The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47, a centre-cockpit ketch, was designed by Vince Lazzara and built in the USA by Gulfstar Yachts.

Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 ketch under powerA Gulfstar Sailmaster Ketch

Published Specification for the Gulfstar Sailmaster 47

Underwater Configuration: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 42'5" (14.5m)

Waterline Length: 40'6" (12.3m)

Beam: 13'10" (4.2m)

Draft: 5'6" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Ketch

Displacement: 38,000lb (17,237kg)

Designer: Vince Lazzara

Builder: Gulfstar Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1978

Year Last Built: 1981

Number Built: 79

Owners Association: The Gulfstar Owners Club


Published Design Ratios for the Gulfstar Sailmaster 47

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 13.1

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 27.6

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 255

4. Comfort Ratio: 41.7

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

Performance Expectations, based on the Design Ratios:
The Displacement-Length Ratio (D/L) is a measure of how heavy a boat is relative to its waterline length. A lower D/L indicates a lighter and faster boat, while a higher D/L indicates a heavier and more comfortable boat. The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 has a D/L of 255.7, which puts it in the moderate category. This means it is neither very fast nor very slow, but rather a balanced cruiser that can handle various sea conditions.

The Sail Area-Displacement Ratio (SA/D) is a measure of how much sail area a boat has relative to its displacement. A higher SA/D indicates a more powerful and responsive boat, while a lower SA/D indicates a more stable and conservative boat. The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 has an SA/D of 13.1, which is on the low end of the scale. This means it is not very agile or manoeuvrable, but rather a steady and easy-to-handle boat that does not require much sail trimming or reefing.

The Ballast-Displacement Ratio (BR) is a measure of how much ballast a boat has relative to its displacement. A higher BR indicates a stiffer and more seaworthy boat, while a lower BR indicates a less stiff and more tender boat. The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 has a BR of 27.6%, which is slightly below average. This means it is not very resistant to heeling or rolling, but rather a soft and comfortable boat that does not pound or slam in waves.

The Beam-Maximum Draft Ratio (B/D) is a measure of how shallow or deep a boat's draft is relative to its beam. A lower B/D indicates a deeper and more efficient boat, while a higher B/D indicates a shallower and more versatile boat. The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 has a B/D of 2.5, which is fairly high. This means it has a shallow draft that allows it to access shallow waters and anchorages but also reduces its upwind performance and stability.

Based on these design ratios, we can expect the Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 to be a moderate performer that favors comfort over speed, stability over agility, and versatility over efficiency. It is not a racing machine or an offshore voyager, but rather a coastal cruiser that can take you to many places in style and safety.

Production Period and Numbers Produced:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 was produced from 1978 to 1981, during the peak of Gulfstar's quality and reputation. It was one of the first raised salon designs that offered panoramic views from the main cabin and increased headroom throughout the interior. It was also one of the few motorsailers that had decent sailing characteristics and did not look like a powerboat with a mast.

According to various sources, there were about 79 hulls built during this period, making it one of the most popular models in Gulfstar's history. However, some sources claim that there were only 60 hulls built, while others claim that there were as many as 100 hulls built. The exact number may be hard to verify, but it is clear that the Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 was well-received by the market and enjoyed a loyal following among its owners.

Alternative Versions & Options:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 was available in two versions: sloop or ketch. The sloop version had a single mast with a mainsail and a genoa or jib on the forestay. The ketch version had two masts with a mainsail on the mainmast and a mizzen sail on the mizzenmast, as well as a genoa or jib on the forestay. The ketch version offered more sail area and more options for sail combinations, while the sloop version offered simpler rigging and less windage.

The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 also had some options for the interior layout and equipment. The standard layout had three staterooms: one forward with an ensuite head and shower, one aft with an ensuite head and shower, and one amidships with upper and lower berths. The alternative layout had two staterooms: one forward with an ensuite head and shower, one aft with an ensuite head and shower, and a larger salon with a U-shaped dinette and a settee. The boat also had a spacious galley with ample storage and counter space, a navigation station with a large chart table, and a raised salon with a wraparound settee and a large table.

Some of the optional equipment included a generator, an air conditioner, a watermaker, a bow thruster, a windlass, an autopilot, a radar, a GPS, a VHF radio, a stereo system, a TV, a DVD player, and an inverter. The boat also had a large cockpit with wheel steering, engine controls, instruments, and seating for six. The boat had a swim platform with a ladder and a transom door for easy access to the water.

Number & Location of Sleeping Berths:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 had six or eight sleeping berths, depending on the interior layout.

