GP14 Sailing Forums Forum New GP14 Owner

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    • #6223

      Good afternoon everyone.

      I am in the process of buying a GP14 and will hopefully be sailing her out of Derwent Reservoir SC in the not too distant future. I’ll also sign up for membership of this club as well as I suspect I may need a few pointers re maintenance etc.

      I’m in my 40’s and have a young family (8 and 5) and a (non nautical) wife. we live in Hexham having recently moved here from Edinburgh. I used to be a very keen dinghy sailor until the early 1990s when I finished university and entered the real world. My background is in a combination of Wayfarers, Enterprises, large gaff rigged open whalers and, most often, Bosuns. Practically all either on the Forth or in the Kyles of Bute and with an emphasis on seamanship rather than racing. I’m very much the sort of sailor that likes boats you sit in rather than on and anything that involves a wetsuit is missing the point IMHO ;-).

      Anyway, why a GP14? Well, it essentially comes down to ruggedness, general purpose role, size and cost (doesn’t it always?) I’m no stranger to DIY and am highly mechanical and able to work with wood. I also understand marine coatings and epoxies pretty well from my years in the oil and gas sector.  As both my wife and I are 6 foot and our kids are already tall, this ruled out a Mirror or a Pacer. You don’t see Wanderers coming up and Enterprises are a bit unforgiving in a wind. Wayfarers are too large because we also wanted a boat that could be rigged quickly and towed behind the car on day trips or holidays (we head to loch Tay for a week most years). With the rowing, sailing and possibility of shoving a Seagull on the back the GP14 id pretty much ideal. It’s mostly to be used to teach the Mrs and kids how to sail (however I still recall the screams of terror when I took SWMBO out on a Yngling Keel Boat in a blow on Loch Tay a few years ago! I might do a bit of fun racing and I also like cruising and am planning some trips (Great Glen/Loch Lomond/Loch Linnie Etc) next year.

      So the budget was quite tight, divorce proceedings could be imminent so I had to ensure that I could easily fund the boat, club, insurance and kit etc as cheaply as possible. If it started to remotely approach the cost of 10 days on the Med in late July then I would be for the chop.

      Anyway, looking through the various sites I came across a local boat that had been sat up in a garage for 6 seasons but had previously been used at Derwent. I went to view yesterday.

      She’s clearly an early Mk1 although it’s difficult to say because the sail number bears no relation to the boat and the plaque is missing. However, the owner says that he has come across a number on one of the inside timbers identifying her as 8xxx something. Wooden hulled the hull is scruffy but solid and water tight, it could probably do a slipway season as is but would benefit from a bit of work and a dollop of paint. The decks were last done 7 years ago and the shrinkage of the wood whislt in storage has caused the along-grain-lip fractures you get on painted plywood. My damp meter however indicated the wood underneath was pretty solid. Seats thwart and floor planking all looks OK the centreboard and rudder are substantial and again, look pretty decent. The woodwork is pretty good but could probably use at least a coat of linseed. The shroud points are solid, cleat points as well. mast step and centreboard housing. The boat has 4 flotation bags rather than a boxed in bow and stern and in the bows the inner paintwork needs doing. rigging is surprisingly solid an Aluminium mast and boom, I will change the chord on the halyards as this has deterioated but the steel shrouds and pulleys are all in good condition. The Kicker isn’t too bad but again, I might change the chord. Sails – there are two sets – no racing sails though. One set is older and a bit baggy but would be ok for cruising or pootling around. The other set is nice and crispy. Sheets look OK ish but are better on the older sails (surprisingly) I might build a new main sheet as I understand the GP14 uses a rope transom ‘bridge’ rather than a steel job. Both foresails are Jibs and the batons are Al.

      The only thing missing are the screw in bungs for the Transom drain although I’m pretty sure I can find some replacements and can always use rubber bungs. It has elasticated transom flaps – I’ll probably replace the elastic on the rudder drop and flaps etc as it won’t be that recent. There doesn’t appear to be a self bailer – or at least I didn’t spot one.

