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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy. Yes, I'm sort of putting the cart before the horse. Finally ready to make the plunge into sailing, e.g., coastal cruising and possible long-term goal of ocean passage (5+ years down the road). Retired early and have checked off much of what was on my bucket list. I have plenty of time on the water but minimal time sailing (experience is small motorboats in the ocean, tuna fishing on chartered boats, a mate a few decades ago on daily/nightly party fishing boats in the Atlantic, bay sailing a few times, dock worker as a teen unloading fishing boats, years at sea on U.S. Navy ships). Went through a few nasty squalls on small boats back in the day.

In the process of lining up sailing school, training, etc. Have been doing quite a bit of online research on boats. Likely just me and the wife--possibly one other crew member. My wife will be more a passenger than a sailor. Trying to narrow down the type of sailboat I want, capabilities, "sailability," long-term livability, etc. I just don't like the inside looks of newer boats, so I'm not averse to buying an older boat if it's capable and fundamentally in good condition. I expect to do plenty of maintenance and repair and spend $ in the process. Came across this boat and wanted to ask what you think:

47′ Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster | Cruising Yachts.

-Price reasonable?
-Would I need another crewmember to sail it?
-Capable off-shore cruiser? Passage?
-Safe, relatively speaking if sailed right, on a long voyage and the possible seas that go along with that?
-Anything particularly important but not covered in the yacht specifications and details? Seems like most everything is covered except last bottom scrub and bottom paint.

It will be a while before I'm ready to buy. But I wanted to get smart on how to review online listings, so when I'm ready to consult a professional broker for their support I can do it smartly. I realize that precedes comprehensive survey, sea trial, etc.

Lastly, I don't want a used boat that has been chartered out heavily. Are there ways to spot that in listings?

Thanks,

Ed
.
 

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You are right to learn the various issues of any model you fancy, but it's a bit academic to examine a specific boat now, since it will be "a while before I'm ready to buy" and anything you look at now will be gone by whenever, "a while" is.
That Gulfstar looks very nice indeed-but so it should, at well over half a million.
Whether the price is reasonable is also mute without a thorough survey, and prices fluctuate wildly according to financial conditions. At the moment they a relatively high and good boats sell fast.
Most cruising boats in the 45' foot and above range are good sea boats. Two masts are generally better than one, because individual sails are smaller and offer more permutations, according to the weather.
Nobody can say whether you will need a crew by the time you are ready. It will depend on how much experience you gain by then, and the rig of the boat you buy. Another is your age and health.
 

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Where are you located? Notice this boat is in San Diego. Near you? I am a fan of looking first at boats near you. Makes logistics so much easier.

Seems like a lot for a boat from the 70s, and not what I would pick since you are looking a number of years out. And looks like a lot of boat for a couple where the wife is a passenger. At this point you don't know what you might need on a boat. I would suggest starting now with a smaller boat (maybe 30-35 feet) and get some experience. Then if you really want to set off and go cruising full-time, you will know what you like and want and what kind of boat to look for.
 

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bell ringer
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I think that Gulfstar is a good MOTORsailer.

With that said it is too early to say if it is a good boat, or even a good boat for YOU. If you plan to cruise, but feel a motorsailor is right for you, skip the sail part and get a power boat. There really is not reason to have a boat with sails unless you want to sail.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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47′ Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster | Cruising Yachts.

-Price reasonable?
-Would I need another crewmember to sail it?
-Capable off-shore cruiser? Passage?
-Safe, relatively speaking if sailed right, on a long voyage and the possible seas that go along with that?
-Anything particularly important but not covered in the yacht specifications and details? Seems like most everything is covered except last bottom scrub and bottom paint.
The Gulfstar Sailmaster would make a decent choice as a comfortable live aboard. But they would be near the bottom of a list as a distance cruiser or a platform on which to learn to sail.
But to answer your questions:
-Price reasonable?
Grossly excessive for this make and model. Price should be closer to $100,000 given the poor build quality of these boats. For example here is one in Florida. 1979 Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - for $85,000.

-Would I need another crewmember to sail it?
If you were a skilled sailor, you could set one up to be handled by a couple, but under no circumstances would these be a good choice as a single-hander, and would be very difficult to dock shorthanded given the vast amount of windage on these boats. More relasitically, you would want a crew of 4 for a distance passage because boats like these are hard on crew.

-Capable off-shore cruiser? Passage?
Almost any boat is capable of an offshore passage with the right weather window, but this would be an extremely poor choice on all counts (suitability of the design, ease of handling, seaworthiness, build quality, etc), as a distance cruiser.

-Safe, relatively speaking if sailed right, on a long voyage and the possible seas that go along with that?
No., Not without a lot of serious modifications.

