55′ Bruno & Stillman 55
BVI Yacht Sales Overview
Bruno & Stillman began building 35 to 55 foot fiberglass work boats in 1971. Dick Bruno was the moving force at the plant in Newington NH. Bruno & Stillman’s were known for their ‘Good Bones’ and had reputation for its reliability and sea worthiness in the commercial fishing world. While the company was initially focused on building commercial fishing and lobster boats they would occasionally build them out as luxury trawlers, most commonly the Bruno 35 but including the iconic Bruno & Stillman 55′ Flybridge Cruiser that we have here.
‘Toad Hall’ was commissioned in 1980 and was one of the first vessels of its kind to feature a flybridge, which allowed the captain to have a clear 360 degree view of the boat’s surroundings while at the helm. The vessel was designed by Royal Lowell and the hull, machinery and deck was finished by Bruno & Stillman in Newington, NH. She was then yacht finished by George A. Patten Boatworks in Kittery, Maine. The vessel has also benefited from many customizations over the years. She was launched as ‘Horse’ and later the name was changed to ‘Toad Hall’ by the second owner. The vessel was initially taken to Chicago after launching and later to the Chesapeake by the second owner until the current owner purchased her and took her to Florida and on to the Caribbean in 1990 to begin her journey of over 50,000+ miles…
Contact Chesnee Cogswell today to schedule a showing or for more information on this beautifully maintained, highly customized and truly one of a kind vessel. She is located here in the BVI and the owner of more than 30 years is looking for someone to carry on Toad Hall’s adventures. Many more current photos available upon request. Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of DownEast history!
Why did I buy Toad?
I remember well the day I first saw Toad Hall. It was a cold, damp late December day in 1989 in the upper Chesapeake. Of course I had done the paper side of the boat but Pics never do justice to a quality boat and that was certainly true in this case. When you stepped aboard you had the sense of a proper little ship. My wife and I had always had sail boats so the trawler world was new to us. We had decided to do a few years in the North West US and Alaska. Concluding that it was ‘not ideal sail boat country’ we started looking at power boats. We wanted something in the 55′ to 60′ range which we could handle without additional crew. In those days there were very few trawlers that would be suitable for our purpose. The best candidates were commercial fishing boats that had been converted. I spent a lot of time talking to the commercial guys to see what features they looked for when picking a boat for their purpose and also to see what boats in that market had a good reputation. The Bruno Stillman with their various models was a popular choice in New England among the commercials and at that time was probably the largest builder of commercial boats in the area. For the most part these guys agreed that reliability and sea worthiness were necessities. “Good bones” was a common phrase I heard repeatedly when describing the Bruno-Stillman boats in these conversations. We spent 3 hours on the boat that day and decided that based on a good survey and sea trial this was the boat for us. Early in my boating life I was told by a yachtsman of the old school that although sound design, construction and sea worthiness were essential, at the end of the day when you are rowing away if looking back at your boat doesn’t move your soul you have the wrong boat. ‘Toad Hall’ moved my soul.
In March of 1990, after completion of some survey items, specifically installation of two new fuel tanks and repair of a structural bulkhead, we set sail for Ft. Lauderdale, the first leg of our trip home to the BVI. While in Ft. Lauderdale we removed a wet bar and clothes washer from the saloon/galley area to create a comfortable seating area and needed food storage. In May, we set off with our daughter and friends aboard for a slow trip home to the BVI… thus began the cruising and perpetual evolution of the good ship Toad Hall…and at 33 years and counting she still moves my soul.
- Interior Comforts and Amenities
- Deck and Hull Equipment
- Engine and Mechanical Equipment
- Electrical Systems
- Navigational Electronics
- Safety Equipment
Toad Hall’ has been continuously customized over the years to accommodate a very comfortable life on the water. She features a spacious master aft stateroom with a centerline queen size bed, ample storage around the cabin and a generous ensuite head. Just forward of the aft stateroom to starboard is a full walk-in closet complete with a vanity and plenty of hanging closet space and storage. The closet was actually a cabin at one time and was converted to the walk-in closet and was constructed in a way that it could be easily turned back into another cabin if one desired.
