GP14 Sailing Dinghy

GP14 sailing dinghy The GP14 sailing dinghy was designed by Jack Holt in 1949 and has its origins in Wales (its sail emblem is the legendary Bell of Aberdovey). It was originally sponsored by the Yachting World magazine for home construction from the then comparatively new material of Marine Plywood. It was designed as a general purpose sailing dinghy but it was also excellent to row, and had a standard conversion for fitting a small outboard motor.

The GP14 was initially designed with a main and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. Nowadays It has 3 sails: a mainsail, either a large, overlapping foresail (called a 'Genoa') or a smaller jib and a traditional symmetrical spinnaker set on a spinnaker pole.With a full rig it is an exciting racing boat. GP14s are used for all levels of sailing, from training beginners through club racing to competing on the Open Meeting circuit. It can be sailed by people of all ages and even for competitive racing there is a wide tolerance of all-up crew weight,

Over the years the class association has adapted to the times. Construction materials have moved from the original wood and marine ply, through traditional glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) to the latest foam reinforced plastic (FRP) designs which offer superb stiffness and durability. Some models have wooden decks with a plastic hull. In recent years a Series II design has emerged with a double bottom that comes upright almost empty after a capsize.

Nominally for two people, it can carry three in comfort and with just the mainsail set it can also be sailed single-handed. It is therefore difficult to find a more versatile family boat.

Length : 4.27m
Beam : 1.54m
Weight : 133kg
Sail Area : 12.85m sq

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GP14  Dinghy comments and advice

I am of course biassed, as the Cruising Representative of the Class Association, but ...

Single-handing: in lighter winds, or up to force 5 with sensible reefing decisions, the GP can be sailed single-handed and there is no need to restrict the boat to mainsail only. Indeed she handles better with mainsail and genoa both reefed than with either sail alone.

Having said that, dropping either sail is an alternative means of sail reduction, and she will if necessary sail on any point of sailing under either one sail alone; this includes going to windward under genoa alone.

In light winds, single-handing under all three sails, i.e. including spinnaker, is both viable and an interesting challenge.

As well as being a first class racing dinghy, she is also an excellent cruising dinghy and a superb sea boat for her size. And occasional owners, particularly in the early days of the class, have undertaken some spectacularly ambitious voyages.

In your method of righting a capsised dinghy, it would be wise to mention that once the mast is level with the water the boat should be allowed to swing (into) the wind.If you do not do this the boat can be blown over on top of the righter.