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Old 17-05-2009, 19:36   #1
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Bristol 43.3 for Liveaboard / Cruising

First let me say that I know nothing about boats other than what I have learned in the last 6 - 9 months. However, my signifigant other and I have decided in the next 5 years we are going to sell everything and live aboard.

Our goal is to live aboard for a few years and continuing to work while prepping for retirement and cruising the world, or at least the east coast and Caribbean.

Requirements are a large queen berth situated so neither of us have to climb over each other (her #1 as a matter of fact), ability to coastal or blue water sail, and of course a sturdy boat with good sailing characteristics.

We have examined many boats, first serious contender was the Endeavour 42 (which is still on the list). We then looked at the factory boats but they all look like their woodwork was done by Ikea. I like catamarans (lots of room and fast) but alot of money.

So, after much internet time and with the input of a very salty friend I arrived at the Bristol 43.3. She is a very good sailing boat (thanks Me Hood), center board that will allow shallow access, nice center cockpit design with HUGE aft stateroom and berth.

The boats I am seeing have already had the electronics and roller furling/in mast/boom reefing added, so they are good to go out of the box.

What I am looking for is anyone that has experience with these boats, and to get their impressions, things to look for, things that go bad, areas of concern, as well as how well does she sail, how fast, etc.

Any help any of you have would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Captain Phil
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Old 18-05-2009, 04:43   #2
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Never been on one, but considered when I was looking.

Best way really to learn about a model is to search for something like Bristol owners cliubs and from there contact a owner of a 43.3.
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Old 18-05-2009, 10:29   #3
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I am already doinig that, however only 2 43.3 boats listed, and only 1 lists an email.

Going to tap as many sources as I can, see where the juice comes from.

Thank you!
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Old 18-05-2009, 14:28   #4
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you can also check sailnet.com and look in the reviews to see if any owners posted about their boats, forgot this one but I looked at it alot when I was researching choices I was considering
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Old 20-05-2009, 11:11   #5
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Location: Maitland, FL
Boat: Bristol 29
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Bristols of that size were very custom built boats--beautiful woodwork inside, very sturdy, given their age. The hull to deck joint on that boat as on all Bristols is subject to leaking and needs to be maintained. It is screwed together with self tapping machine screws under the toe rail. The screws have a tendency to loosen with age and the joint tends to leak. Externally caulking the toe rail will not eliminate the issue. Other than that, a boat of that size and complexity has the same maintenance issues as any.

Good luck,
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