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Old 18-09-2019, 11:23   #1
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Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Does anyone have information on Bruce Roberts Steel Cruisers? Specifically I seek details on displacement, ballast, sail area, stability (capsize ratio), comfort in rough seas in boats from 36í to 46í. Also, minimum crew required.
I also welcome any information from those who have sailed BR cruisers in all types of weather and sea conditions.
Iím trying to decide which boat to choose.
Thanks!
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Old 20-09-2019, 07:56   #2
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

I myself would not want the maintenance of a steel boat. I had the opportunity to board a Bruce Roberts steel boat this past winter that was in the yard where I kept my boat for winter. The builder/owner had done an excellent job building his boat. I must say that my very first thought upon climbing aboard was "Wow, I would not want to fall onto any of those sharp steel corners in the cockpit!!". I think you would break yourself to pieces. I'll take a plastic boat thank you.
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Old 20-09-2019, 08:20   #3
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Hull material preferences aside, the biggest problem with Bruce Roberts designs are most are owner built and a good portion of them very poorly. There are tons of different plans out there and hull materials vary across the board, FRP, Steel, Aluminium, wood, ferro you name it. Some have had the hull completed professionally and outfitted the rest themselves with mixed results. From your posted question you need to do far more research into boat construction and design, attend a few surveys (preferably ones you're not paying for) then comb through the vast array of Roberts designed boats to hopefully find a gem, and they do exist but they can be few and far between.
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Old 20-09-2019, 08:28   #4
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

We had a Roberts 44 Offshore in steel.

It handled very well. Very sea kindly underway, although I never went through huge storms with it.

You'll find a lot of criticism as soon as you say the word steel - I guess not realizing you weren't asking about the material as much as how the design handled conditions.

I only had the boat for 2 years but it handled all conditions very nicely.
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Old 21-09-2019, 18:14   #5
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Thank you redhead and rbk for the info. Thanks for you for your take on material
Lnewman.

While I still have a lot to learn I know that I want steel or aluminum for the hull material.

Iím looking for the safest and most comfortable boat I can find.
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Old 21-09-2019, 18:45   #6
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

I have a BR 44 offshore. Fibreglass hull, professionally built and fitted out in Washington. Ketch rigged with a self tacking staysail added by the PO. She's somewhat weighty at 37000 lbs but we'll balanced and can take far more than I want to deal with. Given the weight she sails surprisinly well in anything above 8 knt and goes like a train when it's blowing above 15.

Comes down to who/how they been built, I've seen some shockers out there. But you can contact Bruce direct (or the guy he's handing over to who's name currently escapes me) and ask questions, they are both very friendly and approachable.
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Old 22-09-2019, 13:42   #7
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

I'm going to chime in here:

Steel is a good material but requires upkeep. I have a professionally constructed round bilge steel boat. I don't have and sharp corners in my cockpit!. Often people have no idea its a steel boat the hull is so fair.

Once you know how to deal with steel it's not to bad, I probably spend 5 days a season total touching up paint. There is a process and once you have your system worked out it's not so bad. you'll get really good with mixing primer and paint. If you're living on the boat or there all the time it sieasy, its alot harder to keep on top if it when you come and go.

Sure there are disadvantages, but being able to repair almost anywhere in the world in any port is an advantage in my book.

for the places I have been cruising I personally wouldn't want a GRP boat, though people cruise here all the time.

My little boat is for sale.... dix 38 pilot

The only reason I am selling is i would like a slightly bigger boat and in Aluminum

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Old 23-09-2019, 08:09   #8
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Thanks LD. I understand an aluminum boat of the same displacement as a steel boat is quite strong.
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Old 23-09-2019, 09:18   #9
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Ally is a great material for sailboats. Its strong, light requires little maintenance i you understand a few principles.

It is harder to repair ( weld), paint can be an issue, and one must be very careful with electricity
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Old 23-09-2019, 09:42   #10
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

I had Bruce Roberts blow up his 40' to 44' (calls it a 43') and built the prototype. That in itself darned near became a career choice, and I do not recommend it. What I got does require more maintenance and does not have a yacht finish. It is more like a minature ship, with things like fuel transfer completely manual.

On the other hand, she's ballasted to take an 80 knot wind on the beam, incorporates all my hare-brained ideas, for better or worse, has a 10' instrument panel, and has bunches of space. The space means I change an alternator belt by standing beside it in the engine room rather than reaching into a hole, the galley is a kitchen, the dining room table is large, the boat deck holds two kayaks and a dinghy, and you get the picture.

I could not afford a truly seaworthy trawler, given 27 through hulls in a Nordhaven (I have two, one of them locked, the other can be closed from the main salon) and Grand Banks compromises in hull shape and big windows that would blow out in a broach. My ports are 1/2" lexan.

So, what do you want? When I go, mine will be available very cheap for another willing engineer, complete with tools.

Oh. 62 tons dry, 66 loaded. Eats fiberglass for lunch. 2 nautical miles to the gallon.

--Tim.
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Old 23-09-2019, 09:50   #11
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

Just looking at what appears to be a beautiful Roberts Spray (2001) for sale in Portland. Very tempting.
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Old 23-09-2019, 11:02   #12
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Re: Bruce Roberts Cruisers

The Spray in Portland is a nice one, she is at our little dinghy club. Our honorary big boat. Not mine but owned by a fellow who knows his way around boats.

Steel is great hull material. Excellent in fresh water and for long ocean passages. Salt water does take a toll but corrosion can be minimized by thoughtful building and modern coatings so I wouldn't be too scared there.

It is humbling when you come across a craftsman who knows how to work on steel boats. I had a section in my boat that was just "replaced". The speed that it was done, along with the quality of work was an eye opener. These guys are few and far between and if you find one, have them survey your boat. He found whole areas of serious corrosion that our original surveyor missed.
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