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Old 21-12-2008, 06:08   #1
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Bruce Roberts boats

I've searched the site and web, but am still confused about Bruce Roberts boats. Am I correct in believing that these are home build boats? If so does that mean that a "do it yourselfer" build the hull, or just finished out boat? In my search for a cruiser I've come up with a few mid 40s BR fiberglass boats and they all seem soooo different from each other. For me it is kind of hard to take the boats serious as everyone is a one off and there isn't any way to judge on any standards of build.
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Old 21-12-2008, 07:46   #2
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I've searched the site and web, but am still confused about Bruce Roberts boats. Am I correct in believing that these are home build boats? If so does that mean that a "do it yourselfer" build the hull, or just finished out boat?
Like all designers, he sells the plans. The owner can choose to have a builder make it for him or go it alone to save the cost of the builder.

There are also a few firms that make production boats but will sell you the hull and you can finish off the interior to your specs.
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Old 21-12-2008, 11:45   #3
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Bruce Roberts boats are sold as plan or steel pre-cut kits, laser cut to exact detail.
As with any boat, even big manufacturers don't make exact boats. No such thing really. You can get any interior with a manufacturer or home built, never saw any interior designs that I likes, thats why we built our own, and the interior done our way,
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Old 21-12-2008, 12:43   #4
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I guess these responses combined with other threads answer it for me. While a design etc is a one measure of a boat; I'm not looking at some new design that the designer name comes into play. So to me that leaves a Bruce Roberts as something built by who knows who in my option. Since the money savings don't look all that much overall, I think I'll stick to a known builder. Not to say that there aren't many very good BR boats out there.
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Old 21-12-2008, 15:53   #5
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I guess these responses combined with other threads answer it for me. While a design etc is a one measure of a boat; I'm not looking at some new design that the designer name comes into play. So to me that leaves a Bruce Roberts as something built by who knows who in my option. Since the money savings don't look all that much overall, I think I'll stick to a known builder. Not to say that there aren't many very good BR boats out there.
Unless you are really to looking to save the costs, which would pound foolish but not wise in any sense, you'll want it surveyed. I assume you know this. But prior to this you should know something about the different designs, materials, and boat systems. That way you can 'pre-survey' the boat. I mention this because you seem set on Bruce Roberts but there are other good designers out there and, in all likelihood, you'll buy a boat fairly close by. So might as cast the net as wide as reasonable.

With that in mind, I see no reason to take well-built and maintained home-built versions this off the list. There are lots of cases where an individual amateur builds to much higher quality than a production boat.
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Old 22-12-2008, 02:22   #6
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I see no reason to take well-built and maintained home-built versions this off the list. There are lots of cases where an individual amateur builds to much higher quality than a production boat.
I had a strong bias against home built, until I stumbled into the boat I own now. While advertised as a home built, I discovered that the guy who built it owns and operates a steel fabrication company. He built the boat for himself and only sold it because he's now building a 44 footer.

I have viewed a number of European and N. American steel hulls, and none came close to the workmanship of this boat. The interior is a little funky, but those things are not too difficult to change out. The hull, OTOH, is to die for.

There is a saying: "The worst boats are home-built, and the best boats are home built."

So, yes, don't cross home-built off your list. Just go in with eyes wide open.
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Old 22-12-2008, 03:19   #7
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I had a "professionally built" Bruce Roberts 40. Give me an owner built boat any day. Some of the stuff the "professionals" did was beyond belief.
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Old 22-12-2008, 11:38   #8
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There is a saying: "The worst boats are home-built, and the best boats are home built."
That's a great quote! I will definitely remember that one.
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Old 24-12-2008, 02:04   #9
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In this economy, there are no real savings in a home built. I built a Roberts 34(steel). Was not real impressed with the design. I have sailed on a Roberts 43. Sat low on her lines and was not a great sailing boat. Like others have said...it's a mixed bag.
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Old 24-12-2008, 04:24   #10
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Hi,

I spent my spare time over 2 years building a GRP Swarbrick S97 and had never done anything like it before.

But 24 months later having learnt how to layup, fit bulkheads, build furniture, install engine, cut and weld all stainless, IMHO it was a better build quality than seen on most production yachts.

For me it was cost effective. At the time got me into a 35 foot race yacht fully kitted for maybe 30% of a new production boat of similar specification. Sold it 48 months on for double my hard costs.

There are thousands of Roberts yachts out there cruising - most of then chosen on their ease of self build in stell as opposed to sailing quality.

As in life, you generally get what you pay for - so whatever you look at be it home built or production - just make sure its surveyed before you part with the cash.

Good luck
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Old 24-12-2008, 16:14   #11
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I've been told by a friend of Roberts ,that if you ask him to find a builder, he charges a $10,000 finders fee. Check out the discussuion on skeg failures on Roberts designs on the metalboatsociety.org site.
Brent
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Old 24-12-2008, 16:42   #12
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No new is good news...

One of the problems in assessing Bruce Roberts Goodson's designs is that they seldom make the news (skeg problems excepted).
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Old 23-06-2013, 05:12   #13
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Re: Bruce Roberts boats

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
I've searched the site and web, but am still confused about Bruce Roberts boats. Am I correct in believing that these are home build boats? If so does that mean that a "do it yourselfer" build the hull, or just finished out boat? In my search for a cruiser I've come up with a few mid 40s BR fiberglass boats and they all seem soooo different from each other. For me it is kind of hard to take the boats serious as everyone is a one off and there isn't any way to judge on any standards of build.

BRUCE REPLIES June 2013:
Firstly most of the comments here are very old and I have to admit that I obviously cannot satisfy everyone … however if you want to see the HUNDREDS of completed sail and powerboats built from our plans and the HUNDREDS of emails for satisfied clients then please go to our web site and see for yourself … also if you want to see what sort of service we offer then just send us an email and you will see that we do offer prompt and fulsome replies. If you read this and are a serious intending boat builder then ask me for a FREE study plan to get you started! Good boatbuilding Bruce
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:11   #14
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Re: Bruce Roberts boats

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I've searched the site and web, but am still confused about Bruce Roberts boats. Am I correct in believing that these are home build boats? If so does that mean that a "do it yourselfer" build the hull, or just finished out boat? In my search for a cruiser I've come up with a few mid 40s BR fiberglass boats and they all seem soooo different from each other. For me it is kind of hard to take the boats serious as everyone is a one off and there isn't any way to judge on any standards of build.

I bought a BR Spray steel hull launched 2002 in North Germany, come back from Carribean to France mediterranea, made first sailing trials a few days ago after refitting and general restore. My first impressions:
safe boat, very stable, easy to handle (gaff rigged ketch), I thought it was slow but I could get 6,2 knots speed at 60 degrees to wind with 12,5 knt wind, which is not bad at all for a 20 tons ship!
I've seen on some forums a lot of bad reports about BR, it looks like a personnal problem between different boat builders, for the moment I just can tell I'm satisfied of the performances and seeworthiness (does the word exist? sorry, I'm french) of my boat, but as said above: "The worst boats are home-built, and the best boats are home built."

I wish you good success for your boat search
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:17   #15
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Re: Bruce Roberts boats

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I bought a BR Spray steel hull launched 2002 in North Germany, come back from Carribean to France mediterranea, made first sailing trials a few days ago after refitting and general restore...
Ah, this begs for pictures.
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