      So first inspection was to put on the cynic’s hat and ask realistically, could this boat get back on the pond with a weekend’s work and for a low cost in materials? I was looking beyond the dirt for the integrity of the wood and fittings and to check over as much as possible for any catastrophic rot. a good jab with a bradawl in the dodgey looking areas confirmed that there don’t appear to be any really bad areas. One area that raises a slight concern is towards the st’brd stern quarter where there is a row of rust dots on the outside of the hull suggesting a repair involving steel pins, however, again this area appears solid.

      There’s no spinnaker although the mast is rigged for one. there are no oars, just a paddle and no engine or transom mount.

      The trailer is a Snipe combi in reasonable nick  – could use a dollop of VACTAN on a few of the rusty bits (Vactan, is a very powerful rust killer/convertor that is diluted 30/1, coloured and put in fancy bottles and sold as Krust in Halfords. We use Vactan professionally for protecting steel in marine environments. its water soluble and highly effective.

      So my plan with this boat is to make some space in my garage and tow it home. I’ll do a full audit of the rigging and check all eye splicing, fittings etc and work out what will do and what needs replaced urgently.

      Hull and deck are next on the list – I’ll heat gun the deck back to ply, have a good inspectoin and epoxy seal any dodgey areas for the time being. Il’ then apply paint to get it through this season.

      Hull – again, I’ll have a good look at it. The priority will be remedial work to ensure it gets through the season. I might …might…mount a self bailer.

      In September the boat will go back to the garage for the winter for some major renovation. I’ll strip all the paint off her and see what we have in the way of woodwork issues, any dodgey panels will be replaced and I’ll check over all the weak areas. I’ll refurbish the planes and replace any tired metalwork. I might look at upgrading the mast nock. Woodwork – sanded back and varnished. Brasses and coppors all polished up and protected. I’ll check all the ‘critical’ components carefully.

      A new set of racing sails with Genoa and spinnaker. I’ll fabricate a removable transom block for mounting a Seagull. (although the existing transom is very thick, being an early boat) I’m not hugely comfortable with cutting an engine hole in the deck. I want to mount the engine to the side of the rudder as it will be used when cruising. I’m also going to fit the boat out for cruising so will be constructing some watertight removable storage boxes and a boom tent as well as removable compass, radar reflector, nav lights and a few other bits and bobs you’d want before taking it anywhere near the shipping lines on the Firth of Forth!

      Anyway – a few questions if I may be so bold –

      – paints – most coatings I have used are designed for ferrous metals in an underwater environment. what would you suggest as a cost effective stopgap. Given we don;t know what is on the boat at the moment (I suspect its an International product) I’ll be using one pot for the moment.

      – fillers – again what would you suggest, I have some ideas but you guys are the experts!

      – anything I really need to go over very carefully during my initial inspection and remedial work for this season?

      – a good source of spares and sails etc would be very helpful

      – any ideas how I could identify the origins of the boat. I suspect it has spent all of its life in the North East of England. We know it’s pretty early and I should be able to get the rest of that number

      – aluminum masts and boom – any good products for cleaning these which won’t dissolve them?


      Other then that I think that’s it for now – if you are at Derwent then look out for me – I’m Richard and will likely be signing up for the club early June.


    • #6224
      Oliver Shaw

      To answer just a few points:  if the boat is wooden she will be a Series 1,  not a Mk. 1  (The Mk. I,  Mk II,  etc. through to Mk. IVa are all plastic boats).    That may help on a number of points.


      The first step to identification is to lift the floorboards and identify the registered hull number,  which on the Series 1 should be carved into the hog abaft the centreboard case.   Then contact our Archivist,  Hugh Brazier,  via the Association,   to see what records we hold for her.


      As someone who puts the emphasis on seamanship,  and enjoys cruising,  you are a man after my own heart.  And you will find that the GP14 is a splendid sea boat for her size.   But there is a place for racing as well;   indeed I reckon that I learned most of my boat handling from racing,  and most of my seamanship from cruising.


