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mlevis 01-02-2001 04:37 PM

Bristol 35
I am looking at a used Bristol 35. Anybody have any experience with this boat ??

How would she be in coastal crusing ??

Any major limitations with performance ??

All inputs welcome.


VIEXILE 01-10-2001 03:29 PM

Bristol 35
I wish I had my Bristol 35 under my ass right now. It''s sitting in a yard in Maine while I sit here and watch the moon rise over Jost Van Dyke. Ah well. A landing pad in Maine, anyway. What year is the Bristol you are looking at? Mine''s a yawl, the one you''re looking at is likely a sloop. Water infiltration into the balsa cored decks can be a problem. Walk around in stocking feet and bounce a little here and there, including on the cabin top. You''ll see sponginess or hear little crackling sounds. It''s fixable. Hull is solid glass, probably an inch thick or better on the bottom of the ballast. 3/4 inch at the turn of the bilge. Lessee- mast step problems can be fixed-check the blocking under the compression post in the main cabin and see if the passageway door closes cleanly. It can be shimmed up if necessary. All deck hardware should be rebedded right off the bat. Through hulls punched and groco stainless ballcocks installed at about 50 bucks each (thats 7 through hulls, I believe). The old Wilcox Crittenden units get all munged up and, while they work, they stick. I left them in the cockpit scupper drains, which never get closed, and the head sink, which can be a beast to close. Ask questions. I rebuilt the whole boat, the Volvo Diesel, redid everything belowdecks, etc. Sails nice, CCA racer-cruiser, 6.53K hull speed, good positive righting moment. Perfect coastal cruiser, needs cockpit filler boxes to reduce cockpit volume offshore. No big pucker with bolt-in - unbolt to remove storage boxes & helm seat. Everything straightforward enough to figure out and fix. Full keel is forgiving, a little tender in the first gust, but you''ll find it difficult to keep the rail wet. Ask questions, I''ll answer. Is the one you''re looking at a centerboarder? Mine ain''t. I have hull #11. It''s a 1972 Alden Yawl. I miss her. V.I. Exile

MikeMoss 01-13-2001 05:29 PM

Bristol 35
A lot depends on where you are going to use this boat. They don''t have a lot of sail area so unless a breeze comes up you are going to motor.

It''s also a obsolete design and a old boat.

But 35'' boats are big enough.

Not my cup of tea.

Keep looking.

VIEXILE 01-15-2001 05:19 AM

Bristol 35
O.K., I guess this guy is suggesting you buy a Hunter. Or maybe better, a MacGregor 26, because dollar for dollar you won''t get as much quality in comparison, hence, the rationale for buying the older boat. I wonder how much time he''s spent sailing more than a half mile offshore, inasmuch as the hull speed of the Bristol 35 is 6.53 knots and the Alden Design qualified the boat as a CCA Racer? She''s no J-24 or Melges, but those are totally different categories of boat. And no, I''ve never had to run the engine when other boats were still sailing. Pop the drifter or spinnaker and she moves right along nicely. However, she doesn''t tend to turtle quite as well as the boats this guy seems to like so much in gusts, and, yes, I''ve sailed both......

MikeMoss 01-15-2001 08:27 AM

Bristol 35
I bet the Bristol 35 will go faster than 6.35 K. Long overhangs that boats like that have make the sailing length longer than the waterline.

There must be some application for the Bristol line but I don''t like any of the smaller ones that I have seen.

My boat is old too but for coastal crusing it just has to be a better sailor than the Bristol 35.

The catalog that I have shows the C&C 35-1 and the Bristol 35 next to each other. The C&C has a IOR MK 111 rating of 29.0'' There is no rating for the Bristol!

