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Old 10-04-2014, 11:13   #1
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Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Greetings all. I am in the process of selling my Corbin 39 as it is downsizing time. I am looking at a number of older classic cruising boats. I have owned a Contessa 26 but was always a little cramped below...does any one have any thoughts or opinions on the alternates I have listed, or any other clever suggestions. My intended use is to fresh water lake sail in Ontario during the summer and then trailer the boat to the Keys for a month each winter. I have done this trek with the Contessa in the past, but am wondering about something different. Any thoughts, criticisms or inputs are appreciated ref the various options. Tks in advance.

Bill
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:34   #2
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

I have a Bristol 27. It's a little faster than a Contessa 26 or an Albin Vega and at almost 6', I can stand up down below almost to the main bulkhead.

BRISTOL 27 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Small Cruising Sailboats: Reviewing the Classic Bristol 27
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:56   #3
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Does it have an inboard or outboard? I read that there is a risk with the outboards of having the well flooded....is this your experience or have you heard of this actually being an issue?
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:22   #4
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Did you consider cape dorys? smaller IP's under 30? Triton Ariel?
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:43   #5
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

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Originally Posted by Swaler View Post
Does it have an inboard or outboard? I read that there is a risk with the outboards of having the well flooded....is this your experience or have you heard of this actually being an issue?
We had an outboard in the well in our B-27. We had a couple of drainage holes as well as the shaft hole in the well. We'd occasionally get a small amount of water, but never to threaten the motor. However, we were never pooped.

We did notice a fair amount of stern squat under power and needed the well cover up to prevent the engine from getting starved of air. The engine was also ineffective going to windward in a short sea because hobby-horsing pulled the prop clear.

We loved the simplicity and the sailing qualities of the B-27. When I'm upside down in the bilge chasing wires or cursing at something needing fixing, the nostalgia is strong. However, if I had a choice, I'd go for one with an inboard.
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Old 10-04-2014, 13:07   #6
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

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Does it have an inboard or outboard? I read that there is a risk with the outboards of having the well flooded....is this your experience or have you heard of this actually being an issue?
Mine had a diesel (a 352 lb 10hp Bukh) but I ended up removing it. I have a 5HP 4 Stroke Mercury Outboard on a bracket on the actual stern. The outboard has an extra long 25" shaft, and the bracket adjusts 14" downward.

If I was going to cruise any real distance, I might go ahead and mount the outboard on the rail where most folks have their dinghy motor stored after I got out to sea a bit.
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Old 10-04-2014, 15:14   #7
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Swaler, since you are not planning on crossing oceans, any of the boats you listed will do. I did almost 9 thousand miles in a Contessa, and would be amazed if the other boats you listed (other than the Albin) would sail as well, but any of the others will have more room and comfort. The Keys and a jaunt over to the Bahamas will be fine in any solid boat, so I (only my opinion) would go for the roomier boats. Best of luck. _____Grant.
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Old 10-04-2014, 15:15   #8
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

We contessa 26 owners have yet to find better
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Old 10-04-2014, 15:27   #9
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

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We contessa 26 owners have yet to find better
Yep, but if you could only stand up in the thing.

In her book, Tania Aebi spoke of leaks, engine, trouble etc, etc, etc...........

That being said, the Contessa 26 is the best looking boat of all that he listed.

It's totally in proportion.
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Old 10-04-2014, 15:54   #10
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Here is how the bracket is mounted. The engine is still on the rail from this winter. The bracket is in the up position.
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Old 10-04-2014, 16:44   #11
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

I believe that Tania Abie had a Canadian built Contessa, which I have been told had many more problems than the JC Rogers, English built boats. I never had more than a couple of drops around one window, and had almost no problems with the boat that I didnt cause. A wonderful boat if you can live with full crouching headroom. I think a Bristol 27 would feel like a condo compared to the Contessa, but would not knock off the miles to windward like the old knife in the water. There are lots of good boats out there to choose from. Best of luck. _____Grant.
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Old 10-04-2014, 16:57   #12
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

The Bristol 27 (PHRF 231) is rated a bit faster than the Contessa 26 (PHRF 243)

I haven't raced one though. I have only raced against an Alberg 30 (PHRF 219) maybe 8 times with this Bristol 27, and it was no contest especially when we turned upwind on the final leg of the course we laid out.

It was Bristol all the way, but that could have been my racing experience and maybe my new mainsail!

The boats are pretty similar:

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=601

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=521

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=928
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Old 10-04-2014, 17:56   #13
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

All interesting thoughts and opinions...thank you. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2014, 18:03   #14
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

Contessa 26 was a jjtaylor canadian.

How about a Bayfield?
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Old 10-04-2014, 19:51   #15
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Re: Bristol 27, Hinterhoeller 28, Albin Vega or Contessa 26?

I have sailed both the Contessa & the Albin VEGA. I have to say the VEGA has nearly magical sailing qualities. Its getting harder to find a good one. If you are lucky you may be able to find one thats been completely restored or at least worked over a bit. . The Hinterholler must be a good boat too, with lots of room but Im sure it would cost much more than a VEGA. I raced my VEGA and it would surprise much larger boats with higher ratings when it really blew. Fairly shallow as well. (under 4ft.) SM
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