      The boat is also a genuine “general purpose” boat,  although her one wak point in that department is that she can be a little tiring to row for any distance.


      Mainsheet horse.   First question is whether you want transom sheeting (which is the original configuration, and arguably the best for cruising),  or the immensely popular split tail mainsheet led forward along the boom and down to the centre of the boat (which many people find the best for racing),  or a genuine centre mainsheet (which is extremely rare on a GP14,  but permitted,  and I can remember seeing precisely one  –  and that one was only in a photo,  not in the flesh).    A few owners have their boats set up to allow a choice of the race rig (split tail mainsheet) or the cruising rig (transom sheeting) cacording to what they are doing on any given occasion.    The mainsheet horse is entirely optional;  you are not required to fit one,  and if you do fit one its design and type is optional.  I entirely agree with you that a rigid horse is far preferable to a rope horse,  and you might like to consider a nicely shaped full width wooden former topped with a stainless steel track;   these became popular in the sixties,   and remained the generally preferred system until the racers adopted the split tail mainsheet system.


      Worn-out sails are probably best binned.   Never regard them as “OK for cruising” if you are at all serious about your cruising!    Sail with your good suit,  and when funds permit consider having a new suit of dedicated cruising sails made;   probably the most popular sailmaker for cruising sails for the class is Edge Sails,  and certainly I have been delighted with my suit.   And on my occasional returns to club racing I still sometimes win,  despite sailing on dedicated cruising sails.   But they are more heavily reinforced than racing sails,  they are specifically designed to set well when reefed,  and they are built of a different cloth which is better able to stand up to the occasional abuse which inevitably occurs from time to time when cruising,  and they seem to hold their shape for longer than racing sails.    Horses or courses;    ideally (and if funds permit) use good racing sails for racing,  and goo cruising sails for cruising;   and they are not the same animal at all.



    • #6225
      Oliver Shaw

      Actually,  in fairness,   there is a second weak point to her abilities as a “general purpose” dinghy;   she is desperately cramped for camping aboard.    But she was never designed for that,  and very few owners use her in that way  –  although very occasional ones have done.



    • #6226

      Thanks for your detailed reply Oliver, very helpful.

      I think initially I’ll have to use the reasonable set of sails it comes with. I had a look at the spare set, the main isn’t great but the jib is actually in quite good condition. It looks as if it is a bit older. I would really like a set of new sails but I think this summer we’ll have to go with what we’ve got. I should imagine a good deal of  our budget will be spent on cordage and paint initially (not to mention clothing – I’ve always been of the jeans, old trainers, rugby shirt and decent Guernsey jumper or an RN heavy sea jumper (warm and cheap!) kit, I can’t stand wet suits and dry suits I find most unpleasant. So I can imagine the real money will be spent on the kid’s kit.

      I’m unlikely to do any sea cruising this summer – I should imagine the largest body of water we’ll be using it on will be Loch Tay (OK, it’s a pretty large body of water!) i think I’ll be earmarking some budget for an old Seagull (yes, I know you can get more efficient modern motors but I’m tempted to try and keep this SERIES 1 period. Being mechanically competent I’d be comfortable rebuilding an engine and we won’t be using it at the reservoir anyway as it’s not permitted.  Over the winter I’ll be doing some serious renovations.

      Thanks for your advice re transom rails etc. I prefer a rail to a center sheet – I suppose I’m a bit old fashioned! I’ll try and dig out a photo of a former with track and fabricate it. I’ll make it removable so I can mount an engine as and when

      Thanks for letting me know where the number is, I will have a look next time I’m over at the boat.

    • #6227
      Oliver Shaw

      I realise,  with my apologies, that I failed to welcome you aboard;     sorry about that!


      For what it is worth,  for summer sailing my own preferred kit is “summer rig”;    shorts,  suitable footwear,  suitable “top”,  and buoyancy aid.    Waterproof jacket available in case of need.    Warmer wear,  e.g. sweater,  carried aboard in a  drybag  –  but it is very rarely indeed that I have occasion to use it.


