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Bruce Roberts 53

2001 Bruce Roberts 53 now for sale. Suitable for private cruising or light commercial.

Rugged is the most typical comment by mariners examining RV Llyr's steel hull, high freeboard, sturdy spars and rigging.

Then follow exclamations of how roomy and bright her interior is when they go below and find how a 16' beam and high freeboard open up 9' of clearance in the interior cockpit/salon/galley panelled in sunny white Baltic birch with teak trim; 27 windows and 7 Moonlight hatches, plenty of headroom and no tight squeezes moving fore or aft.

Further comments of appreciation are for her elegant compound round-chined hull, roomy walk-in engine room housing a Perkins/Sabre M90, over-built rugged and beautiful custom storm sails designed with Dimension Polyant by Doyle Sail's senior vice president, extended fuel range, and robust mechanical and electronic components more typical of larger commercial vessels.

Research Vessel Llyr (original name “Mother of Perl”) was built in Estonia and Riga, Latvia 2000 to 2001 as the personal vessel of American NOAA benthic mapper, Captain Ben Smith.

This heavy displacement vessel is a modified Bruce Roberts 45' steel ketch that is 53' in length overall, 16' beam, full keel with skeg rudder, and 28 tons.

RV Llyr contains numerous unique features and custom designs described below. Ben selected the Hop Tai shipyard in Estonia for foundation construction because they combined affordable costs with a unique, traditional construction method that used external frames, wedges and a team wielding heavy mallets to hammer elegant, round chined compound curves into the ship's hull mated to a robust steel deck with expert welding and tight intercostal framing.

Traditional Nordic white Baltic Birch panels and teak carpentry completed a roomy and bright interior.

After hull construction and the basic installation of the boat's Perkins/Sabre M90 diesel engine, the boat was driven across Baltic waters to Riga, Latvia where high quality spars, heavy fixed rigging, welded stainless chainplates, winches, blocks and electronics were fitted.

During her ten years of operation with Captain Smith she sailed the Baltics and historic canals, the English coast and then down to the Canary islands and Tenerife before spending several years exploring the Caribbean both with Captain Smith's family and, at times, chartered under his command. She returned to her home port of Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 2008 for several years of inactivity and then our conservation organization Island Reach acquired her in 2011 for $115,000usd.

Over the next year we invested $90,000usd in extensive material upgrades using our own labour where possible. After this comprehensive refit (documented in the vessel's detailed maintenance records and photos) our family and team have operated RV Llyr along the Downeast Maine coast, in the Caribbean working in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Providencia, and Panama and then across the Pacific through the Galapagos, the French Polynesia islands of the Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Societies', the Cooks, Tonga, and Fiji to her working life over the past four years among the remote islands of Vanuatu.

Each year Llyr returns to Vuda Marina, Viti Levu, Fiji to her reserved cyclone pit for 7 months of safe storage and then our next refit.

Each year, from 2011 forward, Island Reach has expensed on average $7000usd on additional equipment upgrades, costs that are distinct from maintenance, storage, and operational expenses.

Our goal in introducing you to RV Llyr is to convey our deep attachment to the vessel, expressed in our extensive commitment to maintaining here in peak, expedition-ready state.

She has extensive spares including sails,charging options and expedition ready kits.She has new paint above and below and extensive communication equipment,dual hydraulic helms with electronic throttle control,Comnav autopilot.

She has  a new dive compressor.Her main engine has just been serviced and has a log of all services,upgrades and maintenance.

Her steel hull  is preotected with Defelsko UTG Positector ultrasound.

We offer you full transparency about her broad capacities as well as challenges which are all documented in Llyr's detailed maintenance records.

Her experienced expeditionary owners method was to sail the weather, never the clock, and to focus on safety through building into RV Llyr redundancy of high quality components so that, from propulsion, to energy needs, to navigation, communication, sail and safety equipment there is backup in place and ready.

RV Llyr is currently in prime condition, carefully maintained with full fuel tanks and state-of-the-art sails ready to set sail right now from Fiji, the hub of South Pacific cruising grounds, for the next adventure. For seven years Research Vessel Llyr has given her family and team a rugged, reliable and generous platform for blue-water adventures beyond count.