Cal 31 vs. Bristol 31.1 vs. Catalina 34 - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 Old 03-14-2011 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 3,073
Thanks: 9
Thanked 83 Times in 82 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Cal 31 vs. Bristol 31.1 vs. Catalina 34

I've found these 3 boats in my price range, and planning to check them out this week. How would they compare for cruising SF bay? No plans to go outside the Golden Gate in these boats - bay and delta only.

Cal 31 is a 79, $16K

84 Bristol 31.1 has the tall rig - not a bad thing I suspect, given the displacement. SA/D is still quite low. Interior is gorgeous. Must have taken half a teak forest. Price 40K.

88 Catalina 34 beats the others on hull speed and space in the interior. Price 45K.

To be honest all 3 are big enough for my needs. What I really want is a quality boat that will hold it's value, sleeps 2 comfortably, and is stable, stiff and forgiving. Hence leaning towards the Bristol, whose tank-like qualities are appealing.

Cal 31 is the outlier at half the price of the other two but I could use some of the change for upgrades. It is the lightest by far and has the highest SA/D at nearly 18.

Last edited by MarkSF; 03-14-2011 at 10:58 PM.
MarkSF is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 Old 03-20-2011
KeelHaulin's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,662
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 13
If you are only sailing inside SF Bay the Cal 31 would be a fine choice. Just be ready and able to reef early with that high SA/D ratio. The Bristol 31.1 looks like a nice boat for SF Bay also. The Catalina 34 is also nice; but sailing properties might be a little less stable in heavy winds than the Bristol (just looking at hull form). It would be better in heavy chop because it's a bit bigger than the 31.

You might also consider a Newport 30, or a C&C. If you plan on doing any racing you might want to look at an Olson 30, but these boats are primarily designed for racing. Other performance oriented hulls would be a Santa Cruz, or an Express.

I think the prices are a bit high for an 84 or 88 31-34' boat; but I could be wrong. Check the NADA or BUC values before you make an offer.
KeelHaulin is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 4 Old 03-20-2011
Just another Moderator
Faster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 18,865
Thanks: 141
Thanked 513 Times in 487 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Of those three I'd be leaning towards the Catalina34. It's a comfortable roomy boat with a great cockpit for daysailing and lounging.

As evidenced by the value there now, it's likely to have the best resale value and the easiest eventual resale, esp in California.

As has been indicated again and again, if you buy the 16K fixer-upper you might end up with just as much money in it by the time you're done, have missed some sailing in the meantime - and still have a boat worth 16K.

I'm sure the Bristol is a fine boat too, esp if it's a good example, but it may be heavier than you'd want or need...


1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Faster is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 4 Old 03-22-2011
Senior Member
GeorgeB's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
Posts: 1,955
Thanks: 3
Thanked 60 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Mark, The C34 is an extremely popular boat on SF Bay and there even is a large, organized (and aggressive!) fleet that regularly races there. The $45k asking price is still a little on the low side so make sure you get a really good survey and save some budget for repairs/improvements etc. A while back, you were inquiring about a C30? On the message board at the South Beach harbor masterís office there is one for $19.9k that is for sale by owner. The picture and description looked pretty promising.
GeorgeB is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catalina 30 Keel cracks (not Catalina Smile) Pelham Catalina 5 12-01-2009 10:39 AM
Bristol 27 MaryLP Bristol 2 09-30-2009 09:49 AM
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22 155Palma Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 12-12-2008 09:01 PM
Bristol 40 BobClarkson Bristol 4 06-18-2007 03:54 PM
bristol 24 jimmd Boat Review and Purchase Forum 2 11-02-2006 08:42 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome