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Old 04-07-2008, 22:16   #1
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How Good are Sprays?

How good are Sprays as cruisers ? What can you all tell me about a 33' steel Spray cutter? Thanks
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Old 04-07-2008, 23:30   #2
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:00   #3
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How good are Spray's

Hi
Having just purchased a Spray 36 gaff cutter I may be a tad biased. I think they are superb boats. Ok so they are slow and heavy but in my opinion the are an exellent boat. We have been researching and looking for the right craft for a good while and we kept going back to the Sprays. As a marine professional I have been involved with more designs than I can remember and they all have their pro's and con's.
If you are interested in a particular boat be carefull as there a lot of home builds out there. Some are well built...some not so good.
Get a thorough survey including a hull thickness test.
Otherwise...if you want more info the Bruce Roberts site has loads of reading matter available.
Cheers..Jerry
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:17   #4
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Spray design

Thanks for the info. I guess modern yacht designers might thin k the Spray design to be inefficient, but work boats are usually especially efficient for their given purpose. My background is in workboats.

I am curious about the mizzen mast added by Slocum. It has been 20 years since I read Slocum. Are the newer versions balanced by a different sail design, I wonder?
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:24   #5
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How good are Sprays

Hello again.
The fitting of a mizzen could be argued to give more flexibility and balance to the sail plan especially in heavy weather.

I agree that the modern designers might not appreciate the virtues of a workboat based design. Design might be the wrong description...these boats evolved over long periods of time and were adapted to suit the particular job or environment and were mostly heavily built and therefore very tough..
I must admit that I frequently curse modern designers for their lack of foresight in relation to what happens when the super fast slick cruiser needs work and people like me have to fix them.
Also the amount of boats that come into Bermuda that are new or nearly new and have major structural defects is very alarming
By all means be on the cutting edge when it comes to design but dont ask an accountant to build the boat.

Bruce Roberts has taken a proven formula and adapted it to suit a variety of tasks. The suitability of the Spray design is apparant when one sees how many of these boats are out there. That in itself is the best testament any boat could have...
Cheers..Jerry
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:35   #6
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Before we wax all nostalgic about Spray and her successors and knockoffs, you should know that at least one classic boat designer considers Spray to be a terrible design. Yes, Slocum sailed her around the world, but he was a superb seaman with a lifetime of experience.

The legendary designer, John Hanna, published an article to this effect -- I believe in Rudder Magazine -- entitled, "The Sailing and Sinking Society". In the article he railed against the design and the legions of lemmings who willy nilly accept the Spray model as a good sailboat for offshore sailing.

Here's just one reference which references "the other side" of the Spray design controversy: The Circumnavigators - by Don Holm - "Chapter 43" Anatomy of a Dream Boat

From personal experience having owned a 35' hard-chine gaff-rigged ketch many years ago which bore more than a passing resemblance to Spray, and having since owned or sailed on dozens of more modern designs in many bodies of water worldwide, I'd never consider a Spray design for anything other than a curiosity or, perhaps, a half-model on the wall of my den.

Bill
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:14   #7
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Sprays are so bad?

How close was your boat to a Spray? What would you say were the negative characteristics of the design? Why would modern fin keel boats be so much better sea boats?
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:15   #8
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OK reality time... could some one please explain to me the similarities, between J Slocums Spray and the steel sprays that are in this discussion. I am building a hard chine steel boat. To compare good or bad is just silly. Timber versus steel. Hard chine versus round bilge. Even the LOLs and LOAs are different. So whats the same to compare? Two masts? But what rig? he changed his a few times. Spars made of?...Sails made of?....Engine.....

The use of the word "Spray" in modern (newer) designs is to conjure up a style, nothing more.
Particularly with the steel sprays, comparisons with the original name sake is "interesting" and pointless. Discussing the merits of this type of design in its own rights is a very worth while discussion. From my own point of veiw let me quote a conversation in a boat yard.....Me looking at the crudest of single chine slab sided apparitions that you could imagine. Owner sees me looking. Says..."Not that pretty and not that fast"" Heaps of room inside and comfortable" "I do half a knot slower but you dont travel the world to get to the other side as quickly as possible"" I cant go so close as to slam hard" " I have circumnavigated and never been robbed".....
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:20   #9
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Well, good point on comparing apples and oranges. Maybe someone can comment on the Roberts designed steel Spray 33. This is the boat I am looking at.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:52   #10
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Originally Posted by drlang View Post
Sprays as cruisers...
Who knows what makes a Spray. I've certainly never built one, and have only seen one up close. But I spent a fair amount of time running numbers, scanning materials lists and daydreaming of the time I would build one of Bruce-Robert’s, Sprays.

