GP14 Sailing Forums Forum More series 1 advice sought

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    • #22001
      Ed Downs
      Participant

      I’d like to find out how series 1 boats were rigged and wondered if there are any photos.

      If possible I’d like to keep mine close to the original system and am wondering such simple things as: where was the rudder rope attached: how are job sheets  brought inboard for  solo sailing : how was the main sheet attached to the boom so that it doesn’t tangle with the rudder (although a kicker may fix this);  what options were used for reefing and probably more .  These seem rather basic and I suspect that somewhere online there are places where photos exist so a poiter to them would suffice and keep me quiet!
      Thanks

    • #22002
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      That is quite a big topic,  and you raise a number of questions.   Please forgive me if my contributions come in dribs and drabs,  in between my current examining commitments.

      First,  though,  a bit of background,  because it colours much of what you want to know,  and to that extent it is important.   Series 1 boats cover a long period of time,  and a surprisingly long period of evolution;   the most recent of them are still modern,  while the earliest are most definitely vintage,  and there is a wealth of difference between the extremes.

      The modern GP14,  with a modern race-derived rig,  even in a cruising version,  is quite a highly stressed boat;  and well engineered to cope with those stresses.   When set up for sailing in stronger winds,  the static load on the foot of the mast is conservatively well over half a ton-force (approximately) before we even start adding wind loading.   The original design,  dating from 1949,  was simply never designed for that sort of load.    If you have an early boat,  and assuming that you prefer not to risk pushing the mast out through the bottom of the boat,  you will rig her differently from the modern boats.

      A similar consideration applies to kicker loads.   Late series 1 boats,  and their spars,  will happily sail with modern cascade-tackle kickers,  (or other similarly powerful ones),  with a mechanical advantage of 16:1 or 18:1;   but using such powerful beasts on early spars risks breaking either mast or boom.   Therefore if you have an early boat,  with early spars,  whether wooden or metal (such as IYE or early Proctor,  or Holt Allen ),  you may wish to deal with sail twist in a different way,  more in keeping with the period.

      If you have an early boat,  she is still potentially a great boat,  and eminently capable;   just don’t expect to rig her in such a highly tuned and stressed way as the modern boats.

      Will try to get back with some more specifics shortly.

       

       

      Oliver

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    • #22003
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      Mainsheet arrangements.

      All early boats originally had transom sheeting,   not least because that was the convention of the time.  In my view it is still an excellent system,  particularly for cruising,  although I accept that either centre-sheeting or the currently popular (and nearly ubiquitous) hybrid system has some advantages for racing.

      Three popular types,  plus a fourth which personally I dislike (but it does have its adherents,  including a good friend of mine who is a highly experienced GP14 sailor).

      The simple arrangement,  with one end of the sheet fixed to the transom on one side,  up through a block on the boom,  back to a block on the other side of the transom,  and thence to the helmsman;  with or without a ratchet block,  or (heaven forbid,  in traditional usage,  but I confess that I myself use them) a jammer.   See photos attached;  note that the black-and-white one is on a different boat (possibly Enterprise?),  but the colour one is certainly a GP14  –  it was in fact my first one,  in about 1965.

      The “original” rectangular profile sheet horse,  made out or brass or bronze rod.   See photos.

      The later full-width sheet horse,  introduced in the sixties (I think).  This was specifically designed to address sail twist when off the wind,  or when spilling wind in a strong blow,  by enabling the sheet to pull more vertically when the boom was over the quarter.    It was an excellent system for its day,  and it is only the advent of the modern powerful kicker which has made this system redundant on modern boats.   See photos.

      The simple rope horse.  To me,  that is a very poor solution,  and amongst its faults it is liable to cause the mainsheet block to bash your stern deck varnish when sailing off the wind.   See photos.

      Hope this helps,

       

      Oliver

       

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Oliver Shaw. Reason: Photos added; limit on numbers in original post, but I can add more in the edit!
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Oliver Shaw.
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    • #22016
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      > how are jib sheets brought inboard for solo sailing :  …   … ; what options were used for reefing.

       

      Jib sheets:

      Three options for single-handing:

      1. Use a continuous sheet,  with the two ends each secured to the clew of the sail.   If you are using a genoa there isn’t room between sail and fairlead when close-hauled to use a bowline for attachment,  but you can pass each sheet through the cringle and then use a stopper knot.
      2. Use conventional sheeting (with the middle of the sheet attached to the clew of the sail,  but tie the two ends together inside the boat.
      3. Use conventional sheeting,  do not tie the ends together,  but just prepare your tacks in advance so that you always throw the lazy sheet across the boat before you tack;  it is then ready to hand for you to pick up as you tack.   This last is my personal preferred method,  and the advance preparation soon becomes second nature.

