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Old 09-03-2009, 19:03   #1
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1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Patience is not a virtue I have a lot of. My question is, will a 32 Gulf venture off shore.

I am impatient in the fact I could afford to buy this now and begin to sail it in the north lands (San Juans, Alaska) until I am ready to push off.

Full Keel, 32', Cutter Rigged. Needs electronics...............

If I wait I am going to do a Pac Seacraft or Isl Packet can not afford one right now. So it will be buy it fix it and shove off...

DW
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:22   #2
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Short answer

Probably. With lots of caveats.

There's no way to know if this particular boat has been maintained well, was initially built with fittings, materials, and equipment able to withstand the rigors of what you wish to do with it. I don't know if the crew - the most important factor for seaworthiness - are up to the demands you want to put on them.

But a talk with a good surveyor who has the necessary experience can set your mind at ease. And you can hire a boat design consultant, such as Mr Perry (in your neighborhood, too), who can help you make your decisions.

You can clearly find good boats to do what you want for reasonable amounts of money, but don't be too impatient to get good advice first.

By the way: Knot Yet sailed from San Francisco to Mexico,
Fiji, then to Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, then north through the eastern Archipelago to Thailand. See the logs for 1997-2001.
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Old 10-03-2009, 20:11   #3
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I appreciate the links. That was helpful.

I was just looking for general info if people had experience with the boat. I understand if I get to it a surveyor will be in order.

DW
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Old 10-03-2009, 20:31   #4
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Yes, I knew that too. I was just suggesting you might want to talk with someone about whether the design is worth even looking at.

My personal opinion, never having sailed the boat but knowing a little bit about the design and the designer, is the boat is going to be somewhat surprisingly comfortable in motion for the size, but a bit slow and perhaps more motorsailer than not. The new builder has added 50ft^2 to the sailplan, but even so she has a lot of wetted surface. The keel is deeper than I'd prefer, and the ballast ratio somewhat lower, but not particularly so.

There's a real benefit that there is a builder who, at least in 2006, was still making boats. It may be a real help if you need a new rudder or companionway hatch.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:04   #5
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I believe the boat is a Garden design. A good cruising design. My Rawson is also and has a comfort factor of 40 which is incredibly high for a 30 footer. Like Amgine stated. They will be a little slow by todays standards. I believe Capitol yachts built them. They also built the Newport series which were a little flimsy. But that does not mean the Gulf 32 was.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:30   #6
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Hey DW, I saw your post and so signed up to post here so I could help answer your question. We own and sail a 1988 Gulf 32 named Aeolus and I have a blog on her at Stories of Aeolus- Our Gulf 32 Pilothouse. The blog is mainly about various repairs and trips, which don't specifically address your question, but will help.

We live on San Juan Island and sail Aeolus all over the Salish Sea. Gulf 32's are indeed a Garden design, though there is some hisotrical muddling there. They are heavily built, and as has been said above, were made by Capitol Yachts in LA. There is an owners site at Newport, Neptune, Gulf sailboats built by Capital Yachts

In additon to Knot Yet, I know of other Gulfs that have gone everywhere a boat can go, and all the usual caveats apply.

Boiled down, she sails remarkably well and is not a motor sailor in terms of her sailing ability. It takes 10 knots to get her moving, but in anything over that she is fine. The hull does have a cutaway forefoot and so is not Westsail 32 sort of ancient in underbody. I rarely get passed and find sailing skill is the major determinant of speed. She motors easily at 6 to 6.5 knots and sails comfortably (meaning stiff and with ease at the wheel under full sail) in winds up to 30 knots. I can point to about 40 degrees or so. No, she is not as fast as 45 footer, but she will get you there safely.

We absolutely love her inside light and space due to the pilothouse, and I'm 6'2" with plenty of headroom on her. She handles nasty stuff with relative ease and is super stiff. Check all the vital statistics on Sail Calculator Pro v3.52 - 2000+ boats and you'll see how she compares.

I've done major work on Aeolus to replace almost all electrical, plumbing and rigging. Perhaps most importantly to those who fear pilothouses, I replaced all the plastic framed acrylic windows with custom aluminum framed thick tempered glass, and would mount Lexan outer plates if I were taking her offshore down to Mexico or such. You would likely need to do the same on any 88. The fiberglass is thick everywhere and the pilothouse itself is super heavily built.

Anyway, we love her and do intend to take her south to Baja in the years ahead. We have two young boys we are letting get a bit bigger.