-Anything particularly important but not covered in the yacht specifications and details? Seems like most everything is covered except last bottom scrub and bottom paint.
Once you learn more about how to sail, you will better understand what makes a good distance voyager. Once you better understand what makes a good platform for distance voyaging then you will also understand that this ad is about boat that someone spent a lot of money buying a ton of stuff but dumped on the wrong boat. The sheer number of shiny objects may seem appealing, but in real terms that all simply amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. But also much of the 'upgrades' are either normal maintenance and are already at their use by date if the goal is distance cruising.

Jeff
 

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Ok. You don't want "the boat" right now. You want a starter boat. A good used boat that is fairly simple and forgiving yet responsive so your mistakes should be immediately discernible. There is a steep learning curve if you are really going to "go for it". Boats are expensive, labor intensive, frustrating, dangerous, ect. As well as beautiful, romantic, adventurous, interesting, etc. Best to figure out how they fit you and your spouse's life. I have seen couples get divorced because of sailboat cruising dreams versus reality. Maybe a Catalina 30 or a Cal 34 would be a good start for both you and your wife. A Catalina 27 or something that size might be better for you but maybe not your wife. Things are a bit smaller and easier to handle. They are very good sailors too. Are you both still healthy, agile and strong? Prone to motion sickness? It makes a big difference on how to approach life on boats.
 

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I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Calculate what has been spent it in the last 10 years. That's what you will be spending in the next 10 years.

And its a Quarter of a MILLION dollars. US Dollars! They're not New Zealand squinklebeckers but real dollars with green stuff on them.
That price + the first few years reconditioning expenses you could look at a good 40ft catamaran which has twice the living space as this 47 footer.

But don't dispare, it's the first boat you've looked at. It's like buying a house 🏡, you want to walk through 100 before you consider popping out your first offer. Only by seeing 100 different types of boats will you be able to narrow it down.

Oh, and forget a crew member. That's about $100k per year for pay, medical, Anual repatriation for vacations, food etc.
Get a modern boat you can sail by yourself 😀😀😀
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Because you stated "looking for advice," I'll give you some; GO SAILING on other people's boatS before you start looking for a boat of your own. You can sign up on the Go Sailing App - iPhone/Android website and look for opportunities.
 

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One of None
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While you're all talking about the boat let me be the voice of reason (or guilt) and try and make you aware that a passenger on a passage is more of a liability then crew. What if you fell overboard? Who's going to help you get back on the boat? Many many boats leave the harbor only to come back two days later under tow when the dream became reality.
Not saying this is you but it reads like.....
 
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If it's just the two of you, your wife will need to be more than a passenger. Both of you, get a bareboat class. Charter in the Caribbean. My wife and I decided we love charters, but open passaging, eh, not for us. Which is why we bought a nifty day sailer to get our fix, and sleep at the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Where are you located? Notice this boat is in San Diego. Near you? I am a fan of looking first at boats near you. Makes logistics so much easier.

Seems like a lot for a boat from the 70s, and not what I would pick since you are looking a number of years out. And looks like a lot of boat for a couple where the wife is a passenger. At this point you don't know what you might need on a boat. I would suggest starting now with a smaller boat (maybe 30-35 feet) and get some experience. Then if you really want to set off and go cruising full-time, you will know what you like and want and what kind of boat to look for.
Okay. I'm in the Midwest but travel to San Diego a few times a year. Making a trip to FL in 2-3 weeks. If I were to buy say a 30 ft boat and really like sailing, then I'd need to sell that boat and upgrade to something larger. Is is easier to sell a smaller boat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that Gulfstar is a good MOTORsailer.

With that said it is too early to say if it is a good boat, or even a good boat for YOU. If you plan to cruise, but feel a motorsailor is right for you, skip the sail part and get a power boat. There really is not reason to have a boat with sails unless you want to sail.
Interesting. Need to think on that. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
While you're all talking about the boat let me be the voice of reason (or guilt) and try and make you aware that a passenger on a passage is more of a liability then crew. What if you fell overboard? Who's going to help you get back on the boat? Many many boats leave the harbor only to come back two days later under tow when the dream became reality.
Not saying this is you but it reads like.....
I agree somewhat. In a tough spot. My wife has always been the companion traveler but not always a co-lead. She would help on watch, cabin duties, maybe navigation but not so much on the physical side of things. I've done a lot of crazy and adventuresome things in my life. Never not followed through with an endeavor once I started. Sailing would likely be no different. I have the means, the health, and the motivation. Slowly putting a multi-year plan together. I could be smarter on the order in which I approach...hence the early line in my post "...cart before the horse..."

Lots of good advice so far. Thanks.

I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Calculate what has been spent it in the last 10 years. That's what you will be spending in the next 10 years.

