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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011
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Fox 31 - UKcentric?

Hi

Possible (er, probable) purchase of a Fox 31. West system cold moulded mahogany fin keeler, 70's built by CH Fox & Sons, Ipswich, UK. Very few produced as far as I can tell so there's very little information out there about them. But this one looks OK and seems to have stood the test of time remarkably well.
Any other owners out there, past or present? Any and all information gratefully received! Particularly interested in their handling in varied conditions and points of sail as given the nature of this vessel it may not, when push comes to shove, be possible for a test sail.
The only clue I've managed to find so far is a P/H of 18.25

Thanks

Simon H
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2011
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Wow...google hits "0"...

Any chance of pictures? '70s fin keeler is likely to be heavily IOR influenced and all that goes with that. Might it be an Uffa Fox design?
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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Old 02-27-2011
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Here's one I missed (which got me thinking about them)
UK: For Sale: Wooden Cruising Yacht - Fox 31, Boats for sale, used boats, new boat sales, free photo ads - Apollo Duck

and here's 'the one'
1972 FOX 31 Bermudan Sloop by C.H. Fox & Son Ltd Sail

External lead fin, I would say medium aspect ratio, aft of which is an extension of the keel stub which runs right aft, contains the stern tub and ends just before the full-ish height rudder skeg.

Cheers
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Old 02-27-2011
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and re Uffa Fox, looking at the 'his' website it dosn't look like there's a connection. But I've sent them an email just in case
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So the YW listing says sale pending... that's you, I gather.

She's in need of some TLC. Quite the difference in deck plans between the two, isn't there? The flush deck version (yours) reminds me strongly of a 40'ish foot cold molded former Admiral's Cupper currently here in BC.

Difficult to tell from pictures, but she certainly needs a cleanup as I'm sure you know. Trust you're booking a proper survey.

The Beta engine must be relatively recent and is itself worth the asking price of the boat. The Kubota block is a good one, and is used by Universal as well.. plenty of them out there.

Given the flush deck and the existence of a generous trunk cabin version I'm guessing headroom is going to be limited, esp forward of the deck bulge. What you can see of the interior looks clean/dry/sound enough, but it's hard to say for sure.

The central winch system is a limiting factor - our first boat had that too, and while it keeps things handy it's not terribly convenient here. Being 'behind' the tiller makes reaching it from the helm kind of awkward, and with this setup you must release one jib sheet before you can wrap and pull the other... slows things down quite a bit and means more flogging of the sail. Of course, a few boat bobs and you can add some winches, but you're starting to add items that are kinda pricey.

Spiffed up she looks an interesting boat. Performance wise she's probably OK and if you choose sails wisely for the conditions you'll have a decent coastal cruiser for the family.

As a family cruiser I'd prefer the other version, probably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheadford View Post
and re Uffa Fox, looking at the 'his' website it dosn't look like there's a connection. But I've sent them an email just in case
Yachtworld ad lists designer as a Guy Thompson.

T31 | Marine Fuel .com
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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Last edited by Faster; 02-27-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 02-27-2011
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You're absolutely right on most counts of course.

It is clean, dry and pretty sound with the exception of both the aft-most frames which need replacing having suffered from standing water penetration between them the aft cockpit seat, both sides. With west system construction the frames are not particularly structural so this should be a relatively easy job (famous last words).

Since the photos the owner had someone sand and reseal the cockpit which now looks much better.

Having not gone down the wife, 2.5 kids and .3 of a dog route it doesn't need to be family friendly as such but I do sail alone quite often, or at least have done in the past, so not too tender would be preferable.

Still, beggars can't be choosers and at that price I shouldn't get too picky.

I definitely won't be throwing cash at it, I know that, but in the fullness of time if I can find a similar winch to the existing one at a boat jumble or something, I would like to move them outboard.

Thanks for your input!

Cheers
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Looking again at the cockpit layout... I gather the sheet handler is meant to be aft, behind the winch with good access. As a singlehander you're most effective stance is to steer with the tiller between your legs and handle sheets during tacks and gybes with both hands free, all while facing forward so you can watch the sails, and your progress at the same time.

Seems that would be nigh impossible here. On our little Shark that had the central winch it was forward of the tiller and quite usable (but still with it's limitations).

I'd go stand in the boat and even just go through the motions to see just how awkward this is going to be. Without the resources to change the sheeting system this may not be a viable singlehanding setup.
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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Old 02-27-2011
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Yup, in the past with a conventional layout I've put her though the tack then stood lee-side of the tiller bracing it against the weather helm as I sheeted in. With this set up I guess I'd have to face aft while operating the winch which is not ideal or, better, let the Autohelm take care of the tiller while doing the rest from aft of the winch. Only one problem - the owner has 'lost' the tiller pilot ram

And it's because of this winch that the tiller is longer and more intrusive than normal, having to reach forward of the arch.

The surveys been done and I am waiting for the write-up to arrive in the next couple of days. But I'm expecting no show-stoppers from this.

However, we are still dependant on a sea-trial and the rub is that at the moment this is difficult, but not impossible, as the furling gear is completely seized. And it's the trial that will tell me much about it's performance, stability and suitability for single-handing.

Cheers,
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In the pic the sail is not on the furler... if that's still the case you can simply hoist and drop the sail conventionally... Otherwise you could untie the sheets and 'unwrap' the sail, then drop it and carry on with just the foil.

I think, with this setup, you really do want to give it a proper sea trial to be certain.
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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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I think I will do just that, or hoist the hanked staysail on the inner forestay, depending on the wind strength.

Then there's the small matter of the yet-to-be-located main sheet and tackle. Don't ya just love neglected boats
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