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I'm still new to sailing but in the next 5 years I'd like to end up living aboard and sailing mostly in the Pacific. I'm drawn to the Gulfstar 37's. I like the looks, inside and out. But at this point, I really don't know squat. I'd like to get some opinons on these boats...positive and negative.

Thanks!

Andy
 

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They're great boats if you want to sit in a harbor, watch the bad weather roll in a stay dry while in the pilothouse, these are crappy boats to sail, like having a townhouse (the pilothouse) in your way all of the time, there are MUCH better boats, light winds they're like molasses in a Chicago winter.
 

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Denr, I think you have the Gulfstar 37 confused with other boats in their line. The 37 is a classic sailboat, no coachhouse. Gulfstar made a bunch of motor cruisers and sailboats that could have been called motor cruisers. But the 37 isn't one of them. It has a fin keel, skeg hung rudder, and a very nice layout for its era.

I've spent years sailing one. First the pluses:
- Reasonable performance for a cruiser. My '77 Gulfstar 37 easily outsailed an '89 Hunter 37 on a 6 hour port to port in the Great Lakes. It's no race sled, but it performs well for a cruiser.
- Roomy cabin with tons of teak. Very pretty and comfortable if it's been maintained.
- Fairly dry boat, the long bow overhand keeps the water off the deck and cockpit.

Minuses:
- The boats from the late '70's, early '80's have osmosis problems. We spent a long spring peeling the outer layer of glass off the hull and recoating with West Systems epoxy.
- Over time, the lifeline stanchions leak. They'll need to be rebedded.
- The engine is a challenge to access. Monkey-like abilities are a big plus.

We loved our '37, but we finally got a bad case of 5'-itis and are moving up to a bigger boat.

I'd be happy to fill in more details if you have more questions, let me know.
 

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gulfstar 37

We just purchased a 1978 Gulfstar 37 and have a few questions that I would like to ask if you could get in touch with me. Email is robert_AT_rlarson.com.

Thanks
I have 1978 Gulfstar hall # 102.I am working recently on engine ( replace heat exchange, fresh water pomp with pully, all oil hoses) . Ready to start important project - skeg attachment to the hull( fiber glass reinforcement). Some suggestion ? ,,,,,,,,, some question ? . Write me Email - Chrisazpl @yahoo.com
 

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In case anyone is still linked to this thread: Why not post your questions and answers here instead of email? It's as easy as emailing, and all can benefit.
 

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Yeah, I've never quite figured out why so many people come to a public forum like this one, where the whole idea is to share information with the community, and then want to take all of their discussions to PM or e-mail.
 

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For whatever value, I have found Gulfstars to be a good tough boat for the money.
They have "over built" hulls since they were designed before the advent of CAD which allowed a lot less layup (per the computer) to be done to the hull construction.

But, the deck stanchions allow their decks to rot, because they didn't put epoxy around the stanchion bases; so you could have an extensive project in replacing the wood in the deck, and ideally, adding some epoxy where the stanchions bolt through the deck.

Considering the quality of the interior cabins' is mostly veneer, you could also spend a lot of time / effort / money improving that area. Or not, your choice.

If the chainplates in a 37' GS are inside the interior cabin walls, you might want to change those. (see my earlier thread: Triumph) Well, change them anyway. :)

But, overall, "for the money", a GulfStar is a tough work horse, and will take quite a beating. It is up to you how much pleasure you get out of her.
 

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Hi, I too have been looking for a 37 Gulfstar. From what I have read it's hard to beat for a reasonably priced cruiser. Any words of wisdom from past owners?
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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They're great boats if you want to sit in a harbor, watch the bad weather roll in a stay dry while in the pilothouse, these are crappy boats to sail, like having a townhouse (the pilothouse) in your way all of the time, there are MUCH better boats, light winds they're like molasses in a Chicago winter.
Hi Denr,

No offence, but it doesn't sound to me like you have EVER been on a Gulfstar 37.
IF you were and it behaved as you have stated, the person sailing it did not know what they were doing.
They are NOTHING like your description.

Regards,
Me
 

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I'm still new to sailing but in the next 5 years I'd like to end up living aboard and sailing mostly in the Pacific. I'm drawn to the Gulfstar 37's. I like the looks, inside and out. But at this point, I really don't know squat. I'd like to get some opinons on these boats...positive and negative.

Thanks!

Andy
I'm still new to sailing but in the next 5 years I'd like to end up living aboard and sailing mostly in the Pacific. I'm drawn to the Gulfstar 37's. I like the looks, inside and out. But at this point, I really don't know squat. I'd like to get some opinons on these boats...positive and negative.

Thanks!

Andy
Hey Andy, I'm interested in a 77 gulfstar 37 myself for a very similar idea as yours (live in and possible circumnavigation). Wondering what you ended up going with and how it all went? Thank you in advance

Best Regards,
Zee
 
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