Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

We've already posted in this forum our plans to be liveaboard cruisers in a few years with our daughters who will be 3 and 4 years old at the time. We currently live in Beaufort, SC and will be heading south with plans to cruise the Keys and the Bahamas and then ?

Anyway, we've gotten some fantastic boat recommendations from several people on here who appear to be knowledgeable and the information we've received is being processed and applied to our searches. Thanks everybody! However, we've come across a Gulfstar 37 FSBO right in the heart of our desired price range and wanted to know if anybody had anything positive or negative to say about these boats in terms of quality of construction, reputation for sailing, etc. From the listing we are viewing, there seem to be quite a few positives for our particular situation

- shallow draft (under 5 feet)
- 19500 lbs!
- well priced
- upgraded freshwater tanks (92 gallons)
- always been a freshwater boat

So, what say you about a 1977 37ft Gulfstar sloop?
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

Build quality was very variable, some have very serious blistering.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

they are heavy boats and would be considered sluggish by today's standards. Narrow beam as compared to today's 37'

As mentioned, build quality is all over the place, as was the layup and quality of materials.

Tough to heat and cool as there is not much space to work with.

If it fits your needs, and surveys OK...then you have a candidate.

best of luck
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-10-2013
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92 gallons of water for 4 people?
We feel we're quite conservative and our 115 gallons lasts about 2 weeks or so for 2 of us, 3 if we push it. Sure, some can make 100 gallons last 2 months but can you and your kids? Needing water every 5 to 7 days can get tedious.
Can you somehow set up a test at home to see how long you can make 100 gallons last?
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

Not many boats under 40 ft have significantly more than 92 gallons. An exception is the CSY 37 with 150.

I agree water will be an issue unless they go down the watermaker route then it is powering the SOB.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-11-2013
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And many families have made sub 100 tankage work. But it is a hurdle that needs to be considered. A home test of seeing how far you can stretch 100 gallons would be instructive.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

People have been cruising the seas for years on far less water than 92 gallons, and that includes the days before watermakers. Dishes and showers are salt water, with a fresh water rinse. Cook with salt water or half and half, and use a pressure cooker. If you're in the tropics during the wet seasons, a tarp with a hose captures water. Add 10 gals for the two jerry jugs you'll want to carry on deck. If all else fails, drink the beer.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

Originally Posted by AlanF View Post
If all else fails, drink the beer.
If all else fails!?! I always thought the water was for washing only, until the beer ran out!
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

You can certainly make 92G work. In reality, with that particular boat, you can strap on a 4+ gerry cans to increase 112 or better. Plus, with a watermaker, you can work through many of your water issues when in a place where you can make water. But that is the issue with the water maker: You have to be in a place where you can make it. For example, if you come down to the Keys like Marathon (Book Key Harbor) or Key West, I would not make water here. Now water is available, and some people do make water in this harbor, but I wouldn't. SO you may find yourself hauling water regardless.

With work and coservation, you should be able to get down to about 2.4 gallons/day/person. THat is about what we burn. With real conservation, we can cut that number in half (and have done that), but that gives you a good ballpark.

The things to look for in a boat are storage, storage, and storage. Especially with younger kids, many of their toys are bulky. You will also be carrying a lot of kids books which are fantastic and fun for them to entertain themselves on the long, boring days and nights. Think about how you will secure them in for storms (where they will sleep) and above all ventilation. When you com down here, it gets HOT and often the breezes are very light in the summer months. Kids seems especially susceptible to heat (my youngest breaks out in a rash).

Anyways, those are a few thoughts off the top of my head.

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post #10 of 13 Old 01-14-2014
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Re: Gulfstar 37 for liveaboard cruising?

If you're still shopping, I can offer a few notes.
We have completed our first year with a '79 Gulfstar 37. While not living aboard just yet, that is the goal. I have found her to sail quite well. Yes she's heavy but the long waterline lets her keep the speed up in all but the lightest air. Pointing suffers in light breezes too, of course. But in 15+ knots she is a locomotive. Pretty dry cockpit too.

Blistering is an issue. Our boat was barrier coated by a previous owner, but there are topside blisters from water trapped behind shrinkwrap. (She was on the hard for about 3 years.)
This boat was also repowered. That will probably be your biggest issue if the old Perkins is still in it. Access is challenging.
Rig age is the other big ticket item. I have replaced our forestay, as the old Hood furler was grinding an hourglass in the wire at the top of the foil. The fittings are all Sta-Lok which will make DIY replacement of the other stays possible.

Most of theses boats also leak around the ports and fixed windows at this age. The pretty interior teak veneer plywood de-laminates there and at the companionway.

There was no provision for a holding tank in the original plan. The Lectrasan was supposed to take care of everything... I have seen one owner who has a tank installed under the settee, sacrificing the drawer space. We have gone the composting toilet route.
I am replacing the seacocks that will remain as the originals are rubber cored ancestors of a ball valve, made by Groco, requiring a compression wingnut to be loosened and tightened to open or close the valve. And no spare parts that I know of.

The water tank upgrade is intriguing. Our original fiberglass tanks hold about 70 gallons, smell like resin, and will forever. We don't drink it and I will experiment with filters this season.

Any boat this age will accumulate a list of similar scope, unless the PO was an upgrade hoss. In which case the price will reflect the work load.

The point I guess I should be making is that we find the boat comfy and safe and fun to sail. They are priced below most of the better known brands, but I believe this model is one of the better designs from Gulfstar.
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