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Discussion Starter #1
Found a 60' design I think I like from Bruce Roberts. :rolleyes:

I'd like to hear what the avid members our forum have on this designer and his boats. Opinions or experiences?:confused:

Want to brag about your boat?:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sasha

Cool,
Can you elaborate? I want to know why.
My dream boat is a steel hull schooner or ketch with lots of room. Roberts has the designs that seem to fit. What don't you like about those boats (Spay?):confused:

How about Dudly Dix? or Ted Brewer?
Am I missing any other good designers of steel boats?:confused:

:D
 

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Bruce Roberts seems to have a good marketing department, insofar as sending out plans. I was once on their mailing list, too. The pleasant-sounding copy describes what the boat is intended for, but fails to mention how long the design has been around or how well it actually performs. Some old designs are classics, but not all of them. Pictures of vessels under way are included, with some testimonials from Papua New Guinea or some such place. The likely builder-owner, after spending untold years putting his bathtub together, isn't likely to be too critical of his "baby", even if it took him months to make a trip others do in weeks. The discounted prices that may make used Roberts designs attractive at first glance are an indication that the market is wary of homebuilt boats of unknown quality that, though they may float, don't necessarily move forward easily or handle well. There are enough used boats of known construction quality and known sailing characteristics that taking a risk with a Roberts design (which may have been modified from the plans by the builder, to boot) probabaly isn't worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Avoid Roberts?

Hmm OK,
Outside ofthis thread I am not hearing any accolades about Roberts boats.

How about Dudley Dix? or Ted Brewer?
Am I missing any other good designers of steel boats?

These guys seem to be in the same business. I don't know about their reputations or any thrid party details about their boats either.
 

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At some level, I agree with the comments above. Bruce Roberts has some reasonably nice design, but he also has quite a few worse than mediocre designs in his catalog. His Spray series, while quite popular, produces designs which would not be very appealing to sailors who care how well a boat sails.

I like most of Dudley Dix's work. He seems to have a good sense of proportion and seems to do the kind of careful engineering and detailing that produces good boats. In the 60 foot range I really like his Dix 64 which (except for its extreme shoal draft for a boat this size) is a very moderate and seemingly well thought through design. His 65 foot Liberte' design sails out of Annapolis, and so I see her underway quite often. I am less impressed with that design.

Ted Brewer is an extremely respected designer of traditional cruising boats. My father owns one his 42 foot FRP production boats and it has been an excellent boat. I am not familiar with his bigger designs.

Tom Colvin is a guy who thinks out of the box. He has designed a wide range of traditionally based metal boats. While all kinds of grand claims have been made for these boats, I think that in reality, these are good solid boats that seem well suited to the non-performance oriented distance cruiser.

I also like the work of Yves Tanton who is a very ingenious designer and who seems to produce very clever designs. The only set of his drawings that I have seen was somewhat incomplete but I don't know whether that reflects that specific owner's objectives or Mr. Tanton's norm.

Van der Stadt is extremely respected for their very high quality steel boat designs. I am more familiar with their midsized modern designs and their 35 to 42 foot older designs, but I have known owners of their larger designs who have raved about their boats.

I worked for the late Charlie Wittholz who had a great eye and was a very conscientious designer. Last I heard, his family was still selling his designs. I worked on a number of his steel designs and I think that watching him work, he was someone who genuinely understood what made a boat work and tried very hard to produce good designs.

If you were going to build a boat this large, I seriously want to suggest that you consider a custom design, a design that works for your specific needs and goals. Only you know what you want out of a boat, and frankly if you are going through the trouble to custom build a boat, then the small incremental cost of doing a custom design only makes sense. If I were going to do a custom design, I would strongly suggest that you contact Antonio (Tony) Dias (Antonio Dias Design 171 Cedar Island Road,Narragansett, RI, 02882). I have known Tony for may years and I really love his work. His designs are beautiful to look at, but more importantly extremely well thought through and carefully crafted.

I do want to touch on the premise of this thread. "My dream boat is a steel hull schooner or ketch with lots of room. Roberts has the designs that seem to fit." and at the heart of it, it sounds like you want a steel 60 footer with an antiquated rig. I think that it would be easier to answer your question about designers of steel boats, if we understood what you are trying to accomplish with this boat. Designers, like the people who buy their designs, have strong design personalities that inform the thousands of design decisions that must be made in the course of producing a design.

In other words,
Do you plan to build this boat yourself, or have a yard build it, or buy a used boat?
What do you plan to do with this boat? (i.e. live-aboard, distance cruise, charter)
Where do you plan to sail this boat?
How experienced are you as a sailor or boat builder?
This is an enormous boat that will take a large crew to handle safely. What is your goal for a boat this big?
Why are you focusing on Steel?

And so on....
Jeff
 

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I would add Steve Dashew's designs to that list for a modern boat in that size range and constructed of aluminium or steel.



Big, fast, comfortable ketches.

