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Old 27-08-2014, 10:12   #1
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Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

What a exciting lifestyle change! Kids are grown, college grads and starting their lives. Mom and dad decided to sell everything, buy a sailboat and start sailing. My husband and I bought a 1972 Gulfstar 36' MotorSailer and are moving aboard Oct. 1. We are planning to sail "The Great Loop" but may change our minds once we sail into the Florida Straights:-) Anyone own a Gulfstar? Please share your experiences.
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:26   #2
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Hi Jeraden,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new (to you) boat.

I have a little experience with Gulfstars and looked at them when I bought my current boat. The main thing I learned is that over the years there were significant differences in the boats from Gulfstar, both in design and quality. I don't remember the entire history but if I recall, the older Gulfstars were better than the mid range and the later ones improved over the mid range.

Like any older boat, unless you are really lucky and the PO fixed everything you will find plenty to fix and upgrade. I know some Gulfstars were prone to blisters in the hull so check on that. Another thing that could take some work is checking everything screwed into or bolted through the deck like stations, winches, etc. Over time all these holes tend to leak and under the fiberglass skin of the deck is usually wood of some kind. The leaks get into the wood and start rotting. If it is minor you just open the holes, dry out the wet area, ream out any soft wood, fill with epoxy, redrill the holes and reinstall the parts.

I'm sure you already have a list of things to do but that's all part of the experience.

Enjoy.

Skip
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:02   #3
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Thanks Skip! Yes, purchasing this sailboat, the work hours and sweat we put into it, and not to mention the $$$'s spent, is going to be one of those stories we hope many will learn from as to what to look for before writing the check. The good news is, as we are "rebuilding" her, we are finding we are very happy with our decision...this far :-)

As to the hull, fortunately there were only a few dime to quarter size blisters. We had that taken care of properly, under close supervision. Next, we opted to have new transducers installed and had the hull repainted in preparation for salt water $$$$. The next project was to have the 1972 Ford diesel engine partly rebuilt and serviced $$$$. Moving along, we opened up a small area on the deck (soft spot) and ended up opening about 65% of the deck to replace the rotten balsa you mentioned $'s. We replaced the wood with a plastic material from Plasteak and put down 3 layers of fiberglass. Very happy with the strength and outcome. Next, we gutted out the aft cabin and part of the forward cabin - glad we did, we were able to gain more space we didn't know existed. Next project was to repaint the entire boat and roll on non-skid. She looks new again! We are now in the process of installing 2 marine air conditioners. The existing ones are not marine grade and were installed on top of the hatches. Yes, now we have to re-fiberglass both hatches...lol. The list of repairs goes on and on but we are still smiling because we now know every inch of this sailboat. Oh, and the electrical nightmare will earn its own post!

Here's a question for you? We discovered both heads and shower need hose and valve replacements. We are considering switching to composting heads but don't know much about them. Any advice?
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Old 27-08-2014, 13:57   #4
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Hi Jeraden,

I've been overhauling my Pearson over 4 years but sounds like you have gone beyond what I'm doing. The biggest interior job I did was to tear out some of the cabinet work in the galley to completely rebuild and insulate the old fridge. I hate to add up how many hours (100s) I have in that job but end result is a great fridge.

My engine seems very solid so just stripped it to the block and replaced all the brackets the held the oil coolers, etc, all the hoses, belts, pumps, alternator.

Composting heads there are a couple of long discussions on this forum about the composting heads. This one has been going on over two years and should answer all you ever wanted to know and more about composting heads. Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

My opinion, composting heads some like them, some don't. My understanding is you have to take out and dump the liquids which to me doesn't sound like what I want to do when out at sea and bouncing around in the ocean. Also, they aren't cheap and I have a couple of perfectly good heads on my boat and don't see the advantage to me to change.
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Old 27-08-2014, 14:03   #5
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Hi Jeraden,

I've been overhauling my Pearson over 4 years but sounds like you have gone beyond what I'm doing. The biggest interior job I did was to tear out some of the cabinet work in the galley to completely rebuild and insulate the old fridge. I hate to add up how many hours (100s) I have in that job but end result is a great fridge.

My engine seems very solid so just stripped it to the block and replaced all the brackets the held the oil coolers, etc, all the hoses, belts, pumps, alternator.

Composting heads there are a couple of long discussions on this forum about the composting heads. This one has been going on over two years and should answer all you ever wanted to know and more about composting heads. Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

My opinion, composting heads some like them, some don't. My understanding is you have to take out and dump the liquids which to me doesn't sound like what I want to do when out at sea and bouncing around in the ocean. Also, they aren't cheap and I have a couple of perfectly good heads on my boat and don't see the advantage to me to change.
I agree... If the head is not broke don't fix it. I am older last thing I want to do is carry human waste. Pump it or dump it.
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Old 28-08-2014, 05:44   #6
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeraden View Post
What a exciting lifestyle change! Kids are grown, college grads and starting their lives. Mom and dad decided to sell everything, buy a sailboat and start sailing. My husband and I bought a 1972 Gulfstar 36' MotorSailer and are moving aboard Oct. 1. We are planning to sail "The Great Loop" but may change our minds once we sail into the Florida Straights:-) Anyone own a Gulfstar? Please share your experiences.
Welcome to CF! What others seem to be ignoring... IS... This may be the most "time critical" period in your cruising career...

