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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » B - Boats starting with 'B' » Bristol
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Bristol 40
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 5843 Wed September 16, 2009
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.5












Description: Bristol 40
Keywords: Bristol 40
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri November 14, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

A poor man's Bermuda or Block Island 40. Beautiful lines. Solidly built. Engine access sucks. Sensitive to sails.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed December 23, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Wonderful Boat! - Only had "Agape" for one season and now we can't wait for Spring. Great looking lines - get many comments when motoring out of Back Creek.

Liked the Bristol 32 - also a Ted Hood design - but the Headroom in the 40 is better. Nice 5 bunk layout - sleeps 6 with cozy double. Great quarterberth and nav station combo.

This boat has more storage locations than most 40 footers. Not a beamy boat so it seems smaller than today's designs.

Two people can handle this boat very well. It is built very well and ours has been finished interior very nice with lots of mahogany. We luv her!
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri January 7, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Sloop, Full keel, draws 5.5'

Great looking, Classic Ted Hood lines. A true world cruiser, she likes a little wind (18-25 kts)

Strengths: Heavy, solidly well built. Well balanced under sail. A confidence inspiring boat. Easy to singlehand.

We added a hatch over the main salon this winter. The gentleman who did it for me was amazed at the thickness of the glasswork in the deckhouse. His comment, "Why they bothered to core it, is beyond me."

Weaknesses: Personally, I don't think she has any, but it has been criticized as too heavy for buoy racing and in light winds on the Chesapeake, that's often true. Though we did take 2nd overall in the Choptank fleet of ESSA last year. And that with sails badly in need of replacement.

Being of 70's vintage, she doesn't have the interior room of modern 40 footers. While that's fine underway, she doesn't do the dockside party as well as modern beamy boats; many of which by contrast would be in danger in a seaway.

We do race her, but we didn't buy her for that. We bought her to do a circuit of the Atlantic in a few years. Final decision was made on recommendation from my surveyor who in answer to my query said, "You couldn't find a better boat to do it in."

After 3 summers and nearly 3,500 miles on the Chesapeake, we're itching to get her offshore.












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Anonymous
Review Date: Wed April 5, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: strong, beautiful
Cons: Difficult access to bilge and transmission

My wife and I just returned from a 5 month cruise of the Eastern Caribbean in our Bristol 40, WEED (1978) and the boat performed incredibly well. Very well balanced; I sailed it from Charleston to Tortola solo using a Monitor windvane the whole way. From there it was home to me and my wife for 4 1/2 months. It is not as roomy as some newer designs and with a full keel it is a bitch to back into a slip, but after being in a gale with 16 ft. seas I was very happy with my boat rather than some of these light weight fin keel boats. Having a heavier well balanced boat in those conditions goes a long way. When I added a back up bilge pump we cut a whole above the waterline for the outlet. I counted 14 layers of fiberglass that measured 1 3/16 of an inch thick!! This is a very strong solid boat. Last May WEED came in 2nd in class and 3rd overall (out of 15 boats) in the Charleston to Bermuda Race, but I would be lying if I said it was a fast boat. We had 5 people for the race, but I wouldn't want to cruise with more than 2 for any extended time. Lots of storage in huge cockpit lockers. In the 3 years I have owned the boat we have logged over 5,000 bluewater miles on her and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Bristol 40 to anyone. Not only is this a solid boat but is an utter joy to sail, whether out for a daysail in Charleston Harbor or on an ocean passage. It is also a real head turner with classic Ted Hood designed lines.
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Nottoway
Junior Member

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 14
Review Date: Tue December 4, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

After a decade of sailing our Bristol 39 (aka 40) along the East Coast, we sailed to Portugal via the Azores in 2004. She is now in the Mediterranean at Torrevieja, Spain near Alicante (www.writebyte.net for Nottoway's cruising log).

On the passage to the Azores we averaged nearly 5.5 knots and arrived there sooner than faster-looking similar sized yachts who left about the same time. Bristol 40s have an easy motion at sea (not too stiff) which contributes to crew comfort and ultimately, speed. The passage from the Azores to Lagos, Portugal was slow, being hove-to in the "Portuguese Trades" for almost two days.

The construction is simple and durable (except our centerboard). Pluses are the traditional looks (if that's what you like), the stowage and the water tankage. Not to mention the reasonable price. Minuses are the small fuel tank and that fact that most of the boats are now about thirty years old. My B-39 has only four berths (plus a removable berth in the main cabin). The forward cabin berths are usually untenable at sea so some may find the number of berths a problem. So far it hasn't been a problem for us.
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clr
Junior Member

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 3
Review Date: Wed September 16, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sweet design, Sweet sailing, easily managed by 1 or two people. Solid.
Cons: engine access, less room than modern designs

This is a great boat for those who want a traditional look. Well designed and solid construction. Interiors and deck fitting-out (quality and layout) vary widely since in production for 20 years. Surveyors have told me that good years for the company yielded better boats.

The head is very large with 9 drawers and 3 lockers. Some have said this is too much space wasted on the head, but it works well for living on board. Others have commented on storage. I counted about 100 lockers (ok - two-door lockers counted twice).

The mast step is in the head, so any rain or seas that do manage to get down the mast don't ruin that beautiful teak/holly sole (not plywood, but plywood backed.)

Speaking of rain, after nearly 30 years, our boat has no interior drips. regular rebedding of chainplates is easy and may be partly why.

Ours has been great for the 20 years we've had her. I would prefer a Yawl rig (but you lose more cockpit storage).

Portlights - are a dumb aluminium and plexiglas rig. We've replaced the plexiglas once and are not looking forward to the next round. The frames are custom castings with the #10 screws tapped into the outer frame ( to give a clean look and - less leakage). The frames are a bit thin, so there are only a few thread-worth of "catch". Someday these might need rethreading since the metals cause aluminum to erode. The glass portholes are great.

This boat does not have an interior mold (except ceiling (real ceiling) area. The builders left off fancy covers to hide the mat in lockers - which is great to access almost any area for repair. The interior depends on the wood bulkheads and carpentry for structural strength/rigidity. Good or bad? I prefer it - if there is a squeak, you can fix it and it looks very nice. Material and quality depend on year but our 1980 has an interior similar to the later models they were selling in the 80's.

The cockpit is huge (but narrow). the deck is clear and side decks are wide. Downside is wider sheeting angle with chainplates very near toerail.

Although it does not need minute by minute rig-tuning, good tuning will help sailing pleasure and performance a lot (and reduce electrical use by autopilots). It is a very simple rig to get tuned right.

End boom sheeting is safe and easy for single-handed sailing, but does make helmsman protection harder to construct. Use a harken 6-part block system and you can trim it like a dingy.
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