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Old 10-01-2013, 18:27   #1
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Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

I am intrigued by the 54 Sailcruiser. I am looking for a large comfortable liveaboard that is ICW capable and has a moderate draft, and under $300k. My question is how well do these boats sail? I don't need a speed demon, but is it a complete slug? I don't want to be forced to motorsail all the time. Also, I know the older generation of Gulfstars had a poor reputation, however I have also heard that the later boats, mid to late 80's had a much better build quality. Anyone here have any first hand experience with these beasts? I am also looking for suggestions for alternative boats that fit my criteria. I have been lurking here on this forum for quite a while, but this is my first post. Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
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Old 10-01-2013, 18:42   #2
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Annapolis Sailing School, used to have a 50 ft Gulfstar in their fleet. It was used in instructions and for bare-boat chartering, in the 80s. The one I sailed was anchored in St. Croix, USVI. The (twin masted) ketch was slow, but no one cared when we were going to arrive at the next BVI. Below deck, it was luxurious as it had A/C. A great boat to sail the BVI or the Grenadines in luxury. Its maintenance was a money hole; not recommended for ownership. Mauritz
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Old 10-01-2013, 19:22   #3
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Connie and I deliverd a 1981 50ft gulfstar ketch to Hawyee from Panama 7 or 8 yrs ago. We found her pretty good if ya don't try to sail stright down wind. She was very comfortable for living and sailing by a couple! In wind above 20 knots she was a real race horse!! I would supose if ya were used to a Real Fast Boat! ya might think them a little slow, but for cruiseing they would work out for me! We would have bought one if we could have found one that was withing our buget. just our 2 cents
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Old 10-01-2013, 20:02   #4
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

We have owned a 1979 Gulfstar 43 ketch for a few years. She sails very well for a 22,000 lb boat. Down wind you need a bit of sail area to get her going. We have a symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnaker as well as a mizzen staysail. It is very comfortable to live on. The center cockpit arrangement with a large aft cabin is great. We have hot water, AC, heat, and an espresso machine and we can still sail at 8 knots. The early models have a reputation for not being real well built, but the later models are built as well as any other production boat I have seen. We have been very happy with ours. As with any other boat be sure to get a thorough survey before you buy.
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Old 10-01-2013, 20:08   #5
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

http://cruising.sailboatowners.com/c...old-it-for-me/Another thread on another board. Dan still has his GS50 for sale. I believe it is in GA.

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Old 10-01-2013, 20:32   #6
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Nice comments on other Gulfstars but the Sailcruiser 54 is a bit different from most Gulfstars. I believe this boat is a true motor sailor. Twin diesels and a 55' mast on a 54' boat. I have a somewhat short rig on my Pearson 42 and it's almost 52' for a boat that's 12' shorter than the Gulfstar.

I have not sailed the Sailcruiser but I would think the performance under sail similar to the Sailmaster which is not a fast boat. Typical of big boats with small rigs for their size and displacement the light air performance will be limited, but can be helped a lot with large, light weight sails. Pointing also not the best. However, the boat will sail and with a bit of wind will give you reasonable speed, especially off the wind. If the motor dies you will not be stuck looking for a tow.

If you are comparing them to a motor sailor type where the sail is just big enough for steadying then the Sailcruiser will blow them away. But compared to a "normal" sailboat you will be much slower.

Here's a link to a review of the Sailcruiser if you have not yet seen this.

http://www.jordanyachts.com/archives/2810
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:39   #7
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Alex.

Gulfstar

Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser Review: Little Harbor-Hinckley Like Quality - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage

Our House has an Anchor: Choosing a Boat, Part III - The Finalists, Subpart D - Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:05   #8
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

It does not look very quick to me, in fact pretty slow except for ideal winds. If it is for two people, I would suggest the Northeast 400. Much smaller than the Gulfstar but very comfortable for a couple and good performance under sail or power. There is a similar Ellis-designed boat, the Bruckmann 50, but I think it would be out of your price range. Both are gorgeous boats.
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Old 14-01-2013, 06:23   #9
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Nice comments on other Gulfstars but the Sailcruiser 54 is a bit different from most Gulfstars. I believe this boat is a true motor sailor. Twin diesels and a 55' mast on a 54' boat. I have a somewhat short rig on my Pearson 42 and it's almost 52' for a boat that's 12' shorter than the Gulfstar.

I have not sailed the Sailcruiser but I would think the performance under sail similar to the Sailmaster which is not a fast boat. Typical of big boats with small rigs for their size and displacement the light air performance will be limited, but can be helped a lot with large, light weight sails. Pointing also not the best. However, the boat will sail and with a bit of wind will give you reasonable speed, especially off the wind. If the motor dies you will not be stuck looking for a tow.

If you are comparing them to a motor sailor type where the sail is just big enough for steadying then the Sailcruiser will blow them away. But compared to a "normal" sailboat you will be much slower.

Here's a link to a review of the Sailcruiser if you have not yet seen this.

Gulfstar 54 Sailcruiser Review: Little Harbor-Hinckley Like Quality - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage
That's what i figured. I did see that review. I wasn't necessarily looking for a motorsailer, but I do want the biggest boat I can get that is ICW capable as well as being bluewater capable. I looked at one of these Gulfstar sailcruisers this weekend and was impressed by the size and solid feel of it. I can see that it will be quite slow though. I will start a new thread looking for other boats that suit my criteria. Thanks.
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:21   #10
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Maybe start with the limitations of the ICW and use that as the basic parameters for your boat search.

Perhaps you know the details quite well but just in case

Bridge clearance supposed to be 65' although higher than normal tides can reduce that a foot or so.

Draft is less clear but in general much over 6' you will have to pay close attention in many areas and play the tide to get through.
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:31   #11
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

For draft 5' is a dead maximum in my neck of the woods (FL West Coast). Even a 5' draft tends to get stuck rather often.
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:12   #12
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

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For draft 5' is a dead maximum in my neck of the woods (FL West Coast). Even a 5' draft tends to get stuck rather often.
Well I made it all the way from New England to east coast FL with 5'6" no problem.

Only ran aground three times.
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:51   #13
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

I've owned a Sailmaster 47 for 26 years and sailed from the Chesapeake to
to the VI. Have done the Waterway many times. The Gulfstars are well built,
heavy cruisers. They sail very well for the weight. I love the room and the comfort.

Earl
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:56   #14
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

draft is not much of an issue. I don't have a desire to cruse the ICW again, I just don't want to be limited as to what marinas I can use. Staying between the inlet and the first fixed bridge is limiting.
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:16   #15
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Re: Opinions on the Gulfstar Sailcruiser 54?

Capt.Alex
What are you referring to? The Gulfstar 54 mast is 55'. No issue on the Waterway.

Earl
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