Bruce[2].jpg (4158 bytes)
Bruce Roberts-Goodson

Illustrated Custom Boatbuilding.
We recommend that you read
 this hardcover book - Order now
 and we will pay the postage.

VOYAGER 542'S under sail - You can build your own ! 



SEE PODCAST:  Using a Roberts 53/54 as a professional charter operation in Alaska

NEW ! SUPER STUDY BOAT PLANS ... Delivered by DOWNLOAD to your computer within 12 hours of you placing your order.  The study plans have lists of materials & equipment etc & these will be useful in costing out the complete boat. Each STUDY PLAN contains ALL the construction drawings for each material - STEEL & ALUMINUM as applicable to the particular boat plan - with up to 25 sheets per plan!

Lists of materials - Technical information - Numerous construction drawings are all included. You can view & print the drawings in full or in sections. BUILDING PHOTOS are included in the study plan package. PLUS you receive a FREE (value 79.95) e-book BUILD YOUR OWN SAILBOAT. Please note that when you receive your credit or debit card statement the amount will be converted to YOUR local currency.



99.00 - us$128.00 - €115.00
To order STUDY PLANS go to SPECIALS PAGE and click on  99.00 PAY NOW BUTTON





SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: COMPLETE BOAT PLANS CUTTING FILES ... Delivered by DOWNLOAD to your computer within 12 hours of you placing your order.  The plans have all the information you need to build your own boat.. Each plan contains all the construction drawings & CUTTING FILES for STEEL or ALUMINUM construction, plus bonus drawings covering electrical, plumbing and engineering, everything you need to build your boat.

Plus you will receive a DETAIL FOLIO showing how to make many of your own boat fittings, lists of materials and equipment are all included plus all technical information, numerous construction drawings and written building instructions are all included.

You can view & print the drawings in full or in sections. BUILDING PHOTOS are included in the plan package. PLUS you receive a FREE (value 79.95) e-book BUILD YOUR OWN SAILBOAT .. Only available at this price if you order off this page.



995 - us$1,295 - €1,195


VOYAGER 542 - 544 Steel or Aluminum CRUISING SAILBOAT
This is one big robust world cruiser ! Based on the well proven Roberts 532 (many sailing world-wide ) was used as the basis of this new STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES. Already several Voyager 542's have been completed from our STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES and cutting files.
If you are dreaming about having a sail or power boat.... - If you are like me, you want to have a big boat but can't afford to buy one, talk to Bruce Roberts. He always has some type of special sale going on.
The STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES that I have purchased is primed on both sides with "Sigma weld" paint and extremely well cut. The pieces fit like a puzzle with the occasional help from the sledgehammer. Do not be tempted to save money by trying to cut it yourself. My feeling is that you will end up spending much more money and time and you will not get the same results. Go with the STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES!! This is just a friendly advice based on my own experience; nobody is paying me for saying this. 
FOR WOOD EPOXY boat plans & FSP ... SEE  VOYAGER 543
FIBERGLASS  boat plans & FSP ... SEE ROBERTS 532
L.O.D. 16.45 m 54'   4"
L.W.L. 14.8 m 48'   8"
BEAM 4.9 m 16'   0"
DRAFT 2.03 m 7'  0"
DISPL. 30,845 kg 68,000 lb
BALLAST ( includes weight of steel keel structure ) 7,484 kg 22,000 lb
S/A - Displacement ratio   20.86
TWIN KEEL version now available - Email BRUCE for more details.
    SEE similar design in FIBERGLASS  or WOOD EPOXY boat plans & FSP

V542-DOCKING.jpg (25251 bytes)

V542 in one of the dozens of harbours that she has visited in the past two years - You can charter this boat ... PLUS build your own ! See below for more details !

V542-9.jpg (22887 bytes)

Cockpit area of the Voyager 542

Quick note regarding the V542 / V 544  aluminum for Gordon Hellman. Had a chat with Manfred Kanter jr who’s yard is assembling the hull for Gordon. 