      I find that it is well worth the investment in suitable footwear.   Ten years ago I gave up on plimsolls with holes in (to drain the water out),  because I found them so acutely uncomfortable once sand gets inside them and starts abrading the skin.    There are a number of options,  but a popular one (and my own choice) is neoprene bootees;   they are excellent aboard the boat,  but are also acceptable for modest walking ashore if you land somewhere and take a stroll before sailing onward (or back to base).   And I find  can wear the same pair on bare feet in the summer,  and over a drysuit in the winter.


      One piece of kit that I would most strongly recommend,  for reasons of safety,  if you are sailing other than in a club fleet and with a safety boat,  is a (handheld) VHF radio.     Including,  specifically,  if you are sailing on Loch Tay;   that is large ebnough for the safety cover to be very appropriate.   Entry level ones were around £60 last time I checked,   and they are perfectly adequate for many purposes,  but may not have all the “extra” channels,  M1 and M2 (a.k.a. P4) in particular,  which many marinas and some clubs use,  so it may be worth springing the extra to go above “entry level”.    Personally I won’t now go afloat without my VHF;  I even feel undressed without it.


      You should of course do the course to obtain your Short Range Certificate and Operator’s Licence,  if you don’t already have that,  but that course and that qualification are well worth while anyway.


      By all means use the sails you already have for the time being,  but don’t bother with the poor set;  just use the reasonable ones.


      Opinion is divided on fitting an outboard,  but if you do decide to go down that route there is a paper surveying the available methods in the Members’ Library,  and that refers to fuller documentation on certain specific methods available from the Association Office.    For what it is worth,  I regularly use the engine on the yacht,  and I have a Seagull for the yacht tender which is nominally very suitable for the GP14,  and when I had my new GP14 built ten years ago I had the transom reinforced specifically in anticipation of fitting an outboard.    But I have never actually been able to bring myself to permanently deface the boat in that way;   and neither have I ever found a real need to use an outboard.     The boat sails so well that,  provided one is sensible with passage planning   –  e.g. don’t set off downtide in light winds and with a guillotine on time for getting back,  go uptide instead  –  on the overwhelming majority of occasions I find that I can do everything I need under sail.    Only very exceptionally do I need to resort to rowing,  and only twice in a lifetime has that rowing been for any substantial distance.


      If caught out in unexpectedly strong winds,  the boat is probably far more comfortable making for shelter under sail,  albeit with deep reefs,  than under engine;   and attempting to rig the engine in heavy seas would be a somewhat hazardous undertaking at the best of times.


      But if fishing is your thing,  or motoring family plus Labrador plus kids’ inflatable beach toys to a picnic spot,  then an outboard may well be the right solution.


      “Saving Old Seagulls” is a most useful source of both information and parts if you do go for a Seagull;




    • #6228
      Oliver Shaw

      Photo of a full width mainsheet horse here:

      This one is on my own boat,  and can be accessed at the GP14 Owners’ Online Community site,  which has warm reciprocal relations with the Class Association;   you would probably have to “join” the group to access it,  but I would recommend that you consider doing so anyway (it is free).   Link to it on our Links page.



    • #6229
      Duncan Greenhalgh

      Hello BarnacleBill

      Welcome to the GP14 Class: I read  your post with interest for several reasons but at this time will pick up on just one point; I sail (very occasionally at Derwent,  however our Vice President Ann Penny is often there sailing her GP – ask anyone they’ll direct you, she will introduce you and family to all the other GP sailors at Derwent and tell you about some of the cruising opportunities your family might enjoy.

      Let me know when you are going to the Res I’ll try and get across.  However I’m medically banned from sailing for a few more weeks but going to the Scottish Championships this weekend for purely social reasons. Hope meet up soon contact duncan.greenhalgh at


    • #6230

      “For what it is worth,  for summer sailing my own preferred kit is “summer rig”;    shorts,  suitable footwear,  suitable “top”,  and buoyancy aid.    Waterproof jacket available in case of need.    Warmer wear,  e.g. sweater,  carried aboard in a  drybag  –  but it is very rarely indeed that I have occasion to use it.”

      lol, I should have prefaced my outfit – Firth of Forth hot summer day’s wear!!! don’t forget the Sea Jumper! or souwester and north North Atlantic fleece lined mackintosh suit!