I think that building a 60 foot boat fomr the ground up that is not custom made exactly to your specs is like throwing away a million dollars to avoid spending 20,000.
If you are talking about finding existing hulls, then you will find the Roberts stuff to be all over the place in terms of construction quality and "personalised" specs...many of which do not work because they were thought up by the amatuer guy welding the thing together in his backyard rather then someone that has a clue.

Sasha
 

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I'd also mention that Van de Stadt also designs some very good aluminum boats too. Going cheap on a boat of that size seems to be a waste of money IMHO.

It might help to say what kind of sailing you intend on doing, as well as what your budget is for the boat. The upkeep on a 60' steel boat is going to be fairly considerable, especially if you intend on keeping it in a marina for any period of time.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Over the Horizon . ..

Wow - I feeel like I'm in a therapist's office. :D It all started when I was a child . . .

The Boat: I envision a 5 year plan to get this hull into the water. Looking at a live-aboard concept with a trade area to serve as a workshop or cargo hold. Must be cable of open water passage making with a small crew or enough technology to support the basic team of two. Although presently I only see western Atlantic and Caribbean as a sailing area. I also can see it lashed to a pier or anchorage for no more than 3-6 months at the far end, but sailing weekly on the short end. This has a lot speculation to it, and I hate speculation. I wouldn't mind building her myself, both my wife and I are technically savy with just enough artisan to have some flair. I wouldn't mind watching someone do it for me, either. It all depends . . .

Me: Relative to most on this net - I would put myself in the novice category as far as sailing goes. So, I'm obviously starting with the familiar CWR method (crawl-walk-run) into a live aboard situation. We have no kids - I have a pension plan that includes Health care for life - and I can retire at 42 if I should choose to do so. I have a lot more aeronautical that nautical experience. For years, I've commanded a 40 year old 150,000 lbs aircraft with a crew of 5 to 7 men around the world from Thailand to Tinian, and Bahrain to Bermuda. I'm finding the similarities between the two modes of transportation helpful in regards to the larger contexts of navigation, weather, physics, technical issues and crew management. But the simliarities all stop there. I'm cautious and cynical enough to understand that the devil is in the details, and the details are what kills the fun and can often kill people. I'm sort of . . . the wild rover, but no, never, no more . . .;)

I like to have a plan. Plans are necessary to begin any journey, but I find that I'm rarely roped to them. Plans are for planning, execution is what happens when reality sets in. "Never fall in love with a plan. She'll only break your heart."

Hell, when I was a kid . . . I wanted to be truck driver or a soldier. Who'd a thunk I'd be doing both but in an airplane instead. :D

So, there's my profile - NOW where's my boat?? ;)
 

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If you are intending to build a 60+ foot boat from the keel up, you must be entertaining a significant budget. (Building your own boat is not really a cost-saving way to do things, especially at that size)
It would seem to me that if you're that committed to your plan (which is certainly intriuging) that the cost involved in getting a custom design that suits your needs as precisely as you can now anticipate would be relatively small portion of the total project and should pay dividends down the road.
I'd say you should be shopping designers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Links . .

By the way - thanks for the links guys - I am checking them out.:)
Some good points are being made and I am taking copious notes.

I'm also very maintenance sensitive and would like to hear about some of the newest tech on steel vs aluminium as far as maintenance and durability (corrosion). Seems like eveytime I turn around someone has suitbale opinoin that flips the last one. (New alloys or paint, cost vs durability, workability vs cost, etc)

Fascinating . . .

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Faster

Faster said:
I'd say you should be shopping designers.

I'd say you're right.
So what do you think of Brewer, Stadt, Dudley Dix . . . and all them?

I'm fishing for opinons (good, bad and ugly).
 

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A couple of anecdotal tales:

An acquaintance has (and had built) a custom Brewer 42, in aluminum as an offshore boat and they are very happy with it. It is a conservative looking boat, with a very liveable interior plan. It has been down the west coast a couple of times to Mexico, but in the end spends most of her time coastal cruising (and casual racing!). Brewer has a proven track record.

Years back I met a fellow from Wash state who had built a semi-custom hardchine version of the Norseman 440, also in aluminum. This Perry production design was modified by Perry for the builder, and the result was impressive. It helped that the builder was something of a perfectionist.

Dix has a good reputation for easy-to-build designs that perform well. In this world of instant communication his being in S.A. should be no obstacle.

v.d.Stadt has eons of experience in this medium.

All the above would have a long list of designs under their belt - perhaps one of their designs could be tweaked to suit your needs and/or reflect more modern thinking, rather than starting from scratch.

Best wishes for your project however you take it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Modern vs Traditional

Wondering how much "curb appeal" or "pier appeal" I can work into a boat, but still take advantages of modern technology.:rolleyes:

Love the look of a old traditional schooner, who doesn't? But an efficiently designed boat would tend to lean toward a space age - modern look that can be dated rather quickly.:eek:

There must be examples of classy boats that also sport hydraulic winches, wind gens, solar panels, antennae, etc.

