Buss and Elston info please

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Ed
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by Ed » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:53 pm

I think we would need to see an image or two.

When you say a moulded hull of 12foot length.....made in similiar way to the Mozzie....and connections to Uffa Fox, you can really only be talking about a Uffa Fox designed Fairey 12ft Firefly.

These were made in the 1940s and most would of been finished by Fairey and sold as complete boats, but quite a few were sold as kits to be finished by other boatbuilders or diy owners,

It is not unheard of for the boatbuilder who put the kit together from hull, deck etc to slap on a builders plaque and if I had to guess, I would say that is what you have.

But send photos and we can confirm

eib
Ed Bremner
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stuey_b3
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by stuey_b3 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:08 pm

Thanks for the reply and info.

I will get the photo's uploaded pronto..

thanks again
Stu

chris
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by chris » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:52 am

Hallo Stu
I agree with Ed that it is probably a firefly. It would not be a national 12 as their rules insist on clinker built at that time. It could possibly be some unspecified dinghy that was 12ft long. Your question about collectibility is hard to answer. Perhaps desirable is a better word anyway as in my experience people hoard or accumulate rather than positive build a collection, though there are some exception of course. Collectible also implies higher value, which sadly is very rarely the case as most of the time it will cost more to restore than any selling price would cover by quite a factor.

If Buss and Elston actually made the hull and it is hot moulded they would have had to have used an autoclave. There is a great newsreel clip of fireflies being built by fairey marine somewhere on the web...possible on the Pathe news site...well worth watching. It would have been a massive investment for B&E even making the elaborate mould for only a few boats would have been unlikely so I think Ed’s suggestion is very likely unless your hull is built like my 14 which is two diagonal skins pinned over ribs. No glue but copper nails. The direction of the two skins is opposite and the inner skin planks are tongue and grooved. I have never seen this on any other boat but have heard of a large river canoe like this again built by B&E. I think the firm may have taken out a patent for this technique. From what I have found out about the construction of the Mosquito aircraft was that they were built more like the modern foam sandwich method using thin 3/32nd birch ply then a layer of balsa wood and then another layer of ply. The layers where clamped in place by flexible straps a few inches wide screwed down at both ends. The fuselage was built in two halves, fitted out and then put together. One of the very few parts made from preformed laminated veneer, ie preshaped ply,were the bomb doors. This certainly ties in with dinghies as these doors are exactly the same profile as the curved side decks that Jack Holt put on the earliest Merlins. We know that Holt was using ex mosquito ply. No 16 still has the part numbers etc still stamped under the ply. And having taken off the side deck they had no inclination to flatten out so I’m sure they were originall destined for bomb doors. There were many businesses in the area involved with the mozzie including Borst Bros, supplying plywood. This was run by my uncle Don Borst and his brother. It is certain quite likely that Buss and Elston were closely involved too.

I would be very interested to see a close up photo of the makers and any other plates please.
My fourteen has lost the makers plate but I can see the marks where it used to be. It would be very good to know what was there.
Cheers
Chris

stuey_b3
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by stuey_b3 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:07 pm

Hey guys

Thanks for the informative reply's. very helpful stuff.
I am having trouble uploading pics to this site as it has a maximum upload of only 80kbs. I have compressed my pics but they are still to large to upload. If you like i could email the pictures to you?

She has 1'' tong and groove strips laid double diagonal and fastened with copper nail / roves. (inner and outer skins are tong and groove) so not an autoclave build unless am mistaken.

please forward your E-mail addresses if you would like to see the photo's.

Many thanks
Stu

stuey_b3
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by stuey_b3 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:26 pm

https://1drv.ms/f/s!Av2L5ock0pCYizh-_vZcZ3UvfPUD

Hopefully this link is to a file with the photo's to be viewed online. please let me know if it works.
cheers.
Stu

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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by Rupert » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:43 pm

The link has worked, but at 12 foot, no idea what she is. Looks great, though.
Rupert

chris
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by chris » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:04 pm