They are VERY pleased with the ease of assembly, the marking and the fairness of the STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES.!  The boat now is all closed up, awaiting rudder & chain plate install, and finally windows & hatches.   My correspondence with Manfred indicates they started July and are assembling the STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES, so theyre moving right along..!

Voyager 542 in Italy


Voyager 542 in Italy


Dan and Lena Zackariasson



Hi Roberts-Goodson,
The boat building is moving along. The ballast has already been fixed but not finished yet. The next step is to fix the motor, the shaft, and the propeller, then we will be ready to finish the ballast. I attached some picture for the boat from inside and one for the boat showing the unfinished keel. Notice that we keep some holes in the hull for aeration. Thanks, and best regards,  Mahmoud



Hi Bruce, 
It has now gone 8 months since I started building our boat and everything goes as planned so far. My goal is that I should finish painting the boat in Aug-Sept. We are very satisfied with the construction of the STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES, everything fits perfect.
I have taken at least 200 pictures of the boatbuilding, every picture is one 0,5 Mb and therefore I will only send a few of theme for your information and perhaps interest. Please let us know if you would like some more of theme. We have send some pictures to Edgar  a few months ago.  Best regards
  Dan and Lena Zackariasson






Tamas Toth is building this radius chine sailboat and is doing a beautiful job. We have over 100 STEP by STEP photos of the building of this boat from one of our CUTTING FILE packages - YOU can see all these photos and MUCH more in our super STUDY PLAN package. 



Voyager DS 544

The Voyager DS 544 has a single sheer-line ( No poop stern ) and is otherwise identical to the V542. You choose either the Voyager 542 ( Poop stern ) or the Voyager DS 544 (Single sheer-line) when you order the CUTTING FILES and plans for this sailboat.

Voyager 542 in Italy

Voyager 542 in Italy

Voyager 542 in Italy

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Voyager 542 ... Fore-cabin top.
There are several ways
that the Voyager 542 can
be laid out below decks.

Note the two double cabins aft ... This is a proven charter layout as used in Western Grace.

LONG-KEEL.jpg (9174 bytes)

MODERN LONG KEELS: Above is shown the long keel design for the Voyager 542. This keel has been developed over the past 30 years and benefits from our own experience & the hundreds of reports from owners of Roberts designed boats plus the use of advanced computer design techniques.



Harrison "Smitty" Smith built the AKVAVIT in Stanwood, Washington, with a lot of help from his girlfriend Lori.  Smitty taught Lori to weld and apparently she did a lot of the welding on the AKVAVIT.  I haven't found any bad welds yet.
Smitty sold the AKVAVIT in about 1997 to a couple of partners who fished the boat for albacore.  They fished the west coast and out to Midway and down to Samoa.  I bought the boat from them in 2003





Dear Mr. Roberts – Goodson,

I am the current owner of a steel hulled Roberts 53 ( Now R532 ) ketch.  It was built in 1985 by a commercial fisherman for commercial salmon and albacore trolling and thus it has a fish hold where there would typically be cabin space.  I have owned this boat for five years and I use it for commercial salmon trolling in Alaska.  I have owned and worked on dozens of different boats and this Roberts 53 is my favourite of them all.  I hope to continue making a living on this boat for as long as I am healthy enough to do it.  This is more than a job to me, it is a life that I love. 


There are not many sailboat/commercial fishing boat combinations that work well, but this is one of them.  I use the sails to get out to, and back from the fishing grounds when the wind is favourable.  I use the engine for actual trolling, and for running in no wind or un-favourable wind.  The engine (a Detroit Diesel 371) also powers hydraulic fishing and anchor winches.  The boat holds 1400 gallons of diesel, and on a typical 5 day fishing trip burns around 120 gallons of fuel.


