You are talking 3 vastly different boats.
The Gulfstar was built to be an inexpensive, lightly built boat with many shortcuts taken to save money
The Irwin was built to be a heavy charter
boat, and was never intended to sail well.
The Kelly Peterson: Jack Kelly had a boat yard in California
, wanted to go cruising, so had Doug Peterson design him a “perfect” cruising boat, thinking he would build 10 of them, sell the first 9 and take the 10th one for himself and go cruising. They were such a success that couple of hundred hulls later, Kelly hadn’t left for his voyage but had a thriving boat building business instead. The hulls were built in Taiwan
and shipped outfitted in the united states.
Now I could be biased because I have a KP 46, which is a great boat. (It is basically a KP 44 with a couple of extra feet added in the middle). But I have seen KP 44s and KP 46s all over the world, and the people cruising on them have unanimously loved them. They are very good sailing boats, and they are designed not as a charter
boat but as a world cruising boat.
As has been said they had a problem with corrosion
in their water tanks
and fuel tanks
. The Taiwanese copied the plans and built a few their own versions, of which many have a quality control problems, but Jack Kelly had his own people supervising his hulls being built.
My own boat, I have very few complaints about, which says a lot. I have owned and sailed Aldens, PJ Freres , Hallberg Rassy
and others and the KP is top line with them. She sails
well, balanced, fast, and an easy motion. When you open a locker it is lined, and usually lit, no raw fiberglass
. The engineroom has room to work on the engine
. The boat is not clacked together, and as you move through it, you find hand holds where they should be, and everything is well thought out and well constructed.
There simply is no comparison between a Kelly Peterson and the Gulfstar or Irwin.