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Dinghy restoration?

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Chris152

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Anyone done it? I've been planning to buy plans and build one, and yesterday I was offered a GP14 sailing boat. It'll need lots of love, but I wonder if it's worth the trouble. Two main areas of rot which look like they could easily be cut out and patches put in, but I'm also aware rot goes further than it looks. Any thoughts welcome! Thanks, C.
IMG_2202.jpg

After we'd let the water out - 2 years outside.
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After pressure washing.
IMG_2206.jpg

IMG_2207.jpg

IMG_2205.jpg
 

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MikeG.

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Well Leo, I say go for it.

My dad bought a dinghy like that, apparently. He replaced all the ribs, seats, gunwales etc, then the following year re-planked it. And replaced the centreline timbers...... :lol:
 

Eric The Viking

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From bitter experience with an early plywood Enterprise*, the really awkward bit is inside the bottom of the centreboard trunk. It's hard to keep painted, because the board rubs it, and the joint between the keel and the trunking is where rot often starts. I think it rather compromises the structure, where it needs to be strong because of the forces on the centreboard.

The other places to pay close attention to are the hounds (where the shrouds meet the hull) and the right at the bow, where the forestay is anchored. Together with the kingpost, they get the most stress when reaching or heading up.

The damage on the foredeck is far more than two years of sitting out though. I fear you will find there is a huge amount of work, although plans are readily available for a GP14, so you won't have any trouble making replacement parts. Pay attention to any details they specify if you want to race it, as otherwise you might have difficulty getting a measurement certificate after a lot of work.

You don't say what condition the spars and sails are in - they are expensive, so if in any doubt get a second opinion.

I both sailed and raced against GP14s many times in my younger days. I remember them as fun, but a bit more pedestrian than my Enterprise, although they do have a spinnaker, which adds to the entertainment (Ents didn't in the UK when I used to sail).

Hope it's worth it - have fun!

E.
(*I owned Enterprise E337 for quite a few years, IIRC professionally built at Emsworth the year before I was born in 1959)
 

Chris152

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Thanks for the replies. If I take it on, it'll be to get it working again, not necessarily to make it look wonderful - repair rather than restore - and definitely not to race, so no issue with weight. Just for pottering, apparently it can take a little motor (we have one already - I've been wanting to get it on a boat to see how it goes) as the transom's been reinforced, and the friend who's offered it says his dad used to have one with a motor on. And it's free, so all good there. The centreboard and trunk seem fine, tho I guess you don't know til you strip everything back? Spars and sails are easy to assess - it has none! Just what's in the pic. I've searched on-line and, assuming I can get the boat sorted, it seems you can get them second hand - presumably from people who knew better than to try repairing the rest of the boat?!
 

Trainee neophyte

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Will this get you in the water faster than making one from scratch? Will it last as long? Will you enjoy it as much?

Free is always tempting,but is it what you want?

More important, will it free up time to make more boards?
 

Chris152

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Trainee neophyte":3advzpk4 said:
Will this get you in the water faster than making one from scratch?
I think it'll need a couple of months before it's dry enough to attach patches/ repairs, but from what I can tell and the reading I've done since I was offered it (yesterday) I might get the essential work done in a week or two, depending how bad it is under the surface.
Trainee neophyte":3advzpk4 said:
Will it last as long? Will you enjoy it as much?
The plan's to get something to use for a few years til I retire to the sea - at that point, I'll make the gin palace I mentioned in the other thread! I just enjoy being on the water, so anything that'll get me there is good. And there's always time for board-building...

AJB Temple":3advzpk4 said:
If nothing else the repair will be good tutoring for a later new build. Not much to lose.
That's exactly what I was thinking - one sheet of marine/ boat-building ply, some resin, a few offcuts of hardwood and some pain [Freudian slip - meant to write paint] (has to be white - that was the colour of our Mirror dinghy when I was a kid). And trying to figure scarf joints for patches.
 

worn thumbs

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Thats not a GP14,its an Enterprise.A good scrape should get the flaky varnish off and the deck needs re-doing.Not a huge job once you have the old one off.Take care of the lifting handles and spray deflectors as they are more difficult to make and fit than you might think.
 

Chris152

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Aha - he did say it was either a GP14 or an enterprise - I looked at pics online and drew my own (dodgy) conclusion! I was going to get the actual dimensions yesterday to double check but couldn't find a tape measure there. Thank you, wt.

ps - They do look very similar, at least to my eye (these are pics of what I thought are similar looking wooden versions) -
Wayfarer:
4552449326.jpg


GP14:
1970-gp14-sailing-dinghy--1.jpg

I'll get measuring to be sure - it makes a difference to where I can do the work.
 

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sunnybob

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You do know that a wooden boat is the biggest money pit in the world?
For every 100 quid spent the value will increase by a fiver. :shock:

Theres a reason there are so many rotting away in every creek and back alley :roll: :D
 

Chris152

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Unlike woodworking in general, which is renowned for its financial returns... :D
 

sunnybob

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Mostly true, but I can at least get my materials costs back when I sell something. 8)
And what are you doing on the internet at 6 am on a saturday?
 

