Bill Tripp Jr. designed the Columbia 45 to be a center-cockpit motor-sailer, but she’s more like a modern deck saloon before her time. From 1971 to 1976, Columbia Yachts built a total of 180 Columbia 45s. Many have crossed oceans and they make great live-aboards for coastal cruising and island hopping.
The Columbia 45 boasts voluminous space below with standing headroom throughout including two good staterooms and two heads (and many with dual showers), excellent storage, decent tankage, a sturdy hull and easy-to-manage rig, and powerful auxiliary power. However, the boat is often overlooked on first impression because of the large deck house design and because of its motor-sailer classification.
EASY TO SHOW AT LA MARIANA SAILING CLUB.
Like many modern deck saloons, the saloon area of the Columbia 45 at the foot of the companionway steps is raised, allowing views of the exterior through the large portlights in the deckhouse.
Forward of the raised saloon and two steps down to starboard is the dinette, which has ample storage cabinets outboard for dishes, cups, etc. There is small opening portlight above in the topsides and an opening hatch directly above for ventilation.
To port of the dinette is a wraparound galley, which is also open to the raised saloon. The galley is excellent with a wraparound counter, a gas range and oven forward, a large icebox aft, and a deep two basin sink outboard. There is ample storage inboard of the range and oven, and below the counter. Above the sink is a small opening portlight, and an opening hatch above for ventilation.
Forward of the dinette and galley to port is the forward head with shower. There is storage above the sink and below. To starboard is an absolutely huge hanging locker.
Forward of the head is the forward stateroom with a v-berth. There are storage drawers to starboard at the entry, and small shelves along the inside of the hull above each bunk. There is a large opening hatch in this stateroom just above the entry for ventilation and emergency egress.
Aft of the raised saloon to port are two steps down into the owner’s stateroom, which takes up nearly one third of the interior volume of the boat. There is standing headroom except above the berth, and plenty of floor space to move around. There is a small opening portlight for ventilation, which is covered if the room is fitted with the hanging locker.
Upon entering, to port is a large hanging locker or a settee with storage above and behind, and to starboard is a large ensuite head with a separate shower stall. The head has storage above and beneath the vanity. There is a portlight in the topsides above the settee and a portlight in the topsides in this head. There is a small opening portlight in this head for ventilation. To starboard aft of the head and forward of the master berth is a good-sized hanging locker.
The master berth is more than queen size, stretching from the port to starboard sides of the boat and all the way to the aft end of the stateroom. There is a center insert at the forward end of this berth like what is common in v-berths. Unfortunately on the ketch rig, this berth is interrupted by the mizzen mast. There are storage drawers beneath this berth, and small shelves along the sides of the hull above the berth. There is a storage locker at the aft end of the berth. There are small opening portlights on either side of the berth for ventilation and a large opening hatch for ventilation and emergency egress.