It's your duty now that the kids are out of school to quietly encourage them down career paths that will be able to financially supplement your cruising lifestyle ... "No Timmy... Peace Corps is not a career"....

For advanced techniques... subtle hints pointing out the merits of settling down at strategic locations along the loop is strongly suggested...
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:48   #7
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Welcome Jeraden. Sounds like you're on your way to fullfilling your destiny- I dare not say dream anymore as we can all dream but putting the plan in action makes it destiny. I see you're in AL? I am as well. If you're in the Mobile Bay area I'd enjoy coming to help you on your boat projects until I can get one of my own if you'd like help. I'll shoot you a PM. Do you have a blog we can follow- I thouroghly enjoy seeing the before and afters as the projects get down.
Caroline
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:07   #8
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Jeraden, Congratulations and welcome to the community! I just helped my son-in-law deliver his family's new home, a 36' Gulfstar trawler, from St. Petersburg to Jacksonville. We had looked at about twenty boats during his search and found the Gulfstar best, largely because of the care from the previous owner. Keep us posted of your adventures.
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:18   #9
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeraden View Post
What a exciting lifestyle change! Kids are grown, college grads and starting their lives. Mom and dad decided to sell everything, buy a sailboat and start sailing. My husband and I bought a 1972 Gulfstar 36' MotorSailer and are moving aboard Oct. 1. We are planning to sail "The Great Loop" but may change our minds once we sail into the Florida Straights:-) Anyone own a Gulfstar? Please share your experiences.
Congrats and welcome to this forum. You will find a lot of very good information here. I am a former liveaboard for five years with my wife and little boy. I wrote a blog about our experiences living aboard at:

Living Aboard Our Gemini 105Mc Catamaran

I wrote alot about the things we learned along the way. I hope it is helpful for you. Good luck and fair winds!
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:42   #10
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Welcome from SW Florida.
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:58   #11
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Welcome to CF! What others seem to be ignoring... IS... This may be the most "time critical" period in your cruising career...

It's your duty now that the kids are out of school to quietly encourage them down career paths that will be able to financially supplement your cruising lifestyle ... "No Timmy... Peace Corps is not a career"....

For advanced techniques... subtle hints pointing out the merits of settling down at strategic locations along the loop is strongly suggested...
+1 :-) I raised a PhD physicist and a geo-physicist. One will be in Boston the other in Mobile ( Im set!)
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Old 28-08-2014, 15:35   #12
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

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+1 :-) I raised a PhD physicist and a geo-physicist. One will be in Boston the other in Mobile ( Im set!)
Let me guess, the PhD is in Boston and the geophysicist is in Mobile?

I did about half as well. Raised one doctor who is on Martha's Vineyard. At least I have a place to go in the summer. Now if I could just convince her to buy a house with a dock.
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:32   #13
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

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Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Welcome to CF! What others seem to be ignoring... IS... This may be the most "time critical" period in your cruising career...

It's your duty now that the kids are out of school to quietly encourage them down career paths that will be able to financially supplement your cruising lifestyle ... "No Timmy... Peace Corps is not a career"....

For advanced techniques... subtle hints pointing out the merits of settling down at strategic locations along the loop is strongly suggested...
Thanks for the warm welcome! Our son's are Engineers so this may help! One is an engineer for Cummins so hopefully we can get a "family discount" if we're ever in need to replace the old Ford Diesel. We are encouraging them to live in resort area's near water but the mountains will do :-)
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:38   #14
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

I totally screwed up with my kids- ones married to a farm in Indiana- no water there, the other is a school teacher in the mountains of TN, and the youngest is yet to be decided while going to college. I guess I"m going to have to work on this youngest and get her to move somewhere useful to me. I guess there's always the grandkids- I guess I need to start working on them.
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:45   #15
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Re: Exciting Lifestyle Change - Moving Aboard October 1, 2014

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Jeraden, Congratulations and welcome to the community! I just helped my son-in-law deliver his family's new home, a 36' Gulfstar trawler, from St. Petersburg to Jacksonville. We had looked at about twenty boats during his search and found the Gulfstar best, largely because of the care from the previous owner. Keep us posted of your adventures.
Congrats to your kid's! Sounds like they are following your lifestyle of living-aboard. We also looked at many sailboats before we decided on the Gulfstar. We just sold our 23' Grampion which was a great sailboat! We sailed her in Southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake for several years. We will miss her.
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