And its a Quarter of a MILLION dollars. US Dollars! They're not New Zealand squinklebeckers but real dollars with green stuff on them.
That price + the first few years reconditioning expenses you could look at a good 40ft catamaran which has twice the living space as this 47 footer.

But don't dispare, it's the first boat you've looked at. It's like buying a house ?, you want to walk through 100 before you consider popping out your first offer. Only by seeing 100 different types of boats will you be able to narrow it down.

Oh, and forget a crew member. That's about $100k per year for pay, medical, Anual repatriation for vacations, food etc.
Get a modern boat you can sail by yourself ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Calculate what has been spent it in the last 10 years. That's what you will be spending in the next 10 years.

And its a Quarter of a MILLION dollars. US Dollars! They're not New Zealand squinklebeckers but real dollars with green stuff on them.
That price + the first few years reconditioning expenses you could look at a good 40ft catamaran which has twice the living space as this 47 footer.

But don't dispare, it's the first boat you've looked at. It's like buying a house 🏡, you want to walk through 100 before you consider popping out your first offer. Only by seeing 100 different types of boats will you be able to narrow it down.

Oh, and forget a crew member. That's about $100k per year for pay, medical, Anual repatriation for vacations, food etc.
Get a modern boat you can sail by yourself 😀😀😀
Thanks. I'm reading every post carefully and learning along the way.
 

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There are indeed some good sensible replies here for any new, and hopeful, sailors. And the amazing thing is it’s still on the subject—so far anyway.
The best is for you to get sailing, any which way you can, and actually talk to experienced people about what you want, or think you want, to do.
JR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are indeed some good sensible replies here for any new, and hopeful, sailors. And the amazing thing is it's still on the subject-so far anyway.
The best is for you to get sailing, any which way you can, and actually talk to experienced people about what you want, or think you want, to do.
JR.
I'm taking from your post and many others to first "get sailing, any which way..." My plan is to go to sailing school, then try and sign up on "Find a Crew" to get experience. Then I'll likely move (not my whole home, just via my RV to an RV park) to probably Florida or SOCAL on the coast. I have friends and relatives in both places, and have lived there before. Need to spend time in a sailing culture. Can one join a yacht club before they own a boat? I'm guessing contacts in a yacht club would be very helpful. Maybe even buy a boat from someone who's ready to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Gulfstar Sailmaster would make a decent choice as a comfortable live aboard. But they would be near the bottom of a list as a distance cruiser or a platform on which to learn to sail.
But to answer your questions:
-Price reasonable?
Grossly excessive for this make and model. Price should be closer to $100,000 given the poor build quality of these boats. For example here is one in Florida. 1979 Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster Sail New and Used Boats for Sale - for $85,000.

-Would I need another crewmember to sail it?
If you were a skilled sailor, you could set one up to be handled by a couple, but under no circumstances would these be a good choice as a single-hander, and would be very difficult to dock shorthanded given the vast amount of windage on these boats. More relasitically, you would want a crew of 4 for a distance passage because boats like these are hard on crew.

-Capable off-shore cruiser? Passage?
Almost any boat is capable of an offshore passage with the right weather window, but this would be an extremely poor choice on all counts (suitability of the design, ease of handling, seaworthiness, build quality, etc), as a distance cruiser.

-Safe, relatively speaking if sailed right, on a long voyage and the possible seas that go along with that?
No., Not without a lot of serious modifications.

-Anything particularly important but not covered in the yacht specifications and details? Seems like most everything is covered except last bottom scrub and bottom paint.
Once you learn more about how to sail, you will better understand what makes a good distance voyager. Once you better understand what makes a good platform for distance voyaging then you will also understand that this ad is about boat that someone spent a lot of money buying a ton of stuff but dumped on the wrong boat. The sheer number of shiny objects may seem appealing, but in real terms that all simply amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. But also much of the 'upgrades' are either normal maintenance and are already at their use by date if the goal is distance cruising.

Jeff
Thanks. Very informative and I appreciate your frankness.

Luke
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok. You don't want "the boat" right now. You want a starter boat. A good used boat that is fairly simple and forgiving yet responsive so your mistakes should be immediately discernible. There is a steep learning curve if you are really going to "go for it". Boats are expensive, labor intensive, frustrating, dangerous, ect. As well as beautiful, romantic, adventurous, interesting, etc. Best to figure out how they fit you and your spouse's life. I have seen couples get divorced because of sailboat cruising dreams versus reality. Maybe a Catalina 30 or a Cal 34 would be a good start for both you and your wife. A Catalina 27 or something that size might be better for you but maybe not your wife. Things are a bit smaller and easier to handle. They are very good sailors too. Are you both still healthy, agile and strong? Prone to motion sickness? It makes a big difference on how to approach life on boats.
I will check out the Catalinas for sure. Thanks.
 
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