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Old 24-04-2005, 19:43   #1
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Gulfstar 39' Sailmaster

Does any one have an opinion on the Gulfstar 39' Sailmaster?
Would you buy one and sail around the world?

Thanks,
Living the Dream
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Old 24-04-2005, 23:49   #2
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Owners’ comments here:
http://www.geocities.com/bill_dietri...lGulfstar.html
http://www.geocities.com/bill_dietri...tml#Gulfstar39

Search here: http://www.sailnet.com/collections/buyingaboat/ (Boat Check etc)
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Old 26-04-2005, 12:35   #3
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These boats make nice liveaboards and reasonable coastal cruisers but would not be on a list of boats that I would think of as a world cruiser. Build quality on these boats were okay but not great. It would take a massive effort to beef one up to make sense for the kind of use that you are proposing.

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Old 26-04-2005, 13:32   #4
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GS built a lot of different boats over many years. There seems to be a significant variation in the quality of their design and build. Take the GS 41. The original 70's era boat was very spartan and spare. It's build quality was basic. It morphed into a somewhat nicer 41 in the 80's and then was reborn as a decent GS 43.

I think you can get an good idea of GS quality by reading between the lines in the various logs, some listed above. While owners state they love these boats (what owner doesn't?) and there is no doubting the value proposition they can represent, read what owners are saying they had to do to get the boat sailable. Gelcoat cracking (not just craszing) is common, boat needs to be repainted. Lot's of blistering reported. Port and window leaks all but assured.

Another set of online logs are an incredible insight into what it is like for to cruise aboard a 70's vintage GS 44 MS. It is constant soliloquy of mechanical breakdowns, an inability to sail in anything but a broad reach of moderate winds and a listing of the problems...along with a constant string of stress headaches because of them...when one should be enjoying cruising.

Are these the consequence of having an older boat? Perhaps some. But there are many good quality older boats that do not have these issues. Plenty of examples of boats 20+ yrs old whose original gelcoat still shines, hulls fine and mechanical systems still working.

This does not mean a GS sailmaster or any other GS series is a bad boat. Far from it. For one thing, the GS Sailmaster series have designs well ahead of their time that you simply cannot get in another boat for the same price. I think it means go in with your eyes open. Realize the possible cost and work involved in the purchase and plan for it. Not really a big deal...just part of the equation. Some would prefer sailing the boat right out of the box. Some have no problem dedicating the time and money to get the boat they want ready for a future cruise.

My best to all

John
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Old 26-04-2005, 21:31   #5
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ps - to the question at hand, would I sail one around the world. No. For a variety of reasons that include its design and its construction. But this is just a personal opinion, I am certain you can find someone who has. In fact, I am sure I have read at least a couple accounts of owners who sailed the GS Sailmaster 39 trans-Atlantic and praised the boat.

Considering the design, I personally think you would find the lack of a good sea berth a negative and the wonderful amount of open space in the salon would be daunting to traverse heeled over in a blow. Cooking might be challenge all the way forward in a pitching galley. And those big windows would make me nervous if they were getting pounded by green water. Again, just my $0.02 for what that is worth.

I do think this boat would be nice to liveaboard in FLA or the islands.

Hope this helps

J
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Old 10-02-2006, 17:22   #6
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Gulfstar Sailmaster 39

Hi I am new to this forum old to the water . I own a GS 39 and would like to respond to living the dream on his question. First of I think it is rude to say your boat is not well built or capable of taking you where ever you want to go . The Farr 38 is a racing boat and GS 39 is a good cruising boat . THERE IS NO PERFIT BOAT for every sea . A Farr is a light wind boat and fast , a GS is not as good in light wind . But my GS 39 scaled in at 28,000 Lbs and with 30 knots of wind 150 jenny and unreefed main I could not put the rail in the water and I didn't have ten guys setting on the opposite side ether the Farr is a 10,000 - 12,000 lb boat so it flys . I also don't think the GS 39 is the best blue water boat but is capable of a crossing . For a crossing on a small boat "40 ft" a real Colin Archer is better . or my choice is something bigger Like a 125 ft schooner the ' Western Union ". OK I would like to say that provided the GS 39 is in good shape and maintained there should be no problem but you must not be arrogant about any boat its a big ocean and you must pick your weather . I made my living on large fishing trawlers in the North Atlantic in the winter and also fished southern waters and crossed the Gulf Stream in a bad northeaster with breaking waves . Point I did it because I had too . My GS 39 will never see that weather intentionally because I have been there and prefer a nice steak and glass of scotch in a nice cove at anchor untill good weather . I spent 35 days diving for lobster offshore , why would you go across the Atlantic thats WORK . Maybe I am getting to old but coastal cruising , island hopping that where its at for me . Well If you cross the Atlantic you can fit your boat with shutters for the windows and make sure you are in top shape for you know its is a 25 + yr boat and we all get old and need work. Well Follow Your dreams respect the ocean and weather and be safe .
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Old 10-02-2006, 18:02   #7
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All boats are completely equal in all ways. They all are capable of doing whatever you want them to do, and are wonderful choices for your intended plans. There is no such thing as a mediocre boat. The differences in design, craftmanship and materials are so small as to be insignificant. Taking your Buccaneer across an ocean is a wonderful idea, and we support you in your wise decision.

