Letter from Uffa Fox to Fred Shepherd, October 1946

Uffa Fox is a legendary boating character best known as a boat designer and builder.  Websites uffafox.com and wikipedia provide good summaries of his life and achievements. An image of this letter is already included on this site.  Unfortunately it is not the clearest of copies – so here is an easily-read plain text version, for easier digestion!

Uffa Fox
Yacht Designers & builders
Medina Yard

Telephone: Cowes 555
Telegrams: “Uffa Fox, Cowes”

12th October, 1946

Fred Shepherd, Esq., M.I.N.A.,
Carn Brear,
King’s Somborne,

My dear Sir

It was indeed a great pleasure to meet you again after all these years, and to see you looking so fit and well.

I am under way with another book, and wonder what designs you have that you would like me to put in it. Could you turn this over in your mind, and then send them on to me? Prints will do us well, for, as you know, we trace all our plans up, to get a uniform style of plan throughout the book.

A chapter I should very much like to write is: The Work of Fred Shepherd, through the past (say) 50 years, and wonder if you have a range of plans and thoughts that would paint this picture. The boat I have in mind to start the story is CORAL, which you designed and built in 1901, and I wonder if you have any of her plans about? It really does not matter if they are a bit tattered and torn, as we can stick them together and retrace them. Then, 40 years after, comes the AMOKURA, a most marvellous ocean racer; and I believe Moody’s are building one to your design this year.  So in those three boats you spanned 45 years. Congratulations! I think this would make a marvellous chapter, and do hope and trust you can think this out; and possibly I could get in my car one fine day, drive up to see you, now you are so close, have a yarn, and look over your plans and thoughts, and return. Say Wednesday next, 16th? If I caught the 7.50 boat, I could be with you at 10 a.m., so we could have a couple of hours’ yarn, a bite of food, and I should return with a sheaf of plans immediately after lunch – or later, if you thought best. Hope this will fit with your ideas of things, and looking forward to meeting you again.

Best wishes,

Yours ever

[Signed on behalf of] Uffa Fox

P.S. I just have to dash off to London to a Y.R.A. meeting, we hope you will excuse my not signing this letter.

A few suggestions:-

CORAL 65 tons
NEBULA 50 tons
THANET 52 tons
OTTER 19 tons
(or SCOLOPAX 20 tons)
AMOKURA and 1946 Moody boat &c., &c.,&c.