Our home on the ocean is 50′ Gulfstar CSY Sloop, center cockpit. And if I don’t say so myself, she’s just beautiful. She was formerly named “Irie Rose” but we have changed her name to “El Sueño”, which means The Dream in Spanish. Since we started our trip in Panama, we thought a Spanish name was appropriate.
We found our boat sunning herself in Aruba with a lovely Australian Family of 5 on board. After speaking with them a few times, we decided to meet them in Panama and check out the boat. We flew down from Canada in late October 2017 and with a survey already organized we waited for the results and then spent the rest of the week finalizing the details. We then flew home, packed everything up and made it back down to Panama for Christmas 2017. And so after 2 years preperation, the adventure began. Check the map for our latest location.
For those of you who like history, following is a history of Gulfstar Yachts.
In 1970, Vince Lazzara emerged from a two-year non-compete clause which had prevented his building fiberglass monohull power and sailboats. He had signed this clause when he sold his share in Columbia Yachts and had been biding his time by building houseboats. Immediately after the non-compete cause expired, Lazzara founded Gulfstar Yachts in the Tampa Bay area. He began building low-priced, low-quality, beamy boats. The hulls were even interchangeable as sailboats or trawlers which minimized production costs. In the mid-1970s, Gulfstar was losing market share. Lazzara, not wanting to leave a legacy as a producer of poor quality yachts reorganized the company, contracted Ted Hood for a number of models and began to produce high-quality, performance yachts also updating and expanding its Sailmaster series. In 1984 Gulfstar began producing the Sailcruiser twin engine motorsailor series producing yachts rivaling that of the best production yachts of the late 70’s and mid 80’s. The early and mid 80’s are now considered Gulfstar’s ‘Golden Era’ of yacht production. By the mid-1980s, as sons Richard and Brad (powerboat fans) became more involved in Gulfstar, their production shifted towards powerboats and away from the performance sailboats. During the mid-1980s Gulfstar also produced a number of performance sailing yachts for the CSY charter boat fleet in the Caribbean.
Our boat is a CSY version but was never actually chartered. What we liked was the 3 cabins and simple sloop sailing set up. Plus she’s just plain gorgeous, safe and steady! She’s not a speed demon but then we didn’t want a speed demon. She’s also a centre cockpit which we wanted and her cockpit is deep, big (it’s been known to host 10 people for dinner) and dry. And as a bonus, the cockpit separates the kids from the parents. How clever is that!