The Bristol 41.1 is a high performance cruiser with distinctive classical styling from the board of famous naval architect Ted Hood. Launched in early 1981 by Bristol Yachts, the boat was built by some of New England’s finest craftsmen. With that kind of pedigree there is no surprise that among cruisers she has excellent reputation as a blue water boat.
When Clinton Pearson left Pearson Yachts in 1964, industry insiders probably thought his most influential work was done. How could you not considering he and his brother, Everett, had founded what was the first production fiberglass manufacturer ever with their launch of the Pearson Triton 28. But oh were they wrong. Subsequent to his ousting, Clinton purchased the troubled sailboat-maker, Sailstar and renamed the company Bristol Yachts in 1966 after the production facility’s location on Popasquash Road, in Bristol, Rhode Island. The early Bristols were Carl Alberg designs with full keel-hung rudders, they were stout boats with an easy motion in a seaway.
The Bristol 41.1, belongs to the second generation of yachts produced by the company. Most Bristols of this era were designed by Ted Hood’s office, and the 41.1 is no exception. Dieter Empacher was the primary naval architect of the 41.1 as well as the earlier Bristol 39/40.
In total 104 hulls were built from 1981 until 1994 after which the company concentrated on custom yacht construction until closing shop in 1997. Bristol Yachts of this era are known for high performance and a superb fit and finish details.
The boat has a simple sloop rig. Below the waterline is a relatively long cruising fin keelwith a skeg hung rudder. As with most Ted Hood designs, there’s a centerboard arrangement, to maximize windward performance (10′ board down) while allowing access to shoal draft areas (4′ 6″ board up). Her bow has a fine entry leading to powerful aft sections.
Both both aft and center cockpit options were available, the center cockpit had the generally preferred full width stateroom aft.
As for construction the Bristol 41.1 was laid up using layers of solid woven roving and polyester resin. The ballast weighting in at 10,500 pounds of lead was encapsulated inside the fiberglass keel section. On deck notable are the copious teak touchings that compose the railing, coamings, and trim and highlight her sweet style. Down below, her joinery work is a mix of teak and Honduras mahogany.
The prime attraction of these yachts are their spectacular sailing capability. These medium displacement cruisers track very well and handle heavy weather with ease. Lowering the centerboard makes a tremendous difference to windward, allowing the boat to point 10 degrees higher.
Interior layouts vary. As noted there are aft and center cockpit deck molds. The center cockpit versions have a full width stateroom aft with either split berths or a full width king. In the main saloon is an L-shaped settee opposite either swivel chairs or a straight settee. All come with a V-berth forward. Along with the 41.1, Bristol produced around 26 hulls out of the same 41.1 mold of an alternate version called the 43.3 which had interior modifications – most notably an island queen berth aft. Instead of the walkthrough galley, the 43.3 has a corner galley arrangement like on the Bristol 45.5.
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