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Old 22-11-2005, 05:19   #1
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Gulfstar 44 vs 47

Hello everyone
My partner and I are looking at Gulfstars and saw a very nice GS 44 last week. We are also interested in the GS47 sailmaster and plan to look at some in the next few weeks. Can anyone share with us the pluses and minuses of each model? We plan to cruise the east coast U.S., Bahamas, Caribbean, Central America. Currently, we don't think we'll do a major ocean crossing (to Europe or S. Pacific), but you never know. Any info./comparisons as to build quality, sailing ability, etc. would be appreciated. Both are very nice looking boats, and of course, some of the differences are obvious (larger windows in GS 47, etc.) but some of the differences are only apparent after you've owned and sailed a boat. Thank you!


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Old 22-11-2005, 17:48   #2
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The 47 is a better live aboard but the 44 is by far a better boat for what you plan to do with the boat. Both are grosly overweight. The 47 is substantially under ballasted and the 44 is merely mildly underballasted.

In a general sense Gulfstars varied pretty widely in quality and outfitting. Quite a few were constructed to lesser standard for the charter trade and those should be avoided.

Otherwise these are pretty typical early 1980's era south Florida coastal cruisers, in other words built to be a good value and reasonably commodious at the price of so so sailing ability and robustness.


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Old 23-11-2005, 08:52   #3

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May want to take a peek at the Hirsch 45?

We recently purchased a Gulfstar Hirsh 45. It's quite different from the other Gulfstars above, and in fact has a PHRF of 120, which isn't so bad for a big centerline queen. It's no Farr design.... but I do get a consistent 7-8kts under normal conditions. Also, draws 5'5" and is incredibly comfortable to live aboard. Incidentally, it's also a ROCK when it comes to the apparent strength of the structure. I came up hard on a dock my first day piloting it, and instead of the little crack/crunch sound you might hear on many boats, it ended up breaking the dock... ha ha.

Drawbacks would be:

*Molded hull liner/pan makes reaching some plumbing and wiring difficult - I got around this by running new plumbing outside the liner.

*Perkins engines of that era are getting a little tired by now, although mine has no problems.

*Original equipment batteries and charger aren't up to task for running computers and such at anchor.

*Original Alder Barbour fridge and fridge compartment are grossly inefficient. The fridge compartment is almost twice as large as the rated size the Alder Barbour can effectively cool. It just doesn't work. Either replace the Alder Barbour or block off a lot of space in the fridge compartment to insulate and reduce volume.

*5'5" is a little tight in parts of the Bahamas and intra-coastal.

Other than that... I'm extremely happy with this boat.
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Old 23-11-2005, 11:16   #4
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Sean - what is the origin / history of the Hirsh series of Gulfstar ? Where built ? Who changed the design ?


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