Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I am not familiar with a model called the Bristol 39. There was as Bristol 40 which was between 39 and 40 feet, and a Bristol 38.8 which was a between 38 and 39 feet on deck. Given the date that you are asking about, I am assuming that you are looking at a Bristol 40. While these are very pretty boats, they were never very good sailors when compared to other boats of that length and era. Build quaility of the 1960's era Bristols was not all that great either (one step down from Pearson which was not all that good back then either).
On the other hand, the Bristol 38.8 was a great boat in most ways.
Of course the real question is what do you plan to do with the boat. If you plan to daysail and over night in an areas with predominantly moderate winds and with a good sized crew aboard, then this is a good boat. If you plan to do more serious cruising or sail in an area with predomainantly heavy or predominantly light air, the Bristol 39/40 is a very poor choice.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay