Columbia 26 Mk2
Class Association
Constitution & By-Laws
February 1, 1969



  The name of this organization shall be the National COLUMBIA 26 MARK II Association, hereafter in this document referred to as the COLUMBIA 26 Association.


The object of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association shall be to promote COLUMBIA 26 Class Racing and Cruising under uniform rules and regulations, and to maintain as closely as possible the one design characteristic of the COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop.


  1.  To cooperate with other yachting organizations and, in return, to require observance and compliance with the rules of the National COLUMBIA 26 Class Association.
  2. To keep the cost of acquisition and upkeep of COLUMBIA 26 Sloops within modest limits without sacrificing high standards of performance and seaworthiness.
  3. To promote and maintain a Class of COLUMBIA 26 Sloops in which racing shall determine the skill of Skipper and Crew under uniform rules and specifications.


  1. The National COLUMBIA 26 Association has jurisdiction over all COLUMBIA 26 Class activities. Its Constitution, By-Laws and Rules shall govern all COLUMBIA 26 Class races regardless of by whom they are held, and are binding upon all members and Fleets.
  2. Permission must be obtained from the Fleet and/or the National COLUMBIA 26 Association prior to eliminating or deviating from any requirement of this document in racing a COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop.
  3. All events, involving racing within the territorial waters of a Fleet, shall be sanctioned by that Fleet through its elected officers.
  4. All disputes between Fleets, or a Fleet and other Yachting Organizations, regarding the interpretations of this document, shall be solved by the Governing Board of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association, and its decision shall be final.
  5. The National COLUMBIA 26 Association shall not be liable for any debts contracted by its National Officers, Fleet Officers, or members other than expenditures authorized by the budget or upon written order of the Commodore.
  6. The National COLUMBIA 26 Association reserves the right to declare ineligible any Owner and Yacht who does not conform to the SPIRIT as well as the letter of these rules and specifications.


  1. A new Fleet may be granted a Charter upon application to the Governing Board by three (3) or more owners, who must be members of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association.
  2. Fleet Charters may be granted by the Governing Board, or suspended by the Governing Board, but revoked only at an Annual Meeting. Reasons for suspension are:
    1. Failure to maintain, in good standing, a minimum membership and quota of COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloops.
    2. Failure to file an annual report of Fleet Members and Dues.
    3. Failure to comply with the contents of this document, knowingly or otherwise.
  3. Suspended Fleets, members and Ineligible Sloops shall be posted by publication and shall be barred from all COLUMBIA 26 Class races and activities. None may be reinstated until requirements of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association have been fulfilled.


  1. The Governing Board shall serve one year, from August Annual Meeting, until the following August Annual Meeting, and shall consist of all Executive Officers and the immediate past Commodore.
  2. For purposes of doing business - a quorum shall consist of a majority of the officers. A majority vote shall decide all issues.
  3. The Governing Board has the authority to enforce its decisions by suspension of entire Fleets or individual members. This Board shall sanction or ban races, grant or revoke Fleet Charters and suspend members guilty of gross violation of rules or unsportsmanlike conduct. Its rulings shall be binding and final.


  1. The Executive Officers of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association and their respective duties shall be as follows:
    1. COMMODORE - The Commodore is the Chief Executive. He shall preside at meetings, serve as Chairman of the Governing Board, rule on procedure and jurisdiction, summarize decisions, appoint special committees and authorize payment of all bills with approval of the Governing Board.
    2. VICE-COMMODORE - The Vice-Commodore shall officiate in the absence of the Commodore.
    3. SECRETARY - The Secretary shall handle all correspondence, record the minutes of meetings, and maintain an accurate and current record of members, Fleets and Fleet Officers; He shall prepare meeting agendas, notify the membership of special events, decisions affecting policy, etc.
    4. TREASURER - The Treasurer shall maintain financial records and securities of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association. He shall deposit funds and disburse funds only on order of the Commodore, with approval of the Governing Board.
    5. CHIEF MEASURER - The Chief Measurer shall be in charge of all certified Measurers on the Measurement Committee assembled for the National Championship Regatta. He shall grant or reject all Measurement Certificates, issue duplicates, and answer all questions from Fleet Measurers regarding measurement rules. He shall interpret rules and regulations concerning construction, sail plan, rigging and equipment; and shall make rulings on matters not specifically covered in the official plans and specifications. Such rulings shall be subject to approval of the Governing Board. The Chief Measurer shall not approve changes in construction, specifications, sail plans or rigging.
    6. DIRECTORS - Six elected Directors shall represent following areas: Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, New England States, Southern Atlantic States, Gulf States, and Great Lakes States. In recognition of services to the COLUMBIA 26 Class, a representative appointed by the COLUMBIA YACHT CORPORATION, shall hold the office of Director on a permanent basis with full voting privileges on the Governing Board. The Directors shall evaluate and make recommendations to the Governing Board regarding (1) changes in the Constitution and By-Laws of the COLUMBIA 26 Association, (2) racing and cruising activities and (3) organization of special committees including publicity nominations, activities and National Race Committee for the National Championship Regatta.
  2. Except for the Columbia Yacht Corporation Director, the above officers shall be elected by majority vote at the Annual Meeting of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association, and shall serve for one year from August to August. Each shall be nominated by a Nominating Committee appointed by the Governing Board.


