Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, please?

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

Advice on owning an Uffa Fox International Fourteen, please?

Post by Aquarius » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:57 am

Somewhat to my own surprise my bid on K478 Galatea at the EISCA auction was sucessful so I shall be setting off to Eyemouth with the family Firefly's nice combi trailer in a few days.

There seem to be a few things that people do with Uffa Fox boned Fourteens:

(1). Donate to a museum
(2). Leave in the back of a shed
(3). Re-varnish and use as a conversation piece in the living room or hallway of a bigger house than mine
(4). Go sailing.

I would like to try (4).

I have read threads here giving advice on the care of Fox Fourteens, and I think that the order of operations might be:

1. Collect boat and have a really good look. Give her a through cleaning. Assuming that there is nothing visibly amiss...

2. The mast being, if not original, at least "early", DO NOT try using it, as the glue will be casein, but take the fittings off, scrape it, try to split it and if sucessful re-glue and re-varnish... Meanwhile look at the cost of a nice new Fourteen mast from Collars (£880.00!) and if that is too much then keep in mind that Uffa didn't change his ideas on rig much and a Flying Fifteen/Swordfish/Albacore mast and boom will fit, as they all have his "standard" I14 rig.

3. Get a couple of coats of varnish on for now, as the stuff that is on her will not be UV resistant, and plan for a complete strip and re-varnish later.

4. Wait for a Force One, rig boat using Firefly sails, lash in some buoyancy bags and go for a gentle potter... observe how much water is coming in from where and draw up plans accordingly...

5. I understand that the boned Fourteens all leak anyway and being very dry this one will leak more than most, but after looking at a couple of the Fox boats in the poly tunnel at Lowestoft which had seriously cracked varnish along all their seams one is aware that "re-hydrating" the boat is something to be done very carefully.

Is this about right?
Last edited by Aquarius on Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: 2419
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

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

Post by chris » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:56 pm

congratulations!
Certainly restore it and use it. That's the best way of continued conservation anyway ... if it is only a conversation piece then it is only half a boat.
Don't be too hasty though. I don't know what condition it is in but be prepared to take a long time before you add water. If you need to strip it back to bare wood I wouldn't waste time putting any varnish on now as it wiill only add to a very long and painstaking job later. (you would have to get all your new varnish out of the open seems for instance). Striping one of these with all the ribs is something not to be rushed otherwise impatience will lead to damaging the delicate ribs or the thin skin. Think weeks, no,months of happy striping!

I have 483 which is not an Uffa Fox boat and was in a terrible condition ("free if you can restore or the bonfire is being lit").
Pictures here http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/4957410342
Don't be put off though, but it really is worth doing this well and that will take time.
Uffa Fox usually put a layer of oiled silk or such material beween the skins which should make it waterproof. The chances of this still being in good condition are slim.
Another weak spot to look for is where the skin meets the hog/keel. Depending just on the arrangement there it is possible that some ribs might need attention along the hog.
When you get it home take plenty of photos of details etc and share. Look forward to seeing them.
Chris

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 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:34 pm

Dear Chris,

That is extremely helpful, and looking through your photographs is a great encouragement.

Just what I need, in fact.

I am very impressed with your treatment of the transom hood ends and the stem.

I an nervous about using a chemical stripper because it would get into the oiled cloth between the skins, (which Uffa described as "oiled silk" and which I suspect was calico!) and "do no good" there, so I suspect it's a hot air gun, a selection of extremely sharp scrapers, and lots of patience.

I shall be picking her up on Thursday, all going well...

Andrew
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"

BarnyC
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:24 am

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

Post by BarnyC » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:48 am

Hi,

I bought the little Sea Ranger which is in the Ostrich shed. I'm going up with my son on Wednesday 2nd to collect it in the afternoon. If anyone else is collecting then, happy to do some mutual boat lifting and loading. Some of the boats are on racks and may take a bit of ingenuity to retrieve...

