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Old 01-17-2001
JohnDrake JohnDrake is offline
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Bristol 35

Hi, I thought I would inject some objectivity to the discussion.

I think the advantages of a Bristol 35 are that she has a solid glass hull, low price, solid reputation. If you are looking for a good sea boat (offshore coastal) at a good price, you would be hard pressed to make a better choice for long distance cruising. Also, consider that the boat is probably at a zero depreciation point. And, she is a classic with great lines.

That said, the disadvantages are: you may have to put in some $$$ to bring the boat up to your standards (depending on condition of course), it will never be as roomy or comfortable as a Catalina (newer models of which are very good coastal boats) or any other modern boat, it is not fast.

Speed: A Bristol 35 has a base PHRF (New England) of 189. By comparision, a Catalina 30 is 9 seconds per mile faster at 180 (by convention perhaps not actually), A Catalina 36 (Tall Mast) has a PHRF of 132 (MUCH faster). J/30 is 144. BUT.... a Hinkley Bermuda 40 has a PHRF of 165, a Luders 33 is 198, Pearson Triton is 255 (MUCH MUCH MUCH slower), a Pearson 35 is 174 and an Allied Sea Breeze PHRF''s at 189. Many people have no problem going long distances on the slower or equivalent boats listed above.

Speed and comfort are relative. If you have a need for speed... sink $120k into a Contender 31 ))). If you are really going to use the boat as a weekend getaway condo, you may find it small depending on what you are used to and who you bring along. But then I had a friend who lived aboard a 28 and met a couple who lived aboard a 33.

I had a good friend who lived aboard and cruised extensively in a Pearson Triton - a VERY small, VERY slow 28 footer. He was happy because he had a boat under him that could handle any weather and had a solid glass hull.

I seriously considered a Bristol 35. But since I could afford a more expensive boat, I decided that I needed a larger more comfortable cabin and a faster boat (for the Chesapeake Bay).

If I wanted a boat to go offshore cruising in on a budget, I might have choosen the Bristol or a similar 35.

Lastly, you must be looking at 1970''s vintage boats... be very careful about boats with cored hulls (like C&C). I would stick with boats that are solid glass. You might want to buy a copy of "Practical Boat Buying" from The Practical Sailor. Great advice.

Good luck.
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