  1. The Annual Meeting of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association shall be held during the period of and in the vicinity of the National Championship Regatta, if possible. Special Meetings by order of the Governing Board or upon demand in writing by twenty-five percent (25%) of the Fleets must be held. Time and place of all meetings must be fixed by the Governing Board.
  2. Notice must be sent to the last recorded Secretary of each Fleet in time to permit action by delegate or proxy. If it is a Special Meeting, the purpose thereof must be plainly stated in such form as to permit voting by mail. No business other than that slated can be transacted.


  1. The membership of each Fleet shall be responsible for the selecting and instructing of a Delegate. If unable to send a Delegate, the Fleet shall give its proxy to a non-Fleet member.
  2. Any number of members may attend meetings, but only the Fleet Delegate or proxy shall be entitled to cast the Fleet's votes. Only Fleet Delegates or proxies properly certified in writing by the Fleet Officers will be recognized.


  1. Presence of one-half of the Fleets in good standing by delegate or proxy shall constitute a Quorum at meetings. If a Quorum exists at Roll Call, it exists throughout the session of the meeting.


  1. Each Fleet shall be entitled to cast one vote for each COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop enrolled in its Fleet, which has been properly recorded with the National COLUMBIA 26 Association by an active member in good standing. No Fleet is entitled to more than thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of the total number of votes cast. No more then one vote shall be allowed for any one member no matter how many COLUMBIA 26 Sloops he may own. Membership books close thirty (30) days before any meeting, or as soon as ordered by the Governing Board.
  2. Members may be heard, but only accredited Delegates or proxies shall vote on motions. A majority of votes cast shall decide all questions not otherwise stipulated, and the Chair shall cast the one deciding vote in case of a tie. The Chair may also fix a time limit on speakers and debate of motions


  1. Any member may be exiled from the COLUMBIA 26 Association only by three quarters (3/4) vote at the Annual Meeting.
  2. No member may be suspended from a Fleet except by a majority vote of the Fleet.


  1. The Constitution and By-Laws may not be suspended but may be amended at any meeting by majority vote of all paid members in good standing through their Fleet Delegates or proxies at the Annual Meeting.
  2. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the National Association by the Fleets in sufficient time for the National Association to mail to the general membership 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting.
  3. The Governing Board shall have the authority to simplify, clarify or correct the language of any Article or proposed amendment, if the intent or purpose remains unchanged.


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call of Fleets
  3. Minutes of Last Meeting
  4. Reports of Executive Officers
  5. Ratification or Revocation of Charters
  6. Ratification of Governing Board Rulings
  7. Unfinished Business
  8. New Business
  9. Election of officers
  10. Adjournment


  1. A COLUMBIA 26 Class Owner shall apply for membership in the National COLUMBIA 26 Association through the Fleet, on whose waters he normally sails, whenever one exists. A COLUMBIA 26 Class Owner shall be eligible to race in any sanctioned race outside of his territorial Fleet. However, he shall be required to conform to the local Fleet Rules and Regulations where he is racing. He shall hold his "Official Certificate of Measurement" to demonstrate ownership, official measurement and membership in the National COLUMBIA 26 Association when racing outside his Fleet or territorial waters.
  2. The Fleet is a territorial unit open to all eligible persons within its area. It elects its own officers, which must include a Fleet Captain, Secretary and Measurer. The Fleet is self-governing in all local matters not conflicting with the National COLUMBIA 26 Association Constitution, By-Laws, and rules, and has the authority to accept or reject applications for Fleet Membership.
  3. Members who are delinquent in either their Fleet or National COLUMBIA 26 Association dues shall be ineligible and disqualified from racing until the dues are paid. Members who race when delinquent in their dues shall be suspended.
  4. When a member ceases to be a COLUMBIA 2b Class Sloop owner, his membership shall terminate.
  5. A Member cannot belong to more than one Fleet at one time, nor can a COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop be registered in more than one Fleet at one time.
    1. Active Member: A Sole Owner of a properly certified and registered COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop. He has the privileges of voting and holding office.
    2. Syndicate Member. A Part-owner of a properly certified and registered COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop. One vote and the privilege of holding office for only one member is allowed per boat. However, other members shall be considered eligible to race including the National Championship Regatta.
  7. To be eligible for the National Championship Regatta, the COLUMBIA 26 Skipper/Helmsman must be a bona fide owner in good standing in both the Fleet and the National Association for two (2) months prior to the National Regatta.