  • The standard layout had six berths: two in the forward stateroom, two in the aft stateroom, and two in the amidships stateroom.
  • The alternative layout had eight berths: two in the forward stateroom, two in the aft stateroom, two on the salon settee, and two on the dinette.

All the berths were comfortable and well-ventilated, with opening ports and hatches. The forward and aft staterooms had queen-sized beds with drawers and lockers underneath, hanging lockers, shelves, cabinets, and vanity tables. The amidships stateroom had upper and lower single beds with drawers underneath, hanging lockers, shelves, and cabinets.

Press Reviews:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 received positive reviews from various sailing magazines and publications. Here are some excerpts from some of them:

  • "The Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster is one of those boats that makes you feel good just looking at her. She has graceful lines, a pleasing sheer, and an attractive profile. She is also one of those boats that makes you feel even better when you step aboard. She has a spacious and luxurious interior that rivals many larger yachts." (Sail Magazine)
  • "The Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster is not only a comfortable cruiser but also a surprisingly good sailer. She has a long waterline, moderate displacement, a well-balanced rig, and a generous sail area. She can sail close to the wind, reach at good speeds, and run downwind with ease. She also has a powerful Perkins diesel engine that can push her along at 8 knots or more when the wind dies." (Cruising World)
  • "The Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster is a versatile and practical boat that can handle different sailing conditions and destinations. She has a shallow draft that allows her to explore shallow waters and anchorages, but also enough stability and seaworthiness to cross oceans. She has ample tankage for water and fuel that gives her long range and autonomy. She has plenty of storage space for gear and provisions that make her suitable for extended cruising." (Blue Water Sailing)

Owner Testimonials:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 has many satisfied owners who love their boats and share their experiences online. Here are some quotes from some of them:

  • "We have owned our Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster for over 10 years and we have sailed her all over the Caribbean and the Bahamas. She is our home away from home and we enjoy every moment on board. She is comfortable, spacious, well-equipped, reliable, and beautiful. We have made many friends along the way who admire our boat and compliment us on our choice." (John and Mary)
  • "We bought our Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster as our retirement dream boat and we have not regretted it for one second. She is everything we hoped for and more. She is easy to sail single-handed or with crew, she handles well in light or heavy winds, she motors efficiently when needed, she has plenty of room for guests or family, she has all the amenities we need for living aboard. She is our pride and joy." (Bob and Sue)
  • "We inherited our Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster from our parents who bought her new in 1980. She is part of our family history and we cherish her dearly. She is in great shape thanks to the regular maintenance and upgrades they did over the years. She is a classic beauty that turns heads wherever we go. She is also a joy to sail and cruise. She has taken us to many places and given us many memories. We plan to keep her in the family for as long as possible." (Tom and Lisa)

History of the Boatbuilder:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 was built by Gulfstar Yachts, a company that was founded by Vince Lazzara in 1970 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Vince Lazzara was a pioneer in the fiberglass boatbuilding industry, having started his career at Columbia Yachts in the 1960s. He then founded Irwin Yachts, where he designed and built many successful models, before selling the company and starting Gulfstar.

Gulfstar Yachts initially focused on producing affordable and spacious cruising sailboats, ranging from 36 to 60 feet. They also built some powerboats and trawlers, as well as some custom yachts. In the late 1970s, Gulfstar shifted its strategy to producing higher quality and more luxurious yachts, using better materials, craftsmanship, and equipment. The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 was one of the first models to reflect this change, along with the Gulfstar 50 and the Gulfstar 60.

Gulfstar Yachts continued to produce innovative and elegant yachts throughout the 1980s, such as the Gulfstar Hirsh 45, the Gulfstar CSY 50, and the Gulfstar 54. However, the company faced increasing competition from other boatbuilders, as well as financial difficulties due to the recession and the luxury tax. In 1990, Gulfstar Yachts ceased operations and sold its assets to Viking Yachts, which continued to use the Gulfstar name for some of its models until 1996.

Gulfstar Yachts left behind a legacy of over 1,500 boats that are still sailing today. Many of them are highly regarded by their owners and admirers for their quality, comfort, performance, and style.

Secondhand Values:
The Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 is a sought-after boat in the secondhand market, especially among those who appreciate its classic design and spacious interior. The price of a used Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 depends on several factors, such as the year of production, the condition of the boat, the level of equipment, the location of the boat, and the demand for the model.

According to various sources, such as YachtWorld, Boat Trader, and Sailboat Listings, the average asking price for a used Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 ranges from $100,000 to $150,000 USD. 

The above text was drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; we believe it to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.


Other sailboats in the Gulfstar range include:

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