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garyp 05-14-2003 12:21 AM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
All of these boats are available in good condition within my budget. I am settled on the keel/centerboard configuration. I have day sailed all my life, and have built two boats, but no offshore and nothing over 22 foot. Pamlico Sound to the Caribbean is my goal.
Aesthetically I am most attracted to the Bristol, and then the Morgan. I know of at least one Tartan 34 which has circumnavigated, that the Morgan doesn''t have a much of a bridge deck, and that all of these boats have a rather large cockpit for offshore work.
I would like a boat which is responsive, has some self-steering capability and the ability to heave-to, and prefer a comfortable motion in a seaway over ultimate speed.
Opinions please.

Jeff_H 05-14-2003 03:05 AM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
Of the boats on your list, (assuming that you do not mean the Bristol 35.5) I would only want to go offshore in the Tartan 34. As much as I like the Morgan 34''s these boats are getting very long in the tooth. Again, I assume that you do not mean the Bristol 35.5, the older Bristol 35 was intended as a coastal racer boat and in my book is about all that it was ideal for. I really dislike the motion of the B35. Now if you are talking about the Bristol 35.5 this would be my first choice on this list hands down. The Pearson 35 is a cool boat for bopping around someplace like the Chesapeake but again, these really are not boats that were optomized for sailing offshore.


VIEXILE 05-15-2003 04:13 AM

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

Denr 05-15-2003 08:32 AM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
Have you considered a Catalina, I understand these are great boats with excellent factory support.

garyp 05-15-2003 04:56 PM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
Thanks for the input, all three responses.
Yes Jeff, I mean the older Bristol, I have not seen a 35.5 which I could afford (under $40K) A 35.5 would be "hands down" for me also.
When you say the Pearson is not optimized for offshore, what do you refer to: the cockpit size or some other aspects of the boat?
Do you have a feeling as to why you dislike the motion of the Bristol? Would it be in general, or under certain conditions? Perhaps its a function of the longer overhangs?
I agree whole-heartedly with the spirit of your advice, KW. We''re stuck in Alaska another year and a half, but then we will be GONE baby. No waffling; I''m just trying to get as prepared as I can. I very much appreciate your individual experience with the boats. Its difficult to get much test sailing done with different boats.
No I haven''t considered a Catalina, Denr. No prejudice, I''m just not aware of any models in my category. I did find a Bristol 34 K/CB very appealing, a ''76 model, I believe by Halsey Herreshof. I know he did a number of Bristols. Of course build quality is equally important as design. Opinions on older Bristols seem conflicted.
KW, I''m curious: its none of my business, but are you exiled to or from the Virgins?
Thanks again, one and all.

Jeff_H 05-16-2003 03:50 AM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
A couple quick points here.
Bristol 34: I have always really liked these boats. They offer good sailing ability and a reasonably good accomodations for that era. If you found one in good condition (which you should be able to do in your price range that would be a very nice boat for your needs. I am not 100% certain about the build quality on the 34 but I would conjecture from my exposure to the smaller Bristols in the Halsey Herreshoff series of Bristols that build quality should be similar to that on the Bristol 35 but not as good as the later 35.5''s.

Pearson 35: My issues with the Pearson 35 as not being optomized as an offshore cruiser is the size of the cockpit and lack of drains, lack of tankage (standard 40 gal), the size of the portlights in the doghouse, and the dinette layout that seems to be most common in my area on these boats. (I like the more traditional aft galley layout of this boat which was also available.) The dinette layout really does not result in a single decent (even convertible) seaberth amidships. On the wheel models I like the wheel forward position which moves the helmsman forward out of the ends of the boat (better motion) and where they can see the sails better and gain protection from a dodger.

Bristol 35: I am assuming the Alden design which in the K/CB model is a more rolly design than I would prefer and for which the comments on the Pearson 35 (except water capacity) would also apply.


garyp 05-16-2003 10:19 AM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
Jeff: Thanks for taking the time to expand on your previous post. The larger ports are an aspect of the Pearson I had not considered. I suppose one could always add shutters, larger cockpit drains etc, etc, but at what cost? I, too, like the wheel forward position.
Glad to hear the positive response on the Bristol 34.
Fair winds

VIEXILE 05-16-2003 02:03 PM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
Exiled to the Virgins, by my own command (and that of my wife). Actually, Alaska was at the top of my list when existing New England. She say no, mon. Anyway, if you could expand your horizons a bit, JeffH could probably come up with some better boat ideas than those selected. There is a build quality difference in layup and hardware between the smaller Bristols and the 35 and 40''s. Like the man said, these are kinda coastal cruisers that''ll do it, but if I had my druthers . . . the notion of shutters is a good one. Those big ports in the Bristol and Pearson seem like plexiglass wave targets to me. One of the things on my offshore list was a shutter setup, or complete removal, new glass, and install a series of opening portlights. You wouldn''t believe what I''ve seen some people show up here sailing from the Northeast, California, Europe, etc. I''d be nervous sailing some of them on a jump to St. Maarten. I hate treading water. I''ve seen too many 12'' tiger sharks in the skipjacks offshore. JeffH is slowly convincing me of the need for speed, as well as crewing in Rolex, BVI, PR and SXM Heineken Regattas down here. I just always enjoyed having the prettiest boat in the harbor. Something about long overhangs and a deep cutaway that turns me on. Too bad it was only in the harbor less than 3 months a year in Maine. I''m still fishing for something. Never stop looking, kicking, caressing gelcoat. Highly educational. Wanna buy a Bristol 35? KW

garyp 05-16-2003 09:06 PM

Bristol 35, Pearson 35, Morgan 34, Tartan 34
KW: Would love to expand my horizons but the stock market hit my retirement pretty hard and I ain''t waiting til I''m 60 somthing, hence the 40K limit. Hunter Cherubini 37''s, the Charlie Morgan 38 K/CB, Allied Seabreeze, assorted cat ketchs and various full keel smaller Oriental ketches have all shook their booties at me. I need to stay relatively small, my wife is not much of a sailor. By the same token I can''t go too small (my wife is not much of a sailor)
I''m with you on the long overhangs, man. She has to be pretty, life is too short.
Alaska is beautiful. We have a lot of fun running our shallow interior rivers. I would be happy in Haines or Homer or Juneau, but she wants a warmer ocean, and I can''t blame her after 30 winters.
Best wishes

Bardo 06-27-2007 03:10 PM

I am in the same hunt as you, but I'm on the Chesapeake and not seriously contemplating blue water, at least not yet. Transit to Maine or Florida would be the limit for now, I think. I have a Bristol 29, which I absolutely love, for all of the right reasons. But she is too small for the wife and 2 kids to be comfortable in. The B34, tartan 34 and Allied Luders 33 are at the top of my list so far, all available under 30k with some refit required. The Luders is a world class cruiser too, so have a look if you havn't already.

Keep in touch,

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