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Bristol 31.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 7351 Wed September 21, 2011
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $45,000.00 9.0

Description: Bristol 31.1
Keywords: Bristol 31.1



Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Mon February 7, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


Hull number 001, designed by Ted Hood. One of Bristol's "new generation" designs having a wider beam than older designs. The 31.1 had both a full keel and centerboard design with a heavier displacement than similar size boats, 11,900 lbs. Sailing our full keel in 10-15 kts provides a dry and enjoyable sail in the high 5's. She is comfortable for a couple, having a vee berth forward and two pull-out berths in the main cabin. The head is comfortable for a 31 footer and has both a shower and hot and cold pressurized water. She's built as all Bristols are with big boat hardware (Hood, Lewmar, Edson, etc.). Our boat has nine thru hulls as all deck drains go thru the boat. The 18 HP Universal has been reliable (approx 600 hrs) although somewhat under powered. The 2-blade prop was replaced with a 3-blade for better performance, although we gave up about .2 kts under sail. Easy for a couple to handle.

Lots of brightwork as on other Bristols. Huge toe rail, eye brow, dorades, cockpit trim all in teak. Below, the entire cabin is finished in teak. The sole is teak and holly. Fuel tank is 18 gallons aluminum tank, water is approximately 55 gallons in two stainless tanks, waste is approximately 15 gallons in fiberglass tank. Galley has three burner propane stove with two 10 lbs tanks in locker.

Several points to consider: The ice box is not well insulated and uses quantities of ice (we use 6-10 lbs/day when cruising on Cape Cod). The main sheet terminates directly in front of the helm (no traveler) and must be tended particuarly during jibing. Engine access is OK for routine maintenance, including shaft/stuffing box. Bilge on keel model is deep reflecting the 5'3" draft. Keel is enclosed.

After having been the 3rd owner for over 8 years we still enjoy the boat greatly. We've had no major problems having spent time and resources on painting and upgrades. Would highly recommend the boat. Approximately 36 built by Bristol.
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Senior Member

Registered: February 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 3073
Review Date: Wed September 21, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $45,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, fit, finish, sea-kindly, no vices under sail or power
Cons: Needs plenty of wind to come alive

Designed by Dieter Empacher while at Ted Hood. Build quality is excellent, all cabinetry glassed to the hull, encapsulated keel, keel-stepped mast, lots of teak both inside and out. Mine is an 84 and feels and looks like it is 10 years old.

Compared to a current production boat, it's not that roomy inside. There's no berth at all in the stern. The port and starboard lazarettes are huge though, which is nice for serious cruising for dinghy, fuel, or whatever storage.

The V-berth is pretty roomy. I am 6ft 6 and can stretch out in it. I also have standing room in the salon. The two doubles in the salon are more like large singles. The starboard one is longer so I prefer that one.

The hull design with the tapered stern and overhangs, which doesn't exactly maximise space, does give nice motion in a chop. The sail area isn't that large for the size so she likes a good wind. Close hauled she doesn't really come to life until 20 knots apparent, when you still stay surprisingly dry. She seems reasonably stiff too - feels like the first reef should happen at 20 knots, 25 if you are more of a thrill-seeker.

Mine has the 24hp Universal / Kubota engine which is fine. Cruising speed is 5.8 knots at 2000rpm and top speed is 6.7. However more than 3/4 (2400rpm) throttle sees the coolant temp up to 175-180F - this is common unless the heat exchanger has been upgraded to the 2" one. It's not a particularly quiet engine either. Still, with so many hours on it that the hourmeter has broken, it's going strong, so I won't be complaining.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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