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vfsurgpa 01-17-2013 10:23 PM

Bristol 30 up to 34
I am thinking of buying a Bristol, 30 to 34 ft range. Initially to live on, but eventually would like to do some ocean cruising, Chesapeake Bay to Bermuda, Bay to Europe etc. Anyone heard of delamination problems? Any other major problems to be aware of? Diesel engine is a must for me, I don't like gas or the Atomic 4. If there are other helpful threads you can point out, I will look them up, thanks

Barquito 01-18-2013 01:51 PM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
Realize that there are a lot of differences in the various Bristols in this range. The designers included, H. Herreshoff, Ted Hood, and Dieter Empacher. The below the water line, there were full keels, fin keels, and centerboards. Some had skeg attached rudders, and some not. There may be more similar to each other in build quality, but, I can't speak to that.

bristol299bob 01-18-2013 03:18 PM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
I've got a Bristol 29.9 (the 29.9 is the second gen Bristol 30) designed by H. Herreshoff. I have found it to be very well built and beautiful. I've had no problems related to the build quality or structure of the boat.

What exactly did you want to know about these boats?

vfsurgpa 01-18-2013 10:40 PM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
I am curious if the boats had any delamination problems. A friend from work had a 30 and told me they did. I have not seen this discussed in other Bristol sites, it is a problem I would rather not have to deal with.

miatapaul 01-18-2013 11:41 PM

Any boat with core (and all boats in this size will at least have a cored deck) have the potential for delamintion. I am not that familiar with Bristols but have never heard they were more prone than any other boats.

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KindOfBlue 01-19-2013 09:21 AM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
If water penetrates into a cored deck, it will delaminate. If everything is cared for properly, it won't. I don't think that this is a problem with Bristol, if anything they have a reputation for quality building practices. They are older boats and builder processes have improved over the years. I have been lead to believe that during the time Bristol was building boats, they always followed best practices.

JonEisberg 01-19-2013 10:16 AM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
Ted Hood's Bristol 32 is one of the most beautiful production yachts in that size range ever built, IMHO...

I had the great pleasure of meeting the late John Atkisson, and getting the full tour of KESTREL, about 5 years ago in Beaufort, as he was wrapping up his 2-year Atlantic Circle... Like the Contessa 32, a rather small interior, but an absolutely wonderful boat overall...

His survived a collison with a large fishing vessel enroute to Ireland, with relatively minimal damage... Tough little boat...

Good blog, well worth a look:

S/V Kestrel - The Boat

jb1528 04-16-2013 05:10 PM

Re: Bristol 30 up to 34
I bought a 1975 Bristol 32 two seasons ago. I thought I had a delamination in the vicinity of the through hulls in the head area. I didn't. The decks seem to be plywood cored. I don't have any delam issues. If you read enough about the 32 you will learn that they like to heal to 20 to 30 degrees which is how that type was designed. The only hull related repair that I've done is rebuild the rudder pin. After thirty some years it was sloppy.

I love the deck space, the huge cooler, and the way she handles. I'm still getting used to the keel, having had modern fins in the past. This mostly has to do with backing out of the slip.

There aren't many of these on the west coast and I get lots of questions. On the east coast I don't imagine that happens as much. She rides soft and now that I know her better, I plan to push her a little more this year.

Hope you get one you love.


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