Bristol 35.5 vs 35.5C - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-01-2011 Thread Starter
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Bristol 35.5 vs 35.5C

Looking for opinions/input on the blue water capability of the Bristol 35.5 vs the 35.5C. I live in North Florida, at 5'10" the draft may be too deep on a 35.5 for local usage (Keys, Bahamas) but I'm not sure about a swing keel boat nor do I see many affordable on the market. Anyone have any input about how limiting the fixed keel would be for us vs the swing/shoal type keel. 2 adults, 2 children, want blue water capable boat, looked at a Downeast 38- love the boat just not the one I looked at. I'd take suggestions on other boats but would like feedback on the 35.5 vs the 35.5C. IE- is it just too deep a draft for local fun? Is the C version just as steady in the big water?
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-01-2011
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I have the smaller sister, the 31.1 with keel. Very pleased with it, seems very seaworthy and the build quality is excellent.

It seems you could pay to see these reviews of the 35.5C, if you don't have a subscription already :

Practical Sailor - Bristol 35.5C - Boat Reviews Article

Affordable Cruising Sailboats - Practical Sailor Article

Any questions pertaining to my boat, let me know.

You could also ask at the Yahoo Groups Bristol forum :

bristolboatowners : Bristol Boat Owners

Last edited by MarkSF; 07-01-2011 at 12:41 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-05-2011
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I have a Bristol 45.5 with a centerboard and am over 15,000 offshore miles. I would not be concerned with the centerboard model for offshore. We use our centerboard for a couple of purposes - going to windward and providing balance so that our Monitor windvane is more effective. Having the CB down, even a couple of feet dramatically reduces weather helm when power reaching. The rest of the time the board is up and we have less than 5' draft which was handy in the Bahamas and a few other places but of now significance in most cruising areas.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-22-2015
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Re: Bristol 35.5 vs 35.5C

I've owned the 35.5C since 1990. I met a couple from the Irish Cruising Club that also owned one and they had been transatlantic 6 times in her. Since acquiring the boat I replaced the cable twice, once a few years after we bought it and once in 2015. I would definitely recommend getting the cable and centerboard pivot pin checked and or replaced before any ocean trips.
I agree with @killarney_sailor 's comments regarding performance with the board down.
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