      Thanks again Oliver, I think I found the PDF with different outboard mounting options. I’g going to experiment with a bracket that sits over the tramsom but allows the engine to sit next to the rudder without fouling the tiller -This may necessitate a removable transom former so the main can be sheeted on a transom rope. However, as with everything there comes a point when it defeats the whole purpose of the boat.

      If I do end up fitting a motor then I’ll only be using it with the sales with one other crem member at the maximum and given it’s a series ! there is space up front for a cunningly designed motor stow and of course, the great thing about the seagull is you can pretty much dunk it in the sea for a week and it stands a chancce of working when it comes out!

      I also suspect we will only use the engine when using the boat for fishing etc – day permit for loch Tay etc.

      Good idea re VHF especially with the reasonable costs at Maplins these days – I think I saw a set of high powered ones which were waterproofed as well. It’s also well worth these days, investing in one of the superb adventure level mobile phone cases you get these days – these float and are waterproof and shatterproof. Waterproof bluetooth headset sits in your breast pocket – the batteries on these headsets last 10 hours and the very high quality ones (Platronics around £100) are so clever the noise cancelling systems on them allow them to be used on manufacturing shopfloors with 100db odd noise but the other caller can only hear your voice. My cousin is a prawn fisherman near Ullapool he uses this system these days as even if he’s several miles offshore the signal is strong.

      Thanks Duncan, I’ll drop you a message once we’ve got membership and the boat all organised!



    • #6231
      Oliver Shaw

      Re VHF from Maplins;  I wasn’t aware that they did marine ones.    Having now checked their website I see that indeed they do;   we live and learn.


      However I don’t recognise any of the three brands that they offer.  The cheapest is the Uniden Bearcat EZ133XLT,  but its specification gives me no confidence whatever that it will operate on the normal range of marine VHF channels.   The other two do appear meet that brief,  but at £70 upwards they are not in fact as cheap as entry level sets from a marine chandler.    Try this:,  currently on offer at £49.95.


      However do be aware that price is not the only consideration;  by all means consider the cheapest,  but also consider going for something in the next bracket up,  and consider what you get in each case and whether the extra expenditure is worth it for your present intended use.


      Makes which have a good reputation include Cobra,  Standard Horizone,  and Icom;  the last of these is often the professionals’ choice,  and that is good enough for me!


      It is worth mentioning that you do actually need a proper marine unit;  not just for the waterproofing,  but more importantly for access to the marine frequencies.    One important aspect of that is that if you are using the marine frequencies then everyone else afloat can hear you,  so if you do get into trouble and need help you can alert everyone who is within range.   That is immensely more powerful than just the one person on the far end of a mobile phone conversation,  even if that one person is a Coastguard.   When I had occasion to broadcast a Mayday Relay off Anglesey a few years ago,  when another dinghy got into serious trouble and needed more assistance than I could provide in a GP14 under sail,  the first vessel on scene was a fishing boat which had been just the far side of the headland;   long before the lifeboat got there.




      • #6257

        That’s a good point – access to Marine frequencies.

        The chap who has the YouTube site Mirror Modifications does frequent substantial sea trips in his Mirror and I think he has an antenna rigged on his mast (I could be wrong). His videos are worth watching especially the things he has done to make his Mirror more sea worthy.

