Cruising, and Vintage Boats

Many GP14 sailors prefer to relax and cruise with their boats rather than race.   There are also a number of members who very proudly own some of the very earliest vintage boats of the class.

In the UK both these groups of members are represented by Oliver Shaw, who oversees and coordinates primarily our cruising activities over the year,  and also co-ordinates activities for our vintage fleet.

Oliver can be contacted on email via [email protected] and if you have a cruising activity at your club to which you would like to invite Association attendance he would be pleased to hear from you.

Vintage Boat races:
Two early films
from the 1960 of vintage GP14s racing on the river Ouse in York

Coronavirus Second Update  (16th April)

The F&G Committee decided last night that they feel it unlikely that there will be any Class Association racing events before September,  and they have cancelled the UK Nationals and postponed the World Championship by a year.   They have asked the cruisers to follow suit.

The two events originally scheduled for July are therefore now cancelled,  but we will hope to rearrange them for next year.



UK National Cruising Week 2020

Please note that this has now been cancelled because of the Covid-19 outbreak, but we hope to rearrange it for next year.

The very limited response to our previous request for feedback as to what members would like resulted in a (small) majority in favour of Cornwall.

So we will be hosted by Restronguet Sailing Club,  where  Richard Moore,  our Cruising Rep’s oldest sailing friend,  and an erstwhile GP14 sailor who is very well known within the GP14 cruising circle,  is one of their Rear Commodores.   The location is on the Fal estuary,  in West Cornwall,  which is a very scenic cruising area,  and deservedly popular.

The dates will be the week Wednesday to Wednesday,  22 to 29 July;   we are deliberately choosing mid-week travel in order to avoid the potential nightmare of travelling to the West Country on a Saturday in the peak holiday season.

The costings will depend in part on the number of participants,  and also on what safety or escort boat cover we choose to use.

  • Temporary family membership with dinghy parking is £18 per day or £81 per week.
  • Temporary single membership with dinghy parking is £14 per day or £59 per week.
  • RIB support would cost us £87 per day (for the fleet,  so that figure would be shared between all the boats participating).   However if we were to use Richard’s Cornish Shrimper as an escort vessel instead of a RIB the cost would be buttons.

So if we had 5 participating dinghies and used RIB support throughout that would work out at £168 per boat (inclusive of temporary family membership) for 5 sailing days in the week.    It would be slightly cheaper for single-handers,  and significantly cheaper if we used Richard’s Shrimper rather than a RIB.

That may seem more expensive than some past Cruising Weeks,  but it compares very well indeed with the cost of a full week’s racing event.

We hope to see you there,  but please book now to reserve a place;   [email protected]

We can supply information on local campsites on request.

Advanced Cruiser Training Weekend – July 17/19 2020

Please note that this has now been cancelled because of the Covid-19 outbreak, but we hope to rearrange it for next year.


Following the success of what may have been our first ever Advanced Cruiser Training Course last September,  on the non-tidal Graffham Water,  we are now planning a tidal version on the intensely tidal waters of the Mersey,  hosted by Liverpool Sailing Club.

This will be aimed at those who are already basically competent dinghy sailors,  and the intention will be to now equip participants with the specific additional skills for independent cruising.    The course involves both shore-based training and time on the water,  and will include at least one short day-cruise.

In passing,  it will also equip participants for the cruising skills needed for cruising in an organised fleet event,  since if you have the skills to cruise independently you can take organised cruising fleet events in your stride.

The date is currently set for the weekend 18/19 July (arriving at your convenience on the Friday),  but I am hoping to make it a 3-day event from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 July.    I would hope and expect that we will be able to do it at about the same cost as last year’s event at Graffham Water (£60),  but that has still to be finalised with the club.

Expect the course to be fairly intensive,  and to include reefing systems (and much practice in using them),  masthead buoyancy,  alternative propulsion,  communications systems,  MOB recovery,  tiller brakes (etc.),  tide predictions,  charts,  keeping up the position,  passage planning,  Colregs (a.k.a. “rule of the road”),  use of transits,  anchoring,  mooring,  heaving-to,  lee shores,  and much else.

