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Old 22-09-2012, 15:37   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Bristol 30?

Hey guys,

While this is my first post, I have been reading up on this site for a while now. I have not sailed since I was a kid and am going out tomorrow to look at a local 1972 Bristol 30 (Keel Model) for my first boat and was looking to see if anyone has personal experience with one. There is a lot of information on the 29.9 and it looks to be essentially a follow up to the 30, with a slightly shorter cockpit and a bit longer LWL. Is it safe to assume that the 30 has similar sailing characteristics to the 29.9? What should I keep an eye out for checking out the boat? I don't plan to make any big decisions yet, I would hire a surveyor before I did. I just want to to start getting a feel for different older full/fin keel boats in my area.

P.S. I will be taking sailing lessons and am reading as much as I can (Sailing for Dummies was recommended by an instructor). This site has been really helpful and I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Also, I don't plan on hitting the open seas until I acquire some solid coastal experience here in Southern California.

Sailaway85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 14:02   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Re: Bristol 30?

I had an elderly friend with a Bristol 30, which he loved. He lived aboard and used to motorsail single-handedly twice a year between Maine and Florida before he found another, two-legged love in Florida and stayed down there. As I recall, the only issue he had with the boat was that he grounded and broke the rudder during a storm in New Jersey (!) and had to wait a few months to get a new one built. My impression is that the B30, while qualifying as a seaworthy design (by none other than Halsey Herreshoff himself!), is flawed by a pretty light build (displacement is only 8400 lb) and some slipshod work, especially at the hull-deck joint. I'd advise, at a minimum, administering the hairy eyeball pretty closely to that feature and also checking the deck for softness and the chainplates for crevice corrosion. If those things all check out, and there are no other obvious issues, you should have yourself a fine vessel, but be prepared for some significant ongoing maintenance expenditures, as with any good old boat.
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