Steel boats have totally different maintenance problems compared to fiberglass boats. Corrosion is the major enemy on a steel boat, and if the boat was not properly constructed and maintained, internal corrosion will kill it long before anything else does.
Steelboat and Valiente, two of the users on this site are fairly knowledgeable about them, as they own steel boats. Steelboat's website
is well worth visiting, since he has built his 50' steel schooner, and done a very nice job of it. I've had the pleasure of seeing sv Restless in person.
Most Bruce Roberts are custom, but the build quality can vary significantly. Many are home built and the quality can range from superb, as is the case with Steelboat's sv Restless, to miserable. BTW, sv Restless is not a Roberts design, but a Ted Brewer design IIRC.
If you decide to go ahead and consider the purchase of a steel boat, you really need to have a surveyor that is knowledgeable about steel boats. You also need to be much more aware of galvanic and electrical issues, since galvanic corrosion can destroy a steel hull in a relatively short period of time.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.