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Old 07-14-2021, 01:54 PM   #1
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Hello fellow forum members

New of course to this forum and new to boat life also... We purchased a 1980 Bristol 42' in February ... It was in the work yard when we bought it, and of course still is (surprise! surprised!) We are however living aboard, so we can work on it every day. We have much experience repairing/remodeling RV's, but none on boats... We thought our experience would be interchangable.... Found out quickly " not so much!!"... We are familiar with RV plumbing and 12v systems but are completely baffled with most of what we are looking at here!! My "go to" has been the internet for years now, but I'm not finding much of help there... The Bristol 42 is said to be a great trawler, but I can't find any specifics on the water/sewer system... My first question is does anyone know of a source for owners manuals, schematics, floor plan prints?? anything that would help us understand the systems?
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:30 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Congrats on your new boat. Most of the older trawlers donít have any info available. Maybe someone out there has some but donít be surprised if there isnít any. Usually you just have to figure it out by yourself or with someone knowledgeable.
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:38 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard TF and the boat life.
There are many similarities between RVs and boats but toilet & holding tanks aren't one of those... more differences than similarities IMO.
Not familiar with Bristols but my experience is there are few manuals that are complete or accurate enough to rely on. The best bet is to start tracing hose & wiring and document your plumbing, sanitary and electrical systems.
Nigel Calders Book on marine mechanical & electrical systems is worth the investment.
We have a TF member "HeadMistress" that is our resident expert on sanitary systems. Her book is another one that should be on every boaters book shelf (or Kindle )
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:25 PM   #4
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Congrats on your purchase and good luck with projects. You have a boat, which means you will always have projects.

I have closely examined three 42' +/- Bristols with an eye to purchasing. Each was unique in just about every way - helm placement, bulkhead placement, plumbing, wiring, propulsion systems, etc. The ones I looked at all had bulletproof fiberglass hulls whose sturdy grace really called out to me. But other than that, my assessment was that no two are exactly alike. That's not necessarily a negative, but it just means that you're unlikely to benefit from learning about production standards.
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:19 PM   #5
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Thx so much for the comment.. someone recently told us that most of these older trawlers were pretty much custom boats and each one different... So we had decided we might be on our own trying to figure this stuff out... I just thought I'd ask you guys to be sure... Biggest problem here is when we look at stuff we aren't sure "how" it works, so we don't know "if" it works! I'm sure we will eventually figure it out, lol! I just don't want to open a valve and sink the boat!! We are in a work yard and there are lots of people here that love to give advice, we just don't know enough to weed out the good advice from the bad... I'll be running most questions by you guys here on this forum, before we start any major projects ..again thx so much, Gmalyn
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:32 PM   #6
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:34 PM   #7
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Great advice... Pretty much have been having to do that, I was just hoping there might be a shortcut... We have been... "What do you think this does... I don't know, pull the lever... you pull it!! No you pull it!!" At least we aren't in the water, so we haven't sunk the boat... yet!! For sure the toilets work very differently... The one in the forward head is brand new and there was a manual... The aft head had what looked to be the original electric flush toilet... We're weren't sure how or if it worked, or where the blackwater tank for it was, so we took it out and have a port-a-potty in there. Problem solved for now, but we would like to put it back like belongs... Big learning curve here but we will get it... with some help from you guys... Thx so much gmalyn
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:37 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard TF and the boat life.
There are many similarities between RVs and boats but toilet & holding tanks aren't one of those... more differences than similarities IMO.
Not familiar with Bristols but my experience is there are few manuals that are complete or accurate enough to rely on. The best bet is to start tracing hose & wiring and document your plumbing, sanitary and electrical systems.
Nigel Calders Book on marine mechanical & electrical systems is worth the investment.
We have a TF member "HeadMistress" that is our resident expert on sanitary systems. Her book is another one that should be on every boaters book shelf (or Kindle )
Just sent for the Nigel Calder book you recommend... That's the kind of suggestions I was hoping for from "you guys in the know"!! Thx
X
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:21 PM   #9
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You maybe should hire a surveyor or good mechanic for a couple of hours and have them go through the boats systems. It may save you a lot of headaches in the future. Or you could bring it to my house and I would be happy to go through it with youÖ
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Old 07-14-2021, 11:10 PM   #10
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You maybe should hire a surveyor or good mechanic for a couple of hours and have them go through the boats systems. It may save you a lot of headaches in the future. Or you could bring it to my house and I would be happy to go through it with youÖ
Be careful what you offer! You just might find us docked "at a slip near you"!! All jokes aside what area are you in? That just might be an option. There are a couple of people here who offer those services, and we might end up hiring someone to walk us through some of this, and the previous owner has offered to help but he sold the boat because of his failing health, so we have tried not to bother him too much.
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Old 07-14-2021, 11:13 PM   #11
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We are in Michigan. There are lots of people that will be willing to help. I enjoy helping people learn about boating. Did it for 30 years in the CG Aux so a few more won’t hurt.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:54 AM   #12
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You might want to start here.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...er-3807-2.html

I suspect there is an organized Bristol trawler users' group on the internet some where.

