Old Town columbia

-- Last Updated: Jun-23-08 8:08 AM EST --

Hi all: I'm new to this site and am glad I found It. Is there any one out there who owns an OT Columbia? What can you tell me about it? Thanks JB

OT Columbia
I used to have an OT dealership in the early 80s and took delivery of a Columbia in theory to sell. As it turned out, it wound up going in my personal stable and off to the BWCA. It was a fantastic tripper with a feel of a Sawyer Tripper but with a bit more volume. OT didn’t have the Columbia in production very long and I don’t know why. It was a fine canoe on open lakes and light Class I. It handled very well fully loaded or unladen. It had a pretty dry ride in the slop.

That’s all I can recall from my aged and damaged memory banks.

Old Town Columbia
This is a great hull, too bad they only made it for a short time. The closest canoe to it in my experience is the Wenonah 18’ Sundowner. The 18’Sundowner was the top selling Wenonah during the period that Old Town made the Columbia and may have been its downfall.

The Columbia in Kevlar weighed as much as the Sundowner in fiberglass and the Columbia in fiberglass cost about as much as the Sundowner in kevlar. In a paddling comparison the two were very close, but in a cost comparison the Columbia was the big loser.

the Columbia had the best speed of any Old Town, tracked best, and was seaworthy. It did not have the traditional look of the other Old Towns, no recurved ends and upswept gunwale line. It was a modern looking hull and paddled very well. Compared to the Tripper, it did not have much initial stability, but compared to any boat with similar speed it was as stable or better. My paddling memories are of a very competent boat for tripping on flatwater and easy rivers, good capacity, immaculate trim, and a solid hull layup. Heavy compared to the Sundowner, but very similar in the water.


I saw one …
… not to long ago , fiberglass .

I thought it was a very nice canoe , it got my interest .

There’s one here on Craigs list in good shape but in need of seat repair for $650.

Steve: To much, I purchased mine in 88 for $450.new. We really enjoy it. This boat has done class II numerous lakes and rivers. I would like to find out as much as I can about IT, Also would like to thank the people who have replied to this thread. JB

The skinney
The Columbias was “designed by one of the Grey’s before they sold the works to Johnson.

Rumor has it they bought a Sawyer Cruiser, cut it in half and stretched it to 18’2”. After bondoing in the center, they started filling in the rather excessive Cruiser cheek. All to the good, every try paddling a Cruiser upstream?, except that they didn’t change bondo colors between courses. Consequently, the Columbia wasn’t symmetrical- one stern quarter retained excessive cheek and the hull tended to turn towards that side.

Memory says left, but it’s been decades. Columbia seemed a botched copy of Lynn Tuttle’s classic Cruiser design, and that tendency to torque off course was a killer.

Jaybee, Mr Wilson.
Thnx for the heads-up!