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Old 01-12-2016, 07:09 PM   #1
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Going to look at a 1973 Gulfstar 36

Local boat, looks good in the pics and the list of upgrades/services makes me think the owner actually cares

Anything in particular I need to look out for on this brand/style boat? I've got basic stuff like burned wires, leaky windows, rotten hoses, etc. down I think.

It has 6 year old AGM batteries (2010), how long do these last?

Lunaire HVAC with upgraded digital controls in 2010?

85 hp perkins (twin). . .anything particular to look out for?

It has unknown hours and no meters according to the owner.

No blisters (wont believe it till I see it, but . . .)

Thoughts as to living aboard (office job) and cruising the chesapeake? In the off chance I could manage time off, could this boat make it to the Bahamas?

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. cb. One comment: Yes, in fairly good shape and fairly dependable this model of boat would easily make it to and through the Bahamas.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:26 PM   #3
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Below is a link to a review of a Gulfstar 43 by David Pascoe . The review has been around for some time and talked about in various forums. I recommend giving it a read as there will likely be some useful information for your assessment of the 36.

I have experience between Florida and The Bahamas and would not hesitate to make the run in this boat.

Good Luck!

Boat Review by David Pascoe - Gulfstar 43
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:53 PM   #4
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I owned a 1973 Gulfstar for 8 years, and cruised it pretty extensively, including 5 or 6 Bahamas trips.

Pros: US Built. Solid glass cabin sides and hull, so not as much rotten concern, though the decks are cored and prone to rot. Very roomy for its size. 4-236 perkins are reliable, economical and easy to work on. They will run forever, I've heard reliable stories of 15,000 hour 4-236 still going strong. Engine access is fair. Not as much exterior teak as some other boats of its vintage, though still quite a bit. No teak decks. Decent sized galley and dinette for a 36, big fridge. Very heavily built hull and deck. The lower skin on my old boat was 3/4" thick in some areas. Good value.

Cons. Super rolly, not a very good open water boat. You will have to choose your days for any sort of open water crossing. A gulf stream crossing will require seas of 2' or less to be comfortable. Not a lot of storage on deck. Wiring, as on most boats of this vintage, is likely suspect. Certain perkins parts can be expensive and difficult to find. I paid close to $1,000 for a thermostat housing. The engines are very prone to oil and fuel leaks, which don't stop them from running fine, but can be messy.

At 7 to 8 knots, 1850 rpm, it burns 3 to 3.5 gph. 9 knots at WOT.

I think some Gulfstars were built better than others, some had blister issues, some did not.

Batteries are a maintenance thing. They will have to be replaced at some point.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:02 PM   #5
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many thanks for the replies! The battery thing. . .is a selling point in the ad. Which sounds great because 2010 sound pretty new, until I realized that's 6 year ago plus however long they sat on a shelf

I'll let everyone know how this goes come Sunday!
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:33 PM   #6
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Take a look at Marine Survey 101 for a few tips on what to look for.
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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It has 6 year old AGM batteries (2010), how long do these last?

Thoughts as to living aboard (office job) and cruising the chesapeake? In the off chance I could manage time off, could this boat make it to the Bahamas?

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many thanks for the replies! The battery thing. . .is a selling point in the ad. Which sounds great because 2010 sound pretty new, until I realized that's 6 year ago plus however long they sat on a shelf

Our oldest AGM bank has 10 seasons, still seems OK. I've read there are some better/not so better brands (ours happen to be Odysseys), so that could be a factor. I've also read most AGM's prefer being brought back up to 100% state-of-charge (SOC) often; if that's been mostly a marina boat, it's probably been treated well like that.

I wouldn't hesitate about short runs to the Bahamas. I'd also do some serious weather planning for such a trip, and I'd be prepared to wait out -- at either end -- any inbound slop.

-Chris
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:24 PM   #8
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Take a look at Marine Survey 101 for a few tips on what to look for.
Good read! Most of that I look for (and is in the link) is just from just experience of owning boats. . .of course a lot of whats in there depends on the broker letting you muck around. Some have been easy going and left me alone to mess around, others are adamant about me not messing with stuff and hover over me
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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Just plan on buying new batteries it's a mute point. If that is your biggest cost in buying that boat consider yourself lucky.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:54 PM   #10
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Hehehe, I guess that's a good thing. My current sailboat, turns out I bought a hull and some nice deck fittings. Looking at nicer, more complete boats is so much different then looking at crap
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:55 PM   #11
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Well, it is definitely the trawleriest looking boat I've been on! I'm a real sucker for a boat with character. . .even one that needs a bit of work

Love the interior layout. Exterior could use more deck space but not bad, especially for the amount of time spent there. . .

But the work required. . .

