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Gulfstar 44 review: one of the best designs ever.

Vince Lazzara was not a beginner when he started Gulfstar in 1970. He had previously co-owned Columbia Yachts. Lazzara keenly knew what would sell and big bathtub motorsailers were in demand in the early 1970’s. If you wanted a powerboat, they pumped out an early Gulfstar. If you wanted a sailboat, they would stick on a mast like the 53 motorsailer which doubled as a displacement trawler. Gulfstar produced roomy motorsailers in their Tampa Bay factory. Around 1978 when consumer tastes changed so did Gulfstar. Lazzara switched to producing high performance sailboats. There is confusion with the 44 Gulfstar because they produced an early 1970’s motorsailer version. The early 1980’s Gulfstar 44 CC is a whole different animal and one these performance designs.

John Kretschmer, a former Hylas skipper, said one time to me about the Gulfstar 44, “You know that’s a great design. I’m as connected to Hylas as anybody but I’d say the Gulfstar 44 is a better design than the Hylas 44. It’s the boat everybody’s looking for. Add a few more portholes to get more light in the interior and…I can’t think of a better design.” Lazzara was a master of beauty above, speed below, and comfort inside. You’ll find these with either an athwartship king or centerline queen aft. The step down U-shaped galley is seaworthy with great headroom. If you are looking at 44 Peterson or 44 Hylases, you might also consider the 44 Gulfstar.

First Impressions What gives the Gulfstar 44 more flair than other designs is her counter stern. Lazzara pulled it off well on the 44 as the slight overhang and reverse transom combine for a handsome look – not modern or classic. This 44-footer is one of those designs in life that keeps in style while the passing fancies cascade away. Gulfstar brochures credit the design to R. C. “Dick” Lazzara, Vince’s son, but you can see a heavy influence of dear old dad. Underneath she has a modern fin keel and skeg hung rudder. Overall, Lazzara helped pioneer the raked bow centercockpit cruiser look we see today in most production boats. Her cabintrunk is modest with a slight sheer. She is nice with that touch of flair with the stern. She has quite a bit of teak on deck in the cockpit. A fine teak toerail runs around along with the handles. If you are looking for the lowest maintenance boat, the 44 is a more classic, prettier style with the wood. It does not have all stainless steel or plastic as these days you will find on sensible production yachts.

Construction There are two different tracks here that are important to keep distinct: design and construction. As the designs moved from motorsailers to performance centercockpit cruisers, the construction on a separate tack improved. These are not really related. It is not that Gulfstar made all motorsailers inexpensively or all cruisers high quality. It just so happened that as they became more experienced and improved their workmanship, they switched to building a different type of design. Late model motorsailers like the 47 Sailmaster series benefited from the increase in skills at the Gulfstar factory.

In the early 1970’s, Gulfstar construction was lower quality than later on. When I say lower quality, I can illustrate this by certain techniques. In general the dividing line is somewhere around 1978. Before 1978, the interiors were mostly Formica – inexpensive and functional. After then, the interiors were teak verneer and used a patented process to camber edges. The dark teak joinery work is as good or better than any manufacturer out there especially in the late 1980’s. Also before 1978 approximately, they used iron ballast and afterwords lead ballast both encapsulated. Lead ballast is one of the fundamental ways to improve performance by using a denser material to lower center of gravity. All the Gulfstar 44’s, most the 50’s, and all the 47’s have lead ballast. Gulfstar used a solid hull layup and balsa core deck. Longitudinal stringers and transverse floors stiffen the hull. The joint is the traditional inner flange bolted and glued with 5200. The mast is keel stepped.

But despite the increase in quality as Gulfstar became more experienced, they were still hit hard by blister problems throughout. The oil embargo caused all manufacturers in this era to try innovative ways to save resin. The chopper gun probably affected them too. And this was before the wide use of blister preventing vinylester resins. If there is one thing that even later Gulfstars including 44’s can be affected by, that is blister problems. They call this the blister pox of the 1980’s. I think it is critical to ask about the blister history and last time a bottom job has been done on a Gulfstar irrespective of the era.

