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02-20-2014 02:50 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

I have a Tartan 37C which also has a low companionway sill, If I am heading offshore, I keep at least the first drop board in (which brings it up to the seat height) and secure it with a detent pin keeping the board from rising. This would be the same height of a bridge deck but has the main benefit of removal for easy access to the cabin. Best of both worlds, so don't let the lack of a bridge deck stop you!
I also have a centerboard and have not had any experience of it wobbling or slapping.......
A friend of mine has a Bristol 31.1 and it is a well built boat but the engine access is a b_tch!

02-15-2014 01:18 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

Hi Jim. Can we email? Svlutra, that symbol, gmail. (No commas: )
Thanks, Patti
02-12-2014 10:08 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

Hi Patti,
I looked at a Valiant 37 the other day, but it was a blister model and I could not bear the idea of a restoral effort only to have the blisters reappear every few years. I really struggle with the idea of selling my Vanguard because I've finally got it just about the way I want it set up.
I'm hoping to get a look at a Whitby 42 this weekend. what models have you been considering?
02-10-2014 11:05 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

Hi JimPendoley. It sounds like we're looking for the same type of boat. Have you found one? I'm looking for a bluewater cruiser, 35-39', preferably no centerboard, good-sailing boat (goes upwind reasonably well for a cruiser), easy to singlehand. What did you decide about the Bristol 35.5's scuppers, bridge deck, and engine access (I'm looking at the keel version; no centerboard)? She was at the top of my list until I started thinking about these drawbacks. You mention that the scupper size is fixable?

What other boats were/are you looking at, and what have you settled on? Thanks for any help you can give!



P.S. Sorry, I tried to send this as a private message but apparently I'm too new to do that.
05-22-2013 03:50 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

I own a 1978 Bristol 35.5 and mine came with a bridgedeck and a traveler bedded into it. Either stress of the rig or water/ice intrusion caused cracks down into cabin under the traveler. The yard moved the traveler foward of the dodger, reinforced, filled and glassed the bridgedeck giving us a much more comfortable seating area. You may want to look at models from the early production run. The downside is that my galley is not L shaped as in later boats. The change propably happened in 1979/1980 or may have bin a factory option.
05-22-2013 12:49 PM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

I did see a blog where a guy built a bridge deck on an older Bristol, maybe a 32. It seemed reasonably easy to do - some fibreglassing, basically.
05-22-2013 11:47 AM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

Mark et al,
Really appreciate the feedback-cockpits without bridge decks worry me, but are not complete deal killers. Engine access is though and I am researching further-some other owners have talked about modifying access which looks like an option too. will be doing a revisit and more detailed looksee shortly. Thanks again for everyones feedback
05-21-2013 11:26 AM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

I get the yard to do the stuffing box when she's hauled for bottom paint. Access isn't my problem.[/QUOTE]

Unless you happen to be offshore when it needs attending to...

Good engine and systems access is very important on cruising boats.
05-21-2013 10:51 AM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

Originally Posted by JimPendoley View Post
HI all and thanks for your responses. seriously evaluating a 35.5. Two drawbacks to my mind, one smaller and one really giving me pause. The cockpit is comfortable and deep with only two small scuppers. that can be addressed. The companionway entrance goes almost to the floor of the cockpit though. If you take a lot of water aboard better have a couple of drop boards in place or better yet have modified the entrance permanently.

Engine access is a bigger concern. In my first look, I can't see how the thing is maintained. The stuffing box looks like it could only be serviced by removing the exhaust manifold (and you know thats not coming off easily). Anybody out there have a 35.5 they service themselves?
The point that is often missed, concerning the cockpit scuppers, is that the real equation is how the bouyancy of the boat relates to the weight of a cockpit full of water. The 35.5 is a big boat with a smallish cockpit, as opposed to some of the modern boats which are half cockpit!

It's worth having a couple of hatch boards in when sailing in bad weather, but I wouldn't be modifying the hatch, or the scuppers.

The engine access can be considerably improved by fitting a large access hatch in the cockpit sole, on my list of things to do. It won't help with the stuffing box but it does with access to the fuel pump, filter, oil filter, oil filler, thermostat, etc.

I get the yard to do the stuffing box when she's hauled for bottom paint. Access isn't my problem.
05-21-2013 10:26 AM
Re: Bristol 35.5 Offshore and Liveaboard?

When we were in the market for a boat, we almost pulled the trigger on the B35.5 but ultimately went with our T37. They are similar in many ways although the T37 is slightly larger in all aspects I believe. The Bristol is a solid hull vs our cored hull, advantages & disadvantages of both. Build of the 35.5 is stellar, fit and finish is excellent.

My Aunt & Uncle had a 35.5 CB. I sailed with them many a summer on the Chesapeake as a teenager. It was a bit tender IIRCC but once it found the groove it was comfortable. As noted, I know my Uncle found engine maintenance not fun.

Not much help, sorry. Love the boat though, probably why we considered buying one
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