        Maplins are do impress me these days, I think they have a very slick purchasing department and they source some very good quality products at very reasonable prices, they don;t get it right all the time but mostly. They seem especially good at sourcing the quality manufacturers out of thousands in China and of working well with them. Their own brand kit is pretty reliable quality as well and their customer service is excellent especially in store. They are a good example of a business that is successfully combining an online offering with a shop and doing it well. (LEARN ARGOS!)

        anyway, more from me on this thread when the boat arrives – before then i have to clear the garage as i will need it to work on the GP, at the moment it houses my 1981 Volvo 244, my winter wheels and by far the most reliable vehicle I own (I have a rather large collection of cars) I suspect the combination of old fashioned Swedish quality control and over engineering of which Volvo and Saab were the most obvious examples with a design that puts all emphasis on build quality and longevity. It has no electronics except the lights and the radio. Ignition points and an idiot proof stromberg carb and of course the ancient ‘red block’ engine that is so unstressed and generously over engineered it has a reputation for Starship Enterprise miles. Anyway, it needs to come out and will need it’s MOT when it does so there is that to arrange and then I need to fit a tow bar, for the first time in as long as I can remember none of my 6 vehicles have a tow bar, nor does my wife’s company car. I must own the only Volvo saloon in the country that doesn’t have a tow bar! I’m not sure which car I will use to tow the GP yet but it i have to say, the old Volvo would be in period!

        Lots to do – expect photos and an update in about a week’s time.




    • #6283

      Hi Richard,

      I am a GP sailor and Vice Commodore of Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club and  and look forward to meeting when you come to the club. If you need any help/advice then don’t be afraid to ask.

      Maurice Cooper

    • #6358

      Thanks Maurice, that’s very kind. I sent in my paperwork to Cliff last weekend so I’ll be onboard soon!.

      Update on my GP14:


      Well, the GP14 has been sitting in my garage now for 10 days. In that time it has had a thorough going over and I have had a cabinet maker friend of mine come over to check out the wood. I also found the serial number carving. I contacted Julie who told me:


      GP14 Sail Number 889

      Built: February 1956

      By Aln Boatyard, Alnmouth, Northumberland

      so she’s earlier than I thought. Aln Boatyard was still making boats in the 1970s but has ceased operations sometime since, It’s been a while since I have physically been to Alnmouth (21 years) and I can’t recall a boatyard operating then.

      It appears Aln Boatyard traditionally built clinker built workboats but after WW2 built GP14,s Merlins, Wayfarers and Flying 15s…moving away from traditional boats as Alnmouth as an inshore fishing port declined. I suspect that the herring ban in the 1970s finally killed the boatyard. I wonder how many herring boats were turned out by the yard to feed the Craster smokehouses and the hungry Geordies?

      Anyway, 889 is a very well built boat and in pretty good fettle for an old bird who is 59 years old this year. Jason, my cabinet making friend was very impressed at the quality of the workmanship that went into the hardwood frame and suspects this is why she is still with us. The frame is indeed strong.

      She is somewhat workmanlike when compared to her young, beautiful, gingerboat sisters. With a royal blue deck, white hull and interior. However, her thwart and seats appear to have been selected for their beauty. Jason suspects that they might be walnut but needs a closer look.

      The Bronze fittings are all very ‘traditional’

      The tiller is in good condition, with  a couple of cracks on the carrier, Jason doesn’t believe it will cause any issues as the pivot bolt is substantial. (Jason has a wooden keelboat on Ullswater – he’s no stranger to sailing boat restoration)

      The boat sat in a leaky garage for 5 years and as a consequence is quite filthy. The interior needs a very good clean, the sails have Eau de pis de Chat and will be going into a dustbin with a wee bit of bleach and a few scoops of Oxyclean to get them nice and clean. The forestay mount and chains are all very strong as are the cleat mountings etc. The deck paint is fitted and could do with a touch up. The hull is solid. There is evidence of a repair on the port bow quarter as the pins securing the panel to the frame have started to corrode through the paint. There is a wee bit of this nonsense going on in other places. The interior of the said panel has been crudely painted, I wonder if this was a bodge mid season repair?

      Mast and boom are in good condition, all the pulleys working well and the halyards are in remarkably good condition and the verdict is they won’t need replacing.

      The main sheet is well used but usable and the jib sheets are hardly used. The kicker is in good condition.

      The only ropes that will need addressed are the transom flab elastic (any suggestions re weight of shock cord?) the toe straps are secured with elastic, given the size of my family I think we’ll replace those with 6mm cord. The toe straps themselves are fine and look like they might have been salvaged from an old car seatbelt!

