Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-06-2009, 05:57   #1
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Roberts 45 vs Swanson 42

Hello,

We are weighing up between two boats in our budget. A GRP Swanson 42 (late 70's) or a mid 80's center cockpit GRP Roberts 45.

Both have similar equipment levels (basic), and both (apparently) require the same amount of elbow grease (A LOT!), but which to choose?

We're after something stable, with good accomodation, suited to long(ish) coastal trips round Oz. Performance is very much an after thought, though I don't want to be saddled with a tug boat or a new age square rigger.

So far, after a promising start, we've reluctantly ruled out the Adams 40 after we found it too difficult to get around on the decks (crowded between the cabin sides and the stays), so the Swanson does look good in that respect.

The Roberts seem to have a mixed reputation and I take the point that most are home built so a good survey is essential. But it had enough room on deck and there are lots more to choose from if it fails survey. I've found a lot of negative opinions of the Roberts, though mostly directed at the smaller boats, and it's hard to know where criticism is based on racing or fast performance criteria rather than steadfast and dependable plodding, which is much more our cup of tea. (You never get there first in our Austral, but you DO get there in comfort!)

Being in Adelaide I have found it next to impossible to get crew time on any of the boats we are interested in, so I will have to trust gut feel and external opinions before trying to organise a test sail of either boat (Not easy these days, some of the brokers seem to have thrown in the towel!)

So does anyone out there have opinions on either from a cruising and live aboard perspective?

Thoughts appreciated.
__________________

__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-06-2009, 15:39   #2
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Nice internal fit out?

Rather than looking at the outside I'd suggest looking at the inside.

The internal fit out on a large (and 45' is large) boat is time consuming and quite difficult to get right. What you walk past in 3 minutes and barely glance over could have taken 10 or more years to complete.

Other than that I'd suggest focusing more on davits, bimini and dodger together with the furling/reefing gear.

Add a good (70hp+) diesel with well matched prop. in a well thought out installation, 1000 litres of fuel tankerage, 500+ litres of water, a nice wind vane and comfortable settee seats and you'll be in heaven.

Who cares about the design, hull material or sail plan?
__________________

__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-06-2009, 17:04   #3
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Boracay, fitouts are hard work, I agree.

But a great fitout on a boat that sails like a tank is a waste of time and energy.

And all the topside addons are no substitute for a boat with pleasant sea manners.

No, I'm most concerned with the stuff I can not change through my own efforts over time.
__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 06:56   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Australia
Boat: Roberts Classic 45
Posts: 3
Hi GIlo. I own a Roberts 45 Classic, which is the long keel / bowsprit version of the Roberts 45. Have owned the boat for the past three years with the longest trip being an 800NM trip up the coast recently, plus I have done some shorter trips up and down the WA coast.

Good points of the boat include:
  • very stable in choppy / rough weather. The boat has a very comfortable motion
  • a dry boat. In a recent closed hauled trip in 20-30 knots and choppy seas we were lucky to get the occasional spray over he decks. In contrast some friends in a Van De Stradt 34 5NM behind us described the experience as "submarining" given the amount of green water they had over the decks
  • plenty of room below decks, I have five in my family and for the three week trip had no problems finding enough space. Have had 9 sleep onboard for a weekend trip.
  • boat heaves too very well (have the ketch rig so just use the mizzen)
  • tracks very well; in most conditions can balance the boat with the sails and require very little helm
  • is a nice looking boat (however I am probably biased) .
Bad points include:
  • pointing is not good at all, would be lucky to get closer than 40 degrees apparent. I have the ketch / long keel version so this certainly does not help. If you are looking at a sloop rig / separate keel / skeg it should be a bit better. The majority of people with these type of boats tend to motor sail if they are going into the breeze. My boat has a 98HP which helps; I would suggest at least a 70HP for this size boat so you can make meaningful progress to windward
  • reversing is always an interesting exercise, however it is typical of a full keeler.
  • maintenance on an old boat is a constant issue (mine was built in 1979) however it is no better or worse than similar aged boats.
Like you said a good survey is essential. A lot of these boats were home built however some were also professionally built (mine was professionally built in Melbourne). You have'nt mentioned if you are looking at steel or fibreglass, mine is the fibreglass version.

