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IF your sail is not the best and you’re not racing seriously, then IMO it’s doable. My sail ticked those boxes…
A good book is The Sailmaker’s Apprentice by Emiliano Marino* (sp?) but I gleaned most of the info WRT positioning etc from here (probably mostly from photos of Oliver’s boat) & the US Wayfarer site**.
An older (say pre-1970’s ) sewing machine with metal innards can cope with most of the stitching. I have a Necchi Lycia, which cost me about £30 from ebay and I used 1 #16 needle with V69 bonded dacron marine thread.
I skirted the cringles problem, by sewing tape & D rings which is a perfectly valid method of sail attachment. The US company Sailrite has a wealth of useful videos on sail making, repair, modification etc and can be useful.
Here are pix of my efforts. Won’t necessarily win prizes for style, but very serviceable. The double-sided basting tape was more trouble than it was worth as it gummed up the needle.
* He recommends using used sailcloth on a used sail, which is a win as you can usually scrounge an old sail. Mine was probably from a Topper sail.
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After years of looking and not finding the information and motivation, 2022 may be the year I act on my unsatisfactory original forestay for my unknown make mid 70’s model. I picked up a Highfield lever in a job lot of goodies and have concluded that a dyneema halyard is a winner at every level, as outlined above (and is cheaper too -sk75 can be had for ca £2/m in the smaller but very adequate diameters – 4mm can be ca 2000kg break load depending on brand. Plus you can do the work with minimum investment in tools and fully DIY it – YouTube provides. This is an attractive price (I have no connection, just looking for a wallet-friendly source myself) https://www.accessropes.com/product/uhmwpe-stealth-rope/. If anyone with experience of this could tell me if I’m adrift here, I’d appreciate it as I’d like to get this done this coming spring.
Hello, I have one that has sail number 11834 which is reasonably close, so may be similar (see pic) and I came to believe it was ca 1974. I haven’t yet found any ID on the hull. Would be nice to know of another person with a boat like mine 🙂
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Not tried it. But filed away in the grey matter for one day: tie/tape a thin messenger line to a hex screwdriver bit and using a strong magnet, draw the bit along to the exit, then tie the halyard to the line & pull through. Old hard drives are good sources of seriously strong magnets, or eBay.
Hi Mikefox, any chance of a photo of your jib tensioner ? My GRP boat has no form of tensioner at all.
As an addendum, I have had a suggestion from a general forum that I could possibly use a downhaul to tension the foresail, led back to the cockpit if wanted. Is there any reason why I couldn’t use this approach?
Thanks for this info. A lot of good stuff.
Whilst that document has some value to this kind of situation, it is pretty limited.
And Oliver’s detailed photos, whilst being helpful to an extent, mostly apply to wooden boats (eg turning blocks, line routing & mast exit slots)
My boat and very probably, Cookie’s, doesn’t even have a jib tensioning system, just the halyard. Things like this really dampen one’s enthusiasm as there is no obvious way forward.
There must be hundreds if not thousands of virtually “immortal” Bourne et al GRP boats out there that are in this “no man’s land” of not being wooden classics/sought after or competitive newer modern ones.
As this is a route into the class, I feel that this is a great pity and a lost opportunity. I can’t help but think that the average “beginner” will have one of these boats. If you’re buying a boat with centre main, cascading kicker & a million to one jib tensioner, you’re probably not a beginner.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Oliver Shaw.
I found this to be a great problem – all the guidance is geared towards racing/high end boats. Other than Oliver, who has been very helpful but has a life to lead.
We who come in at the bottom with our unloved middle-aged GPs have to figure it out. There only so much you can learn at a club if there are no GPs there. I got some help from a seasoned Wayfarer sailor, but some things are just so different (like routing the headsail sheets & position of sheet travellers…)
It might help the GP14 Class Association draw members in/retain them if there was a bit more guidance for our sort, who buy a cheap GP14 by varying degrees of luck/randomness. The link below is an example of what would help.
In the absence of anything better, you may well find useful info on Wayfarer websites, including the US Wayfarer one which has more useful info than the UK one. Also worth a look for are Enterprise & Lark CA’s. I found a useful article (but can’t now find it…) from a sailing club website with an article on Larks.
If I find the other article I’ll post a link.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by warsashod. Reason: Readability. The page somehow made the HTML visible on submission
Thanks everyone for your advice. What I’ve installed is an improvement over what was there (separate fixed items as Oliver described). As I’m not planning on doing any serious racing I’ll stick with that.
Position: how bad is this? Is it worth moving them inboard? I can’t see that you can reduce the sheeting angle as it has to go round the shrouds.
Thanks for this. It did half occur to me that the Wayfarer had a jib rather than a Genoa & what about the shrouds but it didn’t really crystallise.
I have fitted these now, possibly sub-optimally a bit far out as the track is about 15mm in from the deck edge which puts the cleats about in the centre of the deck. I have used aluminium angle backing plates salvaged from an old GP which had Tufnol tracks. Aluminium must be better than hardwood.
One thing I don’t understand is that if the variable position of the fairlead is advantageous, what is the bigger advantage of dispensing with this gain, to have the sheet disappear down a (fixed-position) hole in the deck, as modern boats do?
Thank you. Still won’t be able to test it though, as too windy again tonight.
I have replaced the lines & cleat as suggested but tonight’s sailing has been blown out by 20-30kt wind so I can’t test it. One other point, what do you do with the loose ends of the two lines?
Steve, thanks for that. I bought your spinnaker pole I believe. The tracks I ended up with are also Holt, with slightly offset cleats.
Should the tracks be angled in at all or parallel with the outer/inner deck edge or aligned with the long axis of the boat? It’s incredibly hard to find photos showing these clearly – I’ve spent ages looking.
I’ve just measured my Genoa – 2.2m approximately, so that makes it a full sized one. Good.
I’d go down to the pen & investigate the hoisted sail & track positioning this afternoon, but there’s a good F4 blowing 🙁