Chris152

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I did wonder (for a split second) about doing the repairs with clear resin and no wood, keeping the about-to-sink look and calling it a work of art - could be worth a fortune then. It's all about added value.
Sound sleep is for the virtuous...
 

sunnybob

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November the 5th isnt all that far away now. :shock: (hammer) (hammer)

I've always wondered why I never get more than 4 hours sleep a night, thank you for clearing up hat conundrum. 8) 8) 8) 8)
 

Rorschach

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It's free, use it for practice, keep costs to a minimum and then have a play with it.

Don't get too attached and then if you are happy build/buy a better one in the future.
 

Keith 66

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To confirm, Its an Enterprise, Do you have the mast, boom & sails? enterprise sails are likely to be a pale blue colour. The deck edge rot damage will likely extend quite far into the plywood, Look anywhere on the bottom where water has been laying, top tip if its too far gone burn it!
I was a boatbuilder most of my life, best way to turn a large fortune into a small one!
 

Chris152

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Thanks both. Keith, no mast etc, only the boat. Just so I know - what are you seeing that confirms it's an Enterprise?
 

Keith 66

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Shape of the hull, It has two chines (corners on the hull) so three panels each side. Wayfarer is similar shape but is 16ft long. A GP14 is 14ft long squarer & has one chine so a bottom panel & a side panel, The enterprise is regarded as more "Tippy" (unstable) than a GP. If there is no mast or sails it certainly isnt viable to restore unless you can find a donor boat or set of spars & sails of another one being broken up. The fb page Dinghies & dinghy bits is a good place to find bits. Or you could put a rig of something else on it. It would sail with a Mirror rig for example & there are lots of those floating about.
Dont forget you will need a cover for it & a trailer so costs rapidly mount up.
 

Chris152

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That's a great help - tho I think it does mean realistically I'd have to drive it elsewhere to work on, the extra beam would mean removing the workbench from my garage to fit the boat/ work around it, which I'd rather not do. But it does mean I'd get to see more of my mum! It comes with both trailers which are in good nick, so that's ok, and assuming it all works can pay for a cover. I want to put rowlocks in for the occasional row (more difficult with wider beam, I guess) and use it with a motor, but I'm pretty sure a sail will come next and hopefully, if confidence grows, do more sailing than anything else. But it wouldn't bother me initially if it had the wrong sail, so long as it goes. In fact, I have a feeling we still have the sails from our Mirror somewhere at home!
 

Eric The Viking

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Yup - It's an Enterprise. 13' 3", IIRC bow to transom (possibly 13' 6").

I'd like to say 'it was the thickened transom that confused me' but actually it's more like old age*, and it's that odd hybrid with a buoyancy tank forrard and bags under the side seats.

Stupidly, I was trying to work out from the pics where the transom scuppers came out (nothing visible on the stern for now-obvious reasons!).

Several thoughts follow:

1. Definitely check the centreboard trunk. It is very hard to let new in wood there and one of the first parts of a new build, so equally hard to cut out/replace. You might be able to graft a new one onto the keel if it's sound -- I defer to those who do this for a living!

2. I'm morally certain that buoyancy tank bulkhead is a long way into the bow (ours was further aft by possibly 2-3 inches). I'm sure it is installed as intended, but that means less volume than ours had, so if swamped the bow will sit lower. If you can't seal it, you might get a bag into the space, but if you really can't seal it, cause to worry a bit...

3. You really want bags under the seats for safety (even if only for use with an outboard), and they will need solid wood for the anchoring straps, but...

4... I used to have the plans for wooden side tanks, replacing the need for bags altogether. Our boat had them, and with big hatches (about 6" diameter) they were very handy for putting lunch and dry socks in... They're only thin ply, but they do add a bit of weight compared to bags. That said they are hard to puncture! You might get the plans (or a link to them ) from a Google search or the class association. I have some room clearing to do, so if I find the plans I'll say so.

It does look like a huge amount of work though.

5. You may be disappointed with the behaviour when using an outboard. Ents weren't really intended to have them. The transom scuppers would ordinarily be out of the water (the keel very nearly is, too, at the stern). Put a lot of weight right at the back, and it will lift the bow quite a lot. The splashdeck is only there for the amusement of skippers - designed to soak the crew as effectively as possible, and if going through a swell she will take on quite a lot of water. So a bailer is important (as the transom scuppers are blocked, and anyway would be down in the water). Self-bailers would be fitted next to the centreboard trunk, but they need speed and let water in at slow speeds (we didn't use them when racing, because of the drag, anyway, and I was never convinced they worked very well).

6. You might want to consider fitting rowlocks, or at least sockets for them. Most dinghys have paddles rather than oars, but nobody expects to go miles using them. If your outboard gives up somewhere embarrassing, you might be stuck otherwise. It'll look silly, but it ought to work.

E.

PS: You probably know that fibreglass Wayfarers allow you to put lunch and dry socks, etc., in the aft buoyancy tank. There is a big hatch. That's really handy for days out.

*The "hounds" are the shroud fixings up the mast, too! Can't remember what the shroud plates are properly called (where they meet the deck), but they take a lot of strain.
 

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