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GP14 World Champion Likes a Tack in a Solo Dinghy

6th October 2016
Solo sailor – GP14 world champion Shane MacCarthy out and about in Dun Laoghaire in his Solo dinghy. The design features inward sloping decks, making it more comfortable to sit–out Solo sailor – GP14 world champion Shane MacCarthy out and about in Dun Laoghaire in his Solo dinghy. The design features inward sloping decks, making it more comfortable to sit–out Photo: Afloat.ie

GP14 world champion Shane MacCarthy is known for his exploits across a number of sailing classes, most recently the Fireball dinghy, (winner of the Munsters in Killaloe) but perhaps less known is his Solo dinghy form.

It turns out the Greystones Sailing Club champion has been the owner of a double-chined Solo for a couple of years for 'messing about in'.

Like the beloved Geep, the Solo was designed by Jack Holt in 1956. The Solo is sailed in the United Kingdom, Holland and Australia....and now Ireland.

Originally designed in wood, competitive boats are now widely available in Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) or composite construction (FRP hull and wood deck) as well as wood.

2006 was the 50th anniversary of the design.

MacCarthy says he has no serious Solo campaign plans but very much enjoys taking the dinghy for an evening spin.

 

Published in GP14

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The GP14 is a popular sailing dinghy, with well over 14,000 boats built.

The class is active in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and parts of north-eastern USA, and the GP14 can be used for both racing and cruising. 

Designed by Jack Holt in 1949, with the assistance of the Dovey Yacht Club in Aberdyfi. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be sailed 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. Racing soon followed, initially with some degree of opposition from Yachting World, who had commissioned the design, and the boat soon turned out to be an outstanding racing design also.

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. Australian boats also routinely use trapezes.

At A Glance – GP14 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Draft 1,200 mm (47 in)
Hull weight 132.9 kg
LOA 4.27 m (14 ft)
Beam 1.54 m
Spinnaker area 8.4 m2
Upwind sail area 12.85 m2

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