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post #1 of 30 Old 06-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

Hi all,

The joy and nerves of purchasing one's first boat are upon me. I've gone from pining for a boat from my "dream list", all of which are very much out of my price range, to shopping for something I can afford now. Enter the Bristols: from what I have read, they came from a respected yard where they were well designed and well laid, capable of passage making (yes, with upgrades), popular with a decent owners organization, and surprisingly affordable today.

Cutting to the chase, tonight, I'm going to view a 1968 Bristol 32 that's being offered for sale at a price that generated my interest. I've been more successful at finding data on the more popular 24's and 27's than I have the 32. That coupled with the fact that this is the first time I'm shopping for a yacht, I have (a myriad of) questions. I'll limit them.

Main concern: The boat is on the hard in the owner's driveway. The owner purchased it 1.5 years ago, then was in an accident that rendered him incapable of sailing. He's never had it in the water. He purchased it from a local marina (whom I've contacted; they don't remember the vessel off the top of their heads but are researching for me) who was selling it for an elderly man. The current owner seems knowledgable enough, but, I'm leery of purchasing without knowing when it was last in the water. Owner says that the seacocks, stuffing boxes, and fuel filters have been serviced along with new bottom paint, "amongst others". Most of his attention/work has been paid to the cabin.

If the first looks today are good, I'll be seeking someone with more knowledge than I to come and have a look see with me. But for tonight, here's what I'm looking for, please add to this list:

Leaking tanks (water in the bilge, fumes), engine run?, mold / signs of leakage in cabin, state of the electronics, quality of included sails, crazing, chainplates, condition of rigging...

Your experience and knowledge are always appreciated.

Last edited by Globalksp; 06-17-2013 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Keeping it objective.
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post #2 of 30 Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

If you can't afford a survey think about the unexpected repairs you won't be able to afford.

Do not buy it without putting it in the water!! Does the engine run? Batteries dead? Electronics work?

Let it sink on the current owner's dime, not yours!
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post #3 of 30 Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

I owned a 1976 Bristol 32, don't know how much different it would be..
When I brought here - in the mid 90's she was a rock solid boat! the only core issue I had was in the cockpit where the travelor was - had some spongy balsa, but that was it. Did need to rerig, new thru hulls, new sails refrig and added a propane system but the hull was in perfect shape.

If your getting insurance- you will need a surveyors report. What kind of engine- I believe they originally had atomic 4 gas engines.
Good luck

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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

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Originally Posted by jsaronson View Post
If you can't afford a survey think about the unexpected repairs you won't be able to afford.

Do not buy it without putting it in the water!! Does the engine run? Batteries dead? Electronics work?

Let it sink on the current owner's dime, not yours!
Didn't think it was pertinent to the post, but, boat costs are being split between two people. A survey is not out of the question. For future finders of this post, we're those annoying, idiotic, seat-of-our-pants types. You've been warned.
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

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If your getting insurance- you will need a surveyors report. What kind of engine- I believe they originally had atomic 4 gas engines.
Good luck
Noted. The ad says a Universal 3cyl diesel. Thanks!
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

Buy and read Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual", the first section of which is entitled "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat", before inspecting a boat you are considering purchasing.

Also read "This Old Boat" by Don Casey to understand better what you are getting yourself into.
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Buy and read Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual", the first section of which is entitled "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat", before inspecting a boat you are considering purchasing.

Also read "This Old Boat" by Don Casey to understand better what you are getting yourself into.
Great recommendations. Thanks.
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

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...For future finders of this post, we're those annoying, idiotic, seat-of-our-pants types. You've been warned.
That really doesn't distinguish you from anyone else on Sailnet...
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

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That really doesn't distinguish you from anyone else on Sailnet...
Ah! You're right! Must have forgotten where I was again. I'm always getting Sailnet and CruisersForum mixed up
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Re: Viewing a Bristol 32 tonight... Questions

Good engine easy to repair. Engine hours? Does PO have maintenance records?
When I brought my present boat PO had all the records - PO did some stupid things but overall he's been terrific with me. Hope you have the same luck!

I paid for a survey and he was right on with all the problems and the repairs that needed to be done. It reads like a punch list for me.

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