Down Below Down below is really where the Gulfstar 44 shines. The dark teak joinery work is stunning and attests to the high quality of Gulfstar’s later workmanship. The layout with her aft stateroom is nice. One of the most attractive combinations clients look for is a centerline queen aft stateroom as on the Mark II versions. The Mark I versions have an athwartship king which is a practical, seaworthy berth and impressive as well. On the layout, you can see she has a large berth aft. And she has two heads with separate showers for and aft. The heads look like they have slightly different orientation of the sink and shower between the Mark I and II versions according to company literature. Another great feature is the step down galley. The 44 has nice headroom anyway but with the step down galley even the tallest came stand up straight. And, the galley is tight and seaworthy without seeming small. If I designed a boat, I would make the galley just like the 44.

Engine and Underway The engine room is not the best I have seen. It is large and similar to the 50 Gulfstar but a little lower and further in there. Access is via the passageway and a cutout from the aft stateroom. The engine is either the venerable Perkins 4-108 or 4-154. Expect the 4-108 to burn oil, but otherwise run like a top if properly maintained. The beefier 4-154 is great except that parts are hard to find. There is plenty of room for a generator, watermaker, and other additional equipment. In general when looking at brokerage listing you will see those with high and low hour engines. Clients clearly prefer a newer, lower hour engine and the price differential is somewhere like $20k to $30k.

One owner of the Gulfstar 44 described her in heavy seas, “She really handles well and loves rough weather. The rougher it gets the better she performs. We took a trip on a catamaran which really pounded to Australia. We should have taken our 44. She does never pounds but smooth rides. We always feel safe and controlled.” She is a heavier cruiser and known to sail far and wide. You can feel down below her strength and quality. With her fin keel and skeg hung rudder, she is a performance cruiser unlike the early model 44’s which were motorsailers that should not be taken offshore.

I sea-trialed a 44 on a beautiful Fall day in Fort Lauderdale. A tropical storm had sucked out all the bad weather, and a cold front was providing cloud cover and cool air. In 10 knots true from the north east and light swell, we raced along maxing out at 4.8 knots on a broad reach with main and a 120% jib outside the Port Everglades cut. We tacked and close hauled to windward making a couple knots into the light breeze.

Conclusion In the beginning, they did not know what they were doing quality-wise and produced poor performing designs. In the middle and later, they got it together and produced some great boats. Gulfstars of the early 1970’s like the early 44 motorsailers are suspect quality boats. But around 1978 and onward, they produced some great designs including the Gulfstar 44. Gulfstar switched again later on as the Lazzara sons who were powerboat guys got involved. While keeping the quality, they switched to displacement motor yachts of which the 54 Motor Cruiser is the best example. By 1990, they were producing solely powerboats and sold the company to Viking Yachts. The Lazzara sons formed the super yacht company Lazzara Yachts which continues to today. Gulfstar 44’s are attractive values and comparable to Hylas 44’s. You can find these for somewhere between $100,000 to $140,000 on the brokerage market.

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Gulfstar 44

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We recently bought a 1981 Gulfstar 44 center cockpit. It was the boat we decided on after multiple years of reading, discussing and ocassionally cussing. Some people would naturally cuss the Gulfstar but then some compared it to the Hylas 44. An older article by Bob Perry had quite an indepth discussion of the pro's and con's of the boat then at the end he said "but it isn't any fun when you can't find something about a sailboat to complain about." This last weekend in winds around 15 to 20 with gust to 30 at the Lake Eufaula Sailboat Bucket Run the ol girl was amazing. We did the first day 14 mile leg of the regatta in an astounding 1 hour and 18 minutes. It was an incredible ride. I have no idea what is the norm for boats in this range but let me just say......WAAAAAA HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! That was incredible.......... After two days of sailing we placed 1st in the regatta and now are the proud owners of a wooden bucket. Ya can't harldy have anymore fun than that. Thanks for reading, I'm so excited about how the ol girl handled I just had to tell someone!  