Any other opinion would be, well… rude.
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Old 10-02-2006, 20:52   #8
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CaptainJeff once whispered in the wind:

Any other opinion would be, well… rude.
By the way, CaptainJeff, what and where do you sail?
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:18   #9
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Most boats seem to do far better, in all types of weather, than their crews. We have had a number of boats over the years and they have all got the job done; some where more comfortable than others but that does not mean that they were more seaworthy. I am reluctant to stereotype, but the boats we have owned that were built in New England have been very good for us (Bristol, Pearson, Victoria built in England on Morris hull). Our Florida boat, Morgan OI was OK and was very comfortable for a liveaboard situation; but there was a difference in quality.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:25   #10
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Well I will try not of drink as much scotch and mispell as many words in a hurry to hit the sack this time but . I would like to say some people may own a BMW and think my chevy is junk but both will if in good shape get you to Calif. Your boat is a Farr 38 a high tech racing boat a Colin Archer is very seaworthy boat built with North Alantic in adverse conditions. The Colin Archer is heavy and slow won't point anywhere a Farr will or move in light air . The Colin Archer is a poor choice for hot humid weather poor ventication no big hatches or windows for light . That said the GS 39 is somewhere in the middle with windows and plenty of ventilation aircondition etc . The GS made alot of boats for the charter business and the were not as well built . The boat I bought was sold to a person for personal use and was built well but had some quality control issues also . But with enough cash and elbow grease I have a boat with over a inch solid glass and topsides with over a half a inch solid glass not counting core and inside glass . The boat is great for confort and very stable in weather but tough to work on esp with the generator in the way. The main thing I believe is if the boat is up to par in condition and bulkheads , core material etc is not rotted electrical and mechanical sound . I been on new boats at a show in the rain that had leaks around hatches and mast seals etc. In short your boat must be kept up to par and is master and crew also to go to sea . The sea is very unforgiving and forty foot boats are small craft and respect to weather and sea is smart . If you are going to sea for a living you do what you because you have to if you go to sea for pleasure pick your time and weather schedule is not worth dying over . I don't know it all but I fished in weather where ice forming on the rigging was a problem and crossed the Gulf Stream in the Straights of Florida in a winter northeaster when waves breaking over twenty feet I tell you a forty foot boat is SMALL so Respect mother nature . I close with a olive branch and a healthy respect to other sailers feelings may fair winds be with you all
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:10   #11
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Quote:
John Drake once whispered in the wind:

I think you can get an good idea of GS quality by reading between the lines in the various logs, some listed above. While owners state they love these boats (what owner doesn't?) and there is no doubting the value proposition they can represent, read what owners are saying they had to do to get the boat sailable. Gelcoat cracking (not just craszing) is common, boat needs to be repainted. Lot's of blistering reported. Port and window leaks all but assured.
I can comment on Gulfstar factory construction techniques now that I've torn mine (Gulfstar Hirch) all apart.

Blistering: It varies from boat to boat. None on mine... absolutely none.

Leaky Ports: DEFINITELY! The guys who put the ports in were real bone heads. They used very long screws that came all the way through the hull to the deck! They then snipped off the screw ends where they protruded. They had obviously leaked for many years on my boat. I just got finished epoxying up the holes and rebedding all the ports. You will need to do this project if you had the same boneheads installing ports on the GS 39.