Whether multi-chine, wood epoxy, steel or fiberglass, the general themes I see in common with all of them is that of a vessel that is a wonderful load-carrier, seems to carry its buoyancy a little farther forward than is contemporary practice, tends actually to be fairly shallow in the whole, proportionately -- uses the form of a hull for stability as much as ballast, often has a wonderfully curvaceous cut-water and one or two of the larger ones I've seen has carried deck loads that would swamp lesser vessels -- including steel oil-drums strapped to the deck.

Starbound, Gordon and Nina Stuermer's oversized Spray-esque ketch is one such. And, I spent many a happy hour in my rocking chair, dreaming of the day I would have one -- albeit a smaller one. Granted, one can argue that the various design features and building mediums have altered the original concept, and to some degree that has to be true; however, the basic load-carrying workboat style seems to persist in the face of modern yachting’s quicker, faster, more hulls, more high-tech, load up the gizmos, is three generators really enough, and who knows what else – oh, I forgot, we've got to have carbon fiber in the sails and Kevlar in the toilet-paper too. With the plethora of Spray variations now available, I’d guess it's easier to say what the Spray ain't than what it is -- other than perhaps a philosophical way of going about things.
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Old 05-07-2008, 22:36   #11
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What ?
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Old 05-07-2008, 23:07   #12
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A Spray is, generally, mackerel-headed (having the widest point of beam forward of the center of the lineal length), often have relatively high freeboard at stem, and rather sweeping run under the stern.

These do not result in the most balanced of hulls for fore-and-aft rigs, but make a more-stable platform with yards - a type of rig M Slocum was familiar with and may have been used by him during his circumnavigation while in the trades. (Modifying the rig en route is something he's rather well known for, and a feature of the industry at the time.)

I can't comment on the various modern Sprays, although I've read their designers have worked within the ideas of the Spray to make use of modern rigs and methods of sailing.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:18   #13
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I have a Mold for a 33 ft Spray if any one is interested

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Old 16-07-2008, 14:05   #14
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Forget this mold . Had a sail in a boat out of this mold the damm thisg goes sidways.Was told this would happen draft too shallow. Going to use it as a kennel

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Old 22-07-2008, 14:37   #15
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drlang

I can't help you on the 33' Spray, but i did build and own a Spray 36' seen on my profile. So this is what I can tell you about one. First check it out thoroughly for signs of rust even before having a survey done. Not hard to find signs of rust, either rust weeps or swelling under the paint. If there's been work done in a spot you will find chip marks or grinder marks if there has been a problem with rust you will know. Make sure your surveyor is steel smart, not all are.
I built my own, but I was a welder at the time and knew how to weld, not all steel boats have been built by welders. I prepped the inside very well and I applied 4 coats of coal tar epoxy to the inside for rust proofing. To date, I've only had 2 signs of rust inside and they were my fault for dropping hard stuff against the hull and did not make immediate repairs as I should have.
Sailing wise, they are not race boats, weren't designed to be fast, but load the boat up for long distance cruising and I can just keep up with lighter designs. 4" boot stripe and loaded up will not put it under. Last circumnavigation we averaged 5.7 knots for 34183 nm. Never flew anything bigger than twin genny's. Might try a cruising spinnaker when we leave again in 3 years to go around again.
Cannot respond to interior design as everyone builds to their specifications. I have my galley and dinette in the pilothouse and dinette converts to a big bed, makes it great at anchorage with the windows and ports the boat has excellent ventilation, no matter what other people say about pilothouse boats.
Dinette below for normal use. I'll keep her and sail her until I can't sail her anymore.
But as with any boat, it will come down to your own personal preference and that of the Admiral. Mine didn't have much to say as I had already started building before I met the Admiral and married her. But after the first circle, she's ready to go again.
GOOD LUCK ON WHAT EVER YOU DECIDE
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