-Decks need some coring repair. Fordeck particularly is pretty bad. . .
-Prop shafts have some pitting around the stuffing box where it stays wet
-Some tweaked stanchions
-Engines have corrosion and signs of leaks around coolers and end plates. One oil cooler definitely needs to be pulled.
-Some interior rot around the windows. Though, the frames have been pulled, painted and resealed recently
-Lots of deferred maintenance items. . .
-Struts and prop shaft tubes need to be rebedded. . .

Of course, and people that know me tend to agree. . .I'm an anal retentive perfectionist and if it isn't perfect, it tends to be bad

Good thing though, the engines were nice and cold and started in about a second of cranking. White smoke for a few minutes dissipated a lot for the 10 or so minutes it ran. It was snowing outside, around 35 degrees. . .

Anyways, I looked at a Mainship 34 that is practically turn key! So why am I thinking of this Gulfstar fixer upper? I'm a sucker for character
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:04 AM   #12
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Anyways, I looked at a Mainship 34 that is practically turn key! So why am I thinking of this Gulfstar fixer upper? I'm a sucker for character

Which 34? Original '70s-'80s? Or newer 2000s?

We had one of the former... good boat.

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Old 01-18-2016, 11:52 AM   #13
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So why am I thinking of this Gulfstar fixer upper? I'm a sucker for character
Because you're a sailor at heart and those model Gulfstar's are motor sailors without the mast. Kind of a gateway drug.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:25 PM   #14
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Because you're a sailor at heart and those model Gulfstar's are motor sailors without the mast. Kind of a gateway drug.
Yeah, maybe a little I will mention, inside the salon when he started the motors they were annoyingly loud. . .kind of breaks the serenity of being on the water. . .

Sailboats, old fishing boats, trunk cabin trawlers. . .all have that "thing" that makes me turn my head when walking by. That Mainship 34 is an older mkIII with practically every mechanical item done that I would want, and is the practical buy. But last night I was pen to paper trying to convince myself the GS can work

it's a sickness, it really is
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:35 PM   #15
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The rot around the windows can probably be fixed with some covering trim, the house is solid glass--no core, so it's not a structural thing.

The foredeck rot could be less of a problem than you think, the lower skin is really solid and thick up there. You may be able to live with it for a while until you get other things under control.

The shaft logs on my boat (Now John Nall's who is on the forum a lot) had the be replaced, if they look like they need to be rebbeded you might as well replace them as the labor/haul is the biggest part of the job. It is about a $1,500 job including parts if I recall correctly. The logs are available, mine came from Buck Algonquin.

The stuffing box on the port side is kind of a bear to tighten. The stb side is way easier. I never loved the stuffing boxes on my old boat, they needed a lot of attention, even though the shafts were correctly aligned.

In my experience, Perkins leak a lot of fluids. Other than that they are great.

No manicooler on the 4-236, that's a good thing. I replaced the ends and gaskets on both my heat exchangers, I can't recall where I got them, but they are available.

As per the leaks, it's not an ideal solution, but you can slide turkey pans (yep) lined with oil diapers under the engines. They will catch most all of the leaks. The oil pan gasket is also super prone to leaks and very hard to replace as there is no room to pull the pan without lifting the engine.

The Mainship will ride better and you won't miss the exterior teak, though I'm sure it has problems of its own.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:46 PM   #16
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As you can see from Doug's most excellent post it's not called Perkins petina for nothing. Similar to a Harley the time to worry about a Perkins is when it stops dripping.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:23 AM   #17
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That Mainship 34 is an older mkIII with practically every mechanical item done that I would want, and is the practical buy.

That's what we had, an '87.

Start by detail-cleaning the whole interior, including the engine room; detail-wash/wax the deck house and bridge; haul/wash/wax hull topsides, and update bottom paint if necessary; move aboard; E Voila!

Believe the only structural thing I'd try to modify if we had that today would be about replacing the ladder to the bridge with a circular staircase -- assuming that's actually feasible with real measurements. That would cost a little cockpit space, but it would also make the bridge much more easily accessed... with a tray full of Happy Hour.

Given a decent bridge enclosure and maybe camper canvas over the cockpit for use during cooler weather... I expect it'd make a pretty good liveaboard for a single bubba used to sailboat caves.



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Old 01-25-2016, 06:41 PM   #18
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Bah, owner didn't like my offers (low, but I think fair).

Ranger42c, I've been trying to talk myself into putting in an offer. . .I just can't seem to. . .there's an apprehension there I can't identify
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:46 AM   #19
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Ranger42c, I've been trying to talk myself into putting in an offer. . .I just can't seem to. . .there's an apprehension there I can't identify

Not to worry, listen to your inner self.

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