Latest News: Forums Technical wood or GRP. weight difference

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  • #4214

    Hi All,
    We have a mark 2 GRP,made around 1982 but she is proving difficult to launch and recover due to weight. Does anyone have a general idea of the weight difference between a woody and GRP. Many Thanks, Vince


    I thought they all weighed about the same. Wood is stiffer for a given weight, hence preferred for racing.

    How are you launching and recovering it? The whole point of a Wayfarer is it’s more seaworthy and roomier than smaller dinghys but those factors obviously make it heavier and harder to launch. C’est la vie!

    The irony is that it’s a doddle to launch and recover at a real ramp with a winch on the trailer. Wouldn’t like to move it on a dollie though.


    Thanks for reply, but I can only find a minimum hull weight and suspect that the GRP boats are heavier.


    Under the class rules (25), the dinghy should weigh about 168kg.
    As mentioned previously, what is the problem you are encountering when launching and recovering.
    What type of trailer is in use, a Combi trailer or just a road trailer.
    Concrete slipway, steep slope or sand, shingle or mud.
    Is the dinghy loaded for cruising purposes with outboard etc?

    On level ground, with the dinghy on the trailer, are you able to move the trailer around without any great difficulty?

    Bob Harland

    A boat built for racing – whether wood or GRP would be built to minimum weight. Though most boats were not built for racing and there could be aspects of the construction that would make them over the minimum weight.
    How a GRP boat has been stored over the years could also be a factor – GRP will take up water. (A wood boat will also take up water but it would be rather obvious!)

    I sympathise with your launch/recovery as we moved a couple of years ago from a GRP boat built for cruising to a wooden boat built for racing. Our club is on an inland mere and has a shingle beach – the wooden boat is much easier to recover at our club.
    If we are away cruising then we always use the car to recover – it’s just easier and it saves our backs. Once you start to add much gear a Wayfarer is difficult to move up a slope.

    If you don’t have a good jockey wheel on your trolley then that will make a big difference.

    Hope that helps


    Thanks for all your replies, We have a combi trailer and it is easy to move about on level ground, we sail on the Dee estuary which has very shallow water which makes it a long haul up the beach. I suppose we will just have to work out how to do things differently. Thanks everyone.


    As you can move it around on level ground, then the dinghy and trailer is not too physically demanding for you.
    Pulling up a slope is hard work and is really a two person operation.
    If that is not possible, then you need to use your towing vehicle or utilise a pulley system. A jockey wheel will help in either scenario.

    Pulling up a slope is best done in one operation to keep the dinghy and trailer moving. Once you stop, you will require a lot of physical effort to overcome the inertia/gravity to get moving again. If you need to stop, then rigging some form of automatic wedge behind the wheels, to stop the trailer rolling backwards may help.

    If the beach area is shingle or sand, then wider/bigger rigid trolley wheels may help, rather than the standard pneumatic type.
    Just some ideas for you to ponder.


    Sounds like you need a vehicle with an electric winch…. would certainly help recovery. Plus wide tyres on the trailer.

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