The Bristol 24 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Bristol 24 is a classic American sailboat that was designed by Paul Coble in the 1960s as a trailerable cruiser.

It has a long and narrow hull, a full keel with a cutaway forefoot, and a masthead sloop rig. The boat is known for its solid construction, spacious interior, and comfortable motion at sea. It was built by the Sailstar Boat Company and later Bristol Yachts.

A Bristol 24 SailboatThe Bristol 24 was produced in two versions; a 'standard' version with two berths in the saloon, and a 'dinette' version with a quarterberth.

Published Specification for the Bristol 24

Underwater Configuration:  Long Keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 24' 6" / 7.5m

Waterline Length: 18' 1" / 5.5m

Beam: 8' 0" / 2.4m

Draft: 3' 5" / 1.0m

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 5,920lb / 2,685kg

Designer: Paul Coble

Builder: Bristol Yachts Inc (US)

Year First Built: 1969

Year Last Built: 1972

Number Built: 800

Owners Association: Bristol Owners Association


Published Design Ratios for the Bristol 24

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.5

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 51

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 447

4. Comfort Ratio: 28.6

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8


A Few FAQs...

Based on the published Design Ratios for the Bristol 24, how would you expect the boat to perform under sail?

The Bristol 24 has a low sail area/displacement ratio of 14.2, which means it has less sail power relative to its weight. This makes it underpowered in light winds, but also more stable and seaworthy in heavy winds. The boat also has a high ballast/displacement ratio of 50.7, which means it has more weight in the keel to counteract the heeling force of the wind. This makes it stiffer and more powerful, but also slower to accelerate and turn. The boat has a high displacement/length ratio of 447.3, which means it has more volume and wetted surface relative to its waterline length. This makes it heavier and more comfortable, but also less efficient and responsive.

Is the Bristol 24 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Bristol 24 is not in production anymore. Production ended in 1983, after 17 years of continuous manufacturing. A total of 750 boats were built by Sailstar Boat Company and later Bristol Yachts.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Bristol 24 were built and what are the differences between them?

The Bristol 24 was originally sold as the Corsair 24 by Sailstar Boat Company. When Bristol Yachts bought out Sailstar in 1971, the boat was renamed the Bristol Corsair 24 or simply the Bristol 24. The main difference between the Sailstar and Bristol versions is the type of ballast used in the keel. The Sailstar boats have concrete ballast, while the Bristol ones have lead ballast. Lead is denser and heavier than concrete, so it provides more stability and lowers the centre of gravity of the boat.

The Bristol 24 also had two alternate interior arrangements: standard and dinette. The standard layout had two straight settees in the main cabin and a galley on both sides just aft of the bow cabin. The dinette layout had a drop-down table that converted to a double berth on the port side and a quarter berth on the starboard side, with the galley on the starboard side only.

How many people can sleep on board a Bristol 24?

The Bristol 24 can sleep four or five people, depending on the interior layout. The standard layout can sleep four people: two in the V-berth in the bow cabin and two in the settees in the main cabin. The dinette layout can sleep five people: two in the V-berth, two in the dinette berth, and one in the quarter berth.

How did the sailing press review the Bristol 24?

The sailing press generally gave positive reviews to the Bristol 24, praising its quality construction, roomy interior, and comfortable motion at sea. Some examples of reviews are:

  • In a 2005 review in Cruising World, Liz Shaw described the boat as "the solid hull of hand-laid fibreglass is heavy, even overbuilt — we hit a rock in Maine, and while the noise of the impact was terrifying, the hull suffered barely a scratch."
  • In a 2010 review in Good Old Boat, Michael Robertson wrote that "the Bristols are well-built boats that have stood up well over time."
  • In a 2012 review in Practical Sailor, Darrell Nicholson stated that "the Bristol’s solid construction has earned it a reputation as an affordable pocket cruiser that can take some punishment."

What do owners of the Bristol 24 have to say about their boats?

Owners of the Bristol 24 generally have positive things to say about their boats, highlighting their durability, spaciousness, and seaworthiness. Some examples of owner testimonials are:

  • On SailboatData.com, an owner named John wrote "I have owned my B24 for over ten years now and love her dearly. She is solid as a rock and sails like a dream."
  • On SailboatOwners.com, an owner named Dave wrote "I have owned my B24 for three years now and have sailed her extensively on Lake Michigan. She is roomy enough for my wife and I and our two kids, and handles well in all kinds of weather."
  • On BristolOwners.org, an owner named Jim wrote "I have owned my B24 for six years now and have sailed her from Maine to Florida and back. She is a tough little boat that can take anything the ocean can throw at her."

What is the history of the builders of the Bristol 24 and is the company still in business?

The Bristol 24 was built by two companies: Sailstar Boat Company and Bristol Yachts. Sailstar Boat Company was founded in 1961 by Everett Pearson, who later co-founded Pearson Yachts. Sailstar specialized in building small fibreglass sailboats, such as the Sailstar 17, the Sailstar 22, and the Corsair 24. In 1971, Sailstar was bought by Clint Pearson, Everett's brother, who also owned Bristol Yachts. Bristol Yachts was founded in 1966 by Clint Pearson, who left Pearson Yachts to start his own company. Bristol Yachts focused on building larger and more luxurious fibreglass sailboats, such as the Bristol 27, the Bristol 32, and the Bristol 40. Bristol Yachts continued to produce the Corsair 24 under the name of Bristol Corsair 24 or Bristol 24 until 1983.

Both Sailstar Boat Company and Bristol Yachts are no longer in business. Sailstar Boat Company ceased operations in 1971, after being acquired by Bristol Yachts. Bristol Yachts ceased operations in 1997, after facing financial difficulties and changing ownership several times.

Is the mast on the Bristol 24 deck-stepped or keel-stepped?

The mast on the Bristol 24 is deck-stepped, meaning that it rests on a metal plate on the deck and is supported by a compression post inside the cabin. This makes it easier to raise and lower the mast for trailering or maintenance but also requires more attention to the rigging tension and mast alignment.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Bristol 24?

The average cost of a secondhand Bristol 24 varies depending on the condition, age, location, and equipment of the boat. According to some online listings, the price range for a used Bristol 24 can be from $2,000 to $15,000 USD.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Bristol range include:

A Bristol 40 sailboat at anchorThe Bristol 40

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