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1978 Bayliner Bristol 3550

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    1978 Bayliner Bristol 3550

    Hi THT memebrs,

    I have been lurking around the threads for awhile and need help with help getting information about the Bayliner 3550 Bristol. No stranger to the search function I cannot find anything about this boat outside of very basic info. I was just wondering if anyone could give me a honest opinion on these boats, even if it's just the late 70's Bayliners in general, whether they owned, worked on or were a guest.

    Currently I work in the industry and have held numerous positions despite only working 5-6 years. The boat will mainly be a liveaboard as i am single and prefer to own a boat then to rent a apartment but I will be using it for coastal fishing and diving. I have worked on engines, electrical and nav systems so a little work doesn't scare me but I don't want a boat no one else wants in the end. The boat in question has a fiberglass hull, 35ft long, 13' 1" beam, 3' 2" draft, 16,000lbs displacement, twin inboard big block 454 (merccruiser?) 330hp for 660hp, 400 gal fuel, 150 gal H2O. Top speed 27 knots cruising range 250-275 nm, catalog numbers. I can't help with photos at the moment uploads failed. Checked size and resolution still no go.

    I hope someone has had some type of experience with these boats. Thanks in advance for any details y'all might have.

    #2
    Here is a photo to jog some memories
    Attached Files

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      #3
      The Bristol was part of the initial venture into the bigger boat market by Bayliner. There were the 33’ Montigo, 35’ Bristol and 40’ Bodega. Very traditional in design the hulls are thick fiberglass, and, due to the resins used may, as in something to check for, an issue with blisters. It’s going to be a fuel burner due to the hull and engine state of the art of the times. If a repower is in order, an upgrade to cost balanced upgrade should be considered. New engine repower would probably not come close to returning the investment other than piece of mind, however rebuilding with an updated cam, intake, carb and balancing the engine will help. If the fuel hoses haven’t been upgraded to be alcohol resistant, that’s a must do.
      I don’t have any information on ride in choppy water or how “dry” the boat is in heavier water. One thing for sure, your more economical speed will be in the eight knot range.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
      MMSI 367770440
      1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
      Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

      Comment


        #4
        First you might want to change "Hi THT members To."BOC"members...I did see your post on THT ....they only gave you one good answer "to come to this site" They love to bash "Bayliners & Scout"boats......The Montigo & Bristol were more or less designed after Bertram,their built like tanks(friends worked at Bayliner)and yes interiors are outdated but what 40 yr old boat wouldn't be.Many years ago I looked for one...harder than chickens teeth to find.It has a great layout and yes it will be a gas hog,Pcpete has some good ideas on that.
        Brad & Sharon
        Lady Jake
        1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
        LaConner,Wa. (summer)
        2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
        kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

        Comment


          #5
          No direct information on the Bristol, but I owned a 1977 33' Montego for a number of years. As others have said, this was a heavy, solid boat with a great layout. Powered with twin 360 Chrysler's and v-drives and a 7500 watt Kohler Generator. Top speed was about 14-15kts while sucking fuel at an incredible rate. We spent all of our time at about hull speed, 7-8 knots to keep the fuel cost within reason. She was a dry boat that took swells and seas easily. Another guy had an identical boat that had been converted to 350 Mercruisers with Bravo 2 O/D. While more reliable than my tired Chryslers, it was no faster nor more economical. Local people (I'm in Seattle) familiar with the early days of Bayliner MY told me that Bayliner tried to power it with 318's initially but was terribly underpowered so went to 360's. It really needed big blocks to get the power needed to try to plane, but no room for those engines. Good luck with your acquisition.
          2005 Bayliner 289 "Jake's Wake"

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