GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Recommendations for Top and Bottom towing covers req.

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    • #22073
      Windychippy
      Participant

      Hi again,

      Sorry for all the questions but new to sailing and the GP14 Dinghy.

      The new build is coming to an end with just the varnishing to complete so wanting to protect all the work while towing.  I’m asking for recommendations for the towing covers both Top and Under cover. I could of course just pick from the internet.  There is Trident UK, and Rain & Sun Boat covers  who seem to have good reviews. How about Creation Covers, they appear to be 5 miles from me which would be brill. and their website shows interesting work by them but I can’t get them to reply !!!!

      Oliver Shaw, you kindly offered to show me a picture of your bottom cover which you can put in position by yourself. As I expect to sail mostly single handed I will require something similar to yours. Thank You.  New combination trailer arriving this week.

      Question about reefing a Genoa on the GP14.

      I watch a video by Areoluff Spars and noticed that on a Wayfarer Dinghy the Genoa cars were inboard and between the seat slats so as to be out of the way when sitting.   Where are they fitted on a GP14 it being a narrower Dinghy.  Thank You.

    • #22074
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      My modification to the under-cover:

      I don’t recollect offering to produce a picture of it,  and having just now trawled my collection of photos I regret that I don’t have one.   Having passed on the boat to my godson a few years ago I also cannot just go out and photograph it;   it is the far side of the country.   However I can at least describe it.

      I had this purpose-made by Tim Harper,  who also built the boat for me,  and I had both top and bottom covers from him at the same time.

      The bottom cover is standard except that there is a rectangular aperture in it,  where the rear chock is located on the trailer.  On the port side there is then a slit extending from this rectangular aperture up to the edge of the cover,  which is closed by standard tapes and plastic buckles.   The shockcord round the edge is also cut at this point,  and the ends joined by Englefield clips.

      To attach the cover,  with the boat on the trailer,  I first fit the stern part to the transom,  and attach the aftmost top cross-ties across the deck (abaft the main trailer chock),  and then work up the starboard side (the opposite side from the slit),  with all of the cover to starboard of the boat.   Forward of the main chock I then pass the port side of the cover underneath the boat (between boat and trailer,  in the space between the forward and aft chocks,  and then go round to the port side and pick it up.   Then I connect the two sides of the slit together,  using the tapes and buckles,  and connect the two parts of the tensioning shockcord by means of the Englefield clips.

      Then I pull the forward part of the cover tolerably central underneath the boat,  and pull it forward.    It then takes little strength to lift the bow with one hand sufficiently for me to pull the cover forward over the forward chock,  i.e. between the forward chock and the boat,  with the other hand.   From that point it is easy to then complete the process.

      Finally there are four pairs of straps and buckles to tie the forward and aft parts of the cover together beneath the main trailer chock.

      Of course there is a small area of the hull in way of the main chock and very slightly overlapping it which is not protected by the bottom cover;   but it is a great deal better than having no protection at all,  and the result is a cover which I am able to fit and remove single-handed.

      This modification does of course need to be purpose made,  to match your particular trailer.   It is probably most satisfactory to take the boat and trailer to your chosen cover maker,  so that he can properly tailor the cover to fit.

      When Tim Harper made my one he insisted that the modification to the standard cover was entirely at my own risk if it didn’t work;   but I was happy to proceed on that basis,  and it did indeed work outstandingly well.

      Hope this helps,

       

      Oliver

    • #22075
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      Reefing,  and genoa car position

      First,  I would refer you to my paper on Reefing Systems,  which should be available in the Members’ Area of this site.

      Genoa fairleads need to be near the sides of the boat,  rather than inboard;   but for seating comfort,  through-deck seating is clearly the way to go.   See photo attached.

      However through-deck sheeting does often have a penalty attached,  in the form of slightly higher friction.   In my experience this is not a problem with the working sheet,  as one might reasonably have expected,  where the increase in friction is probably undetectable;   rather it is a problem with the “lazy” sheet imparting slight but very significant friction where it is vitally important that the friction should be as near zero as possible.   The problem is that any friction at all on this “lazy” sheet is increased exponentially (and as a retired physicist I use that word correctly,  in its technical sense),  and this happens first at the lee shroud,  and then a second time at the mast.   This initially very slight friction “tails” the sheet in exactly the same manner as a sheet winch on a yacht works,  where the sheet has a part-turn past the lee shroud,  exacerbated by the very sharp turn (because of the small diameter of the shroud),  so the tension on the sheet between the mast and the shroud is suddenly quite significant.

      That quite significant tension then in turn “tails” the sheet where it rounds the mast,  introducing a further exponential increase in load.

      So the end result is that the barely detectable friction in the weather sheet,  the “lazy” sheet,  as it passes through the fairleads results in enough tension  –  in entirely the wrong direction  –  at the clew of the sail to effectively prevent you hauling it fully home when close-hauled.

      There are at least two possible solutions to the problem,  and probably three.   One is to limit the diameter of the genoa sheets;   but small diameter sheets can be very uncomfortable to pull in when winds are strong.   A second solution is to make an unfailing habit of positively clearing  –  “overhauling”  in nautical parlance  –  the old sheet as you tack.  What may be a third solution is an arrangement which I have seen,  and admired,  but not actually tried out;   a sophisticated three-block system of caged turning blocks in place of fairleads;   it seems that three blocks are needed in order to cope with the changes in alignment between the sheet attached to the sail and the sheet as it is led to your hands.