The Annual Meeting of each Fleet shall be held not later than April 15 of each year and the results of the election of Fleet Officers shall be filed with the Association not later than two (2) weeks after said election.


Each Fleet is required to file an Annual report with the National COLUMBIA 26 Association during April of each year to renew its rights and privileges under its Charter.


If the Annual Report of Fleet registration and National dues have not been received by the National COLUMBIA 26 Association on or before August 1st, the Fleet becomes mandatorily suspended, along with all of its members. In the case of a new Fleet, suspension is mandatory if the new Fleet fails to comply with a demand for a report from the National COLUMBIA 26 Association.


  1. The annual dues of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association shall be:
    1. Active Member: $5.00 per year and one vote.
    2. Syndicate Member: $5.00 per year and one vote. The remaining owners each $5.00 per year and no vote.
  2. Fleet dues shall be determined by each Fleet and retained for use by that Fleet. National COLUMBIA 26 Association dues are collected by the Fleet and forwarded to the National Association Secretary on or before January 31. Members in good standing will be issued a current membership card by the National Association.


  1. The National COLUMBIA 26 Association's “Official Certificate of Measurement and Registration”, as issued by the Chief Measurer, shall be binding upon all organizations, conducting races for the COLUMBIA 26 Class. A Yacht holding a valid measurement certificate, signed by the Fleet Measurer (or Alternate), the Chief Measurer as accepting those measurements, and the Association Secretary as officially registering the certificate under that owner, shall not be subjected to measurement or protest on measurement unless reasonable ground can be shown to give evidence of subsequent alterations; however, a COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop is always subject to remeasurement by order of Fleet Officers, the Governing Board, National Race Committee and/or the Measurement Committee at the National Championship Regatta.
  2. Fleet Measures shall restrict their authority to the actual measurement and recording of measurement on the “Official Certificate of Measurement and Registration”. Rulings on controversial changes, or changes that affect sailing characteristics, must be referred to the Chief Measurer for evaluation and presentation to the Governing Board. Fleet Measurers shall not measure their own boats except under the supervision of a disinterested Fleet or Association Officer.


A Sloop is eligible and considered in the COLUMBIA 26 Class only if it:

  1. Conforms to measurement specifications and rules as certified by the National COLUMBIA 26 Association “Official Certificate of Measurement and Registration” form, that has been signed by the Fleet Measurer (or his Alternate), the Chief Measurer and the Association Secretary.
  2. To compete in the National Championship Regatta, the COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop mast be owned and skippered by a paid up member of the National COLUMBIA 26 Association; skipper and helmsman shall be considered one and the same person.


  1. It shall he illegal to produce a mold of the COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop without specific permission and approval of the COLUMBIA YACHT CORPORATION under its Copyright.
  2. COLUMBIA YACHT CORPORATION, the manufacturer of COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloops, holds the right to make changes in the COLUMBIA 26 in order to maintain its high standards in the industry. Any such changes may be incorporated into older boats.
  3. Numbers, corresponding with the racing number on the main sail shall be affixed to the boat in an easy-to-find location. These numbers shall be issued only by the COLUMBIA YACHT CORPORATION.
  4. All measurement, equipment and characteristics of the COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop shall comply with details listed and described herein.


