GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Identifying a Bourne Plastics GP14

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    • #21688
      Andy B

      Hello, my first time joining the association but my second GP14!

      I have acquired a GRP GP with a metal plate on the port side hull. It reads 6810559. After a google search, it’s suggested that I would expect a four-digit number rather than five.

      Is anyone able to assist in the identification?

      Thank you!

    • #21689
      Oliver Shaw

      Could the third character be an oblique,  rather than a numeral;   thus 68 / 0559?

      This would suggest she was moulded in 1968,  and the moulding number was 0559 of that year;   and that date indicates that she would be a Mk. 1 boat.   (Identification points for confirmation of this are visible alloy tubular frames,  and stern  buoyancy tank athwartships across the boat underneath the stern deck.)

      However that does not give the registered hull number (and correct sail number),  which for a 1968 Mk 1 boat should be within the range 7002 to 7929.   7002 was the first Mk 1 boat,  built in 1967,  and 7930 the first Mk 2,  built in 1969;   and a significant proportion of the numbers in between were issued to wooden (series 1) boats.

      There should separately be a plate bearing the registered hull number,  bonded onto the GRP,  most probably in the usual place (central,  where the hog would be on a wooden boat,  abaft the centreboard case and underneath the floorboards);   however many of them have long since disappeared.

      It has been suggested by highly knowledgeable individuals within the GP14 class that the moulding numbers at this time comprised 2 digits for the year,  followed by the registered hull number,   but that appears not to tally with this number on this boat.

      However I also happen to know that Bourne Plastics built a wide variety of other boats,  and also car bodies,  and my researches into the Privateer 20,  backed up by information relating to the Shipmates  (two trailer-sailer yachts which they also moulded) rather suggest that after the year code the moulding number appears to have been a sequence across all their mouldings each year,  irrespective of which design.   That deduction is because the moulding numbers for some of the Privateers and Shipmates are far too high to correspond to the numbers of those boats produced,  but would make sense if the sequence covered their entire production of all hulls (and even more sense if the series covered their car bodies as well).

      It is all a bit of a mystery,  and unless you come up lucky with some detective work I fear that you may not get to the bottom of her identification.

      You may be interested in a bit of history of Bourne Plastics;

      Sorry not to be more helpful,



    • #21690
      Andy B

      Thank you, Oliver! The identification points do match for a Mk. 1. We haven’t found any additional information inside, but I’ll take another look.

      It will be a shame if we can’t but I’ll still enjoy sailing her nonetheless!

      I’ve attached a picture of the plate in case it can help shed some more light.

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    • #21692
      Oliver Shaw

      From the photo I think that character is indeed an oblique,  so 68 / 0559;   although I can well see that without having seen any other Bourne moulding numbers you would naturally read it as a “1”,  and thus 6810559.

      It is very largely judgement,  since the orientations and spacing of the other digits are far from precise or uniform!




    • #21694

      In my experience, Bourne Plastics moulding numbers for GPs usually follow the format year/month/hull number. However, in some cases (particularly for older boats), the numbers don’t seem to adhere to this pattern and are much harder to interpret. Here’s a very speculative interpretation for you to consider: “68” refers to the year, and the third character is a “7” which has been struck badly and is damaged along its top edge. Then the sequence “7055” would be the hull number, which would be valid for 1968. If this is correct, I’m not sure what the significance of the trailing “9” is, but I think I’ve seen this kind of moulding number sequence in a few older boats.

      In any case, enjoy your boat.


    • #21695
      Oliver Shaw

      That is at least as good a speculation as my one,  and in that case a further speculation might be that the trailing 9 could be the month number.

      Although Bourne’s moulding numbers do appear to have been irrespective of design for those boats which had more modest production numbers and had no formal class associations,  they may perhaps have had a different regime for GP14s (and perhaps also for Enterprises,  Wanderers,  etc),  where there was a strong class association and where there were such things as registered hull numbers.

      And I warmly second the injunction to enjoy your boat!



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