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Old 03-04-2015, 07:48   #1
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GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Here's my short list... Gulfstar 44 - Irwin 43 - Kelly Peterson 44 ...

The GS 44 and I43 would likely be 1985 and newer, the KP 44 likely 1979 or so.

Operating out of St Augustine and sailing coastal US with occasional passages to Bermuda, Bahamas and Caribbean.

I've researched all affordable center cockpits 42' to 45', have at least stepped aboard the GS 44 and KP 44 but have not sailed any of them.

I'd welcome assessments, comments, etc comparing just these 3 boats.

Thanks!

Yes, I'm experienced and 99.9% sure we're going with a center cockpit design.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:03   #2
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Gulfstar is notorious for poor hull laminate quality (read lots of blisters )and the cabin floors are built like house construction 2X4 s on metal hangers ----no structural strength provided to hull. The KP are always found very cheaply priced so must be built cheaply. Irwins??? LOL Some Irwin 37s are simply given away they are so decrepit. Myself I have a Brewer 12.8 CC that's fantastic.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:45   #3
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
Gulfstar is notorious for poor hull laminate quality (read lots of blisters )and the cabin floors are built like house construction 2X4 s on metal hangers ----no structural strength provided to hull. The KP are always found very cheaply priced so must be built cheaply. Irwins??? LOL Some Irwin 37s are simply given away they are so decrepit. Myself I have a Brewer 12.8 CC that's fantastic.
Found this posted online by a B12.8 owner - "I recently bought a 1983 Bewer 12.8 hull 6 of 9 . The previous owner got mad at the centerboard and dropped it in the bay at Luperon D.R. He said it slowed the boat half knot when initially lowered, Made thump thump noises all the time, and worse thing the board had a restraining wire that vibrated at speeds over 6kn!"

Has your experience with a centerboard been similar?
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:26   #4
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Found this posted online by a B12.8 owner - "I recently bought a 1983 Bewer 12.8 hull 6 of 9 . The previous owner got mad at the centerboard and dropped it in the bay at Luperon D.R. He said it slowed the boat half knot when initially lowered, Made thump thump noises all the time, and worse thing the board had a restraining wire that vibrated at speeds over 6kn!"

Has your experience with a centerboard been similar?
Actually that is my quote-since then I bought a new centerboard from original molds and completely re-engineered the "shoe' and solved the centerboards problem-which was that the original shoe was not high enough -it was 4 1/2inches high-I made it 12 inches high. the 'restraining wire is not needed(it was a rope anyway and never vibrated). This boat needs the centerboard.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:21   #5
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

We had a KP44 surveyed before we bought our boat and they are great boats but many have metal issues with tankage and on the one we checked out had serious issues with the rudder. The KP44 has a great owners site and many have addressed the rudder problems


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Old 03-04-2015, 10:41   #6
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Here's my short list... Gulfstar 44 - Irwin 43 - Kelly Peterson 44 ...

The GS 44 and I43 would likely be 1985 and newer, the KP 44 likely 1979 or so.
I wouldn't think at all about '1985 vs 1979' when looking at a boat. I feel the precise numeric age is a distraction when shopping for an older boat. What really matters is how well the previous owners cared for it, and that overrides any difference between ~30 and ~36 years old.

Of course sometimes the model year is important because the manufacturer changed something important. But otherwise I think it's a smoke screen.

I'm happy that these boats are now so inexpensive. I'm feeling old, but when I first started cruising the KP 44 was, like, the bees knees to some friends of mine. Their fantasy blue water cruiser. To now see them in the <$100k range is so great for people shopping now.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:47   #7
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

If you find a KP44 in good condition, that's the one. They have been everywhere. Issues?, every boat has issues....how minor or how major are the issues.
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Old 04-04-2015, 00:01   #8
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

The KP compared to the others mentioned is in a league of its own. Fantastic sailers, tough and seen every where. A heck of a lot of them have circumnavigated safely.


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Old 04-04-2015, 08:30   #9
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Used to skipper a KP 46, which is basically the same boat as a FP44. Great boat. Agree that you need to assess things like tankage. You didn't ask for comments on other boats, but have you thought about the Tayana 42? It, and the KP have far better records than the other two.
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:22   #10
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

All good points. I've heard both good and bad comments on the I43 and the GS44 (most actual owners have good comments - most bad comments from folks relaying what they've heard...).

Never have heard anything bad about KP 44... (although admiral does like idea of separate shower stall)

I suspect that shopping these 3 models it may come down to finding the best maintained boat of the lot ... 30+ years of care probably transcends all other issues in this case.

Haven't completely ruled out other 42' to 45' center cockpit models...but have ruled out those with centerboards and full keel, low performance hull designs.

Thanks
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:55   #11
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

just because it's a full keel doesn't mean poor performance
What is performance?
hull speed at which point of sail?
24hr runs?
here's a great full keel...Lord Nelson 41
or check out Robert Perry's latest
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:25   #12
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Sorry BobtheLeo has his facts Wrong. He/you is/are referring to the old c.c. motorsailer. The G.S. 44 sloop, only 1 or 2 ketches was written up by Bob Perry as 1 of the better production boats he had been on, when he inspected it. He even went so far as to say, he could not find a fault in the way the boat was put together, and/or the layout. They were built from 1980 until 1982-3, and are fairly sought after, by people in the know. Just saying.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:01   #13
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

Friends of mine who have cruised extensively and are pretty boat savvy are looking for a good KP44 that they can afford. They have not found any that are in reasonably good shape below $100k. If anyone knows of one, please pass it on. The KP46 is supposed to be an even sweeter boat but much rarer. There is a very nice one in Trinidad for sale by owners we met in the South Pacific but it is not "cheap".
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Old 04-04-2015, 13:04   #14
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Re: GS 44 - I43 - KP44 ... the short list

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 in construction.

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.

Michael
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