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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » B - Boats starting with 'B' » Bristol

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Bristol 29
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 2248 Fri December 29, 2000
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated None indicated

Description: Bristol 29
Keywords: Bristol 29



Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Fri February 13, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The Bristol 29 was designed by Halsey Herreshoff for Bristol Yacht Comapny. The model was sold between 1966 and 1971. There were two rigs offered: a tall rig and a shorter rig with a centerboard instead of a deep keel. I have no information on the centerboard version. There were perhaps 170 hulls laid; my boat is hull 165.

The tall rig is a solid performer, with speeds far exceeding its designed waterline length (my B29 will reach at 8k in 15k of wind). The basic design is similar to the Alberg designs of similar length, with a dog house coach, full keel, keel-hung rudder. The Bristol is more nicely finished in the cabin than comparable Albergs, and about equal to Cape Dory's of the same age. The gelcoat doesn't have the crazing and cracking problems of older Cape Dory's.

Key Features:
Full keel with cut away forefoot, keel-hung rudder, masthead rig, tiller steering, very large cockpit, very large lazerette, encapsulated ballast, Monel fuel tank, s/s water tank, dorade vents, headroom 6 ft, mastheight from waterline 40 ft., LOA 29'-1.5", LWL 22'-8", draft 4'-6", beam 8'-6", displacement about 9000#, ballast 3450# of lead shot poured into keel and encalsulated in thickened resin and glassed over, all seacocks are bronze Wilcock-Crittenton, all thru-hulls are bronze, rudder post is solid 1-1/4" bronze, prop shaft is 7/8" bronze, shaft logs for rudder post and prop shaft are proper marine bronze,

Very sea-kindly boat, easily singlehanded, very fast on all points of sail but dead downwind, heavily built hand-laid, blisters are almost unheard of, she anchors easily--low topsides keep her from yawing around, she also lies ahull easily, the B29 is a wonderful sailing boat, makes very little leeway, points extremely high, sails well under main alone.

Very few--deck stepped mast (tends to pump a bit), most B29's came standard with Atomic 4's, some (if you're luckly) came with Volvo MD2B's (very durable diesel that will outlast the boat), B29's tend to be tender if not sailed correctly, also tend to have a lot of weather helm if not set up correctly, very little storage room (only 8.5 feet of beam), water tanks tend to have pin holes, lower rudder pintle tends to wear out of round giving some play to the rudder

Overall Satisfaction
I have owned mine (one of the last ones built) for over 10 years. I have refurbished her to like new condition. I sail her extensively singlehanded. She is a wonderful sailing boat that will keep you out of trouble, but this is not a cruising boat for more than a couple with (perhaps) one or two very young children. Storage space is at a premium. I am esxtremely satisfied with my Bristol 29.

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Review Date: Fri December 29, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


I have owned my B29 for 8 years now and spent 13 months of that living on-board. Truelove is the full keel version with a mast head rig. Over all I give this design a B+. Here is some of my experinance.

Truelove was a dinette model with galley and quarter berth to starboard and childs quarter berth and dinette to port. I found the dinette all most useless. It was very uncomfortable both to sit in and sleep in. The small quarter berth to port was just a catch-all and cockpit seat locker. I love the starboard quarter berth and spent much of the thime living aboard sleeping there.

I am 6'-2" tall and the 5'-11" headroom was hard to live with. I always had my head cocked to one side when standing below. After a MAJOR fight with my ex-wife I sised up a saw-zall and started cutting. When I was finished the boat was empty from the main bulkhead aft.

I have lowered the cabin sole 3 1/2 inches, moved the galley aft to port doing away with the small quarter berht and have added port and starboard sette beths. Bookshelves and lockers outboard of these addad greatly to the limited storage.

On deck, I found core deterioration around the chainplates and other deck fitting. The bedding compounds of the 60's just didn't last. The hull/deck joint has given me much problem. Again the bedding wasn't up to the job along with the fact that the deck was fastened with self-tapping screws instead of thru-bolts. I have since glassed over the interior of the joint, Thru-bolted with 1/4" s.s. mach. screws and re-bedded with 3M 5200. Other then a few drips comming from the genny track fastenings I haven't had any problems for 3 years.

With my new Full-batten main and 115% jib she sails like a dream. Very fast for this vintage design reaching 8 to 9 k often with 10.2 k the fastest down a quarting wave.

I've put a lot of time and money into her and feel every bit is well spent.

These old boats have lots of heart and spirit!
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Junior Member

Registered: December 2003
Posts: 4
Review Date: Fri March 4, 2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


I have another review much earlier when I first bought my Bristol. I have owned her now for 17 years and have great respect for her. See my refit of her at
I have made many changes and improvements to her.

All are welcome.

David Browne
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