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Old 09-01-2006, 11:43   #1
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Which Boat ?

You know the drill. Here are a few boats I like that have different pros and cons. I wonder how others view these three.
Cape Dory 36 - assume newer - 1988
Bristol 38.8 - 1984 aft cockpit
Bristol 40 - 1982 sloop rig
Use - Coastal cruiser to Carib.
Larry
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:21   #2
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Larry,

Some years ago, my dad got to the point of survey on a Bristol 40, but the surveyor apparently thought the boat too lightly built for ocean cruising, so my dad backed out of the deal. Instead my dad bought a 1980 Cape Dory 36 cutter (now currently for sale at Robinhood).

The Cape Dory is a nice boat, but for myself I bought a Peterson 34 fin-keel spade-rudder go-fast boat -- "not my father's oldsmobile!"

Regards,

Tim
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:34   #3
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I saw your CD listed at Robinhood. I know they are not the best sailors, but I like the boat. We might do business. Are you saying the same surveyor thought the CD was more seaworthy ?
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Old 09-01-2006, 13:51   #4
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The B-39/40 are pretty well built boats from what I've seen. The hull layups were mostly done when the layup schedule was not determined by the cost of resin and the accountants. Structural reinforcing was pretty good with most of the internal furniture well bonded to the hull.

The cockpit design isn't the best for offshore work. There is no bridge deck and the drainage isn't so hot. The bridge deck situation can be ameliroated by sailing with at least the bootom washboard in when it gets lumpy. You can add extra drain capacity by putting in tubing to drain the cockpit out the transom. I've seen one boat where they glassed in two, 2 inch drains that should empty the cockpit real quick. Looks like they just drilled holes in the aft cockpit bulkhead at the base and another in the transom then stuck in a length of PVC pipe. They then wrapped the whole thing in cloth, matt, and resin to make it super strong and water tight. Looked factory and really made an effective way to get the water out real quick.

The B39-40s are sweet sailing boats having won the Marion-Bermuda race, I think a couple of times. My experience is they sail well in light conditions and are well balanced. They won't keep up with a fin keel boat in light air but aren't embarassingly slow, either. When the wind kicks up to 10 knots or more, they should hold their own.

FWIW, the boat with the cockpit mod's, had a few miles on her. She'd been sailed to Europe and back at least once, to the Carribean, to the Pacific, back to Seattle and then a circumnavigation of the Pacific. I could find no signs of structural problems other than a little sloppiness in the rudder bearings. The rig had been replaced but it seemed to have been done more out of love of the boat than structural need.

They are not commodious boats but then the Cape Dory's aren't either. Still they have plenty of storage and should be able to carry all the detritus that cruisers tend to accumulate without it intruding into the living space. Unlike modern boats, assume the sailing performance won't be killed by the extra weight, either.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 09-01-2006, 14:31   #5
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Larry,

My dad used a different surveyor for the CD36. I think the Bristol 40 he looked at was somewhere in New England, while he bought the Cape Dory down in Virginia. And this was 15 or so years ago. I don't know whether the first surveyor (of the Bristol 40) might have suggested the Cape Dory as a better alternative or not. As far as Bristol's build quality goes, I'm just relaying some here-say, which I suppose I probably shouldn't be doing, since I don't have any first-hand knowledge... Like Peter O., and unlike my dad, I've been impressed with what I've heard/read of the Bristol 40s.

Wait, you have a Bristol now, don't you? ;-)

Anyway, if you're interested in the Cape Dory, you might enjoy the web-log from our cruise to Newfoundland a couple of years ago; see http://members.acadia.net/catamount/Newfoundland2003/ (even though this is going in the opposite direction from passages south).

Regards,
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Old 09-01-2006, 15:32   #6
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Tim - I do have a Bristol now and if I had your energy and talent, I would simply "modify" her. "Allen's Navy" has quite a fleet these days.

My plans have been changed and it looks like I will not be able to cut the lines as soon as I had planned so we are thinking about a more substantial boat that could carry more people - bigger cockpit, few more berths - around NE waters, but could get off for a few months.

Larry
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