Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, please?

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Aquarius
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:10 pm

chris wrote:Looking good!
Is that a bronze roller just visible at the forward end of the centreboard slot?
Yes, it is, and it is a puzzle! Can you elucidate?

The centreboard has a slot, closed with wooden piece that is held by a single roundhead screw. The pin is a stainless tube captured by two screwed in stainless cheek pieces; through the middle of the tube a bronze bolt passes and the links that hold the wooden unballasted centreboard down are pivoted on that. This shows the arrangement from starboard before we took the board out to varnish it.

Image
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

chris
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by chris » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:06 pm

Will I think I can offer an explanation.
I think the original arrangement was that the board was not pivoted but rolled up and forward. My 14 is no 483 and that is still how mine works. For this to be the case I would expect that your presemt board may have been modified and perhaps shortened. Is there any old markings to indicate the case used to go further forward?

It looks from your photo of the slot from underneath that behind the roller is the place for, or the remains of, a hardwood block with a groove cut into it. My boat had a very worn elm block set in for the board to ride over (plenty of friction so winch probably needed). Later the roller was added and it makes a massive diference, A 2:1 block and tackle makes it really easy to use and you just need one cleat to hold it in the raised position. The advantage is that you need a very short slot in the keel for this to work. My board is about 5'6" long but only has about a 2' slot to work through. See photo.
So I suggest phase one: was with the block. Phase two: with a roller replacing the block. Phase three roller abandoned and the pivoted arrangement put in. This would have allowed the lead ballast to be ditched and perhaps a new board made. If they didn't extend the keel slot at that time they may have made a very short stubb of a board with an extended back edge to add area, Which i did notice on one of the 14s at Cardiff. This would have changed the board from a high aspect to a very low aspect. But maybe they extended the slot. I restored Gently a very early merlin and this is exactly what had happeend to that board. I built a new case and board and had a lovely bronze roller hearing roller from MR 64 to use. Mind you if you let the board drop it descends with all the speed of a guilotine.
Don't know if I can add video clip but if so it is testing the new board and case for Gently.
DSCF0041sm.jpg
board.jpg
My 14 board next to the board From Kate which was the prototype for the Merlin class - almost identical.

chris
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by chris » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:20 pm

No. the video clip didn't want to cooperate! I can add a sequence of photos if you want.By the way for that system to work there would have to be a thwart-stepped mast with a pair of king posts beneath. Any evidence of that?

Aquarius
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:26 pm

Thanks very much, Chris. Your untangling of the maritime archaeology is compelling.

It must have been a roller board and indeed Uffa Fox Ltd have amongst their drawings for 1946 boats one marked "roller in case" along with one marked "Mast jack" and one marked "mainsheet block" and one labelled "gooseneck arrangements".

I don't have a photo of the board, and will have to take one, but it is of a similar shape to ythe ones that you show - what I would describe as "high aspect ratio", but without any weight or any sign that I can see that it was ever weighted. It is bound with brass at the two upper corners and along the fore edge and around the end. There is a substantial graving piece let into the trailing edge (could this have replaced a lead trailing edge?) , and it shows signs of a lot of wear at the tip - presumably wear due to being dragged through the gravelly bottom of the Thames!

The slot under the centrecase is long.

There was once, I think, a differential winch, at least there are signs that something sizeable was secured to the centrecase forward extension with six screws, and this has been removed, but that set up would only work with a weighted board, whilst there is no evidence that Galatea's brass bound centreboard, which is "stylistically" similar to her brass bound duck's foot rudder. has ever been weighted.

So some more maritime archaeology is called for... I shall report back...
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

chris
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Location: somerset

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by chris » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:21 am

I don't how long this style of board lasted but certainly many Merlins were altered. I've even seen one modified with a long slot cut into the board so that it will slide back and down over a higher up pivot point and allowing a non ballasted board to work. Merlin (MR no 2 but the first true merlin in the Falmouth museum shows a newer board and a lengthened keel slot, as a museum exhibit it is not actually a very good example of what the first merlins were like!). The merlin rules were later changed so that boards had to be pivoted. Interestingly the most up to date design for modern merlins use a hatchet board which is pivoted off an long extension from the top front of the board and the motion of the board is very similar to these rolling boards - Good ideas keep being re-developed. A slight disadvantage of the roller board is that they need a little clearance to drop down through the case. Mine was fitted with a couple of strips about 6" x1" along the trainling edge at the top which just wedge into the case sides when it is right down. I wonder if this was intentional or not to allow the board to self gybe as the leading edge can swing a few mm either way. Anyone know the history of gybing boards - when they were first conceived and used?
I would be interested to see the Uffa Fox drawing of the rolling board are they online?
here's Jack Holt's design for Merlin
board2asm.jpg

NorfolkNick
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by NorfolkNick » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:48 pm

Keith66 wrote:Once the inside is stripped of varnish i would seriously consider a good soaking in boat soup, linseed oil & clear cuprinol. Its about the only way to put some life back in the timber & preserve it.
Very interesting posts in this thread, thanks to everyone, as I am just embarking on my own scraping journey I have some questions for those of you who know more about this sort of thing.

