The only remaining example of an historic sailing yacht is going back into service this summer following a three-year restoration programme.
The famous ocean racer Huff of Arklow was designed by Uffa Fox and built in 1951 in County Wicklow, Ireland, but is currently based at Mashfords boatyard in Cremyll, South East Cornwall.
The last remaining of the so-called Flying 30, she was one of the first sailing vessels to be able to plane, or lift up out of the water.
With the help of a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cremyll Keelboats began the restoration project August 2012 to bring her back to her original condition.
“Her hull has been completely refastened with 8,000 copper nails and groves, a new mast step has replaced the old one whilst new metal floors and knees have given the boat back her original hull strength.
“She has a whole new fresh and light interior and she’s regained her original waterline length by fitting a new hydraulic system we were able to move the engine to the saloon to balance her trim and her performance and manoeuvrability has been enhanced.”
She was the first offshore yacht to feature a fin and skeg, the first ever masthead rig sloop, and she was the first ocean going yacht designed to plane.
Following an arson attack in the 70s, it was said that she would never sail again, but a new owner bought her for £500 and restored her for use as a charter yacht.
Now fit to sail once again, Huff of Arklow was presented with the Regional Flagship of the Year Pennant by National Historic Ships’ director Martyn Heighton for her extensive programme of events and regattas in Ireland and the South West this year.
This summer, Cremyll Keelboats said it will sail the yacht everywhere from Plymouth to the Isles of Scilly, across the Channel to France, down the Cornish coast and across the Irish Sea.
Huff of Arklow’s first sailing of 2015 will depart from Plymouth on Monday, June 22, for an eight-day trip to Belfast.