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I'm not familiar with the Bristol 26, but such boats typically have pretty large cockpits relative to their overall size. Which makes them vulnerable to a pooping, and poses one of their principal liabilities for offshore use... One thing I would definitely want to do with that boat before attempting such a trip, would be to lessen the vulnerability of the companionway to downflooding...



Perhaps not necessary to build a proper bridgedeck, but you definitely want to configure a heavy, bulletproof dropboard that can be bolted on and sealed outboard of the normal dropboard channels, and that will raise the sill of that companionway considerably...
 
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