An older article by Bob Perry had quite an indepth discussion of the pro's and con's of the boat then at the end he said "but it isn't any fun when you can't find something about a sailboat to complain about." Click to expand...

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

NC - CONGRATS! Jeez that's a fast run! Post some pics of the boat when you can. I like Gulfstars and really like when they win wooden buckets!  

I have a fond memory of that design: I rafted up with one on my first solo cruise. I was in a 20' sloop working my way around the South Shore of Long Island. We anchored in a little cove behind a sandbar, they had me aboard for mussels and beer. In the morning I gave them milk for their coffee.  

That's funny, ladies always comment about the copious amounts of muscles and beer aboard the Smacktanic too!  

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

Real glad to hear you're improving, CP.  

Waiting on some pics to be e-mailed to me. Everyone commented on how beautiful the Luff is under sail. Can't wait to see them my self. I'll post some of them as soon as I get them... But DANG, of everything I've been reading about the Gulfstar no one ever commented on their speed. I did read one story about a singlehander claiming he had out run a Swan 57 with a regatta crew still on board but I thought he was just "blowing"......... Cardiac Paul did a great job steering me towards this boat. I owe ya a huge thanks!  

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

HVe just purchased 44 ketch rigged center console. Would appreciate any Information you have. Thanks mark  

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gulfstar 44 sailboat data

GULFSTAR 44 Detailed Review

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If you are a boat enthusiast looking to get more information on specs, built, make, etc. of different boats, then here is a complete review of GULFSTAR 44. Built by Gulfstar Yachts and designed by Vince & Richard Lazarra, the boat was first built in 1978. It has a hull type of Fin with rudder on skeg and LOA is 13.62. Its sail area/displacement ratio 12.76. Its auxiliary power tank, manufactured by Perkins, runs on Diesel.

GULFSTAR 44 has retained its value as a result of superior building, a solid reputation, and a devoted owner base. Read on to find out more about GULFSTAR 44 and decide if it is a fit for your boating needs.

Boat Information

Boat specifications, sail boat calculation, rig and sail specs, auxillary power tank, accomodations, contributions, who designed the gulfstar 44.

GULFSTAR 44 was designed by Vince & Richard Lazarra.

Who builds GULFSTAR 44?

GULFSTAR 44 is built by Gulfstar Yachts.

When was GULFSTAR 44 first built?

GULFSTAR 44 was first built in 1978.

How long is GULFSTAR 44?

GULFSTAR 44 is 10.82 m in length.

What is mast height on GULFSTAR 44?

GULFSTAR 44 has a mast height of 11.37 m.

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  • Sailboat Guide

Gulfstar 44 Kth

Gulfstar 44 Kth is a 44 ′ 8 ″ / 13.6 m monohull sailboat designed by Richard C. Lazzara and built by Gulfstar Yachts starting in 1974.

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

Rig dimensions for ketch. See GULFSTAR 44 for more details.

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Gulfstar 44 CC

Gulfstar 44 CC - Gulfstar / STW001936

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

cabin cruiser

Perkins 50HP

overall length

hull length

waterline length

standard draft

minimum draft

displacement

diesel tank

mast height

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standard version

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Boatsector

Fin with rudder on skeg

Specifications GULFSTAR 44

1978 - 44.67 ft / 13.62 m - Gulfstar Yachts (USA) - Richard C. Lazzara

GULFSTAR 44

GULFSTAR 44 Sailboat Data

Hull Type: Fin with rudder on skeg Rigging Type: Masthead Sloop LOA: 44.67 ft / 13.62 m LWL: 35.50 ft / 10.82 m S.A. (reported): 697.00 ft² / 64.75 m² Beam: 13.16 ft / 4.01 m Displacement: 26,000.00 lb / 11,793 kg Ballast: 8,500.00 lb / 3,856 kg Max Draft: 5.50 ft / 1.68 m Construction: FG/ solid hull & balsa cored deck Ballast Type: Lead First Built: 1978 Last Built: 1984 # Built: 105 Builder: Gulfstar Yachts (USA) Designer: Richard C. Lazzara

Information from  sailboatdata.com .