Sincerely, Frank Murray owner/operator of f/v AKVAVIT

VOYAGER 542 - USA - 25th AUGUST 2007

Hi Bruce,  Attached are 2 more photos of my V542, as of Jul29  (last month).  we're currently working on putting the radius plates in place.

We've been very happy with how the STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES comes together and your quick replies to my email questions. Regards,  Manuel


Hi Bruce. Hope you are well. We have spoken to numerous people who are interested and some have cruised with us to evaluate. Had a look at Tim Christensen in Sidney and your new TRAWLER YACHT 55. Looks great. The STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES you supplied is fitting great. Only way to go. On "Western Grace" we offer Private Charters or Join A Group trips in BC Canada and Mexico, and offshore passages of 1-3 weeks, Mexico to Hawaii, Hawaii to Victoria BC, Victoria to California, and California to Mexico.”

Another year has gone by. Western Grace is now on here 4th voyage down South and we have now 43000 NM ( In 3.5 years) under the keel. Needles to say we are now even more confident about her than ever. As we run a charter operation we are very much on a schedule and this means we need a all weather vessel what can take some punishment. The 532 is certainly the vessel for the job. By all standards we are a very heavy vessel but very comfortable. This spring on the passage from Hawaii to Victoria we encountered a full Gale of 55 Kts for about 24 hrs. Behind the low a secondary low formed, a small weather bomb. Around noon the barometer was at 1008 MB and be 2300 hrs 985. (45 KTS) Within 30 minutes down to 980 MB and winds of 75 KTS. Needles to say a bit of a ride but we all did stay dry and warm in the pilot house. By daylight seas where about 33' and breaking over the deck. A few grandaddies shook us up as we where a few time clobbered and had tons of water over the decks.

We sustained some damage as the dodger blew to pieces and the stay sail ripped to shreds due to the traveller car ripping of the track. This was all equipment failure but the vessel it self came through with flying colors. On our return in Canada we learned that a older fiberglass sailing vessel who was within 20 miles of us during the worst of it suffered hull damage (tin canned) hull.

So if anyone who is  considering serious offshore sailing we feel a moderate displacement steel vessel is the only way to go. The combination of a properly designed vessel like the 532 combined with a skilled builder like Tim Christensen will result in a strong, safe and magnificent good looking vessel. Top quality metal vessels retain there value as well. By the way when we departed Sidney (Vancouver Island) we went to see the new trawler Tim is constructing from one of your STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES. Everything seems to be fitting well and the time savings are significant. Building from a STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES is the only way to go. Till next time,   Joanne & John Van Strien  SV Western Grace


I reviewed the web page showing some of the details of SV WESTERN GRACE. (Voyager 542 / Roberts 532) I recently chartered a cabin on this vessel while in Alaska. The boat is absolutely divine! The design is awesome and the performance is superior. Under sail in a mild breeze (20kts or so) we made 6 kts going wing and wing. I sailed the boat and she handles like a dream. Western Grace is truly a showpiece of a vessel & Christensen Yachts LTD Sidney British Columbia (Vancouver Island) Canada did a top notch job in building her. Sincerely Randy Murrah Joshua, TX

Hi Bruce, Western Grace ( R542 / V542 ) is a amazing vessel and we learn every day more about her. We have  now 10,800 NM under the keel since June 2002,  and cruised in all kinds of weather, and are totally happy with the design & performance. We sailed in Ice conditions as well as the tropics and feel safe in any condition.

The most weather experienced so far was 50 Kts for a 20 hour period in the Gulf of Tehuantepec of the Pacific Coast of  Mexico. We were running about 100 miles offshore and made a steady 7 Kts close reach under Staysail and a bikini size piece of Genoa. The boat was well balanced in fact so that we turned of the autopilot. She maintained a steady course throughout with a lot less strain on the rigging than when steered by autopilot. In all this we sat dry inside the pilot house watching the decks going awash from time to time. Waves were steep as there was a large current.