Just forward is the saloon area that was customized to maximize living space with an L-shaped settee to port and 2 comfortable lounge chairs to Starboard. Extra seating as well to accommodate up to 6 people at the dining table. The saloon and galley area have been completely refitted by one of the best in the business, Michelle Picco. He completed numerous projects on board Toad Hall including complex interior carpentry in the galley and saloon as well as fitting the bulbous bow and numerous other projects over the years. The galley has been very well thought out and features some very nice teak cabinetry work, custom fitted microwave, stand up fridge/freezer, stove and very nicely done stainless steel countertops and sink. Robust sliding doors and windows that open on the port and starboard side that allows breeze flow through, making for a very comfortable lounging area.
Just forward and down a few steps is the forward V-berth that was customized to make two full bunks and ample storage. Just aft to Starboard of the V-berth is a full head with shower and the entrance to the engine room just aft.
You can enter the wheel house by ladder from the saloon/galley area up a hatch or up the steps leading up from the aft deck. There you will find 2 very comfortable captains chairs and an ?L? shaped settee with 360 degree visibility and access to all of the navigational electronics. The skipper has the Simrad autopilot control situated at his fingertips and everything needed to navigate the ship at his fingertips as well as an excellent view of the ship’s surroundings. The bridge deck has been very well thought out and features a proper navigation station and desk as well as space for socializing while steaming and an off watch bunk. Through the sliding aft door of the wheel house, in the lee of the bridge, there is a small deck with two chairs and a table to starboard and the BBQ to port. Protection from the weather is provided by a combination of bridge overhang and awning. Then just a few steps down to the cabin top where the dinghy is stored and can be easily launched from.
Aft and down a couple steps is a nice aft deck area with large storage boxes and room to walk around the entire vessel with the safety of a 30″ gunnel wall & beautifully varnished teak handrail with custom SS fittings.
AC Unit Info
- (5 Zone) Marine AC units w/ Reverse Cycle Heating
- 1) Fwd Stateroom 6,000 BTU
- 2) Galley 9,000 BTU
- 3) Saloon 16,000 BTU
- 4) Aft Stateroom 16,000 BTU
- 5) Bridge 16,000 BTU
Interior Equipment & Accommodations
- Sea Freeze Refrigerator/freezer 110v ac/12v dc Compressor
- Two Burner Broadwater stove with broiler
- (2) 20# Propane tanks for Galley
- (2) 10# Propane tanks for BBQ
- Magma Newport Propane BBQ Model A10-918LS w/ Cover
- Nova Propane Shut off valve
- ‘Scentry’ Propane Fume Detector
- Vented Propane Locker
- ‘Seaward’ Water Heater
- Customized Galley Area w/ Ample storage
- SS Sink and Countertops
- ‘GE’ Microwave/Convection Oven
- Sound system throughout the vessel
- TV w/ M5/M7 Satellite Antenna System
- (2) Sofa Chairs w/ Autumns in Saloon
- L Shaped sofa w/ dining table
- Converted the small stateroom forward of the master suite into a walk in closet. Done in such a way that the space could easily be returned to a stateroom should it be desired.
- Custom Built Forward Berths and storage
- Custom Bridge Enclosure creating 360 degree visibility, a proper navigation station, desk, an off watch bunk, balcony aft. A nice space for socializing while steaming.
- Shade screens for windows in the wheelhouse.
