31/10/2018 at 8:21 pm #16810
In removing all the hardware from Spark’s deck in preparation of a complete tear off and replacement, I found these interesting holes under the horse. Being built in 1964, I was under the impression that the wooden horse that my GP had was original. It certainly does not look out of sorts from the age of the boat or from other’s of her vintage. Once I remove the horse though, I found these two holes, roughly half inch in diametre, beneath it. They do appear to be properly spaced for the bronze horse the early boats had. Could 5942 have originally been built with the older style horse?
31/10/2018 at 8:44 pm #16811
That does seem very likely, and I can’t think of any alternative explanation.
I can’t be sure when the full width horse came in, but most certainly my Sills-built boat did not have one when built (1961, sail no. 4229), and my photo record shows that it was somewhere between summer 1968 and summer 1969 when I fitted one. I very vaguely recall that it was a fairly new innovation then, and the “GP14 Bible” – 50 Years On The Water – offers no hard information, although it does note that there was a “Redraft of boat rules” (with no further explanation) in 1963. Prior to that this boat had the more primitive system with no horse; the end of the sheet was secured to one side of transom, then the sheet was led up to boom, and back down through a block on the other side of transom. Likewise my previous boat, amateur-built, sail no. 3239 (built 1959), had this primitive system.
So it would seem that Spark was built at just about the time that this change came in, and it is entirely reasonable that she may have been built with the earlier type of horse and then later updated.
Incidentally, although I am sure that many of the early boats with the bronze horse seemed fairly uniform as regards the spacing of the holes, which I would guess would have been specified on the plans, I have also seen a surprising number with different spacings. So checking the spacing of your holes is not a definitive guide.
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