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Old 28-05-2020, 10:53   #1
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Bruce Robert

I saw a lot of Bruce Robert for sale in the area. One thing that is very strange is always a very low price.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...utter-3545292/

What is the reason behind it? Is it about quality?
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Old 28-05-2020, 17:10   #2
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Re: Bruce Robert

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Originally Posted by maijipo View Post
I saw a lot of Bruce Robert for sale in the area. One thing that is very strange is always a very low price.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...utter-3545292/

What is the reason behind it? Is it about quality?
Most of them are home built, so build quality is unknown. Some are excellent, others not so much.
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Old 28-05-2020, 17:13   #3
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Re: Bruce Robert

Yup, what capt_jgw said. And many vendors don't want to pay for a full survey. Mine was cheap. Built by an ex Royal Navy engineer. Solid, good welds, but he skimped on the interior.
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Old 28-05-2020, 20:45   #4
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Re: Bruce Robert

Interesting that one. Looks quite good actually, in Airex foam. Although doesn't specify if the deck is too.
I think that's his prettiest classic-style hull too. There's one for sale in Aus the same design at the moment and I noticed the nice lines.
The guys on Sailing Nanji have a Roberts full-keel 40' and it seems to get along just fine, and this one has the long fin and serious skeg so maybe not a dog too?
Coming up to Summer for you and that is a great area to explore too...have a look and get a survey...
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Old 29-05-2020, 01:55   #5
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Re: Bruce Robert

I use to own a Roberts Classic 45 and would not buy a Roberts design again. Only my opinion, however I agree with the comments below from another website.

Ilenart

Bruce Roberts is a popular designer of off the shelf plans for amatuer builders. He has probably solds more stock plans than any individual designer. While he has done some reasonably good designs, I am not a big fan of his work. While I think that for the most part Roberts designs conservative simple boats, by any reasonable standard, they are very dated and many of his designs produce just plain bad boats. He has two popular design series, one based on Slocum''s Spray, and the other is a bit more modern. Most of his more modern designs seem to be based on 1960''s and 1970''s thinking, and the science of yacht design has greatly advanced since then in terms of understanding motion comfort and seaworthiness. To me Bruce Roberts designs generally do not seem to take advantage of these lessons. Roberts has refined some of his earlier designs producing some boats that I think are better designs than they were in thier original form. A good example of that is the boat he calls a 434 that someone built as a long range single-hander looks like a nice boat.
More to your specific questions, there are two Robert''s 36''s. The one is a part of Robert''s Spray series. His Spray series boats have less than no appeal to me personally. Having read detailed accounts of the original Spray and the sailing ability of some of the so- called copies of her, I have come to believe that Josh Slocum was the consummate seaman who made it around the world despite the short comings of Spray rather than because of Spray''s sterling virtues. He chose Spray because she was free not because she was well suited for offshore work. Spray began life as a a coastal oyster smack. Why anyone in this day and age would want to use her as a model for a whole line of boats is completely beyond me. But I emphasize this is only my opinion and Roberts has sold a bunch of these things so my opinion is not shared by everyone on this. Having sailed on as lightly longer version of his Spray series, I found the boat to be a miserable sailor and not a boat that I would consider very well suited either for coastal or offshore work.

The other Robert''s 36 was probably a late 1960''s or early 1970''s design. It is a prime example of what I was saying about yacht design and engineering really advancing over the past 40 years but Roberts designs being trapped in a period when yacht design really was not very good. Built to the drawings, these boats were mediocre sailors. But most amateur built versions exceeded design weight and were under ballasted as compared to the design ballast furtehr reducing sailing ability. With the extreme shallow draft of this design they would tend to be tender in relation to their comparatively large amount of drag. That is a combination that results in a dismal performer with real problems at the light and heavy end of the windspeed range.

By any objective standard these are rediculously heavy boats. I strongly believe that weight, in and of itself, has no inherent virtue and is by its very nature a very serious liability. In a design like this the extra weight does not contribute to seaworthiness, motion comfort, strength, or carrying capacity. It just adds to the stresses on the boat and crew.

