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Thread: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

  1. #1
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    Default Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    I deleted my original thread as I have learned a whole lot more about these rather wonderful boats:

    Galatea K478 after ten coats of Epifanes; just a couple more, now..

    I think the bronze keelband, centrecase gasket and transom pintle can go back now.



    This is the boat after the first coat; it shows the nails and screws well:

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-20-2017 at 09:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is fun, courtesy of Mike Dixon of Uffa Fox Ltd:



    I rather like the idea of a racing dinghy being sold with cushions, a pump and anchor - a different era! But I suspect that the kapok cushions were to provide flotation in the event of a mishap. We do have a mast jack, but no sling plates (these were presumably to allow the Fourteen to be carried in the davits of the owner's steam yacht..) Oddly, there is no bailer or paddle - Galatea came with no less than two paddles, but no spinnaker boom. We do have the rather charming octagonal CRE tiller. with its extension pivoted on a copper clench nail.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-18-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    After some research by Gillian Westell, owner of NIMBUS, I am coming to think that Galatea’s build date is wrong; she is shown as “1946”, but “Nereid” in the Cowes Museum, sail number K480, was built in 1939 and sold after the War, and from the photographs that I have seen she is identical, so I think there is a very good chance that Galatea was also built in 1939.

    Certainly her materials are all as per the 1930’s specifications above.

    Allegedly, all post- 1935 Uffa Fourteens are more or less based on ALARM:





    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-20-2017 at 08:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    ALARM today, now owned by Tony Must of Lowestoft Marina.

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Detail of her interesting rudder: this is a better shape than the usual Fox “Duck’s Foot”:

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    One for American readers of this thread. This is HAWK, built by Uffa Fox but a very different shape - wider flatter and with a finer bow - today’s shape, in fact. She was designed by Henry Curtis Hall of New York for Chris Ratsey and we think she is the only Fourteen built by Uffa but not designed by him. She won the Prince of Wales Cup in 1939, in heavy weather in which 33 started and 8 finished.

    I didn’t get a better picture as I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. Anyway now in China. In pretty rough condition.

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    I ought to stick this in - the official history of the International Fourteen on the class website:

    http://international14.org/home/history/
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is awesome, A C-B. Wonderful small craft.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Up to 1933, Uffa Fox followed British boatbuilding practice and secured the hood ends with twisted copper nails.

    He moved to screws for the stem in 1935 and then in 1937 both stem and transom hood ends were screw fastened.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is Galatea K 478 “as found”:



    and this is Nereid K 480 in the Cowes Museum:





    NEREID is missing her bottom boards (thin mahogany planks) and has somehow acquired what I recognise as a Firefly reefing claw round her boom..(?)...

    She also shows yet another variation in the jib sheet fairleads (compare with LANCING).


    These seem to be identical, except that Nereid still has her original weighted mahogany roller centreboard, which can be seen alongside the case in the bottom picture, but, curiously, not the differential winch to go with it. However she does have the mast jack which can be seen inserted in the mast step. The mast step is an extension of the centreboard case, and I am here to tell you that it is secured with four inch no 16 screws, as I had to replace one when I cut out a soft patch in Galatea's keel.

    I therefore think that GALATEA is also a 1939 boat.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-19-2017 at 02:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    On the other hand, LANCING, owned by Peter Wilson, is a 1938 boat with a different shape to the hog and a different centreboard case, and has her original centreboard winch. Chrome plating of the bronze fittings seems to have been an option.

    She is also the only Fox Fourteen that I have yet seen with a builder’s plate - and the famous ring bolt... chromed, in her case:

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-19-2017 at 02:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is is LANCING’s centreboard winch:



    And the centreboard to which it relates (I could barely lift it!):




    You will notice that LANCING like ALARM (1935) has the mast stepped on "deck", but in 1939 Fox went back to "keel" stepped, with the mast jack. This was because the mast stood better. The screw jack was to take the tension off the shrouds and forestay in the dinghy park. GALATEA has hers.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-18-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    This is awesome, A C-B. Wonderful small craft.

    Mickey Lake
    Mickey, I should not tempt you, but ...

    http://www.aldeburghboatyard.co.uk/

    They have a selection of Eights and Sixes... but if that is too much maybe another Dragon...?

    https://www.timeandtideboats.com/restorationtitle
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is LANCING, again, showing the 1938 hog shape and centreboard case shape (this is to take a roller board not a pivoted one);



    This is is a close up of the bronze roller left at the forward end of GALATEA’s centreboard slot, showing that she, too, once had a ballasted roller board (the slot gasket and bronze strips are removed for varnishing):

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-18-2017 at 10:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is the Uffa Fox standard Fourteen mast, used from 1935 (“ALARM”) to the arrival on the scene of young Ian Proctor, in the Fifties:

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    That mast diagram shows a much more delicate mast than I would have anticipated.Were there internal halyards and solid blocking in way of the diamonds and jumpers?

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Thanks, Andrew, what beautiful boats!

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Up to 1933, Uffa Fox followed British boatbuilding practice and secured the hood ends with twisted copper nails.

    He moved to screws for the stem in 1935 and then in 1937 both stem and transom hood ends were screw fastened.
    Screws into the transom end grain at the sheer? He'd have been better staying with the twisted nails.
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 10-18-2017 at 06:07 PM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    That mast diagram shows a much more delicate mast than I would have anticipated.Were there internal halyards and solid blocking in way of the diamonds and jumpers?
    Yes, there are solids in way of the diamonds and jumpers, which are 3/8” 16SWG alloy tube sleeved into brass tube in way of the mast with the brass tube permed over the stainless steel tangs.

    The wire halyards are internal and go to wire retaining winches housed inside the mast.

    This picture of another boat shows the winches in a “deck stepped” mast.

