Nepenthe

Hi,

We bought her as a used boat in 1981 and have never even thought about any replacement since. Her previous owner was one of the swedish Nobel laureates in medicine and physiology 1982, Bengt Samuelsson. He may have given her the poetic name Nepenthe which is the name of a mythical drug in Homeros epos about Odysseus. The meaning of the name is said to be "the one that drives the gloom away" and she has really lived up to that.

The two yellow horseshoe-shaped lifebuoys that came with the boat carried a faint shadow of the name Mira under the present name. We have not been able to establish if this indicates a previous incarnation of Nepenthe or if the bouys just were transferred from an other boat at some point. Anybody has any idea if that type of lifebuoy is what she originally was equipped with?

Our harbour is in Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm, Sweden. She has safely brought us both to Oslo, around southern Sweden and also deep into the bay of Finland over Russian waters, up Saima canal all the way to Savonlinna.

I have been trying to find out what hull number my GD has. If it is hidden somewhere, it has to be in a very peculiar place because we have never seen a trace of it. According to the seller, she was built in 1969. Supposedly, the hull number is 70, because she never was given a national sail number - the sail number is plain "70" below the "GD28".

Best Regards
Akke Bengtsson

gd28_70_1

Maintenance and modifications

One of the benefits of owning an old boat is that you dare to (or even have to) replace, modify and hopefully improve certain construction details. Being much of a tinkerer myself, I have over the years had some experiences that may amuse other GD28 owners.

Portlights

The original perspex portlights were all leaking badly when we bought her and we soon realised something drastic had to be done. Everything brought home from the boat (including yourself) had a characteristic smell that stayed for a few days before it vanished.

A big sheet of 6mm Lexan was bought and all the portlights were dismantled. To my horror, the GRP was just G behind the outer alloy portlight frames. All decomposed material was taken away with a grinder and the edges were rebuilt using rowing and laminating epoxy, finishing the surface off with epoxy putty.

The next step was to draw the outlines of the outer frames plus one thickness of Lexan. Easily done pinching a strip of the Lexan between the pen and the outer edge of the frame. The reason for cutting the sheets larger than the aperture in the hull was both to gain structural strength and to reduce the number of slots that must be sealed down to one - between the inside of the plastic sheet and the outside of the hull. For aestethic reasons the edge of the plastic was beveled to 45 degrees. Finally holes were drilled for the fastening bolts using the alloy frames as templates.

A non-setting polyurethane gunk used for sealing windshields on cars was used and the whole contraption pulled in place using the wooden screws into the inner teak frames. In some places the holes in the teak had worn out and the wood locally had to be substituted and a new hole drilled. I would have liked to do this using bolts, washers and nuts but an initial test using cupola nuts revealed that they dripped from condensation under moist conditions (i.e. most of the time) and that you also could hurt yourself on the protruding nuts.

Bowsprit

During the summer of 2012, many years of brooding have finally led to action.

An off the shelf bowsprit from Båtsystem AB in Gothenburg bought already a year before was finally fitted. In addition to this, I made a prototype of an extended forestay attachment rail. This was actually the main driving force behind the whole project for reasons that I will elaborate further below. Here is a picture of version 2012-1 of the combined bowsprit and forestay attachment rail.

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Extended forestay attachment rail.

Many years ago, before the present foresail rolling furler was fitted, I one autumn experimentally trimmed the mast as far forward as the adjusters permitted. It looked horrible, with the mast noticeably leaning forward, but had a dramatic effect on the balance of the boat. Even close to the wind, I could now stear her using only a finger on the tiller. She still had a bit of weather helm, enough to feel completely safe even in gusting conditions, but did not any longer require up to 10 degrees of rudder deflection sailing close to the wind. This meant that there was a potential for a permanent solution to the rather severe weather helm that seems typical for the GD28 sailing close to the wind in more than 10 m/s. Only when sturdy prefab generic bowsprits became available though a few years ago, a possible solution emerged. During the spring of 2012, I made a prototype attachment rail out of mild steel, just using standard dimensions of flat bars and no welding. The main part is a 800 mm long bar 10 mm thick and 100 mm high with alternative fastening holes for the forestay each 50 mm. This prototype will then be used as a blueprint for one in stainless steel when the whole idea has been field tested a summer or two.

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