Which brings us to the other amateur construction issues. Amateur built glass boats generally have mediocre to poor glass work. They are rarely laid up in a condensed period of time which means that there is often contamination and secondary bonds within the laminate, which greatly weaken the impact resistance and increases the propensity for fatique. Amateurs tended to use a lot of fillers, end up with resin rich laminates and use a lot of non-directional fabrics all of which further increases the tendancy toward reduced impact resistance and fatique and a greatly increased maintenance regime. Given the 1970''s build period this is also likely to be a boat that will be prone towards serious blistering problems.

Then there is the idea of building a boat that is little more than a hull and rig. I have been involved in and consulted on a number of these projects. Boats like the boat in question have a limited value even when they are carefully constructed and in perfect shape. The fears about amateur construction and the issues of poor sailing abiltity will always keep a boat like this at the very bottom of the fair market price range for boats of this size.

When you talk about rebuilding a boat from the condition that this boat is in, you are going to be buying a lot of materials and perhaps subcontracting some skilled labor. Like building a car from the spare parts bin, the total cost of materials needed to put a boat like this back together is so extensive that it can easly equal far more than the boat will ever be worth in the open market place and that does not include any payment towards your time and labor. In otherwords rebuilding a boat of a mediocre somewhat obsolete design, with a less than perfect heritage, or home construction, that has already been sunk once, in most cases, makes absolutely no monetary sense.

On the other hand, many people get a lot of joy from working on boats. For them the process of rebuilding a boat may equal or even exceed the joy of sailing a boat and if you are that kind of person then perhaps a project like this might make sense even if it did not make economic sense.

The reality from a time and money standpoint is you would be way better off finding a better designed and built production boat that has been properly maintained and updated. Boats like the one that you are considering in reality can easily have a negative fair market value.


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Old 29-05-2020, 03:06   #6
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Re: Bruce Robert

I have surveyed countless Roberts designs. Some good and some real shockers. If you have the time, you could find a real good one.
Some of the Roberts designs are real floating caravans and you get a ton of room inside. Bruce was never going to design a race winner but plenty of his designs have been around the world.
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Old 29-05-2020, 04:52   #7
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Re: Bruce Robert

I built mine, and I call it a miniature ship, not a yacht. It's very solid, has lots of space, but I made more than my share of errors and the interior is rough. Lots of automatic features on most boats are manual on mine, but the safety features are way above the usual. I got a seaworthy boat that I could not afford to purchase, a home for 2 1/2 years, and a wandering base station. Resale value? My hiers probably will give it away.
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Old 29-05-2020, 05:45   #8
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Re: Bruce Robert

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Resale value? My hiers probably will give it away.
I'm hoping my daughter can have our's when she's older, and we'll probably go plastic. We'll stay liveaboards, but I imagine I won't fancy cleaning rust when I am over 60.
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Old 29-05-2020, 06:01   #9
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Re: Bruce Robert

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I'm hoping my daughter can have our's when she's older
At least that's what I'll be telling her when she's old enough to clean rust
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Old 29-05-2020, 06:05   #10
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Re: Bruce Robert

I built a steel Roberts 38 ketch back in the late 70's....floated around in it for 15 years...it was a sweet boat. Old fashioned, sure...it was a 70's design...but I loved it, safe, solid, and a fair sailor too. Often raced it as well.
It's still around...a new owner....now pushing 40 years...but good as new.

At the end of the day, yes, most Roberts were homebuilt, but many were well built, so a judicious eye is required to appraise one and it will help to be handy with some tools as you will likely want to do some modifications to suite your personal needs.
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Old 29-05-2020, 07:34   #11
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Re: Bruce Robert

Thx for the feedback guys.
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Old 29-05-2020, 07:55   #12
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Re: Bruce Robert

I've seen a few Roberts Mauritius 43 builds. If I were to do it all over again, I'd build that.

From one end to the other, gorgeous lines...just one look at it tells you it's ready to take you somewhere. I've seen both the steel and fiberglass versions. Lovely.

I've seen quite few Robert's builds. The biggest...a 52 footer, again, in both steel and fiberglass. That would have been quite the project. Not for me, thank you.

Yes, some, and I say some can be had relatively cheaply, but look beyond the frills of any boat and thoroughly investigate the important things. The hull, engine, sails, etc...

You can spend $50K on a boat or $500K...but at the end of the day, what do you get for the extra $450K ??

There are probably more Roberts' that have sailed around the world than any other boat.

