The Gulf 32 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Gulf 32, an ultra-heavy displacement sloop, was designed by William Garden and built in the USA by Gulf Marine Products/Capital Yachts Inc.

A Gulf 32 sailboat at anchorA Gulf 32

Published Specification for the Gulf 32

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 32'0" (9.8m)

Waterline Length: 23'4" (7.1m)

Beam: 10'0" (3.1m)

Draft: 5'2" (1.6m)*

Rig Type: Cutter (or sloop)

Displacement: 16,000lb (7,257kg)

Designer: William Garden

Builder: Gulf Marine Products/Capital Yachts Inc (USA)

Year First Built: 1965

Year Last Built: 1998

Number Built: 400

* A shoal draft version was an option, drawing 4'6"


Published Design Ratios for the Gulf 32

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 11.6

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 40.6

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 563

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 44.4

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.6

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

Read more about these Key Performance Indicators...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Gulf 32

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 11.6 suggests that the Gulf 32 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 40.3 means that the Gulf 32 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 563, tells us the Gulf 32 is firmly in the ultra-heavy displacement category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected, not that it was ever startling. Few if any sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with some long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 44.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Gulf 32 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.6 indicates that a Gulf 32 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

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