The Gulfstar 50 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Gulfstar 50, a centre-cockpit ketch, was designed by Vincent Lazarra and built in the USA by Gulfstar Yachts.

A Gulfstar 50 ketch at anchorA Gulfstar 50 Ketch - also available as a sloop

Published Specification for the Gulfstar 50

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 50'0" (15.2m)

Waterline Length: 39'8" (12.1m)

Beam: 13'8" (4.2m)

Draft: 5'6" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Ketch

Displacement: 35,000lb (15,876kg)

Designer: Vincent Lazarra

Builder: Gulfstar Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1975

Year Last Built: 1980

Number Built: 250

Published Design Ratios for the Gulfstar 50

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 13.5

  • 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: 30.0

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 250

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 38.9

  • 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: 1.7

  • 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 Gulfstar 50

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 13.5 suggests that the Gulfstar 50 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 30.0 means that a sailboat like the Gulfstar 50 (which doesn't have its ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of a deep keel), is likely to benefit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 250, tells us the Gulfstar 50 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 38.9 suggests that crew comfort of a Gulfstar 50 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Gulfstar 50 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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