Gulfstars for Cruising?
Thanks, Jack. Yeah, others have questioned the Gulfstars'' build quality, too. I''m not sure I understand which boats you mean when you say "All the above designs are definitely not suitable IMO for comfortable, indefinite live aboard comfort nor for the load carrying ability that real blue water sailing can require." Are you saying this about the D35, P35 and T34? I know the T34 is a little light at 11,000#. But is the D35 still too small and light at 15,000#?
The issue of the draft is really just about gunkholing and accessibility to out-of-the-way anchorages. My desire for extreme shallow drafts of under 4'' (like the P35 and T34) is because I love the east coast of Costa Rica and there are few to no anchorages and the only comfortable places to lay are inside the reefs in very shallow water.
(But, in the end, I would take just about any boat, even a wooden Ingrid, which has more draft and displacement, if the deal is right. And I would just have to know there are some places I cannot go.)
The reason I would make Trinidad home base is because (1) it is below the so-called hurricane belt and (2) my wife still has citizenship there and I know she would like to return there to work occasionally, as well as to retire there.
As far as the "true hurricane hole" goes, I really got that one wrong. I was thinking of Bon Accord Lagoon in Buccoo Reef in Tobago. The lagoon can only be used in the event of a hurricane and is reportedly the only place in Tobago to anchor in a blow. The channel is less than 4 feet at low tide and 6 to 7 feet at high tide and my cruising guide simply advises that a 6'' draft boat should head to Chag.
Oh, by the way, I gather no Gulfstars call on Horta.