Contact me if you have other questions and good luck with the big decision.
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Old 11-03-2009, 13:36   #7
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Buddy cruised with a singlehander in the Carribean on a Gulf 36. Great old boat, comfortable and dry in a sea way. Have a bit of windage, but if you want an inexpensive boat that will get you from point A to Point B (especially in your cold climes) get her and Go! I cruised my Rawson in your area a lot and had as much fun as any of my later larger boats. If you are the type that insists on sailing in and out of the anchorage all the way, you should get a boat with longer waterline and lower profile. On the other hand, if I'm not doing 4 knots for long, I'm motorsailing... she'll only burn about half a ganlon an hour, and the fridge will be very cold when you get anchored!
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Old 27-10-2012, 01:53   #8
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Hello Brian..have a question for you. I have a Gulf 32 and am looking for ideas on how to set up my autohelm..raytheon 4000. Mainly the boat came without a rudder sensor, so the autohelm does not perform well. I am going to install one, however with the dual helm station Edson steering system this is not an easy task! I am thinking of attaching the swing arm to the horizontal steering shaft. Any ideas? I am in Richmond BC. Cheers!
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Old 29-10-2012, 10:06   #9
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Hi Ed,
Wow, this is an old thread. It was fun to read what I wrote on this thread years ago, and it still holds true. Only now, I have even more experience on Aeolus in all kinds of conditions (some bad) and can vouch for her lovely qualities in more detail.

Anyway, to your question, we have an Autohelm 4000 on Aeolus but with no rudder sensor, and it works just fine. I find that in anything other than really choppy conditions it is able to hold me on a course without much wandering. Meaning, almost as good as hand steering.

So I have no experience with putting a rudder sensor on our unusual arrangement, I'm sorry to say. But it would seem that much of the hardware is standard still and it should be attachable without major surgery.

Well good luck on that. Have we crossed paths on the water? On our frequent cruises in BC we often sail by other Gulf 32's that I wish I knew better.

Busy with a million projects on Aeolus right now! Yikes.
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Old 29-10-2012, 10:11   #10
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Yeah, great sea boat I imagine. Very similar lines to my Rawson 30 (Bill Garden also). That was a very dry boat at sea. A little hobby horsing at times, but other than that good boats. Mr. Garden knew what he was doing... albeit a little old school now days.
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Old 29-10-2012, 10:35   #11
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Thanks for getting back to me Brian. I have been having difficulty with the autohelm since taking over the boat, trying all manner of software fixes etc. The irritating s pattern that she cuts drives me nuts..seems that it is a known problem but does not affect every design. That is why I tried you on it. On another tack, whether we have crossed paths I cannot say, although we just missed at Desolation it appears. Well cheers, and thanks again.
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Old 29-10-2012, 11:14   #12
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Cheechako: I've heard so much about Rawson's and would enjoy being on one someday. They sound like a slightly smaller version of the Gulf 32, with similar specs and reputation. And yes, Mr. Garden knew a thing or two about designing seaworthy beautiful boats! As for being old school, I'm so good with that it is absurd. If the AC-72 is the pinnacle of modern design, then my preferences are more like 1972.

Ed: As for your troubles, I really don't know what is going on since like I said mine works just fine. Funny story though: when I first got Aeolus the Autohelm was all haywire and would just turn the boat in circles and such. I thought it was a fried brain or whatever. One day, I looked at the wiring on the unit and for the heck of it I switched the wires to different terminals, and Whamo! it has worked perfectly ever since! The PO had mis-wired her and left it at that.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:10   #13
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Hey, well I have done some rewiring on this old girl no doubt. When I bought her last year the PO said that the 4000 wasn't working and they did not use it cuz of the meandering. I figured it was the calibration so I went through all of the set up procedures and monkeyed with it. It works, after a fashion. depending on speed while motoring, or consistency of wind when sailing etc, but consistent is the main thing that it is not. I motored back from Smugglers Cove to the Fraser and she came right on to the mark but there was a lot of extra work for the the helm motor due to constant correction, and a lovely 's' trail for the wake. she likes to swing through about twenty to thirty degrees..hahaha. The variation is 14 degrees, so just under the parameter whereby Raymarine suggests repositioning the fluxgate compass. I cannot see that anything should be affecting that compass so I am going to put the sensor in. Will try it on the shaft. Theoretically it should work just as well as attaching it to the quadrant and is much easier to get at. Our Gulf by the by is blue on white, with blue deck, named Mary Jane.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:30   #14
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

Very interesting Ed. Just a data point: Our flux gate is mounted on the bow side of the teak that comprises the inside wheel and navstation console. It is right above the cushion that you would sit on closest to mid-ship. I've always worried about it, because my windlass batteries are right below it, but like I said, I don't wander much at all and she holds a steady course.
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:47   #15
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Re: 1988 Gulf PIlot House 32 Ft.

S curves? Do a Google search on "Catalina Cocktail" which descrtibes settings to help avoid this issue.
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