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Huff of Arklow is radical boat to look at. Drawn by a famous British yacht designer, CYTV asked ourselves: What did she achieve? We also wanted to support the Heritage Lottery Fund restoration project of Huff’s at Mashford’s yard, Torpoint – Cornwall which finished in August 2014.
Facts about Huff of Arklow:
Designer Uffa Fox
Builder Jack Tyrell, Arklow (Ireland)
LOA 45ft (13.7 M)
BEAM 9ft (2.7 M)
Draws 6.7ft (2 M)
1. 1951 Vessel launched
2. 1962 Faulkners Cup winner
3. 1964 Faulkners Cup winner
4. 2001 Purchased by EISCA
Huff of Arklow’s fin and skeg underwater profile configuration was received as a sensational design in the early 1950s. Especially, upon her launch at the quaint and agricultural Irish town of Arklow, 70km south of Dublin, Ireland. Fin and skeg aside, the other major feature that makes her a perplexing sight extends to that stepped shear. This exceeds a foot’s difference between her deck and, the lower, aft deck and cockpit. At the time, in post war Ireland, the boat builders at Jack Tyrrell’s yard in Arklow must have thought they were part of an experiment building such a boat.
This design and all its strange features came to fruition by not just the yacht designer, who I haven’t mentioned yet, but importantly, the man who daringly commissioned this boat. He is the person who gave the designer, Uffa Fox an already established name in yachting, a chance to explore the physics and engineering needed to be applied in designing and building a slightly unstable, up-scaled dinghy.
The owner Huff of Arklow was built for, was ex-RAF pilot Douglas Heard, an Irishman who’s collection of Interntional 14’s designed by Uffa Fox were not enough to feed his appetite to run down wind, fast. Douglas Heard is the man who had a close client-designer relationship after backing a multitude of design commissions for i14’s, the development class set up in 1928. Interestingly, Heard’s boats were all named with the prefix of ‘Huff’ that was later, affectionately taken up by Uffa as his chosen name for Mr Heard.
CYTV believes Huff of Arklow is part of an important renaissance in yacht design that occurred after the Second World War. Her underwater profile is an early example of the interlude between long keel designs that were becoming less prominent in the forefoot in their evolution AND the soon to be perfected, radical fin and skeg designs.
Claims that Huff of Arklow was the “first ever skeg and fin”, as well as “first mast head sloop” published in recent yachting press articles seem to exist without their references. Setting aside the claim of her being the “first mast head sloop”, I cannot find a record of who designed and built the first fin and skeg on a lightly built yacht of around 30ft. However it is worth reiterating that Dixon Kemp was writing about designs with that underwater profile in the late 1800’s, Herreshoff and Charles Sybbick were among the designers using fin and skeg, for example, Bona fide 1898 (C. Sybbick design).
READ MORE HERE:http://www.classicyacht.tv/videos/play/huff-of-arklow-classic-boat-fin-and-skeg-1951
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