Lough Erne Yacht Club

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Fleets > GP 14

Fleet Captain:

The GP 14's sailon Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. For more information contact the rearcommodore@leyc.net

History of Class

The outbreak of World War II brought many significant advances, one was waterproof plywood which could be used as a strong, light and easily worked boat building material. Around the same period there was a renewed determination that yachting should get away from being only a rich man’s sport. In 1949 Yachting World sponsored a ‘General Purpose’ 14 foot dinghy (4.27m), designed by Jack Holt for home building from plywood, complete with oars and a simple Bermudan rig and easily trailed behind a small car. The Bell Woodworking Company produced a special kit of plywood parts for the new boats and class logo became the bell shaped sail insignia.
GP 14’s Grows and Spreads

Throughout the 1950’s GP14’s were being built in great numbers, including Larne and Ballyholme. They soon took to racing and left their oars ashore to save weight. By 1961, nearly 5000 sail numbers had been issued. In 1963, so many boats turned up for the UK National Championships in Liandudno that gate starts were used for the first time. Wednesday in that championship was ‘the day for the Irish’ reported Yachting World. The first three boats home were Teredo and Jewel (W Whisker) both from Ballyhome and Ywry (P F Rowan) East Antrim. After crossing the line they waited for each other, hoisted spinnakers and sailed triumphantly back to the beach in company. This was the first time there has been Irish boats at the Championship. Two years later at Helensburgh, Burton Allen became the first Irishman to win the UK National Championship sailing Justmaidi he won comfortably and took the Bell Trophy. Irish World Success first came in 1975 when W Whisker from Ballyhome won the world title.

GP 14’s Begin at LEYC
Mean time back at LEYC at a general meeting in 1962 a preference was stated for to start dinghy racing again. LEYC did have a Snipe fleet in the 1930’s to 1950’s. At the general meeting in November a long discussion determined as to whether the GP14 or the Enterprise class would be the most suitable, it was finally decided that the GP14 would probably prove the more popular as it was easier to obtain second-hand boats. The Honorary Secretary was instructed to put an advertisement in the local press to the effect that the club hoped to form a class of GP14’s next year. In 1964 LEYC first hoisted a GP14 open meeting with a home fleet of four boats. This event was also a mile stone in the development of GP14 as it was the first event in Ireland where the new larger genoa sail was used which is still in use to day. LEYC went on to hoist many open and national meetings, then in 1993 LEYC hoisted the British Inland Championships one of the biggest GP14 events. This was also the first and only time it has been hoisted by a club in Ireland.
Irish Class Association
By 1965 Yachts and Yachting reported ‘There is are almost 200 GP’s in Ireland and that the GP Association are considering the formation of an Irish Class Association with north, south, east and west branches’ again it did happen and more boats and clubs and other open meetings were added from year to year.
There are now some 300 clubs in the United Kingdom and Ireland where GP14’s are actively sailed. Fleets are also found in East and South Africa, Nigeria, Australia, North America etc. There are over 3000 GP14 sailors throughout the British Isles. The GP14 Association can be contacted at:


Class members - click on a boat for details

Click here to view fleet photographs

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