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Old 14-03-2011, 20:46   #1
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Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

any opinions on the bruce roberts sailboats? or even the powerboats. are they good design boats? i see some on yachtworld and got me interested in them.
what are your guys/gals opinions on them

John
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Old 14-03-2011, 21:22   #2
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

I think Bruce Roberts designs some nice boats that hardly anyone builds properly.

Remember in first year shop when 16 kids would all build the same birdhouse from the same stock of wood and the same plan?

Remember how one was exactly like the plan, and one was better than the plan, and 14 were Mother's Day presents?

That's about the ratio, I've found.

In other words, you need a surveyor or an intimate knowledge of boat building to reveal their "inner beauty"...or lack of it.

I've seen a lot of 40,000 lbs. BRs that are supposed to be 28,000. Caveat emptor.
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Old 14-03-2011, 21:45   #3
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

Basically, what he said!

Nothing wring with Bruce Roberts boats per se (as far as I know), but a lot of amatuer back-yard builders seem to go with his designs, so the standard/quality of build is very variable.
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Old 14-03-2011, 22:55   #4
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

Bruce Roberts seems big in steel hull boat designs, so if you avoid Bruce Roberts due to these quality control concerns, what other manufacturers are there of steel hull boats. I’ve seen Adams and Van De Stadt but are their boats made by backyarders too? What steel boat manufacturers are there where quality control should not be an issue.
(Sorry John, you didn’t mention steel so I hope this doesn’t skew the thread).
Cheers
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Old 14-03-2011, 23:42   #5
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

i have been in contact with bruce for a long time now and have visited several builds in progress. it all comes down to the inside because the hull deck and superstructure for the pre cut kits he makes are AMAZING its literally fitting a puzzle together and even just tacking them together you cant see through the gaps. that is how well the kits are cut. i think it all comes down to how people do the interior that will define if its a good or bad boat.
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Old 14-03-2011, 23:59   #6
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

i have asked about trailer sailors in another thread. what do you guys think about the spray 27? any one have experience with it? could this be a suitable boat for the longest offshore stint would be/could be hawaii other then that coastal sailing.

Boatplans Roberts - Spray 27

what are your thoughts?

how much could this be built for im not really into building just wondering.


thanks
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:48   #7
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design?

any one have any opinions on the spray 27? as a trailer sailor as a coastal boat. and maybe to go to hawaii?

thanks
John
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Old 15-03-2011, 20:52   #8
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Re: Bruce Roberts ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samson View Post
i have been in contact with bruce for a long time now and have visited several builds in progress. it all comes down to the inside because the hull deck and superstructure for the pre cut kits he makes are AMAZING its literally fitting a puzzle together and even just tacking them together you cant see through the gaps. that is how well the kits are cut. i think it all comes down to how people do the interior that will define if its a good or bad boat.
Maybe I've seen "pre-kit" ones, but the main issue, other than rough, crap welding that sometimes produced literally assymmetrical hulls, is that somewhere along the line, the home-builts end up 30% heavier than designed, and consequently do not float on their lines and sail like shoeboxes.

The shoeboxes of clowns.

Now, to be fair, I've seen a couple that I could barely tell were steel, never mind home built. In both cases, professional welders did the work. I do not know if either was a kit. One of them was a Spray 43 (?)...big bugger anyway.

I own a custom steel boat people often mistake for a Roberts, so I get comments from a lot of Roberts fans and/or owners, asking "how did you get it so nice?"

Not me! I'm the third owner.

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Old 15-03-2011, 22:17   #9
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

were does all the weight come from? all the crap they shove and build inside?

and i think you got me on the welding. i forgot about peoples crappy welding skills. i grew up around a steam fitters union and they tought me to weld and i forgot that some people just are not good at it.


who designed your boat do you have any websites for them?

i am partial to the bruce roberts boats. and i have been in contact with bruce and have the studdy plans for the 27' spray. i am contimplating building it. the cut metal is around 27,000-30,000 shipped to my door and thats not to far from you while the 34' kit is around 34,500 shipped to my door.
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Old 16-03-2011, 02:05   #10
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Roberts 28?

The Roberts Spray 27 looks to have been designed as a large trailable boat. The beam could be a bit too small.

I would have thought that the Roberts 28 Pilothouse would be an example of the smallest practicable cruising yacht.

You'd still be looking at 3 years+ to do the 28.

Some of the workmanship on some amateur builds may be a bit rough, but that's the price some pay for actually finishing the boat.
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Old 16-03-2011, 03:23   #11
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

I'm looking at a Spray 36 Ketch for world cruising (2 up). It was professionally built and fitted out (in American Oak). Does anyone know what they sail like?
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Old 16-03-2011, 06:35   #12
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samson View Post


who designed your boat do you have any websites for them?
My boat was designed as a commissioned one-off by Phil Friedman N.A. in the early '80s and was built in 1988 here in Ontario. It's never seen salt.

Friedman, with whom I was able to speak on the phone just after we bought the boat in 2006, is associated with a yacht consultancy these days:

PORT ROYAL GROUP

Now, is your only choice in steel a custom build (or buying a used example of same)? Not at all, but it's instructive to wangle invites aboard such boats in order to set the bar for any kit boat evaluations. The French make a lot of steel designs commercially, as do the Dutch and Germans. Personally, I considered buying a Subrero Petit-Prince 40 here in Toronto, but it was too beat up. Usually, we just don't see a lot of steel in North American private yachts in the under 50 foot range.
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Old 19-03-2011, 21:32   #13
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

For $30,000 you should be able to find a reasonably solid cruiser about 30' long (especially in this economy) and take it sailing tomorrow. Going with a kit, even if you love to weld, will take you years, and you still have to pay to outfit the boat with engine, mast, sails, sailhandling gear, furniture and galley and nav equipment. It's your money and time, but the question is: do you want to build a boat, or do you want to go sailing?
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Old 21-03-2011, 20:18   #14
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

Please also see the thread on ferro-cement, started by someone who apparently owns a steel Roberts 44 on Long Island (NY), and wants to get away from the long-term problems they've uncovered...
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Old 21-03-2011, 20:25   #15
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Re: Boat Building - Bruce Roberts Design ?

Roberts forgot more than most of us will ever understand. I'll leave you with a quote from him, when I was asking him to design me a 36-38' sloop:

"I'll tell you what I tell everyone else (though nobody listens): No man needs more than 28 feet to cross an ocean. And each foot over that adds exponentially to the cost."

He's right, of course. Larger=heavier rigging, more materials, more sail, bigger engine, higher slip fees, etc. It's justified to have more for cruising, or for more than an intimate couple, but still, the point is well heeded. And, of course, he was actually trying to talk me OUT of spending more money.
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