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  #1  
Old 09-27-2007
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Bruce Roberts Offshore 38

Looking for feedback from anyone who has sailed a Bruce Roberts Offshore 38. We are looking at a steel, cutter, aft cockpit, built in 1984. Would also appreciate any opinions on this design. Thanks
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Old 09-27-2007
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Opinions ??? No shortage of those here ... Probably a good idea to ask Valiente about steel, he has a steel boat and seems to like it. I've never sailed a Bruce Roberts, so can't help you there. The company doesn't make the boats, they sell the plans and the boats are all home-built so quality varies wildly from boat to boat.

They are not great performers, but they're not designed to be. I think that the majority of owners are people who are a bit more individualistic than the average sailor.

There is a metal boat forum where you'll probably find some information on them... http://www.metalboatsociety.org/forum.htm
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Old 09-27-2007
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Corrosion never sleeps... making sure the interior is well coated and dry is very important. You'll need to get a surveyor that has experience with steel boats.
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Old 09-27-2007
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Roberts designs are very popular, just like bad sex.

I think about one or maybe two out of 10 ever made (and there are several THOUSAND out there, according to Roberts...although I bet most of those are still in the backyard) sail up to the designer's expectations. When done right, they are tough, go anywhere boats, but to do them right, they need to be assembled from CNC-cut kits (and assembled by skilled welders), or built by REALLY skilled welders who are also machinists.

I've stepped aboard a few now, and seen one worth even taking for a sail test. The rest were ill-finished, lop-sided, indifferently welded or insufficiently zinc/tar coated to pass muster even in the Great Lakes.

If you find a good one, you'll be lucky. I think they are out there, but rare.
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Old 09-28-2007
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By the same token, while build quality generally is amatueish or worse, they have a reputation for having a notoriously poor sailing ability as well.
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Old 09-29-2007
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True, but my point was it would be hard to discern the poor sailing attributes apart from a crappy, overdone, lopsided, indifferently ballasted backyard build.

I saw one here in Toronto that wasn't too bad (probably never seen salt), but even from eyeballing the exterior it looked as if it would point differently on either tack.

I've seen a couple that looked good and reportedly sailed well. Both were from BR's shipped kits. This makes me think that the crappiness is 90% execution, which is quite reminiscent of ferro boats. I've seen a couple of beauties in that line as well, but I've seen more tipped over in boat graveyards, awaiting the jackhammers or the chance to be part of an exciting future in breakwater construction.
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Old 09-29-2007
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Let me put it this way, looking at the steel versions with their huge L/D, tiny SA/D in low aspect rigs, small Bal/D and huge amounts of wetted surface, I can't imagine that they can possible sail well. I have never heard anyone claim that the smaller Roberts designs reportedly sailed well but as you have said perhaps some of the poor sailing ability may be about execution. To me these are sailboats for people who don't really want to sail.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Let me put it this way, looking at the steel versions with their huge L/D, tiny SA/D in low aspect rigs, small Bal/D and huge amounts of wetted surface, I can't imagine that they can possible sail well. I have never heard anyone claim that the smaller Roberts designs reportedly sailed well but as you have said perhaps some of the poor sailing ability may be about execution. To me these are sailboats for people who don't really want to sail.

Respectfully,
Jeff
I would tend to agree. The only ones I heard about that sailed at the very least "adequately" (which is subjective, to say the least), were the larger models, like the 434.
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