (built on the east coast in Porstmouth, VA) in 2013 and I am refitting her completely.
    The weak point so far is the compression post which for some reason doesn’t rest on the bilge but on a thick cross beam. Because of old leaks from previous owners the floor was rotten and the beam almost compromised. I had to glass a block of teak between the post and the bilge.
    After 50 years the teak on deck is obviously pretty weathered and need some rebuilding.
    A nice boat, we took her offshore for 400 miles from RI to VA, still “under construction”, and she sailed just well.

  5. Dave Roberts says:

    I bought a 64 Mk I about 6 months ago. She is a beauty. She’s currently undergoing a total refit, as she has not been kept up. But she’s a good, straight boat, with beautiful lines, and excellent bones. Only major issue is that mast step has to be repaired and shored up (which I understand is fairly common in these boats). Other than that, she was only in need of cosmetics. If you’d like to see pics of the progress or contact me, feel free.

  6. Vic Megaro says:

    I was hesitant to put an offer on a 1961 29 mk1. I’m hoping I don’t regret it. I’ll keep everyone updated during the summer in Chicago

    1. Don Litton says:

      If it is the one I think it is, you won’t regret it. It is hard to go wrong with a Columbia 29 in any case.

  7. Pingback: Sailboat Saturday: Columbia 29 | The Young Liveaboard
  8. Thomas Robins says:

    I’m late to the conversation as well, but I own a ’77 Columbia 8.3. -not 100% sure about older models, but mine is a tank. -for better AND worse. The hull is straight glass and thick. I’ll upgrade to something bigger in the future and potentially a little newer, but on the money vs. quality scale, there’s a lot to love about a Columbia.

  9. Darrell McKay says:

    I found a Columbia 29 for very cheap……… Is it remotely possible that a fiberglass hull from the 50’s is still sound??

    1. Don Litton says:

      I know this is year old, but as a former owner of a Columbia 24 (early model,) and now an owner of a 29 (early model) I find these old boats still to be well-designed, strong and seaworthy. Fiberglas was hand laid up and thick. No balsa cores but plywood cores in deck only in later models. They were built between 1961 and 1967. My 29 is very similar to a Pearson Triton, but preferrable (to me) and seem to have aged a little better. The only bad thing about them is there are not many of them around!

  10. marvin abugov says:

    According to there was also a 28-2 version introduced in 1969. A friend of mine just bought one that was built in 1977. He is restoring it right now. He had had to do a lot of work to get the steering fixed up and the bilge pump is currently not working. I also recall that the deck needed some restorative work in the past.

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