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  • in reply to: Launch trolley cradle repair #26339
    sw13644
    Participant

    I have some experience in this, given that I made dinghy road bases and trolleys for myself before the law was changed in 2012.

    I still work on my launching trolleys, but not commercially. For a steel fabricator or local garage the steel bit of this is fairly straightforward. Note that some garages specialise in trailers and they would be my first choice.

    Firstly I recommend that you look at the condition of the rest of the trolley. If there is rust on the *outside* of the galvanised finish, it may be sound, but poke about because sometime the rust has arrived at the outside from the *inside* of the hollow section and will be ready to break.

    Depending on how much requires replacement (and if it is just the area around the front cradle, maybe this is economical) the rusty materials can be cut out, replacement steel shaped and welded. Welding galvanised steel is a bit nasty – it’s worth grinding the galvanised finish around where the welding will happen, and inevitably the galvanised finish inside the tubes will also burn off from the heat – having a good ventilation system to take the smoke away is important as it will pour out of the ends of the tubes.

    You can question whether you need to replace the GRP “V” shape when many trailers have a front roller or rubber landing for the bow, which might be an acceptable alternative arrangement and much easier to achieve, or get a new one as described by Oliver, and incorporate the fixing method in the replacement steel design.

    However, all this welding is for nought if you don’t then re-galvanise the trolley, because the inside of the tube or section will now be bare steel and will immediately rust when immersed. Take all the non-steel off your trolley, remove any grease on the axels and any handles, and take the trolley to your local galvanising factory. There are not many in the country, you may have to travel far. I have used Wessex Galvanisers, part of the Wedge Group, many times and I’m very happy with the result. Typically I take the trolley on a given day of the week and collect it the same day the following week. The galvanising of a trolley for a GP14 will be about £180 (2022 price) or so.

    If your engineering work by a garage to replace the steel is about £200 minimum you are likely to be spending in excess of £400 or so to recover your road base. You might want to consider whether the effort and lost opportunity time is worth it. If you have a trolley which is on a roadbase of a manufacturer who are still in business, like West Mersea Trailers, then it might be quicker and easier to buy a new trolley – I have a 2009 West Mersea roadbase and the replacement 2023 launching trolley simply fitted perfectly. If you have a road base made by one of the hundreds of trailer manufacturers who were put out of business by the 2012 law change, then the width and length, and how the trolley mates to the road base at the back will be bespoke to that now defunct manufacturer, and fixing your existing trolley, up to including getting one manufactured from raw steel from scratch and using your existing road base, may be cheaper then scrapping both your trolley and road base and buying new.

     

     

    in reply to: Adding reefs to a GP14 main sail. #26306
    sw13644
    Participant

    Hi EightMegs,

    This can be a relatively easy thing to do if you are prepared to compromise… Fitting cringles like the sailmakers use requires equipment that is outside the range of amateurs, and don’t bother with the cringles that you hammer in yourself – they are flimsy and of little use in this case.

    The big question is – do you have access to a strong sewing machine with zigzag stitch? If not, the desk is stacked against you and I recommend you contact Edge Sails (other sailmakers are available). I know Edge Sails make good GP14 cruising sails with reefing points, post your sail to them and they’ll post your sail back with support for two slabs of reefing if you ask and part with money.

    If you do have access to an industrial or sailmaking sewing machine with a zigzag stitch (not straight stitch) you can cheat and graft the clew and tack from two old GP14 sails onto your current mainsail at the right places and all the reinforcement is already built in, or use another sail as a template and reinforce your sail using sail material to similar specifications. Use double sided sticky tape to assemble the sail pieces before sewing – materials available from Kayospruce and the 9mm wide tape is fine for this use.

    The cringle is difficult, and not insurmountable – see youtube for videos of how to sew a cringle into a sail.

    If you have a sewing machine you can also not bother with cringles through the sail and attach a short loop of dyneema or a short tape with a block attached so that you get 2:1 purchase just on one side of the sail where a cringle would go through the sail itself.

