About Us & the GP14 Dinghy

About Us

We are the International GP14 Class Association.

Run by enthusiastic volunteers we are not-for-profit but exist to encourage sailing in the GP14 dinghy at all levels.

With recent design developments and the continued backing of the Class Association, the GP14 remains one of the UK’s most popular sailing dinghies for close, competitive tactical fleet racing.

The GP14 is used for all levels of sailing, from training beginners through club racing to competing at regional, national and world events. As a relatively stable boat it is ideal to learn to sail in and is sailed by people of all ages and abilities. For competitive racing there is a wide tolerance of all-up crew weight.

As an active racing class, the design of the GP14 is gradually evolving.  Changes are overseen and approved by the Class Association who ensure that the strict “one-class” design is maintained.
This has been further modified in the recent years by boat builders like Alistair Duffin  (who builds in wood), and David Winder who manufactures in glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). Other boat builders also contribute to the ongoing refinements that ensure the GP14 remains popular and stands as a world class racing dinghy.


What do we provide?

There are loads of benefits when you join us, and the membership subscriptions are very reasonable!
For more details see our Membership page

As a member of the Association you can enter our events and participate in our website Forum.
We also send you a copy of our Mainsail magazine, packed with news, stories, event updates and articles from top GP14 sailors.
You can also receive a monthly E-Newsletter, and obtain competitive tailored insurance for your dinghy from Craftinsure 

We organise training, racing and cruising events, and provide a source of expertise to help members with all aspects of their GP14.

  • Racing is a great way to have fun, compete and make life-long friends. Racing events are organised at club, area, national and international levels, including National and World Championship events.
  • We provide training events for GP14 sailors, including specific training for Youth sailors. All have expert coaching provided from top sailors.
  • We also provide masses of information and help resources on all aspects of your GP14, both wood and plastic (GRP), to help you get the most out of your GP14.
    This includes an active Members’ Forum on this website, where members can ask for specific help and advice on any aspect of their boat.
  • If you want information about rigging, rope lengths and other topics, go to our members area page All About Your GP14 

Find out more and Join Us!

About the GP14 Dinghy

Originally designed by Jack Holt in 1949, the GP14 is easily recognised by the distinctive bell on the mainsail. This is thought to be either a reference to the legendary bells of Aberdyfi, North Wales, where Jack Holt is alleged to have designed the GP14 or, perhaps more likely, it relates to the original manufacturer Bell Woodworking.

The idea behind the design was to build a general purpose (GP), 14-foot dinghy which could be raced, cruised, rowed or to which you could even attach an outboard motor if you wanted to! Nowadays, you are most likely to see the GP14 being used to race competitively, training people to sail or occasionally just enjoying a casual cruise around a lake, estuary or coastline.

The boat was initially designed with a mainsail and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. The jib is still available, and it can be particularly useful when using the boat to teach sailing or for lighter crew weights. For more exciting sailing a spinnaker can be added and these days the GP14 is more commonly seen with the full rig of mainsail, genoa and spinnaker.

Commonly known as the “Mark 2” design, this was introduced originally in the early 1990s, and offered a new internal layout with built-in underfloor buoyancy. One of the great benefits that this introduced is that following a capsize the boat comes up with very little water in it. This has continually been refined in later years.

The latest modification approved by the GP14 Class Association (2020) allowed boat builders to incorporate spinnaker “pockets” built into the side decks, similar to other classes such as the Fireball. This is an alternative to using pannier bags or barrier nets in the cockpit.

Whilst improvements to materials, design and ergonomic interior changes benefit the latest boats, the external dimensions and weight of the boat are closely controlled, and this means that boats of all ages can still compete on an equal “one-class design” basis.  This is exemplified by the GP14 Association World and National championships, which see boats of all ages still competing, and the top sailors are not always sailing the most recent boats!