Another time in Costa Rica we had a couple onboard evaluating the design and encountered Papagayo's wind of 40 Kts in the Gulf of Nicoya. Needles to say that Western Grace excels in these conditions and under foresail alone is quit manoeuvrable and fast. They were impressed and since ordered the boat plans and  commissioned a smaller version of the 532/4.

Her manoeuvrability is not limited  to under sail conditions alone as we are quite capable manoeuvring her in closed quarters. She backs up with no problem despite her modified full keel, thanks to the enlarged counter balanced rudder.

A heavy all weather vessel like the R532/ V542 does not have to be a slug either. Most cruiser are looking for a weather window with light conditions, while we take it as it comes and have no trouble in 30 or 40 Kts and have a great sail. We just set a 24 hour record of the coast of Costa Rica of 203 NM in a 24 hour period.

Bruce the 532/4 is a truly remarkable vessel and we can recommend the design for everyone who looks for a beautiful looking, safe, comfortable proven all weather cruiser. Thanks again for a great design. Regards John & Joanne Van Strien SV Western G

Dear Bruce: 
I reviewed the web page showing some of the details of SV WESTERN GRACE. (Voyager 542 / Roberts 532)  I recently chartered a cabin on this vessel while in Alaska.  The boat is absolutely divine!  The design is awesome and the performance is superior.  Under sail in a mild breeze (20kts or so) we made 6 kts going wing and wing.  I sailed the boat and she handles like a dream.  Western Grace is truly a showpiece of a vessel & Christenson Yachts Ltd Sidney British Columbia (Vancouver Island) Canada did a top notch job in building her.  Sincerely Randy Murrah Joshua, TX

Hello Bruce - I happened onto "Western Grace" in Campbell River, BC yesterday - you need to see the exterior finish, and attention to detail on the deck of this boat!  - stainless steel inserts where ever a screw goes into the hull - inset windows (now I see why you promote them) - the best thought out combination of bulwarks, chocks and cleats I've ever seen - bulwark design also makes the railing/stanchion incredibly straight forward - engine air intake, tank vents, fills, and power connections well located and concealed - wide 45 degree intersections at the cabin top/side joint (you know, you could easily incorporate that feature into your STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES hulls, and make them really stand out). The exterior simply has incredible details that should be on your site - and a level of finish that leaves you trying to figure out what the boat is made of.  The inside finish is also superb, the various installations well thought out and executed.

I realize there is a web link to Western Grace from your site, but it does not show the awesome details incorporated into this boat. This is a poster boat for both your designs, and steel sailboats in general - if you ever get a chance to inspect it, take your camera!  Norm Facey

Hi Bruce, Greetings from Alaska. We have sailed (mainly powered) Western Grace to Alaska from Victoria. We logged 1600 nm. The boat performs awesome and we are very please with the performance under power. Our average fuel use has been 1 litre per hour or about 5,5 litres per hour at 6 KTS including heater and gen-set. We found that she handles very good and we have full control over the vessel in reverse despite her modified full keel. We have increased the rudder somewhat by adding a counter balance of about 5 ". This works very well.

We have seen you are thinking off redesigning your Roberts 532 as the VOYAGER 542 . As far as we can see the hull is fine. The only things you can possible incorporate in your STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES/designs is some changes in the deck plan finish. Western Grace is a custom version and the builder has come up with some nice addition to boat plans. We have opted for 4 pilot house windows mainly out of strength concerns but also for looks. We find the vessel looks a lot larger because of it. A good example in reverse is the Grand Banks. Some of the larger Grand banks look from a distance smaller that they are because of using to large of windows.( just a observation)

We are very proud of this vessel and believe we can be a rep for your company by showing the vessel to potential builders and possible taken them for a cruise. The vessel is a real head turner and we have met on our travels several very interested parties who want to build there own version. Our web site does not do the vessel justice and we will send you some pictures on disk if you are interested. We look forward hearing from you. Regards John Van Strien