  1. The intent of the rules is to discourage rule-beating sails; therefore any change which is not established practice or specifically covered by the sail plan and measurements is considered illegal until a ruling has been obtained by the Chief Measurer and Governing Board
  2. Upon winning the National Championship a red chevron, approximately eight (8) inches in length and two (2) inches in width, will be added to the sail immediately below the COLUMBIA 26 Class Insignia. Upon winning the National Championship more than once, additional chevrons will be added.
  3. All sails shall be initialed on the tack of the sail by the Fleet Measurer (or his Alternate) if they pass his inspection. The Fleet Measurer (or Alternate) shall include with his initials the date the sail was measured. Sails not initialed shall be considered as illegal and shall disqualify the boat from class racing.
  4. Members who are new boat owners, or owners purchasing new sails, shall have them measured and stamped by the Fleet Measurer (or his Alternate) prior to class racing.
  5. There shall he four (4) battens in the leech of the mainsail, evenly spaced so as to divide the leech into five equal parts. all batten pockets shall have no more than two (2) extra thicknesses of Cloth.
  6. Mainsail Battens - Maximum Size




    27 3/4"


    27 3/4"



  7. The headboard of the mainsail, on a measurement perpendicular to the luff rope, shall not exceed four (4) inches
  8. Mainsail Dimensions: The mast and boom shall have hands painted on them in a color which contrasts with the mast. The main must be carried within the limits of these bands at all times.
    1. Mast - the distance between the inner limits of the bands shall not exceed 26'3 3/4”.
    2. The inside edge of the black band on the boom shall be no more than 11 feet from the aft end of the mast extrusion.
  9. Class Jib
    1. Maximum dimensions

      Luff perpendicular (LP)




    2. Battens - None allowed
    3. Measurement - Measurements are to be made from extreme edges of the sail. In case of sails built with the intent to beat this rule, the measurement shall be taken from a fair extension of the edges of the sail.
    4. Weight of cloth - No lighter than 4 oz.
  10. Class Genoa
    1. Luff perpendicular (LP) - 17'7" maximum,
    2. Battens - None allowed.
    3. Material - Must be Dacron, and shall be no lighter than 2.2 oz..
  11. Class Spinnaker
    1. Maximum dimensions





    2. Minimum weight of cloth - 3/4 oz.
  12. Additional sail limitations:
    Local fleets, if they find it necessary, may adopt their own sail limitations, but the class sails will be used for district and national championship regattas.

The authority hosting a sanctioned regatta will decide which class sail limitations will he used for that regatta.


  1. The National Championship Regatta shall be sailed with a minimum of three (3) persons. The same number must sail in the boat through the entire Regatta.
  2. No hiking straps or trapezes are permitted.
  3. Boom vangs and reaching struts are permitted and may be installed to suit the owners' tastes.
  4. Headsail fairleads may be located any place desired on deck.
  5. For class racing, the spinnaker pole shall not exceed 10'6".
  6. All boats must carry all Coast Guard required safety equipment.
  7. Keels may be faired and fiberglassed, but their position and shape may not be altered.
  8. Measurement from forestay at bow to forward side of the mast shall be 10'6", (+) or (-) two inches.
  9. Running rigging may be altered to satisfy the owner.
  10. Nothing may be removed from the boat to make it lighter than a standard production boat.
  11. Regardless of numbering system used, a Columbia 26 racing in class events must have the association emblem on both sides of the mainsail. It must be similar in size and configuration to those furnished on factory sails.
  12. The boat must have an assigned racing number on the sail.
  13. Tiller extensions - No restrictions.
  14. Mainsail outhaul may be any type, and may be adjusted while sailing.
  15. Any reefing method may be used for mainsails.


  1. The National Championship Regatta will be open to one boat for every two boats paid up in a Fleet. This allows boats to be available for loan or charter for out-of-the area participants who are unable to trail their own boats. Owners must use their own sails. District champions automatically qualify for the National Championship Regatta. Fleets will select the participants.
  2. Only a “bona fide” owner of a COLUMBIA 26 Class Sloop, who has actively raced in the COLUMBIA 26 Class for a minimum of sixty (60) days prior to the National Championship Regatta, shall be considered eligible to race in that event.
  3. The National Championship Regatta shall be held in August; the location shall be the option of the defending National Champion, with the approval of the Governing Board.
  4. Ties in point standing for National Championship Regatta trophies shall be decided by a sail-off race immediately after the last scheduled race.
  5. Rules of the COLUMBIA 26 Class and the North American Yacht Racing Association shall be used for all sanctioned events. The reverse scoring method shall be used with a one quarter (1/4) point bonus for a first place.




Printing contributed by


275 McCormick Avenue
Cost Mesa, California 92626

2400 Wesley Street
Portsmouth, Virginia 23707


Builders of the fabulous COLUMBIA 26 and other fine sailing yachts

Additional copies of the Constitution and By-Laws
may be obtained from the National Columbia 26
Association at $2.00 per copy.


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This page last modified October 20, 1998