The Bristol is a center board boat, not a swing keel
. The board does virtually nothing for righting moment and is there to give increased lift
going to weather
. Boat will sail just fine without the center board though will have more leeway than a deeper keel
boat going to weather
. Not enough to make a difference except to the anal racer
types. Off the wind
, the boat will sail faster not having to drag around the extra depth
of the keel. Have owned two centerboard
boats and used the boards very sparingly. Then mostly because it was there, figured I might as well drop it.
The boards are pretty reliable and maintenance
is minimal. If you do damage the board, they are quite expensive to buy new. Seem to remember a new board for my Pearson
35 is something around $3,500 plus shipping
from the Right Coast. Since it sees so little use, would probably remove it and glass in the well if it should ever become unrepairably damaged.