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Old 01-04-2010, 12:25   #1
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Question Gulfstar Sailmaster - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ?

Any thoughts or first hand experiences on these boats? They look like a bit of a tank (condo on the water) and more on the MOTOR side of motor sailing... but that's only a guess. Realistically, what kind of performance would you see? How is the maintenance (typically). Easy to double hand? What about single handing a beast like this? Blue water?

The following looks like a nice, clean example... any thoughts on this one? Price? Condition etc?
1979 Gulfstar Sailmaster Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2010, 16:06   #2
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Very Nice! Biggest issue I've heard of is blister problems. Ask any owner and they'll tell you "It goes with the territory". We've got a "fifty-ish" one in our yard that's just beautiful. (Sandpiper III)
Here's some Owners Groups....
Gulf Star Owner's Club (good stuff here)
GULFSTAR*Owners*Club (doesn't impress me)
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Old 01-04-2010, 16:19   #3
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I never sailed on my friend's boat, but the few times we sailed together his boat was pretty slow under 12 knots or so. The cabin seemed to be a nice layout for living on, but IMO wasted a lot of space. Also the layout didn't seem good for offshore, wide open spaces, don't remember if there were enough handholds or not, but that part could be fixed.


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Old 01-04-2010, 16:37   #4
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If I remember correctly, the hulls are all chopper gun with no cloth - if so, not for offshore cruising.
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Old 01-04-2010, 17:06   #5
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If I remember correctly, the hulls are all chopper gun with no cloth - if so, not for offshore cruising.
Id like to see the test results on glass matt from a chopper being of less strength than the same thickness in cloth.. and the information stating that a chopper gun built boat is NOT worthy of being an offshore cruiser..
Please provide the information.............
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:57   #6
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Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but can you clarify the "chopper gun" process? Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:51   #7
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With a chopper gun, resin is fed through a hose along with chopped glass strands, which then spray out on the mould in a random pattern (like mat). The resin to glass mix is adjusted as you spray out material. Its probably the fastest way to get fiberglass and resin in a mold. It requires less experience to use, although it takes more experience to do it well.

See: The elements of boat strength: for builders, designers, and owners ~ by Dave Gerr
Here ➥ The elements of boat strength: for ... - Google Books
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:37   #8
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Thanks Gord... that makes sense. Any thought to Randyonr3's posting regarding the seaworthiness of this technique? Sounds like it can vary greatly between not only different shipyards, but the individual laying the mix. I wonder if there's a general consensus about chopper gun and blue water boats... any comments regarding this technique and Gulfstars in particular?
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:10   #9
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Check with Dan on Tropical Dance. They have a lot of experience cruising a Gulfstar and would be OK with an e-mail conversation:
Tropical Dance homepage

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Old 02-04-2010, 12:16   #10
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Thanks Gord... that makes sense. Any thought to Randyonr3's posting regarding the seaworthiness of this technique? Sounds like it can vary greatly between not only different shipyards, but the individual laying the mix. I wonder if there's a general consensus about chopper gun and blue water boats... any comments regarding this technique and Gulfstars in particular?
I would agree that depending on who, what and where has a lot to do with the process, and normally we accept that a certain model is good based on it reputation but as the article says, there are varibles in all meathods.. it does however state that using more resin and less fabric is weaker.. It would be interesting to see a study done on identical samples done of different types of lay-ups including balsa core and ply wood cored.. and when do reach the point that just being good is good enough.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:41   #11
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Fiberglass boat construction - DD Fiberglass
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:03   #12
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I think Dave Gerr expressed reservations, similar to mine, about the ultimate quality of Choppered layups better than I might.
The elements of boat strength: for ... - Google Books
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Old 03-04-2010, 13:06   #13
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Gulfstar 50: Good boat, lots built for the charter market. Blue water: Better than a Jeanneau or Benneto, not as good as an Island Packet. Dislikes: Hate the galley (headroom) and skinny passageway to stern berth, which in my view has a weird setup. Overall: not my kind of boat and is generally considered a "small" 50'.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:35   #14
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Re: Gulfstar Sailmaster - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ?

In the early to mid 80's, I had a Sailmaster 50. As to it having been constructed with a chopper gun comes as a surprise to me. My guess is that it was laid up by hand. That said and if I am not mistaken the founder of and owner of Gulfstar owned the old Columbia Sailboats company who did build a series of boats like the Columbia 22, 28, 34, 39 and others using the chopper method. Humm!
Having been a racing sailer for many years I was disappointed with performance of my Sailmaster 50. She was easily overpowered in relatively light air, 12/15 knots. A 150% head sail was out of the question except for reaching. I reconfigured the sail plan as a cutter rig which improved performance on a verity of tacks. The head sail was reduced to 135%. A well respected sailboat designer said the boat lacked an appropriate amount of ballast and the hull was not strong enough to add as much as necessary to correct the problem. The boat was sold and I switched to power.
Summary. In retrospect I could have kept it and used it as the power sailer she was. All of the other feathers were wonderful.
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Old 23-05-2015, 19:23   #15
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Re: Gulfstar Sailmaster - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ?

I have been restoring a 1979 47 ft Sailmaster for 5 years now.I have drilled holes all over top and bottom and I can attest that the construction was excellent and not just chopper gunned. The construction of a boat is always based on the quality of the crew that built it and when you build as many boats as Gulfstar you can find a variation in quality as with Island packet, Hallberg Rassey, Beneteau or any other. We all have good and bad days. As for seaworthyness that too is subjective. There have been quite a few Gulfstar satisfied circumnavigators.
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