Say what you will, materials matter. Columbia uses the right materials, for the right application. If those materials cost a little bit more, then the boat costs a little bit more…but makes for a stronger, lighter and faster boat.
The Columbia 30's vinylester resin lay-ups are far stronger and more resistant to osmosis than less expensive polyester resins. Three different core materials are used throughout the 30, including PVC foam, high density foam, and balsa. This means you have the right core in the right place, which helps distribute loads properly, save weight, and improve strength and safety.
The keel and rudder are made with epoxy and carbon fiber, for ultimate strength, stiffness and lightness. You just can't get the same performance and reliability out of a steel keel fin. Given the significant loads placed on the rudder, you'll be happy knowing that the Columbia 30's rudder is constructed using unidirectional carbon fiber to ensure a stiff, strong appendage that won't let you down on the open ocean. The unitary-construction cassette-style rudder housing is built with the same materials as the rudder.
It's not difficult to make a retracting keel if you just don't care about interior space. But if you want to bring your friends or family on board for a weekend sail or cruise, space comes at a premium. The uniquely designed low-profile Carbon Fiber Superstructure is constructed with multiple layers of unidirectional carbon fiber, effectively distributing keel, mast and rigging loads throughout the hull without significant intrusion into the cabin.
The interior liner is a single piece structural molded component, a concept that Columbia Yachts pioneered years ago. This means that the bunks, settees, hanging locker, etc., not only provide the Columbia 30 with comfortable accommodation, but also serve to strengthen and stiffen the hull.
All structural components, including the hull to deck joint, are bonded together using Plexus methacrylate adhesive, creating a single, contiguous structure. Plexus has a proven record of outstanding performance in the most demanding of maritime and aerospace applications. It chemically fuses composites at the molecular level, forming bonds stronger than the substrates themselves. Plexus is not cheap. But it means stronger, lighter and faster boats with fewer problems than those that are traditionally bonded.
Next Page: And that's just the raw materials