What a fascinating boat! Forget Fireflies and hot or cold moulding. This is quite different.
I have a theory about it but first can you check it is just 12 ft long. If it is 14 ft from the outside of the transom to the outside of the bow then it is one of just three international fourteens they built to a design by F.A. Charlesworth. ( they only built three to Jack Holts design but I can see differences to mine I’ll mention later). They are numbers 482,484, 493 all registered in 1946.but probably built during the war. My Holt boat is 483.
My suggestion is that this is a miniature international 14, the lack of decking and general details is exactly that of a 14 of this period. It is not completely bonkers to suggest this because there is another pair of 14s where one is a miniature of the other. Tiercel, no. 363, built ten years earlier by Uffa Fox has a smaller brother that is 12ft long. Both boats still sailing and I believe now owned by the same person again. I gather the smaller version was built for the first owner’s children not just as a child’s boat but as a training boat for a future int. 14 helm. I think this is what you have. A smaller boat might also be used to try out some design ideas before building a batch of the full size models. There are enough differences for me to say this is not a Jack Holt design and since Charlesworth was the first owner of the first of his batch finally built I would suggest that this was built to his design perhaps as a prototype of indeed for his children. I suspect in that case it was actually built in the last year of the war. It is now accepted that despite the restriction of the use of timber at the time a few boats were built during the war.
As far as I know no other 14s from Buss and Elston are known to survive and your 12ft version is probably unique anyway.
Have a look at mine here http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/4957410342 for comparison. The transom of yours shows influence of Uffa Fox with the tumblehome inward curve and the centreboard case and arrangement are his too and of course U. F was flavour of the time for fourteens.
I see VEEROOT is one word and this has just lead me to this Thames vintage Boat site where there is this passage...
A few years later we bought a l0ft. sectional sailing dinghy for £25 from a reverend gentleman in Suffolk and by then also had two caravans in a field at the lower end of Ludham Dyke. The dinghy was a prewar Veeroot boat in single skin diagonal mahogany made by Buss and Elstroms of old Windsor aud Watford. It always leaked, especially when the sun shone. These boats were made throughout the war by girls. They were very lightweight and had progressed to a double diagonal. After the war flat bottomed craft with a Stuart 1.5 called Buss Boats were the hire craft at Old Windsor.
Interesting that it says these were made throughout the war. Their logo of the circle with a vertical strip is actually showing the shape of the tongue and groove construction. The Tongue is a V shape rather than rectangular.
I will send you a PM if you click on the top bit that says messages.

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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by Michael4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:40 am

The use of t&g double diagonal construction is indeed very interesting. I wonder, would it have a sheet of calico covered in white lead between the layers in the RNLI way? Or did the t&g make this unnecessary?

Of course a RNLI boat is not ribbed in this way.

When working on a lifeboat from 1908 we found the white lead still soft. The buoyancy tanks fore and aft had leather in place of calico.

Perhaps I should appreciate that the context is more Mosquito than Watson!
Tideway 206
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Ed
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by Ed » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:01 pm

Great stuff!

What a lovely boat. Nothing moulded about that! Well worth spending a little time, effort and money on.

I am afraid it is unlikely that you will get much financial return after doing the work, but you will own a beautiful little boat!

Best wishes

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3 & J335 (for sale)
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
IC GBR242 (for sale)
MR 638 - (for sale)
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - on the rack
Tideway slowly dieing on the bank
Looe Doodlebug in the yard

Michael Brigg
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Re: Buss and Elston info please

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:26 am

Ed wrote:I think we would need to see an image or two.

When you say a moulded hull of 12foot length.....made in similiar way to the Mozzie....and connections to Uffa Fox, you can really only be talking about a Uffa Fox designed Fairey 12ft Firefly.

These were made in the 1940s and most would of been finished by Fairey and sold as complete boats, but quite a few were sold as kits to be finished by other boatbuilders or diy owners,

It is not unheard of for the boatbuilder who put the kit together from hull, deck etc to slap on a builders plaque and if I had to guess, I would say that is what you have.

But send photos and we can confirm

eib
There were a number of Chichester Harbour 12's built by Charles Curry at about the time when the embryology of the Firefly was developing.

Also the Firefly itself was a rehash of a Pre war 12' dingy (the "Seafly" or Cambridge University One Design I think, which Uffa never got into production before the War distracted everybody.

He rehashed the redundant design / lines when called upon to (rapidly) produce an Olympic single hander, The Firefly. Could this dingy have been a prototype / experimental design?
Michael Brigg

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