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Old 20-12-2015, 14:03   #1
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Bristol 38

Hi, I'm new to the Cruisers Forum and pleased to be aboard! I am thinking of buying a Bristol 38 for winter cruising around the Bahamas and Caribbean. Any advice, opinions and experience in these boats would be most welcome.
Cheers,
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Old 20-12-2015, 14:05   #2
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Re: Bristol 38

Sorry, I can't help you with any info on the Bristol 38 but wanted to welcome you to CF
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Old 20-12-2015, 14:59   #3
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Re: Bristol 38

Thank's for the welcome Lizzy Belle!
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Old 20-12-2015, 18:31   #4
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Re: Bristol 38

We have a new to us 1977 Bristol 29.9, prepping her for the spring launch, our previous boat was a 1975 Bristol 24 Corsair. Bristols are quality boats, that sail well. Like all new to us boats it depends on the level of care the PO gave her. The 38 is in the family as it were, get a survey etc, do your do diligence. Check out the Bristol yahoo group, and Bristolsailboats.org, good info at both sites. Happy sails!
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Old 22-12-2015, 06:16   #5
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Re: Bristol 38

Thank's Pegu for the reply, Bristol certainly have a reputation for being good all round boat. I'll definitely be getting a survey etc before making any decisions.
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Old 22-12-2015, 06:55   #6
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Re: Bristol 38

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pilot.

The Bristol 38.8 has a centerboard with a 4-foot, 6-inch minimum draft, a major plus for the Bahamas.
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Old 22-12-2015, 07:07   #7
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Re: Bristol 38

Welcome to CF AcroPilot!

No personal experience with the Bristol lineage, but they are well respected...

More will show to your party to be sure...
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Old 22-12-2015, 08:26   #8
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Re: Bristol 38

I have been aboard a number of Bristol 38 as it was on the short list for my purchase.. It is well built with a solid hull and if you find a good one (and can varnish) you should be very happy.

fwiw, I ended up with a Sabre 38 mkII "Tuscan Sun" due to the enclosed aft cabin, more comfortable cockpit, and has rigging led aft... The Sabre 38 is also a quicker boat, but presumably a tad less comfortable in seas .. an ok compromise for me. Tuscan Sun has been to the Bahamas and up and down the East coast a few times.

I would have zero hesitation in recommending a Bristol, though of course each individual boat can vary quite considerably as a result of age and condition.

Its not clear to me (personally) that its a great boat for the Caribbean.. for sure the boat is strong and seaworthy enough to get there and sail down there, but the swells there are sizeable enough on a regular basis that personally I would prefer a larger boat for the sake of comfort.
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Old 22-12-2015, 11:20   #9
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Re: Bristol 38

Thank you Mystic for the useful info, very interested to hear you have sailed on a Bristol 38 and thought it was OK.
I hear what you say about the Caribbean swells and my first thoughts was to go for a 43/44' boat and in fact nearly bought one. But in the end I have decided that small is beautiful especially since there will only be my wife and myself aboard and me alone for some of the time.
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Old 22-12-2015, 22:55   #10
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Re: Bristol 38

Bristols have too much teak and too much varnish. You will become a slave to a deck and paint brush. I learned the hard way.. Boat I own now has neither.

Welcome!
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Old 22-12-2015, 23:01   #11
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Re: Bristol 38

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Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
Bristols have too much teak and too much varnish. You will become a slave to a deck and paint brush. I learned the hard way.. Boat I own now has neither.

Welcome!
Yeah but they sure look nice.

The correct model is 38.8, btw.
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Old 22-12-2015, 23:42   #12
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Re: Bristol 38

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Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
Bristols have too much teak and too much varnish. You will become a slave to a deck and paint brush. I learned the hard way.. Boat I own now has neither.

Welcome!
You have a great boat, Eleuthera. In early Nov. I saw two Super Maramu's come through the Norfolk area on their way south. Owners seemed quite happy with their boats.

I was a slave to the teak & varnish routine early on, but I learned from some mistakes and it's now become pretty reasonable. I break it up into sections but would say it takes a total of a couple of days every six months, with some small touch-up jobs in between. But I enjoy the look of teak on more traditional boats, and compared to a lot of other more frustrating boat jobs, varnishing seems pretty easy & satisfying. But it's certainly a factor to consider for the OP.

Otherwise it's been a great boat. Strong, predictable, easy to sail, and faster than her substantial wgt. would suggest. I've never been on the 38.8, but I visited a 41.1 and it looked like just mine, only everything scaled down obviously. They were semi-custom builds, and so many have different configurations for tankage, batteries, & sail plans. Bristol stopped most of its production in the mid-90's and then closed its doors, so they're getting pretty long in the tooth at this point. But you can often find older ones that have been well maintained, sometimes by their original owners. As has already been said, it's a great brand but condition & upkeep is the more important factor.
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Old 23-12-2015, 04:23   #13
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Re: Bristol 38

Hello Exile,

When looking for my RTW vessel, I looked at a 47.7. Unfortunately, it had not received any TLC for many years and some of the work was absolutely unforgiveable.. like the sole which had been sanded using a GRINDER...

How can anyone be so silly? Regardless, you sir, have a lovely vessel.

Merry Xmas
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Old 15-01-2016, 07:59   #14
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Re: Bristol 38

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 19-01-2016, 09:47   #15
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Re: Bristol 38

Bristol owners site yahoo group, lots of Bristol centric info there.
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