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Old 03-03-2019, 06:39   #1
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Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

I'm looking at buying a Swanson 36 (should read Roberts 36)with the purpose of long term cruising. Anybody can share his experience with this design? Strong and weak points?
I cannot find much data online.

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:56   #2
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

I don't know , it looks like an interesting boat that probably will offer comfortable sailing , but looking online I noticed a lot different designs .
The ones I saw seems to have some weaknesses but overall looks like a nice cruiser if it's within your budget and you like it I don't see why not , if you plan for offshore spent some time and reinforce some areas with stringers .
Not my kind of boat , but definitely interesting
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:18   #3
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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I don't know , it looks like an interesting boat that probably will offer comfortable sailing , but looking online I noticed a lot different designs .
The ones I saw seems to have some weaknesses but overall looks like a nice cruiser if it's within your budget and you like it I don't see why not , if you plan for offshore spent some time and reinforce some areas with stringers .
Not my kind of boat , but definitely interesting

I also noticed many different designs. It's a bit annoying with many of the AU made boats that there is little accurate info for them online.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do this but here is the link for the one I'm looking at:
https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...erts-36/183053

Which areas did you notice weaknesses?

Thanks
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:07   #4
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

That Roberts 36 is a great looking boat! I've been toying with the idea of building a Roberts boat but I'm still ambivalent with a few other styles and designs. If the one you linked is a Bruce Roberts design (he has a Roberts 36), then you can check out its web page:


Boatplans ROBERTS 36


From the web page, they seem to get around! Roberts offers a lot of plans and he'd probably be amenable to a quick phone call if you have questions. His site offers study plans too, so if you buy the boat you could purchase the study plans and get some insight into the design.


Best wishes and fair winds!
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:44   #5
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

Thanks guys
I e-mailed Bruce asking to identify which design version is it.

Anybody around with experience on these Roberts and would like to share his knowledge?

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:54   #6
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

As a kid, I sailed aboard a R36 with my family from California across the Pacific to NZ. It’s been a while but I still love that design and have many fond memories from my childhood sailing her.

It helped us survive a few pretty mean storms and a lightning strike where other boats didn’t.
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Old 03-03-2019, 14:54   #7
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

Looks like there's typo in the initial post (Swanson 36), and that the title (Roberts 36) is correct. Who built the boat you're looking at? Many Roberts designs are home built, and construction values can vary wildly. The hefty 70hp engine and 3-bladed prop, along with the hard dodger/cockpit surround make this one seem more like a motorsailer. The prop is not going to help performance under sail. The two sails - (possibly original?)- may not help much with performance under sail either. As noted above and elsewhere, people have managed to take some of these boats on wide-ranging voyages. If this one is well built, maybe it could too.
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Old 03-03-2019, 22:38   #8
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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Looks like there's typo in the initial post (Swanson 36), and that the title (Roberts 36) is correct. Who built the boat you're looking at? Many Roberts designs are home built, and construction values can vary wildly. The hefty 70hp engine and 3-bladed prop, along with the hard dodger/cockpit surround make this one seem more like a motorsailer. The prop is not going to help performance under sail. The two sails - (possibly original?)- may not help much with performance under sail either. As noted above and elsewhere, people have managed to take some of these boats on wide-ranging voyages. If this one is well built, maybe it could too.

Sorry about the typo. I can't see how to change this.

I also think they overdid if with the hard bimini and it could probably be a serious disadvantage in some points of sail or in bad weather. But I think this could possibly be made smaller at a low cost.
70 HP is indeed an overkill and perhaps I could sell it and buy a 30hp yanmar( if it could lower my consumption).
About being a motorsailer, you think it might just be very slow? I suppose itll have to be determine on a sea triel.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:40   #9
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

Switching engines is mighty pricey. You might have to remove/replace interior furniture to do it - a major hassle and added expense. Before getting to a sea trial, compare the sail area and displacement of this boat with others that you know. Slow is a relative term, but the recent Golden Globe races perhaps showed that faster boats can sometimes avoid problems with bad weather better than slower ones.
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Old 04-03-2019, 13:30   #10
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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Originally Posted by sailor Martin View Post
I'm looking at buying a GRP Swanson 36 with the purpose of long term cruising. Anybody can share his experience with this design? Strong and weak points?
I cannot find much data online.

