Category: COLUMBIA 1871

James Edward Buttersworth - Columbia Vs. Livonia Off Sandy HookColumbia, owned by Franklin Osgood, was a centre-board vessel 107.11 feet over all, 96 feet on the water-line, 25.1 feet beam, 8.3 depth and 6 feet draft without her board. She was built in 1871 by J. B. Van Deusen, and was specially adapted to light and moderate breezes.
Skippered by Andrew J. Comstock, Columbia won the first two 1871 races against Livonia.

It was beaten by Livonia in the third race, in which Columbia, damaged from the second race, was skippered by Horatio Nelson "Nelse" Comstock.

It was the first America's Cup defender to concede a win to the challenger. As Columbia was further damaged in this third race, it was unable to compete in the final race. The yacht Sappho substituted and won the America's Cup for the second time for the U.S.


Designer Joseph B. Van Deusen
Builder Joseph B. Van Deusen
Owner Franklin Osgood
Club New York Yacht Club
Cup Edition 2(1871)
Launching 1871
Type Centerboard schooner
Hull material Wood
Mast material Wood
L.O.A. 34.13 m Beam 7.75 m
L.W.L. 29.41 m Draft 1.80/6.70 m
Mainmast 23.22 m Foremast 23.40 m
Maintopmast 13.70 Foretopmast 11.20
Maingaff   Foregaff  
Bowsprit 7m /13.79m Mainboom 28.80 m
Displacement 220 tonnes Sail area 950 m2
Jauge NYYC   Jauge RTYC  
The America cup.A nautical poem descriptive of the five international races
between the yacht Livonia and the yachts Columbia and Sappho
The America cup. A nautical poem.


The racing career of Columbia ended in 1908. It was dismasted and then altered as a houseboat and moored at Brooklyn harbour on the East River, facing Manhattan.

Three years later, an enthusiastic yachtsman took it to Baltimore where it was partially rebuilt and fitted with a new rig. For eight years, its homeport was Newport News Virginia, and it sailed as a cruiser.

In 1920, Columbia was bought by a fisherman and was declared as lost in 1923.


Andrew Jackson Comstock was one of several Comstock brothers from New London who were accomplished racing yacht masters.

Comstock was skipper of the racing schooner Columbia, which defended during the 1871 America’s Cup challenge. (He was also skipper of the Magic, the successful defender of the 1870 Cup.) Columbia won the first two races against the challenger, the Livonia. Columbia, damaged during the second race, was beaten by the Livonia in the third race. However that race was won by another American yacht, the Sappho. Thus, together, the Columbia and Sappho successfully defended the Cup.

Comstock continued as skipper of the Columbia after the yacht was sold to Lester Wallack, a New York actor and theatre impresario. (Wallack appears at left in the photograph, and Wallack's son at right. The figure aft is unidentified.)

Wallack subsequently sold the Columbia and purchased the steam yacht Skylark, and Comstock was retained as skipper. Comstock remained with Wallack and Skylark until Wallack gave up yachting shortly before his death in 1888.
Photograph of Andrew Jackson Comstock at the wheel of the racing schooner, Columbia, circa 1880.


Columbia or not Columbia ?? Boat size, the shape of the bow and above the design of cockpit compared with the top picture, everything seems to confirm this...
26 Nov. 1898 : the schooner Columbia that was blown onto the beach at Scituate in a storm.
26 Nov. 1898 : the schooner Columbia that was blown onto the beach at Scituate in a storm.
Pilot boat Columbia in 1938 on beach at Scituate, MA
Pilot boat Columbia in 1938 on beach at Scituate, MA


Plan de Columbia réalisé avec DELFTSHIP


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