The modern boat is modern in every way....electric toilets, air conditioning and every other gizmo you can think of. Better built, I dunno, they are mass produced to get the most bang for the buck. If a manufacturer can save a buck by shaving 1/16" of a hull thickness, they will do so. I've seen some modern fiberglass hulls that are shockingly thin, one whack on a piling and you will be in trouble.

So you have to pump your own toilet and hoist your own sails, is that a deal breaker, no, I didn't think so.

As for speed, it's all relative. Sailboats are not very fast to begin with. So you can do 7 knots, while I do 6...but how comfortable and safe are you when the doodoo hits the fan.

I'm not saying that a Roberts is the only way to go as there any number of older " classic" boats out that will also do the job, equally priced low.

That's the thing about older fiberglass boats, they were built like tanks, heavy, yes, but strong and can also be had relatively inexpensively.

You've got plenty of options in the low budget department, not just Roberts, but don't let only price be your guide..
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Old 29-05-2020, 08:24   #13
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Re: Bruce Robert

Thx. The budget is, unfortunately, one of the criteria (we have around 60k for the purchase).
So far we have been looking boat such as the Tayana 37, IP 32. HC38. So far our preference was going to the IP 32 (that enters in our budget) for the main reason that she was newer than the Tayana and HC and less maintenance. Unfortunately, after the survey, we found some unexpected urgent costs (chainplate to replace, missing headsail being the 2 main ones). So we are speaking price and I am preparing plan B (go back to boat hunting)

Our program is coastal navigation for a few years before going offshore. So we were looking for a boat comfortable for 2 people and able to offshore cruising.

The Bruce Robert is intriguing but I think 44 feet is way too big for us and all costs are also blowing up (maintenance, marina etc...). My sweet spot would be a 36/38. We considered the IP 32 because they have the reputation of being very good boat and very roomy for a 32. If we can close the deal on the IP I will have a look to the B.R. and also to a very nice 1985 Sweden Yachts 36. It is a bit over our budget (75k) but you never know...

(we are in WA state)
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Old 29-05-2020, 08:46   #14
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Re: Bruce Robert

Ha, yes, while I was building my Roberts 38, I never considered size, but once I launched it, I thought, holy mackerel, this thing is huge.
But I grew into it and got very comfortable with it's size in short time.

In the same vein, a smaller boat will feel cramped real quick and then you are stuck with it, rather than growing into it.

Yes, bigger boat, more dock payments, etc, it can quickly spiral out of hand. It's a fine line.

The boats you have listed are all good picks, no problem there.

For " liveable" space for 2 people, my opinion is you need a minimum of 36'....around 40' being the sweet spot, not too big, not too small.

Boat length should not be confused with displacement though, which is the true measure of interior volume.

If you are not comfortable...you will be miserable on a boat in short time.

WA is a beautiful area to cruise. Short season, but lovely area, you could spend years cruising there.

Older boats are not necessarily bad. Typically, older boat will have newer equipment and/or more equipment. "Extra" stuff can quickly mount up if you have to buy it yourself.
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Old 29-05-2020, 08:55   #15
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Re: Bruce Robert

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
Ha, yes, while I was building my Roberts 38, I never considered size, but once I launched it, I thought, holy mackerel, this thing is huge.
But I grew into it and got very comfortable with it's size in short time.

In the same vein, a smaller boat will feel cramped real quick and then you are stuck with it, rather than growing into it.

Yes, bigger boat, more dock payments, etc, it can quickly spiral out of hand. It's a fine line.

The boats you have listed are all good picks, no problem there.

For " liveable" space for 2 people, my opinion is you need a minimum of 36'....around 40' being the sweet spot, not too big, not too small.

Boat length should not be confused with displacement though, which is the true measure of interior volume.

If you are not comfortable...you will be miserable on a boat in short time.

WA is a beautiful area to cruise. Short season, but lovely area, you could spend years cruising there.

Older boats are not necessarily bad. Typically, older boat will have newer equipment and/or more equipment. "Extra" stuff can quickly mount up if you have to buy it yourself.
Yes, I always knew that my 27' Columbia would be a play thing. 36' was the biggest we could manage, but with some organisation we are comfortable. When our girl is a bit older it will be possible to make the port quarter berth into a cabin for her. She currently shares the V berth with her mother. I have a double berth in the salon - snuggling isn't practical in the tropics anyway :P
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