One of Toad Hall’s most notable features on deck is the Paravane Stabilizer System that you would normally find on a commercial fishing or boat. The owner also designed and built a dinghy launch and retrieval system on a Gin Pole with block and tackle system so that one could launch and retrieve the dinghy single handed without the need for electric or hydraulic assistance. Enclosing the bridge deck was a significant improvement to the vessel, creating 360 degree visibility, a proper navigation station and desk as well as space for socializing while steaming and an off watch bunk. The bulbous bow is another feature that truly sets this vessel apart from most other trawlers of its era. With the Bruno & Stillmans being designed as commercial fishing vessels they were designed to haul thousands of pounds of fish or lobster in its aft fish holds. It left the trawler sitting low in the bow. The owner did his research and the positive buoyancy of the bulbous bow he added really helped lift the bow enough to restore trim to the originally designed water line. There are countless other improvements including adding more robust doors and windows, building large deck lockers on the aft deck for additional storage, designing an emergency tiller system, designing an improved bowsprit and anchor system making it more robust and a facility for a second anchor at the bow? and the list goes on!
– Custom Dinghy Launch System (Gin Pole w/ block tackle & winch)
*The dinghy lifting system is a gin pole mounted to a mast with tackle and a winch designed to enable one person to launch and retrieve the boat.
– Custom Paravane Stabilizer System
*The stabilizers are a paravane system mounted to a “A” frame constructed of tubular aluminum with an integral ladder to provide access to the mast head. Custom designed and fabricated heavy duty Stainless Steel brackets mounted to the gunnel with backing bar and mount for the stabilizer ‘bird’ when not in use.
– Custom Designed and fitted Bulbous Bow
* R&D on the bulb was done by the University of Vancouver. The owner of Toad Hall was in the Northern Marine yard in Anacortes, Washington and noticed their Pacific Trawler model had a similar hull and waterline to Toad Hall. These vessels had the bulbous bow and after many discussions about the benefits and much thought he eventually purchased one from them and had one shipped to the BVI where it was installed.
Anchors & Mooring Equipment
- Anchor Windlass – Galley Maid BBHW12 with 20FPM Capstan and Wildcat. New control unit in 2022. In addition to the on deck switches there is a remote switch at the helm station.
- Custom Bow Sprit w/ (2) Anchor Rollers
- Primary: 60# CQR w/ 300′ 3/8 series 80 Chain
- Secondary: 45# CQR w/ 20′ 1/2″ proof coil Chain & 42″ of 7/8 three strand rode
- Spare: (1) FX37 Fortress, Fluke 20′ 3/8 BBB and 250′ 3/4″ three strand Nylon.
- Spare: (1) FX85 Fortress, Fluke 20′ 1/2 “Proof Coil and 400′ 3/4” Braid on Braid
- Spare: (1) 75# Fisherman with 20′ 1/2″ Proof Coil and 250’3/4 three strand nylon
- Dinghy Anchor: Lightweight Danforth w. 20′ 3/16 Coil Chain & 40′ 1/4″ three strand nylon
- The foredeck has an 8″ gunnel topped with a stainless hand rail constructed of 1 1/4″ stainless tubing
- From the foredeck aft the side and aft deck have a deep gunnel (30″) topped by a 12″ stainless stanchion and custom teak handrail Stainless Steel fittings and accents
- (2) Customized removable gunnel doors and folding handrail port midship and transom
- Swim Platform with Swim ladder and access gate through the transom
- Canvas – Light brown canvas covers provided for the dinghy, BBQ, life raft and wheelhouse safety rails. Awning covering the aft wheelhouse deck as well as an awning to cover the forward hatch which allows the hatch to remain open for ventilation in the event of rain.
- Teak folding table and chairs with matching canvas on wheelhouse deck
- Custom large deck lockers on the aft deck for additional storage
- SS ladders w/ teak steps leading up transom, up to aft deck and up to bridge
- Fenders & Dock Lines – (5) 3′ by 1′ Polyform fenders and (1) A5 Polyfoam 2′ teardrop finder. (2) 40′ 7/8″ three strand and (4) 30′ 7/8″ three strand. (all three strand new this year) (4) 7/8″ braid on braid of various lengths in good condition.
