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post #3 of Old 05-15-2003
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Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34

Gary: I''ve sailed the Tartan 34 centerboard, the Bristol 35 and the Shaw designed Pearson 35. All slightly different and differing qualities of build, but not huge or tough to equalize with some knowledge. The Bristol 35 is the only one I''ve been out with in serious weather offshore and, after sailing it since ''94 in the Gulf of Maine, I can''t seem to see any negative "motion" of the boat, although mine isn''t a centerboarder. However, straight downwind it''s like dragging a paddle in a canoe. Problem is the 23.5'' waterline on a 34.8'' boat. She makes up her waterline on heel. The only problem I see offshore is the cockpit, which can be filled with bolted down deck boxes and storage. I like the Tartan o.k. and it came tricked out with more heavy hardware, but that''s one of the things I ''overcame'' and am glad I got the Bristol. The Pearson was built from late ''60''s until almost 1980 or so with a very wide range of quality, albeit with a sibling mindset. Many similarities between Pearson and Bristol of the earlier era due to Clint and Everett Pearson being on both sides of the fence after Grumman bought out Pearson. Older centerboarders. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Bound to be a snake in that woodpile. I''ve said it before and I can''t resist saying it again. Educate yourself, take what money you got, plan things out, and get the best bang for your buck and GO. I had a one of the top surveyors in Newport tell me to buy a Bristol or Pearson in the price range and utility I was after. There''s also things about Cape Dorys and some other boats that he told me that deeply concerned me. His opinion was that the Tartan was a step below the former two. After digging through a Tartan 30 down here to put in a boatyard bid, I''d have to agree. My Bristol, of equivalent vintage, is better built. Just another assh***, er, opinion. KW
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