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Old 07-01-2022, 22:23   #31
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

When I was a kid, a friend of mine and I sailed a Signet 20, with a 16' waterline, down from San Francisco to Santa Barbara non-stop. We covered about 230 miles in 2 days, running, which averages out to less than 5 knots, but still fast for such a little boat. (We were doing a lot of surfing.) The Robb 35 should be able to do 7 knots ok; my friend's Cheoy Lee Luders 30 can do that reaching off the wind pretty easily with 2' less of waterline, and he could do better if he had a folding prop (except I don't know if one would fit in the aperture.) I think those Robbs are beautiful boats and I think you'll have a blast cruising on her.
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:23   #32
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

There used to be a saying that when Choy Lee built a boat they started with a water tank made from stainless of dubious quality and built a beautiful boat around it. The point being that when the tank died it was almost impossible to replace without destroying half the interior.

Having said that, I had a 30ft Robb for twenty five years. Very limited in space, being narrow vs todays designs but what lovely boat to sail. Perfectly balanced, would sail for miles with a bit of elastic from the tiller clipped to a stanchion, very comfy in a blow, a real thoroughbred.
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Old 14-01-2022, 09:39   #33
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Typical classic CCA design. Beautiful lines. However: I had a friend that was an expert Choy Lee broker. He said that Choy Lee build wonderful boats, and Choy Lee built CRAP. And you have to know which is which. Does that boat have a wooden house? And the decks?? I would not pay very much for that boat! If you do buy it. I better be a real bargain. Today, with very old boats all over the place, many people are selling VERY cheap as it can cost a few thousand to have a boat scrapped. The alternative of selling very cheap as in 1 dollar to a couple of hundred can be attractive. I have had a few friends buy and sell in this range. Go very cautiously.
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Old 14-01-2022, 11:48   #34
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Well, as you said, the supply of good used boats in S. Africa is limited.

Some questions:

Are there good surveyors in your area, particulalrly ones familiar with teak decking and wooden spars?

Does she have a diesel or an old Atomic 4 gas engine? If diesel, maybe have a good mechanic go over the engine. We repowered our boat some years ago and the cost was over $20,000 US. If gas, can you budget a new diesel? The diesels are not only safer but you don't need to carry nearly as much fuel.

Does Cheoy Lee have an owners association? These groups can be deep wells of wisdom and even spare parts as you navigate the adventures of keeping an old boat sailing safely and efficiently.

As for the interior volume, we live on a Cape Dory 31 all summer in Maine. The beam and waterline length are similar to the Robb. We're quite comfortable, even in the variable Maine weather. We have a fridge, heat and comfortable bunks (we sleep in the V-berth). We're both average size and weight. So, for the occassional 2-week cruise and unless either of you are inordinately tall or beamy, you should be fine for interior room.

There is nothing quite like the beauty of a classic yacht, and the Robb has many of the attributes of the classics. There's a reason why 102 of the 103 Concordia yawls built are still floating: the boats are jawl-dropping gorgeous and good sailers. So is the Robb.

She'll sail wonderfully. Maybe not the fastest boat out there, but comortable and easy for two crew to handle safely in variable winds and seas.

We did a lot of other repairs and upgrades to our 31 in our 9 years of ownership. Feel free to PM us for more information.

South Africa, Wow! What a wonderful place to cruise.

Cheers,
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Old 14-01-2022, 14:05   #35
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

My wife and I have owned a 1964 Robb 35 for about 10 years. One of the earliest GRP versions. The poster who warned about the hassle of having admirers stop, ask how long and what year she is, and tell you that your boat is the most beautiful one in the marina was correct. Also correct was the comment about the quality of the plywood. We replaced some rotten bulkheads. No big deal. We even saved the tabbing on one side. The boat is a tank and is a dream in a seaway. It has gentle motion with no pounding up and down wind. She is well balanced and has no trouble getting to her hull speed in most winds above 10 knots. We have cruised her extensively in great comfort given the very limited space. She is perfect for single handing. We love the boat, as would most couples who care about her aesthetics, who want a solid seakindly ride in a blow, and who don’t need to bring every convenience and gadget from home to their boat.

My dream boat.
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Old 14-01-2022, 14:24   #36
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

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Originally Posted by areddon View Post
My wife and I have owned a 1964 Robb 35 for about 10 years. One of the earliest GRP versions. The poster who warned about the hassle of having admirers stop, ask how long and what year she is, and tell you that your boat is the most beautiful one in the marina was correct. Also correct was the comment about the quality of the plywood. We replaced some rotten bulkheads. No big deal. We even saved the tabbing on one side. The boat is a tank and is a dream in a seaway. It has gentle motion with no pounding up and down wind. She is well balanced and has no trouble getting to her hull speed in most winds above 10 knots. We have cruised her extensively in great comfort given the very limited space. She is perfect for single handing. We love the boat, as would most couples who care about her aesthetics, who want a solid seakindly ride in a blow, and who don’t need to bring every convenience and gadget from home to their boat.

My dream boat.
I had a very similar boat, the Alberg 35. Same vintage. A sweet boat. Yes narrow beam ( the Alberg 5” narrower) so easily driven. Lots of ultimate stability and tender at first. The only real down fall was that they were built to the CCA rule so had a very short waterline length. This made it slower and with those beautiful overhangs, lots of hobby horsing (pitching) in sea’s that were the “wrong” length. It could practically come to a stop. In the wrong fairly short period waves.
We sailed her thousands of miles and quite a number of A-35s have circumnavigated and crossed oceans. The bottom line is that: every boat is a set of trade offs. Glad that you are enjoying the boat.
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Old 16-01-2022, 10:48   #37
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

She’s a beautiful boat. my only suggestion to add is for you and your wife climb into the V-berth. see if it would work for you.
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Old 12-04-2022, 20:55   #38
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Is it the one at FBYC?
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Old 18-05-2022, 06:47   #39
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

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Is it the one at FBYC?
Indeed!

Wow, a lot has happened since posting the first message in this thread.

I posted the first message before I actually saw the boat in person, so naturally made a lot of assumptions and wishful thinking regarding it's condition.

But to cut a long story short, I ended up buying the boat. Probably overpaid a bit when considering the amount of work that the boat needs, but seeing as it's pretty much the only boat I could find in a span of 3 years or so that ticked pretty much all of the boxes for me, and as I plan to keep the boat for the next 15 or 20 years, I don't mind fixing it up as I go (luckily I actually enjoy working on my boat).
She doesn't need a lot of work to be in a fine day sailing condition, but will need a lot of work to get her to look pretty again after I strip the old teak decks, and just generally renew, fix and paint all the small things. Luckily I have time on my hands.

By the way Harry, how do you know of the boat at FBYC?
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