- (2) fresh water washdown outlets, one on the foredeck and one aft deck
- ‘Aqua Signal’ Navigation & Anchor Lights
- (1) Fore Deck light,
- (4) Bridge Head floods, 2 each port and starboard
- (2) Spreader lights, 1 each port and starboard
- (4) Side deck lights, 2 each port and starboard
- (1) ‘Brinkman’ Q-Beam Spot/Flood 200,000CP/100,000C
- (2) ‘Bowmar’ alloy deck hatches (Aft Deck)
- Built in SS ladder provides access to the roof of the bridge
- The bridge roof is designed to collect rain water and through hose fittings divert it to the water tanks
External Hull Fittings
- Fiberglass rudder blade on stainless-steel shaft provided.
- Single wheel station at wheelhouse using ‘Hydroslave’ hydraulic ram system to the steering arm connecting rods and rudder arms.
- Vessel is provided with reportedly an 18′ long steel primary drive shaft, connected to the transmission via coupling and runs aft supported by two pillow block bearings and is then coupled to a stainless-steel output shaft of reportedly 10″ which exits the vessel at the back of the keel bilge, and has a four bladed bronze 36″ 4 blade propeller attached.
- Vessel is provided with bronze thru hull fittings and seacocks
- Blubus Bow
- Side-Power SE170/250TC 24v Bow Thruster
- Toad Hall features a 475HP Caterpillar 3408T, an 8-cylinder turbocharged marine diesel engine coupled with a Twin Disc 21/2 to 1 and a 2.5″ stainless steel shaft, this Bruno steams along at a comfortable 9 knots (8kts with paravane stabilizers deployed) while burning about 7 gallons per hour at 1400RPM. There is also a generous amount of space in the engine room to conduct any necessary maintenance on engine, generators, AC compressors or battery banks.Engine Hours: 1902 plus 3805 = 5707 hrs. There may be an additional few hours of steaming time that passed between the failure of the old Hobbs and installation of the new one…not more that 50. Based on a cruising RPM of 1350 to 1400 this would equal 3909 Service Units (S.U.).
There is always the discussion of single screw vs. twin. Most of the commercial guys I’v talked to over the years go with the single screw for simplicity and cost. They point out that the main block of the well found engine seldom fails. It’s the things you attach to the engine that fail. Following the example of the commercials I have redundancy by stocking spares for those things attached to the engine that are critical to keep going. There are many other spares for the other non-propulsion systems that are too numerous to mention here but I list the below to make my point for redundancy in the case of a single screw boat. Having these spares has given me a degree of comfort when cruising in out of the way places but honestly, I have never needed any of them. I find a diligent maintenance program to be the best security regardless of whether you have one engine or two.
The list of major spare parts for the engine to be included in the sale are as follows:
- Prop (36″ 4 blade)
- Stabilizer bird
- Heat exchanger
- Starter motor
- Fresh water pump
- Salt water pump
- Hydraulic pump
- Oil pump
- 18′ long steel primary drive shaft supported by two pillow block bearings, coupled to a stainless-steel output shaft of reportedly 10′ which exits the vessel at the back of the keel bilge
- Propeller – 36″ 4 blade
- ‘Hydroslave’ built by Hydraulic engineering Co. w/ helm station on the bridge.
- Side-Power SE170/250TC 24v Bow Thruster
- (2) Jabsco 250CFM 12v Bilge Blowers
- (1) Whale Gulper 360 with auto switch
- (1) Rule 3700 manual switch
The ships circuits are protected by means of two Iso Transformer Marine Isolation Power Transformers
120/230 Volt 50 Amp system powered by shore power connections or onboard generators.