Regards,

Barny Creaser

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 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:00 am

BarnyC wrote:Hi,

I bought the little Sea Ranger which is in the Ostrich shed. I'm going up with my son on Wednesday 2nd to collect it in the afternoon. If anyone else is collecting then, happy to do some mutual boat lifting and loading. Some of the boats are on racks and may take a bit of ingenuity to retrieve...

Regards,

Barny Creaser
Well done! Nice, interesting, practical boat, with some history to her.

Would help but we will be a day later.
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 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:52 pm

Retrieved Galatea and her gear from Coldingham Road also a set of Firefly cotton sails, and Flying Cloud's Gayle Heard lugsail for T-G, from the Ostrich shed. It looked as if more half the boats are still in those two places.

I see a winter spent stripping varnish in my future. I am heeding Chris's advice.

She seems to have her original mast with the two mast winches integral. The standing rigging is a mess of course. And to my delight we have two suits of sails one of which is cotton.
Last edited by Aquarius on Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: 2419
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

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

Post by chris » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:05 pm

Well done, and all the bits too!
enjoy...

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 Aug 06, 2017 9:16 pm

The bits...

I'm posting the pictures as a record of what one 1946 Uffa Fox Fourteen looked like after perhaps fifty years at the back of a shed and before an "amateur restorer" got at her...

We have an un-ballasted wood centreboard;it has bronze link arms pivoted on the centreboard pivot to hold it down. There is evidence from indentations on the forward extension of the centrecase just short of the mast step (seee photo) that a bronze differential winch was once fitted there, but it is no longer present and there are stainless steel tangs for a modern type centreboard tackle which is now missing. I would like to return the boat to her 1946 specification, in due course, so will be looking for the correct type of differential centreboard winch.

One fixed "duck's foot" rudder with long octagonal (!) ash tiller and rather charming tiller extension pivoted on a copper nail and with a short cross piece just like my father's GP14 in 1960. Rudder appears to be mahogany edged with (?) ash.

One boom, looks a good deal newer than the mast, has kicking strap attachment. Kicking strap goes to where the centreboard winch once was, on the forward extension of the centrecase, but the lacing eye that the kicking strap goes to would pull out in a flash if any real load were to be put on it. Kicking strap should surely go to the foot of the mast!

One very original looking keel stepped three diamond mast with integral wire retaining winches for main and jib halyards.

No spinnaker pole (see below). But one dozen assorted hickory battens. No self bailers. But two paddles. One roller bearing (!) mainsheet fiddle block running on a rather elaborate carriage on the transom horse.

One mast ram. I had read that Fourteens of this vintage had mast rams, so I was looking for the sort of fitting that one might find on a modern dinghy... and could not work out why the mast has a circular foot (bound with bronze) with an inch diameter hole in it and the mast step (bound with bronxe) is rectangular. Then I found the mast ram - a solid bronze object which is literally a screw jack, and fits between the two. See the picture!

Two cast aluminium handles for mast winches. One Mystery Object - a bronze drop nose eye bolt.

At some point her jib sheeting arrangements were modernised with black plastic fairleads running (but now stuck) in aluminium track let into the gunwales. But in a bag of bits I found the original bronze roller fairleads...

One 1962 Ratsey terylene mainsail; looks OK. The plastic window was sticky and opaque but a good scrub showed that thevproblem was just dirt, and it's fine. One terylene Genoa, no name, mouse damage to clew... One nameless cotton headsail with rope luff and a set of reef points (1) currently in the washing machine. One tattier nameless cotton genoa with suspect wire luff but no rust marks - it just might be bronze wire. One tatty cotton spinnaker and one seemingly unused cotton spinnaker.

The sail area set by these things is huge!
[
Last edited by Aquarius on Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:04 pm

The next Mystery Object is a mahogany strut, found loose in the boat, which I would have taken to be the pillar under the mast thwart if she had a deck stepped mast like the 1930's boats.. but she is a 1940's boat and has a keel stepped mast with mast jack and integral winches. Suggestions welcome!

