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  #11  
Old 11-09-2010
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I bought a Gulfstar 37 aft cockpit in September. I absolutely love it. I'm now living aboard. My surveyor said it was suitable for sailing to Bermuda, and my rigger (who has completed a circumnavigation) said he would feel comfortable circumnavigating in it. My ambitions do not extend that far, I think Bermuda or the Caribbean is my limit for this boat, but this is my first boat and I'm very inexperienced, so perhaps I'll get more bold with time. The hull and deck seem to be built very solid. The deck is cored, but on my boat there was no water intrusion (apparently this is rare to find in a GF37). The hulls are known to blister, so you will probably want to apply a barrier coat of epoxy (one of my spring projects), but if it's solid now after 30+ years, it probably has had all the blisters repaired or wasn't one of the ones to blister in the first place.

I think the interior is second to none for this age, size and price range. It has tons of storage space below, and the lazarettes are cavernous. It is a very fast boat -- I have regularly sustained 8.5kts in moderate winds (theoretical hull speed is about 7.5kts). With my limited sail-trimming ability, I can only get it to point about 55 degrees off the wind, which still isn't bad IMHO.

The only problem with the boat I've had so far is the water tank... it's fiberglass, molded into the bilge. You can't clean it due to the placement of the baffles, and you can't replace it without ripping out the entire sole and possibly compromising the structure of the boat. I'm determined to drink my tank water though, so I'm currently building a really nice filter setup.

The listing broker of my boat used to work for Gulfstar, and he was also a Gulfstar dealer when they were new. He gave me a detailed history of the company. He told me that there three distinct phases of management of the company, with the first and third producing very poor quality boats (mostly motorsailers) and the middle phase producing very solid and good-performing sailboats, and that is the phase that the GF37 falls into (~1976-1980). Also, I was told the GF37 was one of 3 differnet length boats (up to the GF43) made from the same hull mold, the only difference being the shorter ones essentially had the stern chopped off. This gives the GF37 the waterline length and interior space of a 43.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2010
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I also just purchased a 1979 Gulfstar 37 this past August.
I think this particular model receives an unfair amount of criticism which is based off of earlier, more 'motorsailer'-like Gulfstar models. After reading comments about this boat online, I was hesitant about this model until I saw it in person. When I finally did check the boat out, I was impressed by the quality of the the interior, and the functional layout of the decks and cockpit. Also, the rigging is sized appropriately and the chainplate mounts appear solid for coastal and limited offshore cruising.
While I do not think this boat would make the ideal boat for a circumnavigation, I would have no qualms sailing this boat to the Caribbean. The previous owners sailed this Gulfstar 37 several times from Maine to Belize, and did several offshore runs to and from Bermuda. They had owned several large sailboats before this Gulfstar, including a 60' wooden ketch and a Catalina 40 and considered this boat their best yet.
My greatest concern with the boat is the water and fuel tanks that are glassed into the floor. Their location makes them near impossible to inspect, and I've wondered exactly what kind of lifespan I should expect out of a fiberglass tank. When it does come time to install a new tank, I've thought about swapping the location of the battery bank with the fuel tank to ease access to both.
Also, engine access is not spectacular. It's a good thing I am still young because getting around the engine requires a fair amount flexibility and dexterity.
So that's my 2 cents. I'm sure I'll have a great many more comments about this boat after I pick apart every system on it over this winter.
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Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Gulfstar 37 advice

HI this is an old discussion but if you are still on the forum I would like to know how your work on your Gulfstar 37 turned out. I'm looking at one for sale and would like to know more about this boat.
Greg
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Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Gulfstar 37 advice

Hi Meador and Thanks for the email. I haven't posted enough to send a private message so.....
Have you done any work on the chain plates? We are looking at a 1976 37' after 36 years in salt water I worry about them they are behind a wood panel. Do you know if they are glassed in. Have you done any work on the tanks and have you added a holding tank? It looks like a solid boat at a good price.
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Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Gulfstar 37 advice

I haven't done any work to my chain plates, but they appear to be in good condition. They are not glassed into the hull, they are bolted in (and mine are also sealed with something that might be 5200). The chain plates are accessible from the interior of the boat for inspection, and my surveyor said they were fine so I haven't bothered with them. The water and fuel tanks are largely inaccessible; both have a ~6" diameter access port in the top, but that won't let you access most of the tank because of the baffles. Also my access ports are frozen in place. I bleached my water tank quite thoroughly and added a nice filter and the water seems fine (it has no taste or odor). I wash with it, brush my teeth with it, and on occasion drink it, but I still drink mostly bottled water because I've never had it professionally tested. My boat came with a holding tank already installed. It's under the counter in the head, outboard of the sink. It's shaped to fit up against the curved hull there. I just finished replacing the entire head and hoses (everything except the holding tank), so I'm quite familiar with that setup. There are removable panels inside the cabinet behind the toilet which allow access into the space where you run the hoses up to the deck fitting for pump out (and where you'd also pro was bably want to put your vented loops). That same panel allows access to at least one chain plate.

1976 was pretty early in the production run for the Gulfstar 37, so things might be slightly different on your boat. Is the traveler in the cockpit or forward of the companionway? The very early ones had the traveler in the cockpit, which I don't think is a very nice design.
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Re: Gulfstar 37 advice

Thanks for the info. Traveler is in the cockpit I haven't sailed a boat with the traveler in the cockpit so we may find out how we like it. We will go back for a second look at the boat after we have some questions answered.
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Old 01-01-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37 advice

Just found your thread. I have a 1977 GS 37 aft cockpit. Purchased in the fall of 2011 , so one season sailing her. Planned projects are fixing hatch and port leaks and contemplating a composting head. love this boat. I am in Hull, MA
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