May / June 2024

WILD ROOSTER Spreads Her Wings

A classic Uffa Fox powerboat, revisited and updated
WILD ROOSTER

WILD ROOSTER is a recently launched copy of ANKLE DEEP, a 25′ open powerboat designed by Uffa Fox and launched in 1970. She was built and launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and now hails from Portland, Maine. The original boat is on display in Cowes, England, at the Classic Boat Museum.

It was a beautiful spring day as I strode down Montague Street in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. My wife, Melissa, and I had recently moved here and gotten off to a promising beginning with a fine cast of friends and acquaintances. It was thus with high spirits that I set off on my walk through town with a set of boat plans under one arm and a book under the other.

I was on my way to meet with Paul Baskett, a local boatbuilder. A graduate of the boatbuilding program at The Landing School in Arundel, Maine, Paul had worked with the acclaimed boatbuilders at Spirit Yachts in Ipswich, England (see WB Nos. 284 and 135) for five years before opening his own shop, Old Town Boatworks, in Lunenburg (www.oldtownboatworks.com). He’d recently moved to a space that was bigger and better than his previous one, and I needed to talk to him about my urge to have a boat built.

I don’t say this easily: to have a boat built requires much more money, mystery, and stress than buying an existing one. But the boat I wanted wasn’t easily approximated by anything on the market. Inexplicably, I really wanted this boat. I’ve been fairly profligate in my boat-ownership history—a history I don’t quite understand. But maybe this boat would be my last.

The boat, a 25' open launch named ANKLE DEEP, was designed and built in England by the legendary Uffa Fox in 1969–70. She was the last of Fox’s designs and is the only powerboat in his ample design catalog. (His primary focus, and greatest success, was with fast and lightweight planing sailing dinghies; see WB Nos. 221–224.) The original ANKLE DEEP has been restored and is on display in England at the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

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