So far we are missing the spinnaker boom, but we do have two spinnakers - both cotton, one of which looks un-used...

The jumper strut and diamond struts on the mast are made from aluminium tubing with brass machine screws tapped into the ends to adjust the tension on the piano wire. I am sure that this was a fine idea at the time but 71 years of damp air have had the inevitable effect...

And talking of brass screws, guess what are holding the hood ends of the planking to the stem rabbet, and the garboards to the keep rabbet and the hood ends to the transom...tiny brass screws... Does one leave them alone, or try to back them out and replace with bronze? One suspects that they will crumble at a touch!
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"

Rupert
Posts: 6224
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

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

Post by Rupert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:17 pm

Looks great!

Some 14s had a support strut despite being hog stepped, but there should be signs of it on the underside of the mast gate area.
Rupert

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 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:57 pm

Rupert wrote:Looks great!

Some 14s had a support strut despite being hog stepped, but there should be signs of it on the underside of the mast gate area.
Thank you. That is must be the explanation. It would brace the mast thwart against unexpected loads imposed in stepping the mast. I will look carefully tomorrow. It would account for the mortice in the hog ahead of the actual mast step mortice (which in our case actually takes the lower lug of the mast jack).

Talking of which, I assume that the idea behind the mast jack was simply to allow the boat to be put away in a dinghy park with the rigging loads imposed by setting the forestay up taut for racing taken off the hull?

One good thing about the integral winches, despite their slowness in operation, is that the halyard loads are taken entirely as compressive loads in the mast.

One cannot help noticing that the absence of cam jam cleats for the jib sheets means that the entire load of the sheets for the (rather large in the "i" measurement) headsail are taken on the crew's hands and arms. Wooden ships and iron men!
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: 2419
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

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

Post by chris » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:12 am

DSCF1010sm.jpg
Not the clearest of photos to show the seperate mast support which basically changes hog stepped to thwart stepped. You should be able to tell from the mast which set up the mast actually used. It would be quite difficult to tell if it is the original mast or just a very old one. The method of adjusting the diamond wires was common. Ormiston wire co. can supply a stainless steel piano wire. I made new cross trees and used stainless screws but use Duralac as prevention to corrossion due to differeing materials.
DSCF1005sm.jpg
It looks as if your mast just has one winch or is there a second one?

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 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:53 am

Wow! Your gooseneck is on a track! What will these dinghy racers think of next!

Ours is fixed - at what I am tempted to describe as "original Firefly height!" Limbo dancing skills at a premium... the lug that fits into the boom has the round and square sections which permit primitive roller reefing in the dinghy park...

There are two winches, one below the other, both below the gate.

The mast was certainly stepped on the hog with the heel in the mast jack. I do find keel stepped masts easier to step and instep.

The diamonds and jumper have stainless piano wire, but the struts themselves have corroded where dissimilar metals are in contact. I'll have to replace them when I strip the mast.

I can see that a strut ahead of the mast would help in stepping it, by guiding the heel towards the step - and that it would tend to be knocked out by the heel of the mast if things got a bit out of hand...which may be what has happened...
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: 2419
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

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

Post by chris » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:17 pm

Those two photos are of Chris Barker's UF 14 not mine. My mast is thwart stepped and there are twin king posts beneath. The centreboard passes between them and is pulled far forward as it is on a roller system. Its a Jack Holt design and he used this system on the first Merlins. It works very easily and no winch system needed for it.

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 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:14 pm

"That young whippersnapper, Holt, and his clever ideas!" :wink:

My first job, now that she can be worked on,must be to clean everything - she is indescribably filthy!

And I am worrying about the garboard strake/hog area, not because I can see anything wrong there - I can't, at least, not yet - but just because I don't see any way of keeping the boat safe except to painstakingly dry the whole of the bilge with a sponge whenever one sails her, because there must be a puddle left between every pair of ribs...
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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