Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 121 Times in 109 Posts
Rep Power: 11
I owned a Northern 29 for several years
I have mixed feelings about the boat. They are solidly built for sure but I am not that impressed with how they sail, especially as you approach hull speed. The design was an early IOR-inspired one from S&S and it has very pinched shape aft that provided a ratings advantage. The problem is that this shape generates an enormous quarter wave that I am sure you could surf on when it starts to blow. It feels like the boat wants to go faster but can't. After the Northern I had a Nonsuch 30 and I was astonished by how easily the Nonsuch hull moved through the water. There was virtually no quarter wave and the boat would sail very quickly indeed (and yes I know the waterline length is much longer).
There was discussion about the exhaust system. Mine came with an unusual copper muffler that was vertical and encased behind teak next to the dinette. It started to leak and I replaced it with a pot-style muffler under the seat there. It was not a difficult or costly fix.
Overall in this price and size range I think I might look elsewhere rather than a N29 = various C&Cs, Tanzers, and several US-built boats come to mind.