Although we have yet to finalise the cost and the timings,  we are open to expressions of interest as of now.

See the last issue of Mainsail for trainees’ views of last year’s course.

A programme for the course is available from Oliver Shaw on request,  and it will also be emailed to all participants.

Camping is expected to be available on site



Possible future events for 2021

One of our members approached us during 2019 about running a camping and cruising weekend on Llyn Tegid (a.k.a. Bala Lake).    We did hope to be able to offer this for that year,  but he later advised that his club had a very full programme already for this year but that there could be a possibility for 2020.   So we undertook to explore this possibility if there were enough interest expressed by members;   but,  sadly,  despite 12 months publicity on the website and also in Mainsail there has been nil response!   So we are not now pursuing this for 2020,  but we remain open to the possibility for 2021 if enough members express interest.


We also had an offer from a  member who lives in North Brittany, between Paimpol and Perros Guirec,  and offered to put on a cruising event there if there were enough interest.

He wrote “It’s a marvellous cruising location with many picturesque coastal islands, along with significant tidal variations and currents that need to be taken into account.

“My club organises an extremely relaxed multi-class regatta in a sheltered lagoon at the beginning of August, along with a few cruises with accompanying security.  …   …   I could easily try to organise a 3-day weekend of events including the regatta and throw it open to the GP14 association. After all, there will already be one GP14 taking part!”

Again we asked for expressions of interest,  and undertook to explore this possibility if there were enough interest expressed,  but here also despite 12 months publicity there has again been nil response!   So we are likewise not now pursuing this for 2020,  but we remain open to the possibility for 2021 if enough members express interest.

For a flavour of cruising and vintage events,  see the two reports below (at bottom) describing past events.

If you would like to raise any questions in the meantime,  or if your club can offer a cruising event for either this year or 2021,  please feel free to drop an email to Oliver Shaw or Steve Parry via [email protected].

Vintage Boats

We are very proud of our historic heritage,  including our vintage boats,  some of them seriously early and still sailing.

Amongst those,  boat no. 2,  Pimpernel,  the earliest surviving sail number in the world,  is now owned by the Association and is currently undergoing an overhaul preparatory to an attempt to sail (and row) the full length of the UK as part of our 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020.

We are also hoping to take her to the World Championship at Skerries in 2020,  and we are gauging interest for the possibility of a vintage fleet racing on that occasion;   this would be on a somewhat less demanding course than the Championship fleet,  in deference to the venerable ages of the boats,  but it would be an excellent way to showcase these boats,  and it would be a highly enjoyable occasion.   If you are potentially interested in attending,  especially with a vintage boat,  please let us know,  as we need to gauge interest before we start making actual arrangements. [email protected]

We did initially consider a 70th anniversary vintage boats event at Aberdyfi (Dovey SC),  where the class started.   Again,  we asked for expressions of before we started making actual arrangements,  but once again we had almost a nil response;    just one enquiry in February asking whether anything was happening.


Top tips for a good weekend

  • Check your trailer in plenty of time, particularly tyres and bearings,  and also the lighting board;  and it is a good idea to carry a spare wheel.
  • Make sure the boat is all in good working order (cruisers are a friendly bunch and will be happy to help you with unforeseen problems,  but it can be frustrating if the whole expedition is delayed while a boat is rebuilt!)
  • Do not forget the paddle,  or  –   better  –  oars and rowlocks.
  • Do not forget the anchor.
  • Although not all cruising boats are so equipped,  both we and the RYA strongly recommend that you have an effective means of reefing (or alternative means of sail reduction);   and both we and the RYA (and the RNLI) also recommend that you carry an effective means of calling for assistance in case of need.   Do ask if you need advice or guidance on this.
  • Be sure that your competence matches the expectations of the event. Ask for advice in advance if in doubt,  (some events will suit a comparative novice,  but others may be more demanding).

Past Events

Bassenthwaite Cruising Capers Report 2017

Round holes Trophy Report 2017

 Round Holes 2017