GP14 Sailing Forums Forum New GP14 owner – few questions

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    • #21828
      Laura Thomas

      Hi there,

      I’ve been lucky enough to buy a beautiful GP14 from my sailing club, pretty old but well kept. I am a novice sailor, hoping to get better at it this summer and take the family sailing etc. I have a few questions, and would be grateful for any advice.

      – Getting the mainsail up is tough at the end. It’s alright for the first 80% but the last 20% is tough – a two person job, really pulling hard on the halyard. Makes it esp tricky to pull the sail up on the water. Any ideas for how I can make it smoother and easier?

      -Apparently I need a reefing strop for the mainsail. Have been told this is a length of webbing but when I google ‘reefing strop GP14’ nothing that looks like webbing appears.

      – Is anyone able to suggest a suitable outboard that could be taken off and on the boat as needed?

      Thanks very much,

      Laura Thomas

    • #21829

      Hi Laura,

      I can perhaps shed some light on the uphaul issue – ‘cos mine is the same.

      This may be different on yours, of course, but worth the investigation…

      If I put the jib/Genoa up first and then slide the tip of the mainsail into the mast so it is to the right of the jib uphaul, then pull up the mainsail – I have no problems. But if I put the tip of the mainsail to the left of the jib uphaul then I get the exact problem you have described. It is caused by the entry point of the jib uphaul as it runs over the pulley wheel into the mast. I’ve never been able to see exactly whats going on but this is what I’ve identified as the culprit.

      Reefing: I will follow with interest as I’m about to install a single-line reefing system myself 🙂 (I will be installing a topping lift first to aid reefing while out on the water)

      Outboard: Personally, I’d do away with the hassle and have two good oars onboard. But again, it’s personal preference.

      Best of luck and well done for getting the best boat there is! 🙂

    • #21830
      Oliver Shaw


      Congratulations on your purchase,  and especially since you say the boat is in beautiful condition,  and welcome to the Association.

      On the mainsail issue,  if you really do mean 80% and if you have an early metal mast (by IYE) in which the falls of the halliards run down the sail groove,  Captainkismo’s identification of the problem may well be correct.   You may well have that type of mast,  as it is commonly found on older GP14s;   it was the first metal mast licensed for the class,  and many of them still survive.

      However I don’t remember ever experiencing that issue when I had a GP14 in the early seventies with an IYE mast,  although the mast was brand new at the time,  which may well by why I had no problems.    This leads me to question whether one or both halliards is too thick;   I would suggest 5 mm maximum thickness in each case,  and the genoa halliard can be significantly thinner if you use wire rather than rope,  as is normal modern practice.    (Use 7 x 19 wire,  for maximum flexibility.)

      If however the problem is only in the last foot or so,  perhaps even the last few inches,  the problem may be a matter of getting sufficient luff tension,  and that is a question of technique.    Either raise the gooseneck (if it is the sliding type) first,  and only after it has been raised hoist the sail to the upper black band,  or alternatively if you have a fixed gooseneck hoist the sail to the upper black band before fitting the boom to the gooseneck.   Then cleat off the halliard.   Only when the head of the sail is fully hoisted and the halliard is cleated off should you pull the gooseneck down (if the sliding type) or fit the boom to the gooseneck (if the fixed type).

      As regards reefing,  have a look at the article on Reefing Systems in the Members’ Area of this site;   towards the end that describes the original reefing system (square gooseneck roller reefing),  and illustrates a selection of reefing strops.   However that article also strongly recommends that you upgrade to a modern slab/jiffy reefing system;   this is so much quicker and easier (and safer) to use if you need to pull down a reef while out at sea,  and it results in a much better and more efficient shape to the reefed sail,  and it enables you to still use the kicker.    Although fitting a decent roller reefing system to the genoa may be though expensive (depending on your budget),  the cost of fitting a modern slab/jiffy reefing system to the main is much more modest.

      Re outboards,  it might be helpful for you to first read the paper on Fitting An Outboard,  also available in the Members’ Area.   First decide what exactly you intend to use the outboard for.    Then some fundamental choices include YES/NO (i.e. do you fit an outboard or instead relay on sails and oars),  and  –  if you do fit an outboard  –  petrol or electric.     That paper discusses the first of those questions  (but says little or nothing about the electric option because I have insufficient experience of them),   and also addresses the mechanics of how and where to fit one if you do decide to go for it.

      Hope this is helpful,



      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Oliver Shaw.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Oliver Shaw.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Oliver Shaw.
    • #21834
      Laura Thomas

      Thanks very much Oliver and Captainskismo for the replies – I will follow the leads you suggest. Much appreciated. L

    • #21835

      Hi Laura, it might be too simple an answer, but are you putting the boom on to the gooseneck before you hoist the main? It’s the natural thing to do for some folk.

      Enjoy the boat,


    • #21836


      Just a thought about your mainsail.

      1. Is the track pinched? Take the mast down, and visually check the width of the mast track where the sail runs up – it could be that there is a constriction in the width of the mast groove. If so, you might need to resort to physical means to widen the track (this can be caused by the mast being run over by a car in a carpark, for instance)

      2. Does the sail run smoothly in the track – with the mast on the ground, slide the mainsail up the track – don’t bother with the halyard, just pull the mast along the track – does it run smoothly?

      3. Check the halyard – with the mast still down, pull the halyard and see if it becomes harder to pull that last 20%. Put tension on the halyard, it could be that the roller at the top of the mast is worn, and when the halyard is under a lot of load the little wheel can stop rotating, in which case the roller needs attention.

      4. Find the friction with the mast horizontal and the sail connected to the halyard – does the sail ‘hoist’ smoothly with the halyard on the ground?

      The system is fairly simple, and if it’s running smoothly for the first 80% my bet is on the top sheave being worn.

      5. Lubricate the mast slot and the luff of the mainsail with something slippy and made for sails like Holts Silicone Spray. Use a piece of towel soaked in the fluid to run up the jaws of the mainsail track, applying silicone fluid to the jaws. Spray carefully both sides of the mainsail along the luff.

      I hope this helps,


    • #21838
      Laura Thomas

      Norman, Steve, thank you. I’m taking a print-out of all the advice and suggestions down to  the boat with me tomorrow – I’m pretty sure that between all of you, someone has the answer. I really appreciate all the info. Best wishes, L

    • #21843
      Laura Thomas

      Captainskismo, you were right. Sail tip to the right of the jib uphaul works like a charm. Thank you. L

    • #21844

      Great! 🙂

      Happy sailing 🙂

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