      The second approach is the one that I myself used,  and once this becomes second nature it is no problem,  at least in cruising.   However by the time I had a boat with through-deck sheeting my racing days were largely behind me,  so I cannot properly judge whether I would have been happy with that for top level racing.   The three-block system that I admired was on a boat owned by Ian Sinclair,  then President of the Association,  who I gather was a good Silver Fleet sailor.

       

      Oliver

       

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    • #22078
      Windychippy
      Participant

      Oliver, thank you for you advise. My apologies re you providing a picture as you actually said “Get back to me if you want details”   which you have splendidly provided.

      Being new to all this sailing terminology I think I get the gist of your explanation re Genoa sheets and friction caused by the lee lazy sheet if using through deck sheeting, which I will be doing.  The Wayfarer  shows as to having a genoa track. Is a similar track req. on the GP14, if so I presume it will be fitted on the side deck.  Does the deck/varnish wear out at the front end of the fairlead as the sheet passes through? If so then I could beef up the edge before varnishing.

      Thanks  Windy.

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Windychippy.
    • #22080
      dunite
      Participant

      Wayfarers as designed had the foresail sheeted on the side decks. However, the Wayfarer is a much beamier boat than the GP, and with the original setup the sheeting angle when sailing close hauled was not very good. For this reason most modern Wayfarers have inboard sheeting, hence the tracks installed on the forward benches that you saw in the video.

      Tracks of this type (typically Allen A4274 or something similar, approximately centred on the side decks) are used on GPs with on-deck sheeting but are not needed if the boat has through-deck sheeting.

      The edges of the through-deck slots are indeed potential wear points. They might benefit from some type of reinforcement (I believe there have been some experiments with carbon fibre), and they can be repaired after the fact, if necessary (see attached photo).

      Bruce

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    • #22082
      Windychippy
      Participant

      Thank you Bruce,  That is a very neat insert in the picture.  That also makes sense moving the track inboard on the Wayfarer but what about the cars. As you reef the genoa I take it the car is moved forward so as to keep the leech tight. ( on the Wayfarer  that is)  It seems that does not happen on the GP14 using the through deck method.  Does this have a detrimental effect on the leech as you further reef the Genoa or is it something you all live with.

      Thanks   Windy

      • #22084
        Oliver Shaw
        Moderator

        As these days very much a cruising man this concerned me when I commidssioned my then new build,  in 2005-6,  with through deck sheeting.

        I found two solutions.

        I initially “borrowed” the best suit of sails from my other boat,  and with a standard genoa the sheeting angle does indeed become unduly low as the sail is reefed.   My solution to that was to rig a “reverse barber-hauler” to correct the sheeting angle when reefed.   See photos in the Reefing Systems file,  available in the Members’ Area of this site (page 23-24).

        When I then ordered new sails,  twelve months later,  I had the clew of the genoa cut just a little higher than normal,  thus shortening the luff slightly.  That gave an acceptable compromise solution without needing the additional control line.  Agreed there is a very slight loss of genoa area when sailing with full sail  –  but despite my age and despite the cruising sails I was still known to win races in the boat at club level.   And agreed the sheeting angle was not necessarily ideal at all stages of reefing.,   But it undoubtedly was at least acceptable at all stages from full sail right down to “spitfire jib”.

        I ordered my new sails from Edge Sails,  who were (and I think still are) the preferred maker for cruising sails for the class.   I discussed with them how much to raise the genoa clew,  and it is possible that they may still have my specifications on file,  but I regret that I no longer have the details available.

        Hope this helps,

         

        Oliver

         

         

    • #22086
      dunite
      Participant

      To provide some additional perspective on Oliver’s excellent answers, many of the design features of the modern GP14 are oriented toward racing. The expectation from the design of the through-deck sheeting is that the boat will be sailed almost exclusively with an unreefed genoa. Oliver outlined options that improve sheeting of the genoa when reefed, but unless you are planning to do a lot of non-competitive sailing under reefing conditions, I suspect you will find (as I have) that occasionally having to live with a less than ideal sheeting angle is not a major problem. That said, traditional on-deck sheeting is probably a more versatile choice for cruisers who expect to reef often. Be forewarned that your crew, who would spend a lot of their time aboard sitting on the cars and tracks, might disagree with me on this!

      Bruce

       

    • #22091
      Windychippy
      Participant

      Thank you Oliver and Bruce for input and advise.  I built the dinghy mainly to take my 3 young grandchildren sailing, the twins born the day before my 70th and Holly born 3 day later. So definitely no racing for me, for now!!

      I like the idea of the raised clew on the Genoa and this afternoon talked via phone to Mike at Mcnamara sails who also asked about the reefing heights on the main. I have read Oliver’s article on reefing in the members area and reefing heights have been duly noted.

      Back to the Dinghy covers.  Creation covers finally got back to me and although only 5 miles from me just outside Andover have a lead time of just over 3 months. I’ve also been in touch with Phil at Rain and Sun boat covers who are in Southampton only 24 miles away and will probably use them.

      Thanks again      Windy

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Windychippy.
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