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Old 25-03-2008, 23:01   #1
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Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

I saw an ad for a custom, steel hull Bruce Roberts Offshore 38. Is anyone familiar with this boat?

The things I like:
  • The price is affordable - especially considering the size
  • At 38' it will be roomy which is nice
  • Full keel - I'm with the full keel crowd...
  • 5' 10" draft - I like the stability full keel + deep draft offers
  • Ketch rig - I like ketch rigs plus a member here pointed out a couple of advantages
  • Tiller steering - While 38' may be at the upper limit for a tiller, everything I've read says a tiller is simpler and easier including autopilot
I'd appreciate some input on the pros and cons of the steel hull.

Thanks - Jake
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Old 26-03-2008, 00:26   #2
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Hi Jake,
I am building one right now.What would you like to know !!

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It may be worth doing a search (see recent posts on search engine) on "hull materials" I personally like steel hulls. Rather than go over the subject again check out the past posts there is a heap of them !!!
As to the hull shape, it is not as beamy as some but a lot beamier than a lot of boats of that design vintage. It has well rounded ends and a conservative hull.
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Old 26-03-2008, 02:06   #3
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Caveat emptor...

There are a few caveats that I would keep in mind when looking at a custom steel boat.
* To check for interior rust it must be possible to look along all the joins where stringers, frames and bulkheads are welded to the hull plating. If there is foamed in insulation and/or non removable joinery then this has to be factored into the buying decision in a major way.
* Steel boats rust. This can be mitigated by providing proper drainage (no pooling water) and a good interior paint job, but you (if you buy a steel boat) will still need to spend your time checking for and "fixing" rust.
* Steel boats are sometimes finished to a very tight budget. This means that important items like the engine, fuel system and their installation may not get the loving attention they deserve. The same can apply to winches, masts, sails, rigging, interior fitout etc.
* Surveyors in general see a large number of plastic power boats. Finding a surveyor with good experience with steel boats is essential. If you can find a cruiser who has owned, or better still built, a steel boat and get their opinion before purchase you could save a whole lot of grief and an expensive survey
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Old 26-03-2008, 05:23   #4
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A Bruce Roberts design is not built by Bruce Roberts. Who and how it was built may enter into the picture more. Many designs look quite nice. Home built boats are always a cautious consideration. The gems are rare.

Boracay accurately states the issues against steel.

You might say the same with most used boats too. A low price may indicate true worth. Hull problems on any old boat no matter the materials usually cost a lot to repair. Chasing problems with steel joints could gut the interior. You'll require the services of a surveyor with eye toward steel structures. You then have all the remaining used boat issues. Good boat designs rarely transcend the rigors of old age on their own.
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Old 26-03-2008, 08:27   #5
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Thanks for the feedback on this, folks. I think I am going to stay far away from it. There are two major red flags...

1 - I read up and saw all the stuff on the Roberts web site about pirated plans and such.

2 - The boat I was looking at is only $20k where others of the same model listed are $75k - $80k
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Old 26-03-2008, 21:13   #6
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It's good to be careful...

1) You may care to consider this response.(Follow the link at the bottom of the page.)

2) Not knowing your skills I would suggest that $15k might be closer to the value of a steel 38' yacht than $75k.

If you can look at it easily then it may be very educational.
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Old 19-06-2008, 15:44   #7
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Hi there. In fact it looks like I purchased the boat MaDouleur was writing about.

It's spotless. It needs just a little blasting of the keel shoe, and some topside paint.
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Old 19-06-2008, 17:49   #8
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Hi usa-068 and welcome
sometimes fortune smiles on the brave !! The 38 off shore (am biased but) is a very nice hull. Keep me posted with your progress. I am slowly trying to get together a group of 38 offshore owners/builders.

cheers.
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Old 20-06-2008, 09:28   #9
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Cooper, many thanks for the good words. Yes, the hatches alone are worth more than the selling price. 8 Bowmar C201's, and that single comercial hatch, in today's market are quite expensive. Once in a lifetime is quite right.

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Old 13-07-2010, 14:51   #10
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thanks to all for the steel infoemation ..

cheers,
miller
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaDouleur View Post
Tiller steering - While 38' may be at the upper limit for a tiller, everything I've read says a tiller is simpler and easier including autopilot
Jake
Don't to worry to much about tiller. I had sailed a cutter of 45' with a tiller, never looked back.
Tiller is fantastic, simple, and easy to rig any control you can find, from auto pilot to a system of lines.
The drawback is the space taken.
Good luck.
Daniel
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Old 06-02-2014, 15:45   #12
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Re: Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

Hey, 068! You still out there? What more info can you divulge on the Offshore 38? Do you still have her?
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Old 06-02-2014, 15:53   #13
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Re: Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

Been there, done that. I built mine a few decades ago, still going strong. There are great deals to be had in steel boats because the quality varies so widely. There are also many pitfalls to beware. But if the boat surveys well and you have inspected every inch, go for it.
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Old 06-02-2014, 15:56   #14
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Re: Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

My own solo self-built backyard production circa 1993.
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Old 06-02-2014, 16:06   #15
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Re: Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

I love that double keel spray design.
Is it frameless? With gussets on the protruding keel and inner hull? Kudos!
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