Hull Liner: Not sure if the GS 39 has one, but it can be a real PITA. You have to constantly use a hole saw and you don't have access to all parts of the hull, which I personally don't like.

Cracks/Crazing: I think most boat have some of this as they get older. There are some pits on the gel coat on the deck where an air bubble was and then was cracked open from years of use and abuse.

Workmanship: The glass seems to have been done extremely well. My hull is top notch, and it's 19 yrs old. It's the little details that the GS people didn't get right. The port issue mentioned above, messy construction techniques (They just gouge out fiberglass instead of making a nice cut on things above the headliner - thinking nobody will ever see it). Also, the teak paneling has many imperfections hidden below the varnish job. Maybe I'm more of a perfectionist when it comes to a boat, but these little details have really annoyed me.

Overall: I couldn't find a better boat in my price range. Our GS is perfect, it's solid, and all the important stuff (on deck) is done right. Hardware on deck is well bed and has very strong backing plates. Definitely a lot of space to navigate while heeled over in a seaway, as mentioned before, but a boat spends most of its time at rest. So we enjoy the space.
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:23   #12
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If all opinions are equal, most of them are unnecessary

Quote:
By the way, CaptainJeff, what and where do you sail?
Sadly, CaptainJeff is on the beach (between boats) in California, holding a bag of money. After dinghies and weekenders, he's shopping for a good coastal cruiser that meets all his criteria.

I'll wind up with a well-cared for 15-yr. old production boat of average build quality and performance that will be fine for my bay sailing and inshore coastal cruising plans for the next fifteen years until retirement, when I'll consider moving into something with offshore capability, if my desire/health are both still strong.

Please read my post above as a ribbing of our new contributor, Joseph B., who is very loyal to his boat and, as is evident from other of his early postings in other threads, has made some impressive improvements, but who has enough experience to know that different boats have difference ranges of suitability for different purposes (I was kidding, Jim). Only a few boats can truly be called "junk."

Evaluations of a boat's specific strengths and weaknesses has been going on ever since Noah's neighbors didn't like the lines of that Ark thing being built in his driveway. Those evaluations are often very subjective and full of ego-bolstering superiority, but are are not normally expressed to be rude, per se, and are still useful to the sailing community as a whole. The trick is to learn to cut through all the blustering and posing, separate the grain of truth from the chaff of opinion and heresay, and make decisions based on what youi believe the reliable information actually is.

All of our boats have weaknesses, (I'm shopping for a Catalina 30, for cryin' out loud), and there is always someone who is all too happy to point them out.

Bulletin board threads tend by their natures to drift to the abstract and theoretical, and everyone becomes an expert, because of the safety anonymity provides. We are also individuals, and I've noticed that a large porportion of cruisers especially are pretty self-reliant individualists, with strong opinions (note the long, wild, argumentative, funny, entertaining and exasperating Bumfuzzle thread), which underlines to me the importance of coming to my own conclusions about the relative reliability of different posters, and of taking most of what I read with a grain of salt. It's up to each of us to make up our own minds regarding any topic. CAVEAT EMPTOR: let the buyer beware.

Okay, this is verging in rant, so I'll cut it off here. (Or just change my signature down there).
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:43   #13
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Hey CaptainJeff.

Roughly what area of the coast of California do you presently reside at? I'm not trying to be too noisy here?

I'm originally from California myself. And presently live in Phoenix, Arizona. Arrrgghhh!!

Looking forward to moving back to California real soon. I hope?
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Old 12-02-2006, 17:45   #14
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Breaker, breaker, what's your twenty?

Sorry: flashback to my high school days. How embarrassing: CB radios, disco, and nylon shirts. (Shudder).

I live a stone's throw from CSU Long Beach.
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Old 12-02-2006, 20:44   #15
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Re: If all opinions are equal, most of them are unnecessary

Quote:
CaptainJeff once whispered in the wind:
All of our boats have weaknesses, (I'm shopping for a Catalina 30, for cryin' out loud), and there is always someone who is all too happy to point them out.
Good luck on your search. We looked at a couple up here, and the prices were really attractive for a cruiser of that size, and in our area they can be a long-term boat for some serious coastal sailors.

When I read the book "Heart of Glass," I was also surprised by how complimentary the section on Catalina was. I regret that we'll be leaving our sailing club before getting the chance to take out their Catalina 30 and 36 up in Seattle.

Let us know how the hunt goes
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