Type Engine: Diesel HP: 62 Fuel: 80 gals / 303 L Water: 160 gals / 606 L Hull Speed: 7.98 kn

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

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1982 Gulfstar 44 Technical Specs

General data about gulfstar 44, engine and power specs, dimensions and wieght, detailed specifications, features and equipments, sailing features, other equipments, interior specifications, exterior features, electronical and electrical info, deck hardware, gulfstar 44.

Gulfstar 44 tv detailed specifications and features

More 44 models

  • Gulfstar provided us with the latest version of its 44 service repair manual
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Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45

The gulfstar 45 hirsch 45 is a 44.67ft masthead sloop designed by lazarra and built in fiberglass by gulfstar yachts between 1985 and 1986..

The Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45 is a moderate weight sailboat which is under powered. It is stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a bluewater cruising boat. The fuel capacity is average. There is a good water supply range.

Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45 for sale elsewhere on the web:

gulfstar 44 sailboat data

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COMMENTS

  1. GULFSTAR 44

    GULFSTAR 44. Save to Favorites . Beta Marine. BOTH. US IMPERIAL. METRIC. Sailboat Specifications Definitions Hull Type: Fin with rudder on skeg: Rigging Type: Masthead Sloop: LOA: 44.67 ft / 13.62 m ... Kelsall Sailing Performance (KSP): Another measure of relative speed potential of a boat. It takes into consideration "reported" sail area ...

  2. Gulfstar 44

    The Gulfstar 44 is a 44.67ft masthead sloop designed by Richard C. Lazzara and built in fiberglass by Gulfstar Yachts between 1978 and 1984. 105 units have been built. The Gulfstar 44 is a moderate weight sailboat which is under powered. It is reasonably stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized.

  3. Gulfstar 44

    Gulfstar 44 is a 44′ 8″ / 13.6 m monohull sailboat designed by Vince & Richard Lazarra and built by Gulfstar Yachts between 1978 and 1984. Great choice! Your favorites are temporarily saved for this session. Sign in to save them permanently, access them on any device, and receive relevant alerts. ... Gulfstar 44 is a 44 ...

  4. Gulfstar 44 Review: One of the Best Designs Ever

    Around 1978 when consumer tastes changed so did Gulfstar. Lazzara switched to producing high performance sailboats. There is confusion with the 44 Gulfstar because they produced an early 1970's motorsailer version. The early 1980's Gulfstar 44 CC is a whole different animal and one these performance designs.

  5. Gulfstar 44

    Gulfstar 44. We recently bought a 1981 Gulfstar 44 center cockpit. It was the boat we decided on after multiple years of reading, discussing and ocassionally cussing. Some people would naturally cuss the Gulfstar but then some compared it to the Hylas 44. An older article by Bob Perry had quite an indepth discussion of the pro's and con's of ...

  6. GULFSTAR 44: Reviews, Specifications, Built, Engine

    GULFSTAR 44 Detailed Review. If you are a boat enthusiast looking to get more information on specs, built, make, etc. of different boats, then here is a complete review of GULFSTAR 44. Built by Gulfstar Yachts and designed by Vince & Richard Lazarra, the boat was first built in 1978. It has a hull type of Fin with rudder on skeg and LOA is 13.62.

  7. Gulfstar 44 Kth

    Gulfstar 44 Kth is a 44′ 8″ / 13.6 m monohull sailboat designed by Richard C. Lazzara and built by Gulfstar Yachts starting in 1974. Great choice! Your favorites are temporarily saved for this session. Sign in to save them permanently, access them on any device, and receive relevant alerts.

