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Old 10-24-2016, 11:18 AM   #1
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Gulf Commander

Finally got out the west coast to start searching for boats. Been onboard around 20 boats of interest including Canoe Coves, Tollys and Defevers. Some good, some very rough. Nothing yet that we could see ourselves on. We seem to have run out of anything of interest so curious if it is normal for more boats to come up as spring approaches.

I am curious about a boat called a Gulf Commander. I can't find any info on line about this type of boat. Apparently built on the west coast, probably at a small yard that didn't have a big production run. Anyone know anything about these boats? I did see a old one (Margaret Renfrew), from the late 60's early 70's I think - it was very solid and still going strong so thinking the build quality should be good.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:31 AM   #2
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I am not an expert, but there are five or six of these that moor on the same dock with me in North Vancouver.

As far as I know a Gulf Commander could have been made in a number of yards in BC. In fact one fellow with a 40 foot indicated that it was possible to buy the hull and finish it yourself. The majority are the sedan style like Margaret Renfrew, but at least two aft cabins were made. My understanding is that they were either 40 or 48 feet (more like 50 plus LOA) in length. The majority are here in BC, though you do see the odd one pop up in the U.S. as well.

I thought Margaret Renfrew would have been a great buy, but needed some interior refurbishment, and a lack of a generator really put it out of the running.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #3
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Oh yeah and if you have the resources there is a hull for sale locally that you could finish as you like.

40' Gulf Commander boat shell for sale new
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner;
I am curious about a boat called a Gulf Commander.
Werner;
Tolly, Canoe Cove, Gulf Commander and Uniflite.
All quality built boats of 3, 4 decades ago and all deserve a second look.

Gulf Commanders were for the most part an Ed Monk Sr. design and were built in a variety of yards in BC. They ranged in length from 40 feet to 60+ and I think even a 70 or 72. The most popular size being in the 45-48 foot range and this model, discussed above, was the most prominent:
http://www.dovecottage.ca/gulfcommander/

As was typical of the day in WA and BC, molds rented out and a couple of the Gulf Commanders were built on Uniflite hulls.

As pointed out by LowNSlow77, Gulf Commander as well as other builds, of the day, could be bought out the back door at various stages. Obviously that affected "fit and finish."

While I haven't seen a GC on the market for a while, was a time at least one would be available. If you find one that checks most of the boxes AND surveys well, it is a serious contender. Just bear in mind, they are old, and being a BC boat, will not have wide recognition when it comes to resale. As you already know. A serious factor when thinking of "offers."

I'm not certain, but I believe a few were delivered with Volvos...

The broker I told you of in the PM will know Gulf Commanders well.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I am also interested in a '77 40 ft Tolly. Looking at your vessel, you might be able to help in any advice in what issues you have found in your model. Do you know what the wood look material is on the side and fore decks? Are the old tanks prone to leaking?

Any idea on what hull design the GC would have in regards to keeled or v hull?
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the additional info Hawgwash. I did look at a Uniflite but it was certainly blistered a lot so moved on. Something to check on in case the GC I am interested in has that hull.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
Thanks for the info. I am also interested in a '77 40 ft Tolly. Looking at your vessel, you might be able to help in any advice in what issues you have found in your model. Do you know what the wood look material is on the side and fore decks? Are the old tanks prone to leaking?

Any idea on what hull design the GC would have in regards to keeled or v hull?
I am very happy with the Tollycraft in terms of original construction. The wood look material is man made, but I am not sure of the specific material. The Tollycraft owners forum would have the answer if you search through the posts. The tanks are aluminum, as far as I know, and though I have not heard about particular problems they are 40 years old, so no guarantees. They are not like the tanks you see in the Taiwanese Trawlers.

As to particular problems with Tollycraft in general. Age and abuse from previous owners would be high on the list. Windows that may need replacing and checking that stanchions have not let water into the core.

I would buy a Tollycraft again in a minute. They are a bit of a cult out here on the west coast and it is not uncommon to see owners on their third or fourth Tolly.

I have never seen a Gulf Commander out of the water. I assume that they are semi-displacement, but as to the type of keel, I don't know.

The Gulf Commanders are super popular with the owners. In fact one couple just spent about $100,000 on upgrades to their 40 foot as they could not find anything on the market that they liked better.

PowerBoat Guide - Tollycraft 40 Tri-Cabin MY | Denison Yacht Sales
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:16 PM   #8
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Werner;
There was an era of Uniflites that looked like lepers.
Don't let that deter you, just price accordingly.

LowSlow77;
Talked to a Tolly 43 owner in August who had spent 40k on replacing tanks and he told of another at 50K. All dollars Canadian.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
Werner;
There was an era of Uniflites that looked like lepers.
Don't let that deter you, just price accordingly.

LowSlow77;
Talked to a Tolly 43 owner in August who had spent 40k on replacing tanks and he told of another at 50K. All dollars Canadian.

Ah, the joys of boating on the cheap?

Everything I can afford comes with age related deficiencies. Anything 30 or 40 years old has the potential for expensive repairs to things like the fuel tanks. A 43 is a great model that I would love to have been able to buy.

Now where did I put that lottery ticket that allows me to boat in the style to which I want to become accustomed?
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:40 AM   #10
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We seem to have run out of anything of interest so curious if it is normal for more boats to come up as spring approaches.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Typically yes, more boats will appear for sale in the spring. Many owners put the boats to bed, literally, as they do other things over the winter.

Keep looking though as some good ones do show up over the off seasons.

If you are not from here then get a subscription of the local rag, PY, and contact a couple brokers to keep their eyes out.


As far as Gulf Commanders go I would love to get one but not going to happen.

They mostly were good boats. I knew several people who have them and they love them. Just not a lot of them around. Unlike a lot of the new styles they were built down into the hull which gave them a low centre of gravity and with the hull design they are a seaworthy coastal cruiser.
I have also seen some built and outfitted as commercial fishing boats.
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