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Old 30-12-2015, 11:25   #1
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Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Hello! It was recommended by Stu Jackson to post this here as well as SBO. I would have done this a couple hours ago, but have been spending too much time just reading the posts here

If it helps. . .currently own a Ranger 33 6 years, living aboard 2 1/2 years. Sailing experience is mostly EZ weather stuff

So, I'm still looking for another liveaboard. While down in NC, I had the broker show me a GS39 while I was down there looking at a Prairie 36. Both are nice boats with potential, but the GS is the one filling my heads with day dreams of cruising into the sunset

Anyways, I'm hear for knowledge and insight on the boat in question. Performance wise, I would expect it to be similar to my Ranger 33. . .both aren't particularly beamy for the length, a little light on the displacement side, lots of sail area, and fin keeled. Out board shrouds on the GS39 probably means it can't point as high, but I don't race so. . .tiny keel sumps, etc. . .

The layout is amazing, and the big attraction. That it should be sailable in our light air is also a perk.

-5000+ hours on the a perkins 4-108 v-drive. Engine has been painted recently, bilge as far as I could see is clean. Would those be considered high engine hours? In the Trawler world in which I've been hanging out, those wouldn't be particularly scary. . .How long do the transmissions last?

-There is a soft spot on the coach roof by a hatch. The core is 3/4" (i think) balsa (end grain). Only have dealt with plywood cores on my R33. How quickly does water migrate with balsa?

-The base of the mast step (keel stepped) is corroded. I haven't been able to find anything online about this for this particular boat. When I was looking at Pearson 365 it was a common issue with a couple common fixes. Would something similar apply here?

-It looks like it has the original Groco cone type sea cocks. I was afraid to work them too hard. They look rebuildable though?

-Rigging looks to be a mix of original and newer. None of the lower swages are rusting/cracked. There are a couple shrouds with stay-locs. I'm assuming the owner is/was replacing only what looked bad as required?

It had been raining off and on for days before, and during my initial inspection and surprisingly it was dry inside with no window leaks. I was shocked. I saw no evidence of leaks at the chain plates (of those I could see). If anyone has advice, opinions, comments I'd love to hear them! If I make a second trip down for a thorough inspection, anything in particular I should look out for?


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Old 30-12-2015, 12:37   #2
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Hi Cool Beans, followed you over from SBO, I'll be interested to see what replies/comments you get.

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Old 30-12-2015, 13:10   #3
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Hi COOLBeans Do a looking for reviews of Gulfstar 39 on net. It should come up with some responses. On sailboats for sale there is 1 for sale by owner. you might try seeing you can get any info from him/her. We own a G.S. 37. We've had it for 10 yrs now. love the boat. I liked the 39s, when we bought, but they were out of our range!
Hope this helps a little!!!!
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Old 30-12-2015, 14:11   #4
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Hello Cool Beans,
I have recently been on that boat ( I am actually about 5 slips down) and I thought it was a great value for the asking price. As my wife says, we could have been sailing by now instead of repairing.
I will only address the balsa core since I am almost an expert at replacing wet balsa at this point..
Until the balsa turns to mush, the water seems to migrate slowly ( I have found crisp clean balsa very close to soggy balsa). You can "sound" it out fairly accurately, then cut away one skin, replace the balsa or I used dyvinicel, and put on a new skin.

BTW, that is a GREAT marina !! Excellent staff !!
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Old 31-12-2015, 08:03   #5
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

I am a bit familiar with other, larger versions of the Sailmaster which were motor sailors but looking at the 39 it is more of a sailboat and should perform much better than the other models.

Gulfstar quality varied a lot over the years as they changed ownership and yards where the boats were built. However, seems the 39 is from the good period. Here's a very good review of the boat you might find interesting.

Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Review: Cruising Couple Dreamboat - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 31-12-2015, 13:40   #6
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Foley Engines has rebuilt upgraded and warranted 4-108's for 4900 the Velvet Drive can be rebuilt for about +- $1500. Now you have new upgraded machinery. Good boats we were dealers for several years, went to the factory in St Pete several times. Very modern not like Irwin, or Hunter. We would have bought a GS 50 hit wanted an island queen bed and an engine room.
We have some friends here in Marathon that live on their GS39 and love it for two people. They are going to leave in 2017.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:45   #7
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, CoolBeans.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 03-01-2016, 08:56   #8
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Good read, and appreciate the advice. Thanks for the welcome Gord!

Any other, possibly owners, have anything to add?

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Old 04-06-2017, 21:27   #9
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

Would your friends mind sharing their thoughts about their boat on the forum or by other means? Thank you!!
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Old 28-01-2018, 18:54   #10
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Re: Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster Questions

We've owned GS 39 hull #23 since new, sailing out of Florida for a couple of years then 5 years on a lake outside of Atlanta and then shipped her out to Seattle where we've sailed ever since. We spend a month or more living aboard most every summer with day-sailing at other times. Would I go offshore? Definitely. After 37 years of ownership, I've had a chance to play with all parts of this great boat...

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