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Old 06-03-2017, 18:52   #1
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Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

I am new to this forum and new to boating but love the idea and what I know of the lifestyle. I am contemplating purchasing a sailboat and like the size and affordability of the 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster. Although I; like so many others, dream of sailing around the world since I have never been on a sailboat and would have to learn everything (at 50 years old) I think reality dictates sailing the ICW a bit off shore the gulf and to the Caribbean. So. Is to my questions: 1) Is the 39' Sailmaster a good choice for the above? 2) Is this a good boat to learn on? 3) Could she make a passage to further then the Caribbean if we grew into that?? 4) Does anyone have any advice for a true beginner but true enthusiast as to what boats under $80,000 are good for my purpose? Full disclosure I bought a motor yacht two years ago which I am selling. It needed work; which we have been doing slowly but surely, but the big issue is it is too much boat for a novice at 72'.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:10   #2
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Welcome to the community! I believe that the Gulfstar Sailmaste 39 would be a fine choice if it were well maintained. The value of older boats seems to be more related to their former care than their original manufacturing, 'though that's important too. I think that this could be a great choice in your price range. The under 5' draft is an excellent feature for Florida and the Bahamas.

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Originally Posted by sealife1 View Post
................
.............. would have to learn everything (at 50 years old) ............
............... is it is too much boat for a novice at 72'.
I misunderstood something. Your time would be short if you've aged 22 years while writing your post! LOL

Though there's little for sailing in the ICW, there are some great areas for "most any weather" protected sailing areas in Florida for learning. What is your general Florida area?
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:21   #3
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Laugh Out Load!! Thank you for the reply. Although there are days that I feel I have aged that quickly I meant to say our boat is 72' long and just to big for us as new comers to the boating world. We will be in the St Augustine area.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:27   #4
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

His boat is 72' not age lol.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:42   #5
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

I should take care to read for better comprehension. 'looking back, the 72' was obvious.

When it comes to living aboard a Gulfstar Sailmaster while learning to sail in the Saint Augustine area, I see two distinct plans. If you're living aboard in St. Augustine, sailing for the day would allow two options. You can choose to learn your sailing skills in the wide area of the Tolomato River north of Vilano Bridge, but the River width is restrictive and the currents are swift. The other option would be out the inlet on selective days, but you would need to be attentive to weather and wind opposing current conditions at the inlet. We have often used St. Augustine Inlet, but it's not a good choice in some conditions. In addition, maneuvering to and from your slip in Saint Augustine, whether Salt Run, Downtown or Sebastian River can be difficult without some experience. Comachee Cove Marina just north of the Vilano Bridge is best for current protection.

The other option would be far more pleasant for learning sailing skills with wide areas of protected inland water with little current. This would be the area of the Saint Johns River south of Jacksonville. The downside would be the driving commute on route 16,- 'not bad to Green Cove Springs, but double the distance if you keep a slip on the Ortega River further north.

When Nancie and I spent time not long-distance cruising, we always found it important to be able to spontaneously head out for a day or moonlight sail. You might not find that a location that allows for easy short term sails is as important.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:10   #6
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

If you mentioned the age of the sailmaster, I missed it. I too have been looking into the Gulfstar sailboats and doing considerable research. I would suggest searching for Gulfstar sailboat reviews and come to your own conclusions. If we were to purchase a Gulfstar , it would be one of the very late '70 or '80 model 50 footers. Many were specifically built for the charter trade which personally, we wanted to avoid. Also I had concerns about how the keels in some of the earlier models were constructed. All in all, the Lazare brothers did a pretty good job in the later models, especially the ones with the beautiful wood joinery in some of the interiors.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:10   #7
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

I can't speak for the Sailmaster design itself but I can tell you that most Gulfstars are well built. I own a 1974 G41 Ketch and love her. The interiors are dated but well laid out, comfortable, and functional. Most feature a Perkins 4.107 or 4.108 51hp engine that if well maintained will run for 40+ years. However, definitely have it surveyed and take a sea trial to open up the engine. My Gulfstar has the earlier 4.107 engines that has wet sleeve cylinders. I found out soon after purchase that the POs had ran her hot and cracked the sleeves. I had to re-power her. I'm glad I did because she is a great boat.

I love all the natural light the Sailmaster provides. Wish I had that many windows. As long as they don't leak.

good luck
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:04   #8
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Thank you all for the comments and I put it is helpful. We also like the Cheoy Lee 43' pilot house although it is more expensive and made for ocean sailing so we have been told.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:19   #9
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Over the past 10 years, I have upgraded a 1973 Gulfstar 41 center cockpit ketch. One of the first things that we did was to peal all of the gelcoat below the waterline and heat the outer hull to "cook" the water out. It took almost a year. Even with the weight of the new barrier coats, and new Awlgrip from the waterline to the deck, we took over 2000 pounds of water out. Stay away from squishy decks. They can be expensive to replace. We still have the original Perkins 4-107 that runs like a top. We also have a 4.5K Northern Lights generator. She is a good coastal cruiser, but a 52 gallon fuel limits passage making, in my opinion.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:43   #10
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

I think they are great, but I am biased!!! ⛵️
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:46   #11
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Where does your genny sit in the engine room. I'd like to add one to my G41 CC.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:02   #12
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

It sits on the port side of the Perkins 4-107.
The battery box is between the engine and the generator., and below the level of the generator pan, to allow access to both the batteries and the generator.
Send me an e-mail at chris@sowalls.com, and I will send you some photos.
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Old 07-03-2017, 19:04   #13
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Re: Contemplating A 39' Gulfstar Sailmaster as a first time liveaboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sealife1 View Post
is it is too much boat for a novice at 72'.
Yes! Yes, it is.
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