The Huff of Arklow restoration project

12 June 2013

OPEN DAY: Saturday 17 August 2013

Huff of Akrlow Open Day at Mashfords, Cremyll (Cornwall).  To reserve a place please call the office: / 01752 869000


Huff of Arklow Restoration Project full sails ahead!

The past six months have been focussed on the restoration project at Mashfords Boatyard. They are in the depth of the engineering works related to the new hydraulic system and the new engine, a Beta 35hp. Many adjustments need to be taken into account in order to create a smooth and balanced system on a boat as sensitve to weight distribution as Huff.

Current work on the structure involves weighing each item which will fit inside the vessel and making sure this weight is distributed in specific points in order to respect her centre of gravity. This is a lengthy procedure but fundmantal to the restoration's outcomes.

Item posted Jun 13


Huff's restoration in fast forward motion

Since the reception of the Heritage Lottery Grant in the summer of 2012 (see item below), the restoration of the Huff of Arklow has taken off at an exciting speed.

The structural work on the hull was completed in December, including the enormous 8,000 re-fastening job. New cedar splines were cut to size and glued in the routed seams between the outside planking throughout the hull. The latter have been fitted to match the thickness of the planks.

Repair work was also started on the inside structure with the renewal of all the broken frames. A new mast step was made and fitted and the centreline repaired. The metal work, which includes new galvanised, black iron floors and knees is proceeding well.

Item posted Jan 2013


Eyemouth ISCA has received an award by the Heritage Lottery of £40,000 which will help the charity to complete the restoration project of Huff of Arklow.

A small team lead by Dominic Bridgman, project manager for EISCA and two apprentices are now working full time on Huff.  The deadline is set in June 2014.  Before then, you can follow progress by taking part in events.  Many dates are yet to be confirmed, but please search for details on the NHS-UK Calendar of Events.

Item posted Sep 2012


EISCA receives award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent for Huff of Arklow

EISCA representative Eleonor Thornhill and Barbara Bridgman were the receivers of an award for Huff of Arklow's restoration project at Trinity House in London, on 18 June.  The Transport Trust is a charity which supports British heritage restoration projects of historical means of transport related to sea, land or air.  Its patron is HRH Prince Michael of Kent and the president is Sir William MacAlpine.

Further to a thorough inspection in June 2011, the Huff of Arklow restoration project was awarded £2,000 towards the costs of materials.  The ceremony was hosted by the Transport Trust with HRH Prince Michael presenting the certificates to all the award winners.  The many restoration projects and lifetime achievements were displayed on boards around the room.  HRH Prince Michael of Kent made a particular mention about Uffa Fox and Huff of Arklow.  He fondly remembers sailing with Uffa and, to Eleonor's and Barbara's surprise, HRH later approached them in order to aks various questions about the boat and the project.

This item was taken from Cremyll Keelboats newsletter Jan-June 2012


Huff of Arklow is a rare Flying 30' ocean racer designed by Uffa Fox and built in Arklow, Southern Ireland in 1951.  She is on the National Register of Historic Vessels, maintained by National Historic Ships UK.

She was the first masthead rig sloop, and the first ocean going yacht designed to plane, based on Uffa Fox's highly successful 'Flying Fifteen' dinghy.  She is built on two moulded skins of mahogany with the outer skin running fore and aft, whilst the inner skin runs diagonally. This gives the vessel its great strength.  Huff of Arklow was also noted for her speed.  On her trip to Iceland in 1960 she recorded a speed of 23 knots and, for that voyage she was awarded the Faulkner Cup, which she won again in 1962 for her trip to the Azores. 

The vessel is owned and maintained by EISCA (Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association Ltd) in Cremyll, Cornwall.  EISCA preserves and maintains traditional boats who shaped the evolution of yachting.  The Huff of Arklow, restoration to her original specifications is a natural step in this process which is aimed at divulging the historical importance of her design and her designer within Britain's maritime history.

Young people learning on Huff and the Heritage Lottery

EISCA is an educational charity therefore it has linked the restoration project to an NVQ2 apprenticeship in boat building.  Two deserving young men have passed a lengthy selection in order to achieve this placement based at Mashfords Boatyard, Cremyll, where Huff lays.  The Falmouth Marine School provides the technical side of the course through its capable assessors whilst the practical side will focus on the restoration of the Huff.  Prior to tackling the project, the two apprentices will follow a learning curve in basic boat building whilst working on other vessels part of the EISCA collection.

An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund is under process for a small grant scheme called 'Your Heritage'.  The project is in great need for funds in order to cover the materials, professional services and equipment necessary for the successful completion of the restoration.  Part of this application is dedicated to teach the public about Huff, Uffa Fox and their relevance within British maritime history.  The project has not yet started due to the timings needed to process the application.

Participatoin of the public to the project

Part of the participation aspect of the project will involve an exhibition entitled 'Huff of Arklow, Uffa Fox and the development of yacht design'.  This will take place this summer for six weeks in the splendid surroundings of the Mt.Edgecumber country park.  The Plymouth & Caradon council have kindly donated the historical outbuilding within the English Gardens for the exhibition which will feature:

- a photographic timeline of Huff of Arklow, from stills of the original film of her build in 1951 which shows the advanced techniques used at the time and up to present days.

- the audio record of the original logs winners of the Faulkner Cup twice, in 1960 and 1962, kindly donated by the Irish Crusing Club.

- a fully scaled model of the original Huff of Arklow beautifully crafted by model maker J.Jefford MBE and kindly donated to EISCA for the exhibition.

- a lovingly restored International 14' dinghy designed and built by Uffa Fox and part of the EISCA collection which will sit in the central part of the gardens.

- a photographic presentation kindly donated by Rosemary Joy of the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes.

- an audio record of the article written by the late Uffa's nephew Murray Dixon and kindly donated by his widow, Jeannette.  This is an account of the drive down to Plymouth with Uffa for the Prince of Wales Cup regatta in 1929, when Prince Philip was due to arrive at the same time.

On the second week of September the exhibition will take place of honour at the newly refurbished historical site of the Royal William Yard in Stonehouse.  The exhibition will be part of the cultural activities within the Marine City Festival organised by the Plymouth City council.

Next step for the apprentices

Whilst the heritage lottery application is under process, the two apprentices are working and learning on other vessels part of the EISCA collection.  This includes the famous 22 square metre Vigilant, designed and built by Uffa Fox in 1930. The two trainees have carried out a caring work on this traditional vessel and reproduced detailed features to match a historical boat of this type. Further to this stage, the apprentices will travel to Harker’s Boatyard in Essex, in order to take part to the National Historic Ships UK project called 'Keep History Afloat', a detailed programme devised by National Historic Ships UK in co-operation with Harker’s Yard and the Waterways Trust.  The two Huff’s trainees will be exposed to a different training establishment greatly focused on learning the methodology applied to the preservation of historical vessels.  This is a unique opportunity for the two young men to open their minds to a new vision which will shape their future careers and their overall way of looking at our maritime heritage.

On their return the two trainees will receive practical sail training lessons from EISCA staff on the charity’s sailing boats they worke don this spring which are part of Cremyll Keelboats, a branch of EISCA.  This will follow up from their placement in Essex where they would have sailed the traditional Schillinger Pioneer restored in 2000 and a great example of preservation of a historic vessel.  EISCA hope to be able to start the Huff of Arklow restoration project at the end on July and to complete it by March 2014.

For more information please contact the charity at and read Huff’s blog on

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