    It’s a lot of work, and you need to ask yourself how confident you would be of your DIY reefing point given that you are applying a safety item to your sail which you are planning to rely on when sailing gets difficult. i refer you to my first sentence… is this something worth compromising?

     

    in reply to: Seating fixing #26278
    sw13644
    Participant

    Sean,

    To give you an answer I’d need to see the situation. Photos please.

    thanks,

    Steve.

    in reply to: Centre mainsheet? #26197
    sw13644
    Participant

    Oliver makes very good points and I agree with them all, and also…

    If you are hoping to help some inexperienced helms transition from sailing a Bahia to a GP14, I recommend that you make as many things as similar as possible between the two vessels, to maximise their immediate comfort and recognition of things learned when they step into the GP14.

    Learning to sail has a high cognitive load for beginners, and some people are already overloaded with incoming senses – it is a highly kinaesthetic environment – before then learning to sail a boat that will feel very different – tiny, nimble, tippy compared to the Bahia.

    So my recommendation is to fit the centre main, using a split tail mainsheet if you can (minimises mainsheet rope length), and maximise their familiarity with techniques already learned.

    Yours, Steve.

     

    in reply to: Different types of boom? #25285
    sw13644
    Participant

    * I’ve finally got around to fitting the mainsail reefing components to my Selden mast and (unknown) metal boom.

    * I bought a couple of boom sliders (see pics) to fit to the underside of my boom, but I’m pretty sure that they will need some sort of track to slide into, and my boom doesn’t have such a track (see pics).

    Indeed your boom does not have the track into which you are hoping to slide the sliders.

    * Have I bought the wrong boom sliders for my boom?

    Yes, because your boom does not have a track for sliders to slide into.

    *(Are there in fact different designs of boom for the GP14?)

    Yes. As many booms as there are decades of GP14’s. Maybe many more.

    * Can my boom in fact accommodate boom sliders, or equivalent?

    No

    * If so, any pointers as to what I need instead of the boom sliders I have?

    What are you hoping to achieve with the sliders? I assume that you are looking to attach slab reefing points onto the boom to accommodate the slab reefing of the leech of the mainsail. I know someone will have a GP14 with such a fitting and if not I can take some pictures of my slab reefing but my GP14 is away at the moment and it will be a picture of a Comet Trio but the setup on both my boats is the same.

    Yours,

    Steve.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by sw13644.
    in reply to: Suggestions for securing boat to trailer for towing #25111
    sw13644
    Participant

    To add to everything that Oliver says, and with pictures…

    Please forgive me that the boat I’m using to show you this is not a GP14, it’s the one I have to hand to take pictures of. I use exactly the same technique with my GP14.

    Firstly to stop the boat moving aft on the combi trailer I tie the boat at an angle from the bow (foredeck cleat, around the centre thwart to the road base (padding the route)) so that it can’t jog backwards. This is not under tension, but as you can see it’s a lot of rope so it holds the boat in place firmly but the bow is not under tension and being cinched hard against the front of the launching trolley.

    The spreader bar helps to direct the force of the centre strap downwards, and you are right to protect the hull from the crush force of a strap. I know that the Flying Dutchman fleet in the late 80’s/early 90’s all used spreader bars for towing as they measured their boats carefully and how the boat was strapped for towing changed the hull measurements. The FD I sailed did not use strapping for the spreader bar for towing, instead there was a 4×2 carefully shaped wooden spreader bar, and a 12mm steel rod with a hook at the bottom was used each side to connect to the trailer and a thread and wingnut arrangement at each end of the spreader bar which was tightened just enough to hold, with a locking mechanism for the wingnut. I have heard of boats being crushed and physically damaged by over-racheting of the straps because without the spreader bar the force at the gunwhales in inwards, not downwards. I am looking to firmly caress the hull with the spreader bar and strap, holding it firmly downwards on the trailer so that it’s caressed just firmly and held in place.

