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I sail predominantly single-handed and a few things I would consider putting at the top of your priority list.
Tie your Jib sheets (ends) together. This will allow you to reach (and release quickly) the far side jib cleat without leaning over the centre of the boat, and thus shifting more weight on the leeward side, which could exagerate the situation which has caused you to want to release the jibsheet in the first place 😉
That’s the simple task.
Next, create a reefing system for your mainsheet. I’m not a heavy person and if you’re anything like me then anything that’s an F4 or above will require you to reef your mainsail. I have two reefing lines in mine, one is quite deep (takes out quite a big chunk of sail area) and the second is VERY deep reef, leaving just the numbers upwards showing.
As you’re sailing solo, being able to implement those reefs single handed should be factored in to your reefing system design and there is an excellent resource on here which explains how to build it in to your mainsail.
If you want to make life even more slippery smooth for yourself then invest in a furling system for the headsail too (usually a genoa rather than a jib). These can be bought from Trident easily as they have a GP14 specific section on their website. But have a stiff drink before shopping, they’re not cheap! (Other vendors are available 🙂 )
I’m sure others will add to this 🙂
Welcome to GP14 sailing, I like them so much I have two of them!
I installed two ‘tidy hooks’ or also called ‘belaying hooks’ one on each side of the boom near the front where the reefing cleats are. They come with a short length of looped line so you can coil the excess reefing line and belay it easily.
Thanks for the suggestion however, this would not be necessary as the buoyancy tank on the MkII does not go all the way to the underside of the deck. There is actually a gap between the top of the buoyancy tank and the foredeck. It is great for storing the ends of oars, paddles, water containers, drybags and boom tents etc. but little use for getting access to the bow fittings.
My other GP14 is a wooden one with a fore buoyancy tank / bulkhead and that does indeed have two larger access hatches which, at a pinch, would provide access to the bowplate fixings. However, I’m not convinced even that would be good enough considering the amount of dexterity needed to fit washers and nylock nuts on a M5 bolt.
Having now finished the job, I am pleased with how tidy it looks.
Thank you Steve, interestingly, I had this very conversation this morning with another boat owner. After my sugestion that I would use S.S wire and a HField lever his immediate reaction was ‘why am I being so old school? ” lol, then proceeded to explain exactly what you have suggested using modern 12 strand dyneema and a muscle box.
As a musician I’d like to keep my fingers intact so I may just go down the muscle box route afterall.
Thanks for your input.
Thanks all for the speedy responses.
With regards to a wire halyard, the bespoke length isn’t an issue as I would swage the ferrules myself.
That said, and having read your comments, it is clear that dyneema is a firm favourite for those that have already tackled this problem. I would much prefer dyneema myself. I will have to practice a few splices on a spare bits first as I have never spliced dyneema, I have spliced 3-strand lots of times so I’m sure the transition won’t be too difficult.
The pleasing outcome is that it seems I can install a highfield lever and avoid the more abrasive steel wire by using dyneema with it instead, which is great news.
And just an FYI, yes, the boat is a 1973 MkII in GRP and a mast whose make name always escapes me! 🙂
I shall now go to You Tube! 🙂
@Rival II – I will do this for you this week. Won’t be at the boat again now until Sunday.
Although I have a reefing system installed on a GRP GP14, the washboard is wooden so I am of not much use here however, I also did not want to drill through it. So my solution was to install two small fairleads (plastic with stainless steel eye centres) one fore and one aft of the washboard. This holds the furling line close to the deck so as not to get in the way of anything else. I then installed a small clam cleat (toothed wheels type) just on the edge of the foredeck near the mast recess. So far this has worked well for me.
At least it’s not an RS Venture! 😉 lol.
Having determined that the bolt (and nut) were not only hard to reach, but also tucked behind a strengthening strut – I opted for the deck hatch.
Took 20 mins to fit (15 of which were spent plucking up the courage to make the first cut in the deck! ) and 2 mins to replace the nut and bolt. I used a 5″ round inspection hatch.
Thank you Oliver.
I guess the inspection hatch resistance is all psychological, had I bought the bought the boat with one already in then it wouldn’t be a problem, in fact, I think I remember seeing one in Liverpool with one installed on the foredeck?
Anyway, I will certainly have a go with option #1 before I start cutting holes.
Happy sailing 🙂
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! 🙂
Thank you Oliver for the welcome.
I have never been to the Norfolk Broads so more than happy with that 🙂