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-19-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Screws into the transom end grain at the sheer? He'd have been better staying with the twisted nails.
    The screws are closely spaced and go into Honduras mahogany...
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    #18 reminded me of a 12ft Cadet dinghy I recently considered as a restoration. Possible but gone way too far for me to consider, just a very badly deteriorated cedar hull with the transom 2/3rds detached from the dried out planking and half the rivets pulled through the planks.


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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Actually it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    HAWK in #6, above, is in a pretty grim state, but her hood ends are still tight.

    Here are some more hood ends, First NIMBUS from 1932, nailed:



    bows of ALARM, 1935, screwed:



    stern of ALARM,nailed:



    Gillian Westell and I think the chronology of the hood end fastenings is@

    Up to 1933 - hood ends nailed
    1934 - stem screwed with brass screws, transom nailed
    1935 and later = hood ends screwed with brass screws.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-20-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Bow of LANCING, 1938, screwed:




    No attempt at lining up the screw slots!


    Stern of GALATEA, now provisionally re-dated 1939, screwed:

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Brilliant essay.

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Brilliant essay.
    Thanks. But I don’t feel I have done justice to the subject yet.

    The Fourteen was already a specialised racing machine when Uffa Fox decided to make his name with it.

    Morgan Giles had already taken the “Pengelly Skiff” of the 1880s - a 14ft dinghy used for racing by RN officers, as it could easily be carried aboard a warship, and developed it as a racer. It was he who settled the West of England Conference Class Rules. These were merged with the Rules of the Norfolk Dinghy to create the National Fourteen and when merged again with the US and Canadian dinghies it formed the International Fourteen.

    The boats are undecked because they are still “dinghies”, but I notice that they rate 0.3 under the Length and Sail Area Rule. 14ft LWL x 125 sq ft / 6000 = 0.3!

    0.3 Raters were a popular size on the upper Thames in the 1890’s...

    The Morgan Giles Fourteens that I have seen are beautiful boats, very well built and long lasting, but they still have rowing thwarts and crutch plates in the gunwales. Fox brought in the Bermuda rig, and used aircraft constant planing power boat hull forms.

    (Fox was in turn out classed after 20 odd years by Austin Farrar, who used cold moulding).

    The final Fox Fourteens are the Fairey hot moulded ones, still with the Fox hull shape and no attempt to use the maximum beam of 5ft 6ins.

    The typical Uffa Fox hull form is both very attractive to look at - I am sure we have all admired Thistles, Albacores, Fireflies and such - and a throughly nice boat to sail - if you can keep up with a boat that is designed to manoeuvre rather quickly - you don’t just tack a Firefly, you roll tack her - and which is in her nature rather “tippy”.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-19-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Are your boys excited about them?

    An acquaintance had a Merlin, from before they joined forces with the Rocket. Those traditional dinghies are exquisite in their craftsmanship and hence beauty.

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    As I recall in the US, the Jet 14 was a hot molded Alarm with a deck and Snipe rig. A nice little boat still sailed. Mystic has a Gordon Douglas 14 based on one of the Fox boats. And the Thistle was an enlarged Fox 14.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    GALATEA’s interesting centreboard mechanism, which is intended to stop the board from floating up, regardless of where it is positioned. I believe the Class Rules used to require a slot, not a hole, in the board...

    This must have been fitted by her second owner, when he changed from the weighted roller board.

    This may be the only time that you will ever see a cotton toestrap...

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-20-2017 at 07:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Are your boys excited about them?

    An acquaintance had a Merlin, from before they joined forces with the Rocket. Those traditional dinghies are exquisite in their craftsmanship and hence beauty.
    Yes, they are.

    I have a friend who has a very early Jack Holt Merlin. That has an "interesting" centreboard, too!
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Some more notes:

    Uffa's Fourteens are built with "book matched" outer planking, so clearly each plank was scribed and cut double thickness, and then ripped to make a pair - traditional good quality professional boatbuilding... it has to be "good quality" as, whilst it saves labour, if the two halves of the boat are not identical, you are in trouble!

    Galatea's garboard strakes are wych elm, not Honduras mahogany.
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    I'm really enjoying this thread. As a teen, I owned US 373 (I think I remember the number correctly). She looked exactly like a baby Thistle. I was hopelessly trying to race against modern boats and was often DAL (Dead Ass Last), but boy did I have fun. I eventually replaced it with a newer glass boat that was previously owned by Roger Welch, who was the SoCal I-14 master. I never had as much success with it as Roger did, but boy did I have fun.

    Please keep this thread going.

    Boy is it fun!
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    This is not an Uffa Fox boat but she shows the differences; this is the Canadian NEGAUNEE from 1939:

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Are your boys excited about them?

    An acquaintance had a Merlin, from before they joined forces with the Rocket. Those traditional dinghies are exquisite in their craftsmanship and hence beauty.
    The early years of the Merlin:

    http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/librar...st_6_years.pdf

    "Gently", number siz, has been restored and is owned and raced by a member of the CVRDA

    This is his drawing of the roller centreboard, which I have pinched from the CVRDA website:

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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    How does the Roller board behave in the event of a bottom strike?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Uffa Fox Fourteens...

    I hope a little bit of thread drift won't cause too much annoyance.The topic of book matched planks took me back to a conversation with a boatbuilder in the early eighties who described the technique as being the way he had learned the trade in the late forties at a yard on the broads and that one of their boats won the Hickling regatta for several consecutive years.It so happens that a friend's grandfather had the yard at the time and my friend related that his grandfather's yard was one of the first places in the area to have a phone line and that they got a bit fed up with being the communication link for the village.To the point that they found it expedient to employ a not particularly bright lad as an apprentice to act in part as a messenger boy.It was a little while before I put two and two together.

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