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Old 25-02-2011, 10:15   #16
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Would a B29 in slightly better condition be worth a $2500 premium? I don't have nearly as much information on the B29 though.
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Old 25-02-2011, 10:30   #17
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

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Would a B29 in slightly better condition be worth a $2500 premium? I don't have nearly as much information on the B29 though.
Both the B29 and the B27 are lovely sailing boats. The B29 is a good deal faster, not the least because of a longer LWL. Neither boat would be considered anything but small by modern standards, but the 29 has a lot more room than the 27. Both are very sea kindly boats. I have owned my B29 for over 20 years, always singlehanding it. Very easy to sail, very forgiving, and comfortable for one or two people or one person and a dog.

Whatever you buy, I would make it contingent upon a successful survey.

Best of luck,

David
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Old 25-02-2011, 10:39   #18
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Good choice for a boat. You'll love the feel of the Alberg design. It feels like a much bigger boat underway. Well balanced too. It will often self steer if you tie the helm.

The rigging may not be a problem. Smaller boats like this don't generate a lot of rigging force and she hasn't been in the tropics where rigging corrodes faster. I'd expect more than 10 years of life. And it's a deck stepped mast so the boat isn't wrecked if the mast falls down. Obviously, a whole different story if you're going offshore but for summer coastal stuff you might be OK for a few years. The thing I'd check first is the spreaders and spreader attachments to the mast (if the spreaders fall off the mast or break in half when you wiggle them, it's not good). Cheap to replace. Hit everything on the mast and boom gently with a rubber mallet. Replace/refasten anything that wiggles or breaks. Replace any wire that has a broken strand sticking out.

A much more important thing to check is any rubber hose that goes below the waterline. Sinking isn't fun. Hoses often crack when water freezes in them during storage. As I remember, most Bristol 27's cockpit drains are above the waterline but in a boat this old changes may have been made. I would replace every hose older than 10 years before launching.

While the listing says the sails are "fair to good", I expect that's the first place you'll want to spend some money (after the outboard). Start with the main. This boat get's a lot of drive from the main especially when it's too windy to set the genoa (which is often). With age the draft of any sail moves aft making the boat heal more and goes a lot slower upwind.

An outboard with an alternator is the easy way to have power for your radio.

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Old 25-02-2011, 10:46   #19
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

All Bristols drain their cockpits below the waterline. The B27 is very similar to the Pearson Triton in that the sole of the cockpit is only slightly above the LWL meaning you may get some damp feet if too many are in the cockpit.
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Old 25-02-2011, 10:52   #20
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

The eBay ad is erroneous about solid decks. All Bristols, including the B27 have balsa cored decks. Looks like some attempted repairs to the starboard bow of the
weather deck.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:14   #21
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

All of the Bristols I've seen (about 5 of them, including 27, 29, and 30) had leaky hull to deck joints. Only one of them was a serious problem, but it was very serious.

Other than that they are good old boats. Same issues any other boat that age would be prone to having.

Which interior does it have? if I recall the 27's had 3 different models. There was the 'weekender' model had a longer cockpit and shorter cabin. The 'cruising' model had two different layouts, a side galley and an aft galley. My personal preference of the three is the aft galley, much more functional space than the side galley FWIW.

Just read the ad... I'd be weary of his claim that it's a solid fiberglass deck. That's not true unless somebody rebuilt the entire deck with solid glass, which is highly unlikely. No interior photos... not a good sign, especially when there's a photo of cockpit with the interior clearly accessible, why wouldn't he just snap a photo of the inside while he was at it?

They are great little boats, but they can be had for under $5k (if you're patient) in sail away condition. This one could be a good boat, but its a pretty big risk to buy it sight unseen... I'd ask the owner to provide more photos and get pre-purchase agreement that the final sale would be pending a survey (which you can conduct yourself if you want). Worse case scenario, you're out travel expenses and the $100 deposit.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:17   #22
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

I agree with Carl on getting your outboard with an alternator. Ours also had an electric start. It charged a single G27 deep cycle battery to run the electrics.

I can't compare to the B29 since I haven't sailed one. If you could get David's for an extra $2500 though, jump on it. Looks like he has done a great refit.