:confused: Anybody have any links to these examples? (The "Compass Rose" is one example.)
 

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Not cruisy, but along those lines:

http://www.spirityachts.com/sy-spirit-46.htm


However this is where a custom design can be the ticket. Your designer can perhaps give you the "look" you're after, but hide a modern efficient underbody. The biggest downside is to get the performance you'll lose displacement which means your "shippy" looking boat will have less storage and weight-carrying ability than you might expect. However at 60 feet you can probably get enough of both.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Faster

r u a designer? :eek:

You tryin' to sell me something . . . .:rolleyes:

Just kidding,

The Spirit web site has a great blend of modern & traditional. It has some great examples in there. The basic design does look like a large day sailer for racing. Open exposed cockpit and all. Awesome lines, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Review

OK,
I got a hcance to sit down and review the advice coming in on designers. Here's a summary.

Bruce Roberts - cheap, get what you pay for risky?
Ted Brewer - a player
Dudley Dix - people like his stuff
Tom Colvin - curiosoity?
Yves Tanton - solid and experienced, fast yachts
Van der Stadt - solid and experienced, ditto
Charlie Wittloz (RIP) - strongly recommended
Tony Dias - strongly recommended
Steve Dashew - looks nice, cutting edge stuff

Anyone see a key player missing, here?:confused:
 

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Shack said:
r u a designer? :eek:


Well, yes! included in my portfolio is a 7.5 foot sailing pram designed and built 20 years ago, and...... um.. actually that's it.

So no, I'm no designer. But I'm really intrigued by your idea and envy you the opportunity to build a project on that scale from the ground up, so to speak. And, like you, I find the concept of a traditional look over a "sleeper" quick underbody a pretty neat idea.

I see you left Robert Perry off you list - he may be worth consideration as well.

However you go, best of luck.
 

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Sometimes I think this place should be change its name from Sailnet to 'Field of dreams', with the tag line 'build it and they shall sail'. I must say that you are thinking really huge considering how little sailing experience you say you have. Designing and having a custom boat requires a vast amount of informed decisions. A great yacht designer can help steer you through the process but ultimately there are a whole lot of subjective decisions that have to be made along the way and with all due respect when you talk about a boat this large, it is really hard to develop the kind of knowledge base that will allow a novice to make the right call, and the wrong call can prove very expensive if not lethal. As we used to joke on a similar subject, building boats based on good marine design decisions is expensive, but building based on bad decisions is wildly expensive.

Which is not to say, 'Don't do it'. Which comes back to the question at hand.

I would agree with the suggestion that you add Bob Perry to your list. In many ways, Bob Perry is a good as they come when it comes to designing cruising boats. He has a great eye, good common sense, good engineering skills, understands what it takes to produce good performance and good sea manners, and lots of experience. He's also a good communicator and a very decent person. I have heard second hand that he is also very reasonably priced for someone of his expertise and experience.

Although not the first name that might come to mind for a cruising boat, Bruce Farr designed a series of really wonderful cruising boats in the late 1970's and early 1980's that would be really super cruisers even today. I own one of the 38's from that series, and have sailed on one of the 54 or so footers. Great short-handed sailing boats. I think if I were looking for my ideal distance cruiser over 50 feet, an updated version of Farr Design Number 86 http://www.farrdesign.com/086.htm would be near the top of my list. Modifying an existing design by a top notch designer may actually be a very reasonably priced way to go. Tech support at Farr has been excellent.

Another designer who I really like is Jay Benford. Jay is very much out of the Ted Brewer mold, but I think that Jay has stayed a little more current in his thinking than the venerable Mr. Brewer. I know Jay personally and have always thought he would be a great guy to work with.

I also like Robb Ladd from Annapolis, Maryland. I have known Robb for over 25 years and he's very good at what he does. He designed Patience Wales' (from Sail Magazine) boat a few years back and I was very impressed with that design.

Karl, (dawg-gone-it I am drawing a blank on his last name) at Chesapeake Marine Design has a really nice eye and I think would produce a very nice traditional design. Also he's just a good guy just to talk to.

Then there is Chuck Paine (C.W.Paine) who has a sterling reputation. His design for Reindeer, an adaptation of which eventually became the Morris 45, was one of the most impressive modern cruisers that I have seen in recent years. Several years ago, I ran into Reindeer at Bert Jabins yacht yard in Annapolis and I found myself standing there just gawking in awe at her design.

Other advice, if you plan to sail the boat shorthanded, I would seriously give up the idea of a traditional schooner rig. Schooner rigs are neat to sail if you have no where to go or are a museum ship, but really are not very practical for distance cruising.

In that size range, and with a concern for safety and durability. I would give serious thought to some of the new Marine Aluminum Alloys. Although aluminum sounds expensive by the pound, priced by equal strength and equal size, there is a lot less weight to be purchased.

I would also consider sheathed cold-molded wood construction, which again is probably one of the least maintenance and one of the highest strength per pound techniques that you can use in that size range.

End of lunch so back to work,

Jeff
 
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