Thanks!
I'm a little confused. I did not get a link to either boat here but I can assure you there is no similarity between a Swanson 36 and a Roberts 36. There are several good Swanson 36's for sale at the moment. I would buy a Swanson 36 any day but would pass on the Roberts.
The Swanson 36 comes in two versions as well, some shallow draft and some with the deep keel. I would search out one of the old Sydney Hobart racers with history my self because I like to sail. The shallow draft keel version is easier to slip. There were a lot of these built and like all the Swansons only a few were factory fit outs so they can vary a lot. Early versions had bubble cabins later versions long cabins but the cabins can vary. Head room is short on bubble cabins. Most cases the cabin and cockpit is fibreglass and the decks plywood. Some have teak decks.
This boat is a long cabin version with a shallow keel.
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wool...ale/1210492902
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Old 04-03-2019, 13:42   #11
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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I'm a little confused. I did not get a link to either boat here but I can assure you there is no similarity between a Swanson 36 and a Roberts 36. There are several good Swanson 36's for sale at the moment. I would buy a Swanson 36 any day but would pass on the Roberts.
The Swanson 36 comes in two versions as well, some shallow draft and some with the deep keel. I would search out one of the old Sydney Hobart racers with history my self because I like to sail. The shallow draft keel version is easier to slip. There were a lot of these built and like all the Swansons only a few were factory fit outs so they can vary a lot. Early versions had bubble cabins later versions long cabins but the cabins can vary. Head room is short on bubble cabins. Most cases the cabin and cockpit is fibreglass and the decks plywood. Some have teak decks.
This boat is a long cabin version with a shallow keel.
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wool...ale/1210492902
I'm also looking at some Swanson 36s at the moment so hence my typo. Again, sorry about that.

Here I's a link to a particular Roberts 36 that Im interested in: https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...erts-36/183053

Why would you pass on the Roberts?

Thanks
Gal
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Old 04-03-2019, 14:06   #12
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

Don’t know anything about a Swanson, but that appears to be the R36 – one of the first of the Roberts designs to really take off… very long keel, relatively mild beam and modest draft by contemporary standards, a very conservative, sea-kindly design if its the one I think it is – probably depends entirely on who built it – if memory serves some where finished with a large solid dodger as pictured and larger power, more of a motor sailor, but also a flush-deck forward… liked the trunk style better.
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Old 04-03-2019, 14:10   #13
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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Don’t know anything about a Swanson, but that appears to be the R36 – one of the first of the Roberts designs to really take off… very long keel, relatively mild beam and modest draft by contemporary standards, a very conservative, sea-kindly design if its the one I think it is – probably depends entirely on who built it – if memory serves some where finished with a large solid dodger as pictured and larger power, more of a motor sailor, but also a flush-deck forward… liked the trunk style better.
Should I be worried about it going under the definition of a motor sailor(if it's true)? Dose that mean it's less sea worthy or less fast under sail?
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Old 04-03-2019, 14:32   #14
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

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Originally Posted by sailor Martin View Post
I'm also looking at some Swanson 36s at the moment so hence my typo. Again, sorry about that.

Here I's a link to a particular Roberts 36 that Im interested in: https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...erts-36/183053

Why would you pass on the Roberts?

Thanks
Gal
I have to go past a fibreglass Roberts 34 each day. It is a much newer Roberts design with a fin keel but they don't sail well either. That seems a lot of money for an old boat that does not seem to go to sea. I would expect lazyjacks at least. Looks like it would be a comfortable motor sailer well set up for harbour living. Is that an anode in the middle on the starboard side?
The market is gold for buyers here now and will only get better. If your going to drop 65 grand there are some superb boats about. I would not be looking at either a Roberts or a Swanson in that price range.
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Old 04-03-2019, 14:33   #15
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Re: Roberts 36. Suitable for cruising?

Both boats you are considering are excellent boats. I sail a Swanson but have sailed on the Roberts 36 and was impressed by its space and ride. It handled chop better than my Swanson but most boats do.

I’d certainly take a good look at the one you have linked. I wouldn’t worry about the large engine. The whole “have to run the engine at high output” myth has been debunked lots of times but still gets trotted out again and again. If the engine is non-turbo it will be fine. If it is turbo you may have to run it harder than you’d like but that’s not the end of the world and does not somehow magically make the boat a “motor sailer”. It just makes it a boat with extra engine power available when needed. And you are planning to SAIL this boat right? So who cares how much HP you have if the engine is turned off. Sure, the extra weight is not great but it’s down low , close to the middle of the boat and in practice is probably only another 100kg overall.

If dragging the big prop is a problem (debatable, once you get to hull speed it will make very little difference, have a look at the various international race handicap numbers to see how little difference a folding or feathering prop makes) then buy a feathering prop. Kiwiprop would be about AU $3k.

Nice boat. Well with a look.

But then go and buy a Swanson because they are even better still. (I may be biased)
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