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Old 20-02-2007, 10:50   #1
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Gulfstar 37 buying advice

Getting back into sailing having previously owned a Cape Dory 27 years ago, I now have the desire for a larger boat. Looking at a Gulfstar 37 which looks comfortable and sea worthy. I have heard issues with the build quality of the Gulfstar line and am interested in just "how well" this boat sails given it's weight and hull design. Specifically how it does in light winds and tacking into the wind. Also if this model boat is handicaped to more expensive upkeep costs given it's varying build quality. Our sailing is intended to be Maine coastal crusing and day sailing.
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Old 20-02-2007, 15:02   #2
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If you want to compare some boats, here is a sail calculator. Be careful, I believe that the information is input by owners, and therefore might not be accurate.
Sail Calculator Pro v3.0

I don't know the sailing conditions where you are, but if it is like here in Puget Sound where there is a lot more light air than not, I don't think that you would be happy with a sail area/displacement of 13.5 especially if the idea is to go out for a daysail. I have friends, one with a Gulfstar 39 and and another with a Morgan OI 41, both of which I have seen basically parked while I am sailing. Of course they both have nicer accommodations than my old designed for ocean racing Cal 40. If the main idea is to go sailing, and you want to sail in light air I think you need to at least look for a SA/D of 16, 18 would be better. I haven't sailed the Gulfstar, but I don't remember it having difficulties pointing, the Morgan on the other hand, you could see the wake come off the stern at an angle while trying to go upwind.

I don't know anything about the quality of Gufstar.

John
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Old 20-02-2007, 18:09   #3
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Location: Long Island Sound , Ct
Boat: Gulfstar Sailmaster 39 Freespirit
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To Matts I own a Gulfstar Sailmaster 39 which is very close to the Gulfstar 37 . The Gulfstar 39 is a aft cockpit fairly heavy displacement design at 28,000 lbs empty . She draws 5' 6 " but Gulfstar says 4' 9" . I have had the boat for about 2.5 yrs and did have problems with blisters and after I purchased the boat found hull delaminations from the manufactures application of two layers of wolving roving back to back . I had the delamination problem fixed in Texas which also got rid of the blisters.
As far as the boat it is concerned it is a fantastic boat and worth all the
work and expense . The boat sails great and does not beat you to death .
The boat handles the wind and sea well but needs at least 10 knots of wind to move , the boat needs no reefing till 25 to 30 knots of wind. My advice is to look at the Gulfstar 39 the price may be close and the boat are very close in spec's . The important thing is to check the boat out good so you get what you pay for . The Gulfstar does have good deck to hull joint which is glassed well and the overall build is very strong . The boat is a great liveaboard with great confort and room . Check them out if you find a good one you will love them . Good luck and may fair winds be yours .
Joseph Brancato
Jbran396@yahoo.com
Gulfstar Sailmaster 39
S/V Free Spirit
Long Island Sound
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Old 21-02-2007, 02:35   #4
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Gulfstar 37

To Jbran,

Thanks very much for your help. I have some concern about handling a larger boat too. All that you have said is very helpful. Thanks - Matts
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Old 21-02-2007, 02:36   #5
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Gulfstar 37

To Jbran,

Thanks very much for your help. I have some concern about handling a larger boat too. All that you have said is very helpful. Thanks - Matts
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Old 21-02-2007, 02:44   #6
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John,

Thanks for your input. My sailing would be in Penobscot Bay on the midcoast of maine. Although there is usually wind and seas, I have had a boat that did not do anything in light wind and it is dissapointing. The qualities be being safe and comfortable especially on a body of water that can change quickly from sun to fog to wind to big seas all in a day is a big plus. It may be a big boat to maintain but it looks like a lot of value. Thanks - MattS
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Old 24-02-2007, 14:51   #7
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Gulfstar 37 and too large a boat /Matts

To Matts if you have some boat experience a boat 37 should not be a problem. I worked and operated large boats 95 to 125 foot fishing draggers although 31 yrs ago and learned not to be afraid.
The main thing is you have to understand is a bigger boat can't be manhandled to and from the dock or what ever . To get a 125 ft boat you use spring lines and engine power etc. You have to think of what is going to happen to the boat before you make a move or another way of looking at it is know your boat and plan ahead.
I own the S/V Freespirit which is 39.7 long beam of 12.1 and very heavy and I single hand it with no problem and I am partly disabled after having eight operations on my arms and shoulders and have two bad dics in my back.
My point you have to use your head not your back . I set up my lines and fenders before I dock and look at the other displacement boats which way are the facing into the wind or current , and come in that way .
Displacement boats (most sail boats are reacting to current if it is strong and when you come into the current you have flow across your rudder and therefore Control . If I have to come into the dock and its a strong cross current and heavy winds I don't come to the dock without help ( a man has to know his limitations and wait till slack tide and milder winds.
I refuse to not sail because no one wants to go but do it safe plan ahead and pickyour days . I keep my boat on a mooring and that also helps abit . One more thing I love being along some of the best sailing can be done alone but you need to have you s--t together I don't wait till stuff breaks and don,t wait till hell lets loose to get a reef in.
There is no perfect boat but you have to know yours well I hope I made you fill better about it just grab it by the horns you will love it.
May fair winds fill your sails
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