Bristols are bluewater sailboats designed by the likes of Ted Hood, Carl Alberg, John Alden, Halsey Herreshoff, Paul Coble and Dieter Empacher from the 1960s through the 1990s. Heavily built and strong, they have sleek hulls designed to slice through waves with an easy motion.
Bristol Yachts built about 4,400 sailboats before ending production in the 1990s.
The older ones have full keels with attached rudders. The newer ones have long fin keels with stout skegs to protect their rudders. Their masts are hefty, their hulls thick and their bulkheads strong. For cruising sailboats, their performance is solid.
Even the little Bristol 22 has crossed oceans. Larger Bristols — up to 53 feet — have been sailing the Atlantic and Pacific, cruising the Caribbean, wandering the coasts and taking thousands of shorter cruises for nearly 50 years.