As a beginner, there is something to be said for the minimalist systems on the B27. If the price is right, you can learn and then decide whether to move on to another boat without a significant financial hit.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:40   #23
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

All Bristols have used the same method of securing the deck to the hull and it universally does leak at times. But a more common source of leaks that the hull to deck joint is often blamed for is actually the genoa track bolted through the toerail. Also common are the stanchion bases.

Bristols like many boats of the same era used cast aluminum spreader sockets which, especially when aged by the sun and sea air, become very weak and break unexpectedly--usually when your rig is stressed, and you can lose your rig. You can buy new spreader sockets at www.rigrite.com.

Finally an area to be aware of with older Bristols is they often have open masthead boxes, which causes two issues: it allows the halyards to jump their sheaves, and it allows rain water to get inside the mast and eventually leak past the electrical plug in the mast step which can lead to rot inside the mast step.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:48   #24
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Alright, well, I was going to buy this 27 if (and only if) I could get it for under 1500. I talked with Alan at length regarding the interior. He said it would need to be cleaned out, pressure washed, dried thoroughly and then painted. I'm not sure what this all equates to.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:50   #25
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

"Dried thoroughly" sounds like it is wet now...not a good thing. Since he shows no photos of the interior I can safely guess it is pretty bad or torn out or rotten.
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Old 25-02-2011, 11:53   #26
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Well, in that case, I'll keep looking for another boat. Thanks everyone!
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Old 25-02-2011, 12:02   #27
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

There's a lot of B27's on the great lakes. There was a particularly nice one in cleveland not too long ago asking $6k... It'd be a good boat to take south in the spring Also check Maine (since your open to relocating), I recall several for sale up there last year.
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Old 25-02-2011, 12:06   #28
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

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There's a lot of B27's on the great lakes. There was a particularly nice one in cleveland not too long ago asking $6k... It'd be a good boat to take south in the spring Also check Maine (since your open to relocating), I recall several for sale up there last year.
Well, the other boat I have my eye on is a B29, it's in Texas and is ~$5500, owned by a boat mechanic, has a roller furling and is clean. Strongly considering it.
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Old 25-02-2011, 12:45   #29
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Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Sounds like a good option for a first boat. I will second what someone said above, though. Outboards on sailboats are essentially worthless when going to weather offshore. You may be better suited to find one with an inboard. I have a neighbor two slips down who has a Bristol 27 with an Atomic4 inboard, so I know that there are some out there.
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Old 25-02-2011, 12:53   #30
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Lightbulb Re: School me more on Bristol 27s

Hi All,

I'm actually rebuilding a Bristol 27 now from the hull up. I actually bought it while it was on the hard and have never sailed in a Bristol 27, so I can't say much for her sailing qualities.

On the other hand, I have looked into every nook and cranny and found her to be a very solidly built boat. There is very thick glassing work found all around the boat and when I removed the old depth finder I found over 2.5" of full laid up glass in the forward keel area (couple feet where the ballast ends). I have heard a lot of good mentions (via other Bristol 27 owners) of how she heels then and settles in to a very sea kindly motion. Everyone has mentioned that she is slower than other boats, which may be the case, but I have heard that her speed can be surprising as well.

Regarding the hull-to-deck joint, I can confirm that my hull-to-deck was leaking when I purchased the boat. I decided to glass the entire joint as well as mechanically fasten it below the glass. Since I'm doing the entire overhaul for long term cruising, this upgrade seemed natural.

A number of posters mentioned engines and I debated this option a number of times - inboard vs. outboard vs. no engine. In the end, I have decided to install a Beta 14 inboard and have just finished putting in the motor mounts for that.

I could probably go on and on, but I should get back to work at some point. I have lots of photos and some writing about the project at my site: Bristol27.com (sorry for the look issues, I'm changing some things on the site at the moment).

Let me know if you have any questions. I would say that overall, the things I've read and heard point to a very capable small boat. Personally, it fits my requirements for a small boat as it is seakindly, can be easily single handed, is lighter on the pocketbook (like all small boats) and has a 4' draft so I can get into some waters bigger boats can't (another small boat trait).

Check out John Vigors "Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere" which dedicates a chapter to the boat. Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (9780939837328): John Vigor: Books
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