      Also tack just slightly more slowly than you might do if you were fully crewed and with an expert crew.

      Most important;   for reasons of safety never under any circumstances use a shackle (or any other metal object) to attach the sheet to the sail.   This was commonly done,  for convenience,  at one time;   but if a flogging sail hits someone in the face when you are on the beach or in the dinghy park,  a metal shackle there can cost the victim an eye.   Use rope only;   by all means use a “soft shackle” (made of rope) if you wish,  but avoid metal.

      All these,  and much more,  are discussed in the paper “Suitability for Cruising & Single-handing”,  which should be available in the Members’ Area of this site.

       

      Reefing:

      The original system was square gooseneck roller reefing for the main,  which was standard  –  indeed almost ubiquitous  –  practice for the day,   and a standard jib which was small enough to not normally require reefing.   If there are pressing requirements of historical authenticity   –  e.g. a vintage boat with a sail number less than 100,  possibly even one less than 1000  –  that is an entirely workable system,  and if that pressing constraint applies it is the system which I would go for;  it was the best technology of its day.   But today it is no longer the best system.

      A well set up modern slab/jiffy reefing system for the main,  with roller reefing for the genoa,  is vastly quicker and easier and safer to use when you need to suddenly pull down a reef at sea in deteriorating conditions,   and as an important bonus the sail sets very much better and is therefore much more efficient.  Efficiency of the sail is of particular importance when you are battling to windward in strenuous conditions;   every bit of heeling moment is distinctly unhelpful,  and may even become hazardous,  while every last bit of forward drive is vitally important;   this is not about racing,  but about handling the boat in difficult conditions,  and in the last extremity it could even be about survival.

      Both systems are discussed in the paper on Reefing Systems,  also available in the Members’ Area of this site.

      Hope this helps,

       

      Oliver

    • #22042
      Ed Downs
      Participant

      I have finally got back to the forum to discover your responses Oliver. Thank you thank you thank you.

      I should have said that I am not looking for high performance and definitely do not want the boat or me to be stressed. I like the idea of starting by replicating whatever the boat had when first launched, although with experience I suspect I’ll want to change things.

      She is from 1957 and no. 1375. It has the rectangular horse over the rudder, as in the black and white and next photo. And I can see how the sheet is rigged there which I will copy.    Thanks too for the information on the jib & reefing. She has the small jib and so I don’t anticipate needing a roller for it. I do suspect that if the wind is strong these original red sails may rip and automatically depower the boat!

      I’ll find the papers you mention and take it from there. More studying, thinking and then tinkering before next getting out on the water.

      Again, thanks

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Ed Downs.
    • #22047
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      Having seen your response,  and seen the sail number of your boat,  it is perhaps no surprise that for reefing I suggest that you go for modern slab/jiffy reefing for the mainsail.

      Although I accept that the boat is old and venerable,  and it is a personal decision,  I do not myself feel that she is so old that historical authenticity must take absolute predominance;   and modern slab/jiffy reefing is undoubtedly so very much easier and quicker and safer to operate at sea,  and produces such a very much better set to the sail.

      On the question of balancing historical authenticity against considerations of safety and usability there is a fairly good parallel with vintage and post-vintage (pre-WW2) cars;   owners generally keep them historically authentic in most respects,  but routinely fit them with modern turn indicators for reasons of safety.   The same principle can be applied to modern reefing systems on a boat of the age of yours.

      However I am the first to accept that the decision is a very marginal one.   That would be my personal decision,  but the boat must date from about 1957,  so if you personally feel that historical authenticity predominates it is not for me to argue otherwise.

      Having said that,  I realise that you are using very old sails.   You probably already have square gooseneck roller reefing installed,  and you seem to feel that the structural strength of the sails is questionable.   A sensible half-way house might therefore be not to incur the expense of adding reef points to your existing mainsail,  but initially use the existing roller reefing facility when needed,  and also nurse the boat accordingly.   But when you eventually upgrade to new (or newer) sails I suggest that you make a point of buying decent cruising sails (and Edge Sails are probably the preferred sailmaker in the cruising fleet,  perhaps followed by Jeckells);   and at that point have your reef points fitted,  and install a modern reefing system.

      Incidentally when you do eventually replace your sails,  good cruising sails are not clapped out racing sails;   they are a very different animal.   Don’t just go for second-hand racing sails which have been pensioned off.

       

      Oliver

       

    • #22093
      Ed Downs
      Participant

      Oliver

      Thanks for your comment and the advice on sails. The parallel with old vehicles  suits as I have a 1952 motorbike and have just added LED indicators!

      As for the GP14, barring any particular need I’ll plan to sail her on the reservoir as she is this summer and then review things in the winter. I’ll doubtless have more questions.

      Again, thank you

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