I am for the first time trying chemical stripper as opposed to my heat gun, which took one look at the inside of Ben Her and died, the chemical stripper seems reasonably effective but damn messy, so I have now started dry scraping as much as possible before using the stripper to get the last ingrained layer. Due to the spacing of the ribs I have been scraping across the grain of the planking, is this OK, it does seem to be the only effective way of proceeding, as going along the grain would only allow very short strokes, or am I doing it wrong.

Once scraped, what is the recommended method for sanding the inside between the ribs. None of my electrical oscillating sanders (1/3 sheet and delta) fit between the ribs (and a 1/4 sheet is the same width as a 1/3 sheet so no benefit in getting one of those). I may have to resort to a sanding block and doing it by hand, which is not the end of the world but if anyone has a better idea it would be good to know. I have seen belt sanders with 45mm wide belts that would fit, has anyone used these, I am worried they may be too aggressive and again would only be working across the grain of the planks so not ideal.

I am interested in the "boat soup" mentioned above for old plank re-hydration, I think Ben Her could do with some of this, what is the recommended ratio of linseed oil to cuprinol, and, having let this mixture soak, is any preparation then needed prior to varnishing or priming?

On that last note I have always used thinned down varnish for the first few layers, but someone recently advised me to use a clear primer instead, any thoughts on that would be welcome.

Sorry for all the questions but answers to these would be very helpful.
International 14 #85.

chris
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by chris » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:21 pm

I think you might regret scraping across the grain. It would be very difficult to do without damaging the timber;someone had done it to mine and it has left awful rutting against the ribs that is now too deep to sand out. Mine was tongue and grooved and some of that is now damaged
Some of the more eco-friendly strippers are slow, when compared to something like nitromors, but are not caustic and not so messy. Try an area and leave overnight even. I found it was then possible to use soft scrapers made from plastic (cut old ice cream tubs into whatever shape you need) if you use a metal scraper I would rocmend one you draw towards you rather than a blade you push- much less likely to pull up a splinter. Need plenty of newspaper to take the mess.

Sanding: Don't use a power sander! I don't think there exists one that would be safe between the ribs that wouldn't be capable of serious damage. If you strip it carefully and thoroughly there shouldn't be much sanding to do. Hosing out the last of the stripper is easy. (Beware a power hose jet). I used medium to fine sandpaper round pieces of ice-cream tube or cardboard instead of a flat cork pad. It bends into the curves nicely. You need to keep the surface true rather than go up hill and down dale, a longer board for the outside.
Another traditional way on the inside is to make a rag pad stuffed so that it is firm and use a powdered abrasive which you keep adding to the pad. I've not used that on a boat but have on other things and it is successful.
PS people have used sandblasting and such like, which is another option' but seek professional advice on that.

Sanding and striping is a slow process but worth it as it will look so much better if done well.

Aquarius
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Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:36 pm

"There's a reason why I started with the outside!"

Seriously, very interesting.

This thread should be re-titled "Chris's master class on the care and feeding of the Vintage Fourteen!"

Experimenting with the inside of Galatea, the ancient varnish seems to dry scrape quite readily; indeed in many places it has shrunk away from the ribs.

Meanwhile here's an imperfectly scraped centreboard... leading edge to the right...

Image

A close up of the pivot slot - there is some wear above the point where the brass binding ends.

I will glue a new edge on here and on the lower tip which is much worn. The scrapes on this side are old and have been filled with mahogany coloured filler long ago.

Image
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

Aquarius
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am
Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:44 pm

Old chemical stripper tip, applicable to Nitromors - brush it on and put a sheet of kitchen foil over it - stops it evaporating.
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

Aquarius
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am
Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:43 am

NorfolkNick wrote:
I am interested in the "boat soup" mentioned above for old plank re-hydration, I think Ben Her could do with some of this, what is the recommended ratio of linseed oil to cuprinol, and, having let this mixture soak, is any preparation then needed prior to varnishing or priming?

On that last note I have always used thinned down varnish for the first few layers, but someone recently advised me to use a clear primer instead, any thoughts on that would be welcome.

Sorry for all the questions but answers to these would be very helpful.
If you use raw linseed oil you should allow some months for the oil to "go off" before varnishing. "Boiled oil" is not in fact boiled; it has some chemical driers added to it to make it go off faster. For the Immensely Rich, Deks Olje no.1 followed by no 2 would be an alternative, and probably a better one, to boat soup and varnish.

