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  #1  
Old 02-12-2002
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shipley is on a distinguished road
General Thoughts on Gulfstars

General thoughts on Gulfstars, 40'' and up for extended cruising, blue water safe? Better years then others?
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Old 02-13-2002
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General Thoughts on Gulfstars

We had a 1981 44 Cruising Auxiliary that we kept for 11+ years. The only problem we had with her was blistering. After chasing them around the bottom for a couple of years we had the gelcoat removed from the bottom, epoxy applied and Interprotect 2000/2001 applied. Used Interlux BottomKote over that and never had any further blistering.

Unfortunately we were in the working phase of our lives when we owned her and never had the time to take her cruising for more than a month or two to the Keys as well as short cruises on Florida''s west coast. For that type cruising I''d give her very high marks. She was very comfortable to sail although somewhat wet as I understand most center cockpits can be but a good dodger remedied that aspect. We were never in more than 30 kt blows (that only once for a couple of days). She had a Perkins 62hp and a three-blade fixed prop and motored very easily which you seem to do a lot of in Florida especially in the summer doldrums and when you gotta get to work, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sorry, no bluewater experience. The rigging certainly seemed strong enough though and after we cured the blisters we never had any kind of major problems in the 11+ years we used her. All the systems worked as advertized although we did increase the wire size to the windlass on recommendation from a knowledgeable friend who helped us do it. Had I had the time I wouldn''t have hesitated to take her anywhere...but that comes from someone who hasn''t been ''out there'' so to speak. I never felt that she couldn''t handle much more than I was willing to subject her to.

I understand that after 1981 Gulfstar built some 44s for another company that were not up to Gulfstar specs. I believe they were known as Hirsh-Gulfstars but I''m not that familiar with them although I think they were to be used in the charter industry.

The interior was beautifully done except for the overhead which was cloth. We removed that and installed teak battens which gave us easy access to the underside of the house. The engine room was large and even with the 7.5 Onan, water heater and inverter/charger there was ample room to perform routine maintenance. Other than the suspect size wire for the windlass the wiring was nicely laid out and easy to follow.

Hope this helps some. We sure enjoyed our 44.
Snap
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Old 02-15-2002
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General Thoughts on Gulfstars

Thx you very much for your insight. I am looking at a few on the west coast for purchase and possible Pacific cruising. We enjoyed chartering them in BVI 20 years ago. May I ask what it cost to strip the 44'' bottom gelcoat (before applying the epoxy barrier coat). Sounds like you did it in Florida.
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Old 02-16-2002
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General Thoughts on Gulfstars

That was quite a few years ago. It was before the "peeler" was being used. The gel coat was sanded off using vibrator sanders, the hull was faired using Interlux fairing products, no glass had to be added since very little was removed; the hull was then epoxied with several coats (I can''t recall how many) and then the Interprotect 2000/2001 was used (new on the market at that time). I do remember that numerous coats of the Interprotect system were applied to achieve the thickness the factory rep from Interlux wanted. Over this we put our usual Interlux BottomKote layers, two overall and three at the waterline. We never had another blister for the remainder of the time we owned her (about 4 years) so it appeared to work. We had always hauled the boat every year and never let any of the blisters that had been showing up go unrepaired so that could have been why we had good results with the "full" repair. My wife, the keeper of the funds, tells me the job cost in the neighborhood of $5,000. There was a lot of blister research going on at that time and I suppose there are better products and repairs available now. At that time $5,000 didn''t seem too extreme. I''m not familiar with what it might cost today.
Snap
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Old 02-17-2002
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General Thoughts on Gulfstars

You could consider blasting the bottom
with corn cob,sand to a complete white, let dry out, fill voids with epoxy, resand the bottom fair and apply a thick barrier coat.
This procedure will cost much less and to
drop the cost even more, you could even do some or all of the work your self if you so choose.
Dennis L.
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