    The spreader bars I make are of wood, and there is shaping to make the underside fit the exact profile of the side deck at the point directly above the strapping point. This can be quickly achieved using a hand grinder and an aggressive disk to cut the material away. You can get very fancy at this point and make the load spread elegantly across the side deck; it does not have to be just a single straight piece of wood, you can add bigger pads and then more generous padding to each side. You can shape the wood to maintain the exact width dimensions of the hull at that point by shaping to hold the inner and outer thwart. The spreader bar needs to be slightly wider than the rubbing strake to allow the strap or rope to clear the width of the boat.

    In my experience, the place where the straps wear through prematurely is the two turning points where the strap goes through about 100 degrees of turn at each end of the spreader bar. Making this directional transition as smooth as possible minimises the wear on the strap at that point, and as you can see I have shaped and polished the curve, left material either side to keep the strap on the spreader bar and added sleeving to the strap.

    Also consider how you keep the spreader bar on the top of the boat if the strap snaps.

    A note about the carabiners – most strapping one can buy terminates in a hook at each end, and they are a nuisance to use if you are on your own as you need to keep upward tension on them or they fall off. Replacing the hook with a carabiner means that there is positive attachment of the strap to the trailer.

    I hope this helps.  Steve.

     

     

     

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    in reply to: Scupper Flappers #24288
    sw13644
    Participant

    Lee, there are various methods of facilitating the emptying quickly of a GP14 following a capsize, and big holes in the stern is one of them. This is typically a response to the racing challenge of minimising the negative effect of a capsize; you pull the boat up, release the scuppers and scream off on a broad reach while the water pours out of the back.

    The round holes can be covered in Perspex, preferably clear so that you can easily see the trim of your boat while sailing. These would need to be made. I have seen funnels used, plastic round funnels of the right diameter, pulled through from the outside and held in place with bungee looped around a suitable hook on the floor of the hull.

    If this were my challenge I’d get two pieces of 5mm clear Perspex cut round and at least 15mm larger than the holes preferably larger.  I’d drill four holes at 0,90,180 and 270 degrees with the outsides of the holes at the exact diameter of the round holes in the hull. I’d feed 5mm elastic bungee through the holes in pairs with knots in the outside, and then using more bungee take the elastic to a suitable hook. The tightened bungee will keep the circles of Perspex centred in the holes and against the hull. This is not a watertight solution and you will need to keep your weight forward in the boat to prevent a trickle of water gently filling the boat. You can attempt to put soft self adhesive foam around the overlapping edge to make it less leaky, but the correct answer is to sail with the right trim.

    If her days of racing are over and you are planning to use your GP14 casually, piling a family in her and using her for adventuring, you can safely fill these huge holes and blank them off, and make sure that you have a bucket aboard for bailing should you capsize. You can then have more people in the boat without gently needing to bail.

    I hope this helps,

    Steve

     

     

    in reply to: Gp14 hull repairs #24049
    sw13644
    Participant

    Jamie,

    I’m sorry if I’m sounding a bit unsupportive of your venture, but there are other things to consider when contemplating the restoration of a wooden boat that has been stored for so long, and glue is quite fundamental.

    The glue used in the 1960’s to glue boats together is likely to be Cascamite, which is a powdered resin turned into a paste by adding water. It is a very good glue and lasts for a long time, but no one building wooden boats in the 60’s could have imagined that they were making something that would still be a thing 60 years later. There is a chance that the glue will have lost bonding strength over the years and every  joint in your hull may be currently held together with a brittle resin which will stand little effort to break. If you repair the bits that are obviously in need of attention, and then lovingly paint and varnish the boat, it could simply break apart on first sailing. I have had an old wooden boat which I spent hundreds on, replacing the hull, only for it to disintegrate while sailing it, and can attest to the death of a hull through wood glue ageing out.

    So my suggested order to tackle your issues is to have a good prod about and see if the boat is in fact still glued together. If it’s not, at least it’s easier to take apart to salvage the lovely wood that boats were made from in those days.

    There is a sentimental value to attempting to restore an old GP14, and it can take a lot of labour and money to do so, time that you could have spent buying a cheap GRP or FRP GP14 boat and sailing it.

    in reply to: GP14 Centreboard Mk1 to MK2 #23657
    sw13644
    Participant

    Tom, are you *sure* that there is no pivot in the centreboard case of the glass fibre boat? Some boats had holes and a bolt, with washers either side of the centreboard case (which leak over time) and some have a fixed pivot inside the centreboard case – just a rod to act as a pivot in exactly the right place, fully encased so that there is no leak.

