The GP14 was designed by Jack Holt in 1949. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be cruised, raced or rowed, capable of also being powered effectively by a small outboard motor, able to be towed behind a small family car and able to be launched and recovered reasonably easily, and stable enough to be able to lie to moorings or anchor when required.
The boat was initially designed with a main and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. In a design philosophy that is both practical and highly redolent of social attitudes of the day the intention was that she should accommodate a family comprising parents plus two children, and specifically that the jib should be modest enough for “Mum” or older children to handle, while she should perform well enough to give “Dad” some excitement when not taking the family out. While this rig is still available, and can be useful when using the boat to teach sailing, or for family sailing, and has some popularity for cruising, the boat is more commonly seen with the full modern rig of a mainsail, genoa and spinnaker.
People often wonder why the class symbol is a bell. One suspects that it relates (strictly unofficially) to the original manufacturer, Bell Woodworking. However this was not politically acceptable, since it was seen as advertising, and in the inaugural meeting of what was to become the Class Association there was much discussion as to whether the new class should be called the Bell Class or the GP14 Class; the vote was close, but in the end the name GP14 was chosen.
|LOA||4.27 m (14 ft)|
|Draft||1,200 mm (47 in)|
|Hull weight||132.9 kg|
|Main & Jib area||12.85 m2|
|Spinnaker area||8.4 m2|