Bristol 24' Corsair
My wife and I sold our 1975 Sabre 28 MK1 about two seasons ago...new job, new house and a change of lifestyle (baby girl) made it impossible to get to the boat as often as we would have liked and so we parted with our old girl. We may be in the market for another in the near future and actually came across a 1977 Bristol 24' in very nice condition. I am more familiar with the 32' but know very little about the 24'.
Just wanted to ask anyone out there (Bristol Owners in particular) what they think of the 24', what their experiences have been with her, how she sails, handles relative seas, things to watch out for and where the 24 might shine! We loved the Sabre, but 28' may be a bit too much boat for us now and we are looking to downsize and simplify a bit so we can sail more and tinker less! :)
Thanks for any information you might offer us!
Chris, I have a Bristol 24, unfortunately I can't exactly tell about its sailing characteristics since I'm in the process of refurbishing it in preparation to sail, have not actually sailed it yet. In general I expect it to behave as a comfortable cruiser rather than racy, which is what I want. I think it would be perfect for a couple with a small child. It is heavy-ish for 24 ft, almost 6,000 lbs disp. A back issue of Good Old Boat magazine, March-April '03 has a nice Bristol 24 feature article, including design commentary by Ted Brewer. If you can't get hold of a back issue, email me and I will send you a copy of the article.
This will just add a little. I owned a Bristol 26 and a Bristol 27.
I recall the 24, originally made by Sailstar in Bristol, RI (which Clint Pearson bought out, forming the better-known Bristol company) is much roomier than the Alberg designs (22, 27) but had keel problems as it was encapsulated lead, and not often real lead. The Bristol factory tended to throw in whatever metallic waste was on hand, and then bond it in with resin.
There's several 24 owners on the Sailnet Bristol page (or maybe they've moved to Jazznet) but the Bristol clan, as a whole, are very helpful. Before Sailnet crashed, some five years ago, there were 220 Bristol owners on the page. The leader of the Bristol clan is Massimo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can direct you to the 24 owners.
Email me back if you can't find him, and I'll dig up the other addresses.
I just re-read your original question and, given your parameters, might not recommend the Bristol 24.
It's not as pretty as a Sabre, the hull deck joint always needs work. OTOH, if you're less than 5'8", it seems sufficiently roomy as I think all 24s were dinette models, with the galley on the stbd side.
As wonderful as Bristols are, you'll spend a good chunk of time on upgrades.
I might suggest, for the size, that you look at larger trailer sailers like the Precision 23 (easier to get to the cruising grounds you prefer) or the sharply-designed Beneteau 235. It's a bit more costly, but is quick, has a full-cabin design, including the head that has a slide-out chart table, and four bunks.
I wouldn't look at the 24 unless low initial cost was important. Also, as a looker, it doesn't draw the usual number of Bristol compliments.
My first mono-haul. 1969 Corsair. I would say this is one of the most sea worthy boats in a 24 and has room to accomodate a nice weekend stay. This boat is built like a tank and is full keel skeg. Watch out for delamination on deck and bulkhead leaks which are dangerous for rigging. The engine well is a nice feature and is great with a 9 hp outboard. This boat is made for Blue water, or at least it is built like one. Good luck.
We are checking one out next weekend, and I have inquired about two more within driving distance from us. We will see what we think. Thanks for all the suggestions and information. As always, we are open to more!
I can be reached at:
New Bristol 24 owner
I purchased a 1967 Bristol Corsair 24 a year ago. She is a rock-solid pocket cruiser that loves heavy air. The 2,500lb. skeg keel provides outstanding control while pinching. A lot of boat for the size.
Areas to investigate pre-purchase...Make sure the keel is lead (there is a removal piece a floorboard midship). And check the shroud plates on port and starboard for stress cracks (mine had been replaced with larger ones by the previous owner).
My two cents...hope this helps. Love the boat!
I bought a '76 Bristol 24 this summer, chugged her all the way from Peekskill NY up the Hudson / Champlain Canal / Lake Champlain to Monty's Baywhere she lives now. She sure is solid and took the three foot waves off Cumberland Head like ripples on a pond. Despite a 20 knot head wind, we were fairly dry in the cockpit.
I'm told by the previous owner that she handles very well indeed in New England coastal waters in much larger seas. I find the Bristol very responsive and forgiving. She sails well close to the wind and about the only thing I haven't been able to coax her into is wing and wing. I suspect she's quite capable of the task and that it's the skipper who has the learning to do.
The accomodations are spacious enough. Any 24 ft boat you can stand up in to put on your pants is great. (That was one of my criteria in searching).
I have a question: There is a crackbelow in the arch under the mast. The previous owner said it was there when he bought the boat a few years ago, and that his surveyor assured him that unless it changed for the worse, it was nothing to worry about. I'm thinking I could put in a post, but I'm not sure how best to do this without compromising movement below. Has anyone got any experience with this problem? Any advice will be gratefully considered.
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