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Old 07-10-2005, 12:18   #1
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Bruce Roberts 'Spray' Owners !

I'm looking for a good steel cruising boat for extensive live-a-board cruising. There is a used 60' Spray available that I'm going to see next week. How do you like your Spray? Would you own another? How does she sail? Comments appreciated.

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Old 07-10-2005, 21:43   #2
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My boat neighbor, and good friend has a 37' Bruce Roberts in fiberglass. He had the boat in Louisiana, and had her shipped here a few years back, so he has sailed in very different conditions with the boat. The hard chine is an issue, She is cutter rigged, and does not perform well in light air. Aside from these minor issues, he loves the boat. He single hands out in the bay 3-4 days a week. He has a story about riding out a tornado outside of Ponchatrane years back with no damage to the boat. My biggest gripe about the design, is the poor light wind performance.
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Old 08-10-2005, 13:49   #3
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Bruce Roberts Spray's?

Yachts66,

I have seen Spray's. They can be great boats. Providing if it was built right.

And like what Kai Nui said. I have heard of one, back in Norfolk, VA. That was a constant pain in the you-know-what?

But, they could be good boats. Providing what you want out of a boat? Liveaboard. That would be fine?

As for handling, at sea? I only heard of one like I said. That's all I know. But you can visit Bruce Roberts website.

www.bruceroberts.com

Good luck.


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Kevin
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Old 23-08-2010, 02:04   #4
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i have a 27 f spray cutter rig here in western australia. Are sea breez a sw wind averages 18 to 22 knots and can be frequently 25 to 30 knots . Ive got to say love it the bildge only gets dust in it the big apple bow gives you plenty of room inside and keeps you dry . Ive only been sprayed in the face in 2m swells at 25 knots a couple of times over 3 years seriously. for here size on the w.a coast perfect. Negitives needs 12 to 15 knots to move here bit hard to tack need to back the fore sale. I would feal verry verry safe in a bigger spray going cruising. Aaron
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Old 23-08-2010, 09:55   #5
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I don't own one or have ever sailed on one but I can tell you of a fellow I know in Port Credit. He and his wife were building one of fiberglas when I was first starting out in sailing in 1979. Launched her sometime in 82-83, and since then they have taken the boat to the Caribbean several times, and they still live aboard now. Take that for what its worth.

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Old 10-11-2010, 15:07   #6
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I know a of guy sailed a Spray around the world once.
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Old 10-11-2010, 16:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
I know a of guy sailed a Spray around the world once.
That is tooooo funny. The original homebuilt too...

About 30 years ago there was a guy in Sydney, Aus., who built a female fibreglass mold for a Roberts Spray, around 45' I think, and he made half a dozen hulls from memory. He was one of those true derro/craftsmen. Lived in the shed with the mold and his dog. Also did pen and ink drawings of sailing ships that should have been hung in the Louvre.

Sprays had a bit of a reputation here for having a lot of leeway.
There was another guy I met in the late 80s who was building one, maybe from the same mold, up the river at Ballina. He was doing a magnificent job of it with great timber interior finishes.
He added a full length heavy timber strip to the keel to give it an extra 12-18" draft. I don't know to what extent it helped. But if anybody knows the vessel, he called it Seafire's Gem.

There was an excellent book written by Ken Slack called "In the Wake of the Spray". It's an analysis of the design, and then a great read of many replicas and the voyages undertaken by the owners.

Vic
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Old 20-01-2011, 03:29   #8
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Funny that I found this thread and it's not even too old. I just finished reading about "that guy that sailed one around the world' (yeah I'm late for everything) and was fascinated with the design. I really want to read Ken Slack's book, I guess it analyzes the design and offers forth some ideas on the final demise of the Spray? Anyway, found this thread on Google while searching on info on the Spray's seaworthiness. There is one in Europe (website Taranea Spray Charter) that is just beautiful. Wonder how it sails...it sho' is purty.
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Old 20-01-2011, 07:18   #9
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If you like it, take a look at this one, it's for sale, $28,500.

1999 R.O. Woods 40 Foot Ketch / Design by Bruce Roberts sailboat for sale in Indiana
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Old 20-01-2011, 09:51   #10
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Built and sailes a 36' Spray PH Ketch RTW.
Very comfortable at sea and anchor. They are not race boats, bur did manage pretty decent days at sea.
On my RTW, Iaveraged hust a tad over 5.1 kts.
Make sure that your surveyor checks the hull very carefully fpr any signs of rust. I prepped my boat for rust prevenrion very well and never had any problems..
The long flat keel makes vit great if you want to beach her to clean the bottom.
Also as with any steel bo at, touch up any scratches immwdiately until proper repairs can be made. Especially if the scratch penetrates to the metal..
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Old 20-01-2011, 15:41   #11
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Metal boats tend to rust from the inside out. The proper way to build a metal boat is to shot blast the steel inside and out once all welding is done, or use pre shot blasted and primed steel when the boat is built. The interior should receive at least two coats of a quality epoxy paint like Ameron 235. More is better. Many folks then apply a modern insulating coat like Mascoat to stop condensation. Over that should be a minimum of 2" of sprayed on polyurethane foam (of the fire retardant variety) and over that a another coat of most any kind of paint (latex) wouldn't hurt. The foam should not be applied below the waterline, the bilge area should never be foamed (makes the bilge very hard to clean). If the boat was not originally built like this, the chances of her having rust problems in the interior in places you can't get to because of the joinery, are almost guaranteed. The exterior coating scheme is slightly different and of course does not include the polyurethane foam.

I saw a boat once whose owner applied the foam all over the interior and even filled the bilges with it right to the cabin sole! Bedsides being an expensive thing to do, it eliminated virtually all storage areas under the sole and guaranteed water over the sole if the boat ever took on water. The owner told me he'd done it to make the boat "unsinkable," not realizing I guess he actually would need to fill 2/3's of the interior with foam to accomplish that task. A sad thing to see as otherwise it was not a bad looking boat.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 24-06-2013, 17:42   #12
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Re: Bruce Roberts 'Spray' Owners !

Hi there
You've heard of Chinese Whispers - well... Seafires Gem is a 40' steel Spray with, yes, a 5' draft instead of the plan's 4'. It was built in Ballina, and it has a sister ship called Pacific Pearl - also built at Ballina.
Now - the guy who built the Spray 40 mold/mould lived on the Central Coast, north of Sydney, and he did produce some 4 or 5 Sprays from the mould - and they were very good, but the fit-outs were variously poor. He died and the mould, with a hull still in it, was taken over by Alan Roper of Roper Yachts and he completed it as his own boat called Watermusic. The others were: Yonder, Imaginer, Fairhaven and, I think, Florissant. You can see all of these and many others at http://www.slocumspraysociety.asn.au/Spray_list.htm.
BTW - I owned Seafires Gem for a few years, put a new engine and rewired, etc - and ran out of money. Very sad to see her go as she was a good sailer for such a big boat. We were getting 8 knots out of her in 20 knots of wind - but she had a huge genoa. The new owner took her on a cruise to SE Asia.
I'm the webmaster for the Slocum Spray Society
Cheers
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:46   #13
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Re: Bruce Roberts 'Spray' Owners !

I recently acquired a 1983 Bruce Roberts Spray 36 cutter in Florida, US. Pelican was built by a family yard in Mississippi then finished by the couple who sold her to me. We went out for a sea trial in early July which is breathless in the Gulf. I insisted we cut the engine and she drifted sideways for a bit then we had a pleasant sail. Once moving she was unaffected by variations in the wind, moving with momentum once forward movement was established. She will certainly benefit from big light air sails to increase speed.
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