    If your hull has the rod, your centreboard needs modifying by cutting a slot from the outside to the pivot point, and then a filler plate is fitted (the bit you cut out if the grain is right) with a plate to hold the board onto the pivot. This is much easier to see in a photo than describe in words… see http://www.milanesfoils.co.uk/products/gp14/egs-centreboard/index.html for an example of a centreboard with a slot to the pivot point.

    If your hull has no pivot point at all – no bolt hole and no rod in the centreboard case… then you have a significant issue. I hope that you have a rod fitted.

    in reply to: Centreboard removal & replacement #22309
    sw13644
    Participant

    Oliver, as with so many things, it depends… because people have made many legitimate modifications to their GP14s. Some owners have glassed the centreboard pivot into their boat to stop the pivot from leaking, and changed the method of installation to the way that the later models fit the centreboard. (1)

    Either the pivot comes out, or the centreboard has a fillet which is accessed through the slot. See the picture below.

    As for whether the centreboard comes out from below or above, the decision can be made easily if the centreboard has door-stops as a handle, because it’s then easier to get the centreboard out above. As for the string trick earlier in the posting – I fully agree that this is a good way of settling a replacement in the right place. – Steve

     

    (1) and one owner glassed the pivot in, and had not changed the centreboard mounting method, and it was not possible to remove the broken centreboard without resorting to a grinder 🙂

     

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    in reply to: Centreboard removal & replacement #22294
    sw13644
    Participant

    Raoul, If you’re making one yourself, you may want to make one from the plans as there’s no guarantee that the one that you have is the right shape. You can get the plans from the GP14 Class Association.

    The pictures are of a Utile/Redwood laminated centreboard finished to 18mm with 1mm each side of epoxy laminated glass, varnished to protect the epoxy from UV.

     

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    in reply to: New GP14 owner – few questions #21836
    sw13644
    Participant

    Laura,

    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,

    Steve.

    in reply to: Combination Trailers #21707
    sw13644
    Participant

    Dear WindyChippy,

    Do road trailers have suspension on the axles? – yes. Search for ‘dinghy trailer suspension‘ on the internet.

    Does the hull paintwork become damaged while trailering? – yes, it can. Search for ‘GP14 dinghy undercover‘ and fit an undercover to minimise the chances of damage. If you have a top end boat, it is custom and practice to use an undercover not only to protect the hull from chippings kicked up from the trailer wheels and vehicle wheels, but it keeps the hull clean from diesel smear and brake/tyre dust. Your undercover will become filthy, so that you boat does not have to.

    Steve.

    in reply to: New Halyards for old boat #21523
    sw13644
    Participant

    It looks like Oliver and I are coordinating the minute of the day at which we post – this is pure coincidence.

    Splicing three strand is not difficult, and is worth learning as Oliver says. I recommend that learning to work 12 strand / hollow core dyneema / spectra  is just as valuable and having acquired a small number of tools and mastered a small number of techniques it’s also a very useful skill to possess. These modern materials have seen an explosion of innovation, like the ‘soft shackle’ which looks like it would not work and in my experience really does, elegant kicking strap cascades and the enabling of new sports such as kitesurfing.

    in reply to: New Halyards for old boat #21521
    sw13644
    Participant

    The age of the shrouds is not really an issue if the mast is left up and the shrouds remain undisturbed. Think Golden Gate Bridge… However, the thing that stainless steel wire does not like is being bent and jiggled about – exactly what happens to your mast and shrouds when they are towed on a road trailer behind a vehicle. The wire is bent at the shrouds, and then jiggled about for the duration of the towing, and that gentle movement work-hardens the steel and strands snap.

    If there are no snapped strands, then it’s likely that for the tension that you will be putting your shrouds under there is no concern. However, checking for broken strands is a finger-stabbing, nail-slicing perilous activity – wear really sturdy gloves.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by sw13644.
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