12V for House Bank / 24V for Starter bank & Bow Thruster
- Primary engine start – 24V – (2) LifeLine AGM Starter Batteries rigged in series New 2023
- Port Generator start – 12V – (1) ‘Power King’ Flooded lead acid
- Starboard Generator start – 12V – (1) ‘ACDelco’ 24PG flooded lead acid
- House Bank – 12V – 8 x ‘U.S.Battery’ US2200 6Volt deep cycle batteries rigged in series and parallel. (4) new in 2022 (4) New in 2023
- (1)Northern Lights 8 KW diesel with 1,028 operating hours
- (1) Northern Lights 6KW diesel with 1,334 operating hours
- (1) ‘MasterVolt’ Charge Master 24 volt 30 amp charger New 2023
- (1) ‘ProMariner’ ProNautic 1260c3 Digital Battery Chargers
- (1) Victron Energy Centaur 12 volt 60 amp charger New 2023
- ‘IsoTransformer’ Marine Isolation power transformers
- Trace #2012 inverter/charger with RC2000 remote control panel
- Cruising Equipment Co. E-Meter Battery Monitor
- Alternator: Delco Remy 90 amp series 30. (provides both 12v and 24v)
- ‘Belmar’ Max Charge MC614 Multi Stage Voltage Regulator.
- Shore power cords: (2) 115v 50amp and (2) 220v 50amp
- ‘Side-Power’ Bow thruster
- Navigational Electronics
- Refrigerator in Galley 110v ac/12v dc Compressor
- ‘GE’ Microwave
- ‘Seaward’ Hot water heater
- ‘Samsung’ Flat screen TV
- ‘Sony’ DVD player
- ‘DirectTV Satellite Television
- (1) Mermaid (4) ‘Dometic’ Marine Air AC units
- Sony CD/AM/FM with Dual speakers in saloon
- Pioneer WMS/MP3 with Dual Speakers on the bridge. Two additional exterior speakers outside aft of bridge.
- Primary GPS – CEFC Mod. #BU353S4
- ‘SI-TEX’ Ultima VHF
- ‘Icom’ IC-M45 VHF
- ‘Richie’ Powerdamp Compass
- ‘SI-TEX’ T-280 Marine Radar
- ‘Raymarine’ Tri-data and Wind Instrument.
- ‘Simrad’ AP-44 Autopilot
- ‘Sea 2250’ HF/SSB Controller
- ‘SeaHail’ Load Hailer
- Mount for laptop at helm (Computer not included)
- *The navigation system is a computer based software package by MapTech, Chart Navigator Pro
- Custom Emergency Tiller System
- EPIRB – ACR Electronics Globalfix Pro 406 MHz GPS EPIRB//RLB36
- Emergency Tiller: Provided and noted in serviceable condition.
- Pneumatic Horn
- (2) Orion DYE Markers.
- (8) Type 1 Adult PFDs provided in Pilot House
- (2) Type
- (4) Type IV Throwable Ring Buoys provided in mounting frames on outside of house structure.
- Inflatable Life raft (Out of service date)
- (2) 12V Electric Bilge pumps
- ‘Aqua Signal’ Navigation & Anchor Lights
- Sea Anchor
- (4) Ansul sentry. Two in the saloon fore and aft and two on deck on the lee side of the cabin house (out of date)
- (2) Automatic Haylon1301 automatic fire extinguishers in the engine compartment (out of service date)
- (2) Hand-held Orange Smoke Signals Exp. Date: Mar/2023
- (4) Hand-held Marine Red Signal Flare Exp. Date: Mar/2023
- (4) 12-gauge HP Aerial Signals and Launcher – Exp. Date: Mar/2023
- AB 9.5AL Aluminum RIB provided. HIN: COABM50160K819
- Yamaha 15hp outboard provided. S/N: 15 MSHW 684C S 411972 V
|Max Bridge Clearance||29ft|
|Drive Type||Direct Drive|
|Fresh Water Tank||2 X 158 Gal ()|
|Fuel Tank||2 X 590 Gal ()|