I am an adherent of the "several thinned coats of varnish" school; the first unthinned coat on Galatea is the fifth coat and indeed only on this coat has the varnish stopped soaking in.
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

chris
Posts: 2420
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by chris » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:39 am

The slot in the board which has block added is quite normal, but without the block. Some class rules would have insisted the board must be able to lift out when the boat is floated. Some classes that is still the case. So someone added the block to prevent it falling out. The leading edge there has been damaged or roughly altered behaps to fit this boat, but the shape certainly looks right. For a rolling board it would have to have been a ballasted board and it doesn't look as if this one ever was so I think the chances are that this is not the original board but probably dates from the '50s. Come to think of it though the only boards I've seen with the pivot slot are either solid steel plates or ballasted otherwise there would be a tendency to float up and off the pivot. - thus the retaining block. Is there a spare 6 inches at the back end of the case for this board?

I have used Deks Olje once on a boat. Certainly the no. one kept soaking in very well indeed; lots of it went in deeply. However I found the no.2 - the varnish - wasn't very tough but looked good. You have to wait a few weeks after applying no1 but I would use Epifanes as the no.2.

Aquarius
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am
Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:22 pm

After spending a couple of hours looking at this board, scraping, sanding and applying a first coat of varnish, it finally dawned on Alex and I that its made of different stuff to the rest of the boat!

The fixed blade, duck's foot, rudder matches most of the rest of the boat and is obviously made from Honduras mahogany. The rather lovely octagonal tiller is obviously Canadian Rock Elm like the bent frames, but the centreboard has a sort of flame effect grain pattern that looks a bit like Robbins' Super Elite plywood! I imagine it's an African mahogany.

I'm going to guess a date around 1962 for this board, because that's the date on the Ratsey sails that she came with, and that would fit the "modernisation" of the job sheet fairleads, which run in very long tracks and are real, genuine, black plastic!
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

Keith66
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Location: Benfleet
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Keith66 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:08 am

Re sanders, never ever put a belt sander on a wooden boat, they are hard to control & shift a lot of wood quickly, they also take the heads of nails just as fast! A bloke i know did this to a lovely 18ft clinker dinghy & basically took the heads right off 90% of the nails. Basically the boat was a write off. On a 14 the inner skins are only 1/16" to start with so you have not got much to play with.
A small delta sander like the festool i just bought is good but still too wide to get between the ribs on a 14.
It is possible to buy a small air powered random orbital sander, I have an Axminster tools one, model no 577011, it uses a disc just 50mm in dia, the discs are velcro & go on a thick soft edged foam pad so less chance of damage.
It is a handy little thing but needs a fair sized compressor to drive it. I think Sealey also do one.
Re boat soup, every boatbuilder has his own recipie, When i rebuilt my old Rye tripper boat Billows i found she had been tarred when built so used a mix of cuprinol, pure turpentine with boiled linseed oil & some stockholm tar probably equal parts with just a splash or the tar, this was fine for a clinker workboat but never really dries & stinks so you wouldnt want it near a racing dinghy!
On clinker dinghies i usually use clear cuprinol & turpentine mixed with boiled linseed at a 1-1-1 ratio it will stop rot starting & puts a bit of life back in the wood with the oil. It also lessens the drying cycles that occur when we dry sail wooden boats. Note i used turpentine not white spirit! Note you do not want a thick recipie, it needs to be thin so that it soaks in & does some good. It will take some time to dry enough to varnish.
On something like a mahogany Int 14 that has multiple skins with calico between them i would think anything that put some rot proofing in & helped the calico to stay waterproof would be a good thing.

Aquarius
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Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by Aquarius » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:08 pm

This is where we are at:

Image

Yes I know the graving piece doesn't match; it's teak cos I'm clean out of pre-War Honduras Mahogany!

After six coats we are only catching a few nail heads with the pad sander and 320 grit ( the only sander allowed near her!) so the build up is starting to work. Still some gaping seams either side of the rock elm garboards, and if they don't close we will have to have to resort to SlickSeam, which is a soft compound used on the seams of very dry clinker boats...

The plan is to finish the outside of the hull,, foils and spars, then spend the winter scraping the inside and applying the recommended mixture of clear Cuprinol, raw linseed oil and genuine turpentine, with the idea of getting it into the cloth between the skins. I am tempted to try the Claud Worth technique of leaving a puddle in the bottom of the boat and moving the boat once a week or so. Will block off the centrecase slot at the bottom and fill that with the mixture before putting the board back. Then varnish the inside in the Spring after the mixture has had a chance to dry.

Scraping (and very cautiously planing!) the spars, which were black (the mast!) and dirty brown (the boom!) revealed, like crop marks, the ghosts of the black bands:

Image

Image

Does anyone know what the inner black band on the boom was for?

Next question - we are missing the spinnaker pole - does anyone have one for a Vintage Fourteen that they would be willing to measure and photograph?
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"

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trebor
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Re: Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, ple

Post by trebor » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:01 pm

Looks incredible.
Never having seen a boat like this in the flesh, do all the nails you can see go through hull into the strips/laths of wood you can see in your earlier post ?
Robert
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