      So – here’s the plan,

      I need to get her on the water as soon as possible without bankrupting myself in the process. Jason is right when he says she could go right in just now but I’m of the opinion that a quick mid season tart up is required in order to ensure that when she comes off the water in the autumn, she won;t require major surgery.

      Todo list:

      • remove floor boards (I won’t repaint with anti slip at the moment as they seem ok)
      • remove buoyancy bags,
      • remove toe straps
      • jack up and remove centre board.
      • give the interior a damn good clean and a touch up of paint where needed
      • key the existing varnished hardwood and apply 2 coats of marine varnish
      • fill the gaps between the gunnels and the forestay mount (.5mm) with epoxy and sand back both and re-varnish
      • dissemble rudder, key wood, varnish, fill cracks polish bronze, replace downhaul and uphaul
      • sand and varnish tiller, transporting wood (the transom mast support and the crosspiece)
      • sand the deck and repaint blue – 2 coats
      • remove paint round rusted pins, apply VACTAN (an industrial water based rust killer and primer we use in the oil trade) repaint (this will address the issue until I can drill the pins and replace the panel in the winter
      • polish bronze fittings in the boat
      • replace mainsheet
      • wash sails
      • VACTAN the trailer and trolley
      • replace trailer wheels and bearings
      • replace trailer mudflaps
      • sand and varnish centerboard, refit
      • repair crack on centerboard handle
      • refit buoyancy bags and toestraps, replace transom flap elastic
      • drill rowlock holes and add bronze fittings the reinforcement blocks are present and you can feel the old holes in them. Jason reckons the deck wood has been replaced at some point and the rowlocks dispensed with
      • get a new bell and sail numbers 889 and fit to mainsail
      • source and fit a removable outboard mount (the transom is thick enough to mount the Seagull directly but I’d rather not)

      Sail wise:

      2 x genoas 1 in good condition a second not quite as good

      1 x storm jib in OK condition

      3 x mainsails , one of which is blown and has a date of 1967 on it. 1 is good and 1 is OK.

      The good sails are Michael Macnamara, apparently they are only about 10 years old and haven’t seen a lot of use. Jason thinks there is loads of life in them whereas the other main can be used for a spare/cruising. The blown one I might turn into a boom tent 😉

      Other than that I’ll be adding one or two items for sea cruising including an anchor and a sea anchor (great for fishing). I’m crafting a watertight box for storing tea making kit and other dry items.

      Eventually I would like to get a set of tan sails. It would be nice to restore 889 to as she was (given a few modern mods;-))

      photos to follow



      The sail situation is better than I thought – the

    • #6359

      poo – that’s the sails in to soak in a dustbin with 100ml of thick bleach added and 1/2  a tub of oxyclean..

      The sails have been stored with their batons in, I was always trained to take them out. anyway, I removed them to soak.

      Brass – badly oxidised so it’s getting some very fine wet and dry on a Black and Decker Mouse, then some coarse metal polish and then some fine polish – it’s coming up really well.

      There’s a LOT to do though and I’m a bit concerned with a section of keel just forward of the center board house. paint is cracked on the outside along the keelstrip line – I suspect it’s just fractured paint but I’ll need to flip it to check

    • #6363

      curses! The flipping dustbin has a leak in it!

      So tomorrow it will be the scrubbing brush and lawn technique


    • #6480

      Well, GP14 889 is nearly finished. I’ve given the hull and decks a cursory rub down and repainted both, I removed all the hardwood fittings, sanded and varnished them. All the bronze has been removed, cleaned and polished. I’ve removed the centreboard, sanded and varnished it. I’ve fitted new toe straps, new buoyancy bag straps, repainted the deck boards. In the course of this I removed dozens of ancient screws that were embedded in the woodwork. Most screws I removed sheared due to corrosion and age.

      To do this I devised a cunning tool – the broken screws were cut out using a modified spring clip. I bought a pack of assorted spring clips of different sizes. I selected one which fits over the screw. Put the spring clip in a vice and cut a couple of teeth in the tapered end with a hacksaw. Be careful as the spring clip is made of very hard steel and the saw will slip if you are not careful.

