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post #11 of 15 Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37's Pro's & Cons

I own a 1979 Gulfstar 37 that I purchased in 1990 and love the boat. My wife and 2 children, now grown, have sailed on it every season (Apr-Oct) here in New England and have spent two weeks at a time on it comfortably. That being said, I have seen earlier built GF37s that almost don't seem to be quite the same boat somehow although that's purely a value judgement on my part. I have hull #139 so hopefully all the kinks were worked out earlier.
But to the point, the '79 GS37 is a well built and forgiving vessel under sail. All bulkheads are tabbed, the interior is roomy and storage space abounds. We have been in 35 k winds and 12' seas off Nantucket (not by choice) and the question on my mind was whether the crew would hold up not the boat. I had a double reefed main, with the head sail furled to 1/3 and 'Windchime' my vessel, wasn't even breathing hard as she just kept charging powerfully ahead.
The GS37s wide beam is carried all the way to the stern allowing for deep storage lockers, huge interior for a 37', (people can't believe it's only 37') and it's extended waterline allows for a comfortable sail in big seas. The teak joinery is masterfully done, and the vessel is extremely safe and forgiving. The biggest drawback is access to the engine but it's not unmanageable. People are surprised at the roominess below and the spacious comfortable cockpit. I love the boat. Just be sure to check for osmosis since I've heard horror stories about that on earlier ones. The deciding factgor for me was the fact that Ted Hood was the sole distributor for GS37s in the NE and he wouldn't be selling a poorly made or one that didn't sail well. I think I was right. I still own the boat and I'm getting ready to commission it for the coming season. Hope this helps you.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37's Pro's & Cons

I've been living aboard a 1979 Gulfstar 37 for about 3 years now in Boston and I love it. She's a surprisingly fast boat, I regularly exceed 8kts and have maintained upwards of 7.5kts for extended periods. I think the interior is beautiful and roomy. It's also surprisingly warm in the winter; the teak interior and the airspace behind it act as insulation. I really like the L-shaped nav station which has a ton of room (I have my computer set up on it). The lazarettes are cavernous. Mine did not have any blister problems, but just to be safe I had the bottom barrier coated. My deck has not suffered any water intrusion, perhaps a previous owner took care of rebedding the stanchions. The engine access isn't great, but it isn't terrible, either. My biggest complaint is the V-berth... it gets a little narrow towards the bow. My girlfriend likes to stretch out. That is going to be the driving force behind me getting a bigger boat, I think.

1979 Gulfstar 37 Laissez Faire
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37's Pro's & Cons

Just read the latest issue of Practical Sailor April 2013, not to many kind words to be said about a pre-1980 Gulfstar boats. I always thought that they were well built, not now.

I think i would avoid them now.

Then again; the more i learn about 70's boats the more i learn that a lot of them are not as well-built as people claim.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37's Pro's & Cons

Bene, I have not read the article you refer to, as I am not a subscriber, but I do know that Gulfstar went through three distinct phases (I know a guy who used to work for them, both at the yard and as a broker). In the first phase, they produced a bunch of crappy motorsailers and power boats. Then they started producing well-built and good-performing sailboats -- this was from around 1976 - 1984. After that, for reasons unknown they began to cut corners and the quality of construction went significantly downhill. I lucked into buying a boat from the good period in the middle, and now knowing what I know, I'd be entirely comfortable buying another one -- my boat is extremely solid. I would not buy a boat from either of their two bad periods.

1979 Gulfstar 37 Laissez Faire
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37's Pro's & Cons

Haven't read the article Bene is referring to but I love my 1979 Gulfstar 37. It was delivered to Ted Hood who was the sole distributor for them here in the NE. I even have the delivery papers and itemized mfg hardware list . That being said, I've seen earlier built GF 37s that don't have anywhere near the quality does mine and and many other owners. It's a great boat. Roomy, beamy, fast, forgiving and comfortable. I wouldn't dismiss it without checking first checking it out.
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