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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #1
I asked this question before as part of a different thread and it got lost so I will try again. We are considering selling our Bristol if we have decided that we have crossed enough oceans. If so we will be mainly sailing on Lake Ontario with possible visits to the other Great Lakes, Atlantic Canada, New England, and possibly Bermuda.

In the last few years we have gotten used to doing a lot of sailing and not much motoring. I think we put on 400 hours in 33,000 miles, mainly going into and out of anchorages and harbours. Anyway, back to Lake Ontario. In most of the too short sailing season here the winds are quite light and typically you end up motoring a lot if you want to get anywhere. We are considering a more performance-oriented boat for the future. The other wrinkle we have is that we don't want to go deeper than 5' 6" draft (5' would be better). Generally performance and shallow draft do not seem to go together which is the problem. Our other concern is that we would like to keep the boat to less than $100k if possible. We looked at a J37c in Annapolis and it was interesting. It is 5'3" and has a PHRF (for illustrative purposes) of 81. Our 45' Bristol is 117 so it would be quite a bit faster than what we are used to and way faster than most mid 30s cruising boats. There also are J35c and J34c models that are similar and slower than the 37. The Admiral really liked the X35c at the boat show but it is pretty new model and they are not on the used market and certainly would not be in our price range. Are there other X-yacht models that would suit? What about other builders? We would consider any boats in the eastern half of North America.

Final question - to maximize sailing possibilities what sail additions would make sense for a semi-geriatric, but experienced, couple to have on a boat of this size and type?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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We had our girl at a nearby yard yesterday and we were tied up in front of a J122. Nice boat. Bit open in the cockpit for a cruising boat but it got me thinking about the brand. Having a look at the Js from your era they certainly appear more cruiser friendly while still looking suitable for a bit of club racing ..... but hey, I'm just speaking after viewing a few pics.
 

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I think the 'C' series Jboats would work pretty well for what you're thinking about.

What I like particularly is the arrangement of the cockpits.. longish benches forward, with reasonable coaming/backrests while the area around the wheel gives the helms person a good selection of comfortable seating positions (no perching on a narrow coaming top, for example)

For accomplished sailors such as yourselves I think you'll appreciate the 'rewards' of careful trim, and the added speed will forever be a bonus and means you'd motor less.

Nice layout for two, esp, below.... reasonable galley too. Difficult to tell from pics, but I do wonder if the aft berth is a true double?

I seem to recall that neither of you are large people.. we have friends in their later 60s who are similar - they quite successfully sail a rather spritely Beneteau 36.7 up and down the Caribbean chain each winter, from Carriacou to Antigua/Barbuda and back. A quick, light boat that rewards them with some exhilarating rides in the gaps between islands. A 37C wouldn't be as speedy perhaps, but not much slower either; in the trades they do spend most of their time reefed, with a smallish jib - but it works for them. I'd think a 37C on the Lakes would work for you.

There are 3 in your 'catchment' that I found on YW ranging from 70 to 90Ks. Seems within you parameters, all seem to have the J's shoal draft keel (think they labeled it a UFO??)

Those same friends chose the Bene over the J (or anything else with a cored hull) for the tropics... not an issue so much on the Lakes. And obviously not a big issue with many sailors either way.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I don't think that Beneteau is available with shoal draft. Another possibility is a C&C 34+ which actually something like 36'. The interior is not so good if you did want to make a passage to Bermuda, but I think the headroom is better. The J has 6' down the centre and perhaps 5'9" in the galley and head (I am a little taller than that, but getting shorter each day).

We saw a J37c that was US$62,500. It was looking a little tired in places including the deck. In any case, we are not buying until we decide what future sailing we want.

We got into this J-thinking after meeting a couple on a J42 in the Virgin Islands. They did the 1500 in nine days with a crew of two and honking winds followed by a couple of days with no wind. Did look odd to see a J42 with a Monitor on the back, but why not?
 

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I think the J37C is a good choice for what you want to do. A nice mix of performance and cruising comforts. I wouldn't rule out the J34C and J35C even though the PHRF numbers are higher. They are still on the performance end of things and will probably perform much better in light airs than your Bristol. Remember the PHRF is an average that includes light and heavy airs, and all points of sail. Larger boats have a longer waterline and thus a higher hull speed, but may need lots of wind to get there. Compare the SA/D numbers to get an idea.

As noted, the C&Cs of similar vintage are also worth considering if they have a shoal keel. And the Bene 36.7 that was mentioned does come with a shoal keel, but its rare as most were bought as racers and were ordered with the deep keel. Other Bene First series boats might be possibilities if they have a shoal keel. Even something like a Tartan 3500 is worth considering, though a bit lower in performance.
 
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