PM me if you have any other queries.

Ilenart
__________________
ilenart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 07:50   #5
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Ilenart,

Thank you, that's all terrific information. I will certainly PM you, yours is a very similar model and vintage to what we are looking at.

Just generally speaking, the comments from the Vandestat owners certainly tally with my experience of our own Vandestat, which was a terrific boat but I remember spending a lot of time looking at green walls of water, either coming over the bow or out through the cabin windows.

Odd boat.

Matthew
__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 09:37   #6
Registered User
 
stillbuilding's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Boat: Custom Freya 20m
Posts: 961
Swansons good for the task

The Swansons were made well, have proved good cruisers over the years and some have been kept well. They do sail well and can cope with most of the cruising requirements - biminis, self steering etc. A couple I have seen were rather run down but most are owned by real sailors who kept the boats up. Cannot comment on the Roberts.
__________________
stillbuilding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 19:51   #7
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Thanks stillbuilding, seems like a couple of thumbs up for the Swanson then.
__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 22:03   #8
Registered User
 
Cherp's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hobart Australia
Boat: Catalina Morgan 45
Posts: 308
Hi. The Swanson hulls are well built. They're solid glass rather than cored. We have a 36 Swanson 1975 with no hull problems, including osmosis. Both the 36 and the 42 hae been sailed all over the world. I suspect the 42 would be more comfortable, although I don't know how they sail. Things to watch are probably things like the decks. Some of the 42s have teak decks. If they're not been replaced in recent times they would present quite a headache. As others have said, I think a good sized engine (60 plus) would be good. With the 42s, there appear to be some well kept and a bit dearer, and some poorly kept and cheaper. Although in the long run, I expect the poorly kept ones would turn out to be dearer, even if you do all the work yourself. Don't know anything about the Roberts. Cheers and good luck.
__________________
Cherp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 22:37   #9
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Hi Cherp, thank you for that response.

Funnily enough, I did notice one advertised with Plywood decks! That surpised me, but from what you are saying, maybe they had trouble with the teak and did something interesting with ply instead.

From years of maintaining the timberwork on a Van De Stat, I'd probably pull up the teak decks if they were tired (my apologies to those to whom that is sacrledge, but I know my limits).

Having said that, a well maintained wooden boat is a thing of beauty, and I know nothing like them for causing seriously lingering looks from other boaties. Dad's Van De Stat could cause a grounding on a busy day in the bay.
__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 23:34   #10
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
If you are looking to resell the boat at some time the Swanson may be much easier to move..
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 23:49   #11
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Yes, I am getting that impression. A number of Swansons have moved in the few weeks I have been watching.

(Darn it, some of them looked very nice too!)
__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2009, 21:23   #12
Registered User
 
Cherp's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hobart Australia
Boat: Catalina Morgan 45
Posts: 308
GILow....the plywood decks are not a worry. Many Swansons were built like that originally. Our 36 has a plywood deck, which has been dynelled. I stripped back the decks a couple of years ago with a heat gun because the deck paint had built up too much over the years. The dynell over the ply was in good condition. I put a couple of two-pack epoxy prime coats over it for good measure before repainting. Good as new. The original teak decks though are a different matter. By now they would leak and need replacing. While the ply does not look as schmick as the teak, it's a cause of little work and long life versus mucho worko and shortish life. Good luck with your endeavours.
__________________
Cherp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2009, 21:51   #13
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Cherp, more gold from the Swanson owners! Thank you.

Looking at a Swanson AND a Roberts on Saturday. Oh how I would love it if ONE of them turns out to be what we are looking for...

What I'd really like to be doing is trying to source a crew for the trip home on something soon... Need the boat first though.

Fingers crossed.
__________________

__________________
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Roberts Charter 45 Jacothebrave Monohull Sailboats 1 04-12-2008 12:49
Roberts 44 ozmike Construction, Maintenance & Refit 13 09-07-2008 18:56
Adams 40 Vs Roberts 44 Boracay Monohull Sailboats 5 21-08-2006 09:09
Roberts 44 Boracay Monohull Sailboats 1 12-04-2005 04:11
I think its going to be a Roberts BBWolf General Sailing Forum 5 12-11-2003 17:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:59.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.