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Old 24-03-2009, 20:32   #1
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Bristol 29 vs Cal 29

I am currently looking for a sailboat in the 30-foot range, older ($10k budget +/-). The majority of my sailing will just be day sailing around the San Francisco bay with the hope of doing a few overnights here and there, coastal cruising with the wife in the near future and the dream of completing the single handed transpac in the somewhat distant future.

I have found two boats in my area that I am interested in. One is a Bristol 29 and the other is a Cal 29. I have sailed quite a built on Bristol 27s and know them to like heavy wend and to be well built. On the flip side they are a bit sluggish from what I understand compared to the Calís. Both have the same asking price. I have not seen either in person yet but was wondering if any one had a good reason to go ahead an eliminate one from the list, or if you all think they are effectively interchangeable based on my needs.

Any respectful opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 25-03-2009, 19:51   #2
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The Cal 2-29 that I had is the one boat that I wish I had kept. I LOVED that boat. Bill Lapworth design. Similar to the famous Cal 40 in hull. Fin Keel, turns on a dime. Fast, stable, well built and comfortable.

Sold it because the Faryman diesel went up and I couldn't afford to repower. Sold it for enough to buy a 1966 Alberg 30 (with a running Graymarine 25) which I rebuilt (electrical and plumbing). Performance wise, comparing the 2-29 to the A30 was like comparing a sports car to a family car.
Go with the Cal IMHO.
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Old 26-03-2009, 18:54   #3
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Cal 2-29 in a Heartbeat!!!

In my younger years I sailed a friend's Bristol 29 on SF Bay many times; and, my wife and I owned a 1976 Cal 2-29 that we brought to Florida in the early 90's and gave up for our current boat after 9/11. Having sailed the 2-29 as far south as Ensenada, and to Catalina and back to Long Beach, Newport, Dana Point and points south many, many times, and here in Florida, I would take the Cal over the Bristol in a heartbeat. It's a great boat and, frankly, I regret having given ours up. Moreover, one of the original crew that built that Cal 2-29 is alive and well and living in Alamitos and has access to a major store of original equipment for the yacht if one is a purist--Steve Seal at Steve Seal Rigging: 510-521-7730

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte


FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 26-03-2009, 20:29   #4
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Are Cal 29s and Cal 2-29s the same? It seems to me that the Cal 29 was not designed by Lapworth and had a different keel configuration.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 27-03-2009, 05:40   #5
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C2-29

The Cal 29 and 2-29 were essentially the same, the only difference being some minor interior improvements in the gally area of the 2-29; and, the 2-29 being furnished with a wheel rather than a tiller. The later boats were also powered with a diesel. Lapworth designed the boat and once declared that the Cal 40 and the Cal 29 were his two favored designs although he also observed "How does one choose between one's children?"

More detailed information is available on the Cal Owner's Assoc. web-site.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 27-03-2009, 08:37   #6
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I absolutely LOVED our Cal 2-29. The only reason that we sold it is that it was too small for our family of seven. Although, it would sleep all of us (snugly).
If I were to look for another boat in the same size range again, I would go for the Cal in a heartbeat. Hands down.
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Old 27-03-2009, 17:10   #7
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I have a Bristol 30 and have been very happy with it.
IMO it is better built than the Cal.
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Old 28-03-2009, 09:02   #8
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Good Enought vs Better Built

SoundBounder rasisa a good point. In fact, I suspect the B-30 probably is better built, at least in some respects, however, from an engineering perspective, that is not necessarily a plus. In fact, there are many situations where something could be "better built", and would, accordingly, be more costly, both to build and to maintain, but if 'better built" exceeds the needs of the user, what is the point?

A 4" dia spinnarker pole is undubtedly stronger--i.e. better built--than a 2-1/2" diameter pole. But if the J is only 12', the larger, heavier, better built pole is a costly disadvantage, no?

In the case of the Cal, the yacht is relatively light (8,000+/- lbs), which is one reason why she moves so well. Light translates into lower loading, requiring lighter rigging, sails etc. (Of course, by today's "modern" standards the Cal is "heavy", being as much as 25% heavier than some of her similar sized "modern" competitors.) On the other hand, the yacht was well built and very strong, particularly for her original intended purpose--club racing and coastal cruising--although many have take they yacht and her sister-ships far beyond coastal cruising.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 28-03-2009, 19:43   #9
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Too bad you are in SF. I still have the spinnaker pole from my Cal 2-29 which I would gladly give you. Any East coast takers?
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Old 29-03-2009, 19:22   #10
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thank you all for the great feedback. Does anyone of know if a bristol 29 has been in the transpac, pacific cup or otherwise made major ocean crossings? Thanks
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Old 30-03-2009, 06:42   #11
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More Information

For more information on the Cal 29 see Wilkie's Cal 29 Sailboat Page and Bangor Punta Marine - CAL Boats - Index to Documents and sailboats, Cal 29. As for the Bristol see Bristol 29 A restoration site for owners and admirers of Bristol Yachts .

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 29-04-2013, 13:37   #12
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Re: Bristol 29 vs Cal 29

Check out ALL Cal Boats here:

Cal 28 Sailboat Cal Sailboats Cal Boats Cal Yachts Classic Plastic Jensen Marine Cal 28 Bill Lathrop Jack Jensen Good Old Boat
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