In light air the Bristol 35 will be a dog. Install a 275 gallon tank or keep looking.

newuser 01-16-2001 04:15 PM

Bristol 35
Ahhhh. Canuck Canoe. Didn''t they build the Landfill? I take that back. Sail everything, try everything you can. I shouldn''t be disparaging the MacGregor 26 either. It''s served untold thousands over the years. Make your own decisions. Everyone''s got their preferences. I believe you asked about coastal cruising. Different boats for different folks. If you''re going back to the plastic classics, stick with Bristol and Pearson if you''re on a budget. I spent two weeks years ago on the elbow of one of the business'' top surveyors - he designed the Pearson Triton - he told me I couldn''t go wrong with Bristol and he was right. C&C, O''Day, the Taiwan/Hong Kong contingent and even Cape Dory didn''t fare as well out of the blocks from what he''d seen over the years. You buy an old boat, you got $$ to spend to put it in "good" condition. Take your time, learn to "pre-survey," and, above all SEA TRIAL with someone who can get the boat performing. If you wanna race, buy a race boat. Lessee, I believe, not counting going between Cape Cod and up home to Monhegan a couple times, I burned about a tank of fuel in the Bristol 35. Never had a problem with it in light air with a 110 Genny or more.

JohnDrake 01-17-2001 04:59 AM

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 :o))). 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.

VIEXILE 01-17-2001 06:34 AM

Bristol 35
You the man, Mr. Drake.

MikeMoss 01-17-2001 09:40 AM

Bristol 35
There you have it. A well written song played while some of us dance around the head of a pin.

The requirement is a boat for coastal cruising. The Bristol 35 will be so slow as to not be a lot of fun. It just does not have a tall enough mast.

Take for example my C&C 35-1 that has a solid fibreglass hull by the way and so do the Mark 11''s. My boat has enough sail area to be fun. The SA/DR is 19.2, the PHRF 129 but as a crusing boat they do well as off the wind they are better than 129 and to windward they will stay with most any boat their size except for the J boat types.

So why get a slow boat? There are about 10 reasons so of which are: 1. He didn''t know any better, the salesman said it was a good boat. 2. He is afraid of sailing and really just wants a boat that looks like a sailboat to motor around in. I have the other reasons but am saving them for later in because I don''t want you to laugh too long.

So I challange the buyer to look at some C&C 35-1''s or 35-2''s and report back to us.

In Henersons "Choice Yacht Designs" there are no Bristols! Henderson says this about the C&C3 35 Mark 1 which is a featured boat. "this would be an ideal boat to claw off a lee shore in"

The Bristol 35 is an obsolete design totally unsuitable as a first choice for coastal crusing.

Also if you want to race it there is no way short of a paid crew that you will get anyone to stay with the season. You will finish too late or after dark most evenings. The Bristol 35 is a lot better than most 25'' boats for coasting but that''s about all.

Keep looking. The C&C sites are: and

VIEXILE 01-17-2001 11:15 AM

Bristol 35
There''s your answer. I wouldn''t own a C(anuck) & C(anoe) on a bet, but for "new" buyers the first purchase tends to be situational. The right place, the right deal. I don''t race my B35 and I don''t burn more than a tank or two of fuel all summer long. I cruise the gulf of Maine at about 5.5 to 6 knots under sail - slow by any measure - but just because some bohunk didn''t put the Bristol in his book doesn''t mean it''s an "obsolete coastal cruiser." Watch and learn, grasshopper. There are 50++ year old BEAUTIFUL "obsolete" designs cruising the world and turning heads everywhere. I like Bristols, don''t like C&C''s. Wasshisname likes C&C''s, don''t like Bristols. It all revolves around familiarity, comfort, taste and personal knowledge. You wanna race, look at race boats. You want offshore comfort in the same price range, look at Bristols. You want a porker, look at Irwin. I don''t know where the idea comes froom that the B35 is "totally unsuitable for coastal cruising." After almost 7 years of cruising a 1972 Alden Yawl, I''ve got no complaints, and I enjoy racing J-24''s, but you''re comparing plastic to classic. Jeesh. Maybe you''d be best off ignoring us both, buying, say the book "This Old Boat" and a couple others and figure out what YOU''re looking for. Washtay, bwana. From the sunny VI - THAT''S why I can hold on to the sense of humor and minimize the give a crap factor. Besides, I''m in the process of buying an absolute PIG of a Herreshoff 50 for liveaboard. Built in Taiwan. Gotta have a sense of humor in that instance.....

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