  8. Gulfstar 44 CC : STW001936 : the SailingTheWeb sailboat datasheet

    The Gulfstar 44 CC produced by the builder Gulfstar and designed by Richard Lazzara, is a cabin cruiser for cruise, rigged Sloop ... read more on Sailing The Web, the ultimate sailboat database

  9. Specifications GULFSTAR 44

    GULFSTAR 44 Sailboat Data Hull Type: Fin with rudder on skeg Rigging Type: Masthead Sloop LOA: 44.67 ft / 13.62 m LWL: 35.50 ft / 10.82 m S.A. (reported): 697.00 ft² / 64.75 m² Beam: 13.16 ft / 4.01 m Displacement: 26,000.00 lb / 11,793 kg Ballast: 8,500.00 lb /…

  10. Gulfstar Yachts

    Gulfstar Yachts was a large manufacturer of fiberglass sailboats and powerboats built in the Tampa Bay, ... sailcruiser, performance auxiliary (built by Hirsh using purchased Gulfstar 44 plans) 44AUX R.C. Lazzara performance sailboat, comes in Mark I,II versions : Gulfstar 43: Vince Lazzara comes in Mark I, II versions : 41AUX Vince Lazzara

  11. Review of Gulfstar 44

    The l/b ratio for Gulfstar 44 is 3.41. Wide Slim 54% 0 50 100. Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 54% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a slightly more speedy hull design.

  12. Gulfstar 44 kth

    The Gulfstar 44 kth is a 44.67ft masthead ketch designed by Richard C. Lazzara and built in fiberglass since 1974. The Gulfstar 44 kth is a moderate weight sailboat which is slightly under powered. It is reasonably stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a bluewater cruising boat.

  13. 1982 Gulfstar 44 Specs And Pricing

    General Data about Gulfstar 44. Brand: Gulfstar: Model: 44: Boat Type: Sail: Category: Cruiser (Sail) Year Of Production: 1982: Condition (New/Used) Pre-Owned (Used) Country: Cotuit, Massachusetts : Fuel (Gas/Diesel) Diesel : ... ©2022 Boats and Yachts Detailed Data And Technical Specs (Dimensions, Prices, Weight and Engine Power) ...

  14. Gulfstar 44 boats for sale

    1980 Gulfstar 44 Center Cockpit. US$109,500. Honolulu Yacht Brokerage International LLC | Lihue, Hawaii. Request Info. <. 1. >. * Price displayed is based on today's currency conversion rate of the listed sales price. Boats Group does not guarantee the accuracy of conversion rates and rates may differ than those provided by financial ...

  15. Gulfstar 43

    The Gulfstar 43 is a 43.33ft masthead sloop designed by Vince Lazarra and built in fiberglass by Gulfstar Yachts between 1976 and 1978. ... 44.90 ft J: ... Personalize your sailboat data sheet. Paste a link here: Give it a title:

  16. GULFSTAR 43

    LENGTH: Traditionally, LOA (length over all) equaled hull length. Today, many builders use LOA to include rail overhangs, bowsprits, etc. and LOD (length on deck) for hull length. That said, LOA may still mean LOD if the builder is being honest and using accepted industry standards developed by groups like the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council).

  17. Gulfstar 44 boats for sale

    The starting price is $28,000, the most expensive is $127,500, and the average price of $89,000. Related boats include the following models: 43 Trawler, 36' and 41. Boat Trader works with thousands of boat dealers and brokers to bring you one of the largest collections of Gulfstar 44 boats on the market. You can also browse boat dealers to find ...

  18. Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45

    The Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45 is a 44.67ft masthead sloop designed by Lazarra and built in fiberglass by Gulfstar Yachts between 1985 and 1986. The Gulfstar 45 hirsch 45 is a moderate weight sailboat which is under powered. It is stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a bluewater cruising boat.