GOM on a Boat
Having done many weeks on bigger boats, mostly bumming around the Western Isles of Scotland. It still remains that my main passion is small boat sailing. We have such a great hidden resource in our estuarys that I am often at a complete loss why so many sailors head out to the open sea for days on end with nothing to see but sea and sky. Exploring these areas in a small boat is for me, the way to do it.
The coastal waters of Britain once teemed with simple small vessels. These were honest working craft: they were used for fishing, and also provided short distant transport for the communities of the shoreline, carrying pilots, lighthouse keepers and other watermen. These open dinghies were stout, sturdy and stable vessels, working under sail and oar, and very different from the sailing dinghies of today. They were hard to capsize and were well able to take care of their crew. The little coves, creeks and drying harbours they frequented still exist, mostly forgotten now. Sailing a small simple vessel between these neglected havens, you rediscover a lost coastal environment, full of wonder and surprise.Roger Barnes President of the Dinghy Cruising Association
I have two GP14 sailing dinghies, ‘Erebus' in which I have explored the backwaters and estuary's of our wonderful coastline. 'Aeolian' is a 'classic' boat, built in 1950. Both have over the years been towed up and down the busy 'A' roads and motorways of Great Britain (I hate the M5 and the M6). The contrast between the journey 'there' and the pleasure of exploring new waters is a huge contrast which makes the whole journey worth it!
The range of cruising grounds are enormously opened up to the centreboard boat. Exploring to the head of a river, skirting the shallow sandbanks of an estuary, or creeping over a bar on the last of the flood tide into a safe harbour are delights well-known to dinghy sailors, but not easily achieved in deep-keel yachts.Margaret Dye Dinghy Cruising. The Enjoyment of Wandering Afloat
I find the GP14 a great little boat for these journeys. Read More » It's a great size a weight for single-person helming. I do not sleep aboard (nor would I want to). Carrying a small tent and sleeping on the shore gives you a better nights sleep. Getting it back on to your launching trolley is at times a bit of a struggle but still miles better than with a Wayfarer.
These trips take a long-time in planning and I may as well share these experiences with you and hopefully, be inspired and encouraged to make the best used of your time on planet Earth
"If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble."E.B. White