Bristol Owners' Organization
Updated on 10/01/2010
About the website:
This is a website formed so that Bristol owners can share information and support each other in the place of the manufacturer. Bristol owners who wanted to share information about their model have contributed information and materials. If you would like to contribute, that would be welcomed, as would any corrections that should be made. This site contains information supplied by owners to Doug, to post. If you have another Bristol model you feel should be featured, feel free to have your model posted too.
The Bristol Owners Organization website is not affiliated with Bristol Yachts in any way. Some of the web pages contain exact copies of the original sales brochures. These were generously donated by some of the owners listed.
Obviously the brochures are an attempt to showcase the different boats, therefore list all the strong points and may overlook weaknesses. One example; When fiberglass boats with traditional lines first emerged, they took the world by storm. They offered additional interior volume because there wasn't the need for frames, sub frames and stringers. Instead the interior was built right against the hull. This is why the brochures may list these as spacious, which they were in the 60's and 70's, but by the 90's yacht design had changed and these boats for the most part would be considered "small". However these are all solid hulled boats, which means there is no worries of balsa cored hulls being saturated with water from some small leak. The drawback to the substantial, solid hull; these older designs will displace more and tend to be slower to accelerate when hit with a puff in light air. However if you are light with rudder movements, you can use the additional displacement to your advantage and retain inertia thru the lulls.
History: Bristol Yachts: formed in late 1966, Closed in 1997 (bankruptcy)
Bristol Yachts went thru many changes over the years. Bristol Yachts was founded by Clint Pearson, one of the first production fiberglass boat builders. Recent Bristol models filled the semi-custom builder niche, but earlier Bristols were aimed at the "mass" market and were finished accordingly. Bristol Yachts was formed by Clint Pearson after Clint and Everett Pearson sold Pearson to Grumman in the 1960s. Clint Pearson then formed Bristol Yachts in 1966. Early models ranged from the Alberg designed 19 and 27, the Alden designed 35, and the Hood designed 32 and 39(40). These were all full keel or keel-centerboard designs. Herreshoff designed many models as well but with the exception of the 29/30, they were all fin and skeg or fin keel designs with more of the racer/cruiser slant. Bristol Yachts built a wide range of models from the 19' Corinthian to the 65.5 before the company folded in 1997.
Most of the Bristol Yachts came from the design team of Ted Hood who among other fine designs was an America's Cup Designer. Some of the more recent designs were done by Dieter Empacher who at one time was employed by Hood design group. One of his designs is the Bristol 35.5. Most of the Bristols are built more heavily than most current production sailboats. They can be raced using the PHRF system, however most were designed for cruising and comfort. Hood designs generally are centerboard boats which offer performance and seaworthiness without the constricting restrains of deep draft.
Using this information for personal financial gain will result in the site disappearing from the web, therefore the group does not tolerate copyright violations or attempt to use the site to endorse a product. Enjoy the site and contribute material if you wish to.
This website heartily recommends Good Old Boat Magazine.
Copyright 1997, Douglas H. Axtell -all rights reserved
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Note: should you find any broken links in the site feel free to mention them to Doug via email.