      Once you are finished put the modified spring clip into a drill, electric or egg whisk place the spring clip over the screw you wish to remove and apply the drill, the spring clip will remove a core of wood with the screw embedded in it. Fill the hole with epoxy (I use Milliput)

      I stripped down the rudder and tiller, sanded and revarnished, replacing the bolts and screws. I replaced the centre board handle with a monkey’s fist rope handle

      The Seagull Featherweight is in good condition, it’s an early 60’s model. There’s a few dents in the brass tank but nothing serious. The good news is that I think it has been well maintained. I’m building a stand for it so I can run some tests, I’ll do these with the prop remove so the cavitation doesn’t mess up the cooling inlet.

      Sail wise I am rigging intially with the mainsl and the jib rather than the genoa. This is because I’ll be sailing with novices this summer, my wife and my 8 year old son. The genoa is a bit big for them to handle, especially Robbie, until he is confident with cleats etc. Interestingly enough, the GP14 was originally designed with a jib for this reason.

      The only thing I haven’t worked out yet is how to mount the outboard, it’s not urgent but I need to work this out before our annual leave to Loch Tay in early August. Ideally a slot in plate mounting would be best but they are flippin expensive.  I understand that the association has plans for a transom bracket. I’ll send in my membership application and get a copy.

      So – remaining jobs –

      touch up the varnish

      paint on the name and number

      order new sail numbers and sew them on

      mount the outboard

      test the outboard


      In the winter I will be taking the boat back into my garage, stripping the outer hull down to the bare wood and replacing a number of screws and perhaps a panel. I’m also going to replace the keel strip. The rib immediately aft of the centre board house has a ruddy great crack across it. I suspect that at some point someone has run the boat aground at some pace with the centreboard lowered. This resulted in the centre board house being shunted back into the cross member, cracking it. In the winter I might cut out and replace this rib, however, it will be a lot of work and it might be easier to brace it with a length of oak. It’s not a huge issue as the boat won’t be sailed at the limit. I might replace the decking with some nice quality ply and keep it natural with varnish rather than paint it. The deck ply is variable in quality and some of it is pretty old. It would rejuvenate the boat.


    • #6487
      Oliver Shaw

      Congratulations on a mammoth rush job.


      Outboard:   there is a paper on the various methods of fitting one,  with references to the various plans which the Office holds.    Should be in the Members’ Library.    If by any chance you can#’t trace it,  get back to me before I go away for the summer (a little over another fortnight);  since I wrote it I can happily supply a personal copy if needed.


      An excellent source of spares,  expertise,  and general knowledge on all things Seagull is Saving Old Seagulls; .    I have no connection with them,  other than as a well satisfied customer.


      When you eventually go for your tan sails,  save up for a new set,  and go to Edge Sails for dedicated cruising sails in tan.    You won’t be disappointed.


      Drilling out screws and filling the holes;   filling with epoxy is a useful technique.    However if the wood is to be varnished I personally prefer to fill with wood plugs,  bonded in with epoxy.   They are available <span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”> </span><span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”>in teak </span><span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”>from most chandlers,  or you can buy plug cutters and cut your own in whatever wood is a best match.    That is plugs,  as distinct from dowels;    the shape is similar but the grain goes across the diameter of the plug rather than along its length.   Insert them with the grain of the plug lined up with the grain in the substrate,  and if the colour and grain are a good match the repair will become almost invisible,  and you can also screw into it like new wood (which of course is what it is …).</span>





    • #6547

      Thanks Oliver,

      We got her moved to the reservoir last night and got the mast and stays on her, the midges were really bad and it was peeing down so we repaired to the bar rather than take her out. Fortunately, I grew up in Argyll so have a resistance to reacting to the midge bites, my friend, on the other hand looks like a golf ball today.

      anyway, she gets relaunched on Saturday

      re holes – when i take her in for her winter refit I’ll be drilling out the milliput and plugging properly.


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