Start by searching for "Bristol trawler 42'".
I found over 10 possibilities.....
Most of what I saw were 'boats for sale.' but, take your time and see what you discover.

Hint: Might want to bring a cup of coffee and a sandwich, it's going to take a long time.
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Old 07-15-2021, 08:43 AM   #13
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😂 yep! Have checked and like you found mostly trawlers for sale... Been looking but haven't found a 'Bristol" blog/ forum.
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Old 07-15-2021, 10:54 AM   #14
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I have had two close friends who had Bristol 42s. One had a cockpit aft. The other one was my next door neighbor in the marina for ten years, and I spent a lot of time on it fixing things for them. I even spent two weeks aboard up in the Great Lakes as they did the Great Loop in 1992. They had twin Lehman 120 engines - so did my boat. The cockpit boat had twin 4-cyclinder Detroits which were very noisy, and I hated them in a trawler. They were very different boats. The one I worked on a lot was made in India, and it came with a wiring diagram with all the wires numbered at each end. Bring it around Florida to the panhandle, and we'll go over it at one of my spare slips. But by the time you get here, you will know all about it, or you will have sunk it!
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Old 07-15-2021, 01:32 PM   #15
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You guys are all a barrel of laughs!! Ours is a center cockpit with a v- birth and head forward (of course) and an aft birth with an actual bath tub in that head... Dual Perkins diesels in great shape, but the original diesel generator was toast and the last owner removed it... (Not too gently I might add) so we have lots of wiring to trace down and re-configure... We hope to go solar so we have replaced all the power draining electric appliances and such with LP and 12v, except the hot water heater, which is our next project... It had a huge stand alone ice maker, a bar size stand alone freezer, a fridge, an electric 4 burner stove with oven, and what looked to be factory air/heat system, most of which did not work... I know it sounds awful, but the boat itself is very sound and other than a lot of cleaning, sanding and resealing the wood it's good... Most days we are really enjoying it, and are taking it one project at a time... We are however really struggling with the plumbing right now!! What Marina are you at? We are at Green Cove Springs Marina, in their work yard. We're just south of Jacksonville, on the St John's River...
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Old 07-15-2021, 01:34 PM   #16
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I guess I still don't have the hang of posting on this site...please excuse me the above was in answer to rgano...thx
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Old 07-15-2021, 03:01 PM   #17
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I guess I still don't have the hang of posting on this site...please excuse me the above was in answer to rgano...thx
No problemo, we are all interested, but if you want to reply to only one person, click their avatar an follow the bouncing ball to Private Message. As to cockpit, I think you misunderstand. I used cockpit as the term of art applies to boats is an area like the stern area of a sportfishing boat with is open all the way to the hull sides and often a step down. As to cabin arrangement, the Bristol 42 is a typical tri-cabin affair. You do not have a cockpit if the deck is one level from bow to stern. As you may have noted it has a rounded chine giving it a softer roll at sea than the hard-chined Grand Banks and their ilk. In nautical talk the GB is stiff higher initial stability. I used to watch my neighbor's B-42 in the slip next to my GB42 rolling like a drunken sailor while my stiff ol' GB rocked once or twice and then settled right down. Going into some rough seas up in the Great Lakes, I found the B42 a much drier boat than the more slab-sided GB.
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Old 07-15-2021, 03:13 PM   #18
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I guess I still don't have the hang of posting on this site...please excuse me the above was in answer to rgano...thx
To further clarify, if you are responding to a particular post but are okay with everyone being able to read your response, click the "Quote" button. A box will open containing the post to which you are responding, with space below for your response.
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Old 07-15-2021, 05:58 PM   #19
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I guess I still don't have the hang of posting on this site...please excuse me the above was in answer to rgano...thx
Pics please. I'm thinking of a totally different Bristol 42 than you have. I don't think I have seen a center cockpit version.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:22 PM   #20
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I guess I still don't have the hang of posting on this site...please excuse me the above was in answer to rgano...thx
Here is a thread to help you get started.
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ead.php?t=5739
Also tips in the How To Use The Forum section on posting pics.

There are several knowledgeable TF folks that might be willing to spend a few hrs and advise over some adult refreshments. We are far away but you might put out an offer with your location and see if you get responses.

Best advise is prioritize the projects.., post pics and questions / enquiries for help / advice and I'll bet you get plenty of responses. Your chore is to sort through and decide what is the best choices for your situation.
For anything holding tank related Peggie... HeadMistress... is the go to expert and her book is another must have resource.
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