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SailingWY 05-20-2007 04:21 PM

Bristol - Bluewater Capable???
Looking to pick up a boat for upcoming "retirement" (term used loosely). Would like to get a boat in the 32'-37' range, capable of being handled by crew of 2 and one in a pinch. Looking at coastal shake-out cruises over the new few years with some multiple week trips south. Ultimately, will be taking on more offshore sails. Many boat manufacturers "claim" offshore capability. Have looked at Alberg 37, Allied Princess 36, and S2 11. Each has nice open layout but obviously there is a difference in bluewater capability.

Question - are Bristol's built to handle these goals? If so, what models within the length constraints would you recommend?

Thanx in advance for any advice you can provide - directed at Bristol's or others.


longwaterline 05-20-2007 09:38 PM

A good place to start would be "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat" by John Vigor. The essence of the book is that there are boats such as the Valiant 40 specifically designed for bluewater sailing, but that any boat can be made offshore capable with modifications. Also sailing skills in my view are 75% and the boat is 25%. I sail an S2 11.0A on the Chespapeake and would take it offshore with some modiciations such as storm shutters.

khodgins 05-23-2007 10:15 PM

Recently returned to the US from a three year trip from south carolina to trinidad and back via bahamas, DR, PR, windwards and leewards aboard my Bristol 32. It was a very safe and economical way to cruise and live aboard. I spent much less time and money than other folks on larger boats, but experienced the same harbors, sunsets, thrills and chills. Would go again in a minute on a bristol. Feel free to contact me for any info-

SailingWY 05-26-2007 09:46 AM

Thanx for the steer on the book, longwaterline. I've reviewed Vigor's "20 small boats" and was looking for a boat a little larger than those boats, thus my original question. And I agree with you on the sailing/boat distribution; I've watched a number of people that are idiotic with their approach to even coastal cruising let alone a crossing of any substance.

I will look into that book to further my offshore boat knowledge. I'm looking at a boat to spend the next 3-5 years getting comfortable with and physically prepared for serious sailing. Then, the next stop is smaller SE coastal crossings (Caribbean - I grew up on west coast) before an eventual Atlantic crossing. Those are the long term goals and having spent much time around boats, it takes me something more than a few months to get comfortable with the way one moves and her little idiosyncrasies. As a result, I'd rather invest the time/$$ up front and learn the boat and the Atlantic at the same time.

Ken - I appreciate the information. I like what you did and will likely be there on a smaller scale in about 3 years. I'm just looking to reduce the time between that step and my next step (as mentioned above). I will likely touch base with you in a month or so.

Good health to each of you and have a SAFE and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.


kenstuber 05-31-2007 11:20 AM

Give the Bristol 35.5 a look

I cruised a Bristol 35.5 from SF, down the west coast of Mexico and on to the South Pacific returning via Hawaii. IMHO, it is very blue water capable. My wife and I are currently preparing a Bristol 32 for a trip to the Marshall Islands via Hawaii (hope to depart summer 08).

Good luck in your search.

Regards, Ken

SailingWY 06-09-2007 06:09 PM

Thanx for the information, Ken. We'll definitely add Bristol to the short list of boats were considering.


sailingfool 06-09-2007 10:13 PM

54 Attachment(s)
FWIW, you might consider the CS 36T, a bit more on the performance side than other suggestions. I have been the happy owner of one, which the PO and his wife took on a five year cruise which included several offshore trips from New England to/from Latin America.

Here's a sample Sailboats - 1986 36' ft Canadian Sailcraft 36T - Racer/Cruiser, Cruiser (Sail), Racer - Hingham, MA, 02043 -

maru657 10-01-2007 11:39 AM

Friends of mine owned a Bristol 27 which made two circumnavigations. A very strong boat. Smaller than you want obviously, but I was very impressed with the boat.

Dcneuro 10-02-2007 09:33 PM

Blue water Bristols
I think any Bristol from the 27 up is certainly capable for blue water. There have certainly been enough boats proving that. More important than the boat, is your preparation and skill in handling problems as they arise. The benefits of owning a Bristol is that typically, problems may arise less than on less competent boats.

Hope this helps.

Dr. S.
Bristol 32

Bardo 10-03-2007 03:57 PM

I have owned a Bristol 29 for 4 years, and think very highly of the boat. Bristol boats are strong, tight boats. I would have no qualms taking my boat across the ocean, provided I invested in the necessary refit. BTW, mine is for sale! Its too small for your needs, I know. But any other folks looking for a beautifully redone boat, let me know.

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