Red Fox History and Models
The Red Fox was initially conceived by Hedley Bewes as a plywood trailer-sailer with a centreboard and was intended to be offered in kit form for home completion. She was designed by David Thomas, and the original concept was much developed by him, in particular with the introduction of her unusual asymmetric lifting foils. Her hull was given more form stability, with a flat bottom and pronounced chines. After this Paul Boot joined, and helped Hedley Bewes build a wooden prototype in 1991. They then decided a production boat should have a GRP hull, so that the first RF 200, named “Sea Vixen” was launched in 1992.
Red Fox 200
This earliest boat, the Red Fox 200, was composite. It was constructed with a GRP hull, but it retained marine plywood for her decks, cockpit and interior construction.
Red Fox 200E
The 200E has a draft of 0.20 meters when the twin asymmetric dagger boards and rudder are up, and 0.90 meters when down. The boards considerably enhance the performance giving the Red Fox exceptional sailing qualities.
In 1995 the Red Fox was redesigned for construction entirely in GRP, and relaunched as the Red Fox 200E. The decks, coachroof, cockpit and interior construction were now all constructed in GRP and there was now a head lining also moulded in GRP. By extending the deck moulding down to the rubbing strake the freeboard was increased by 3”. This gave improved internal headroom and more space inside. Quality of construction was excellent. Compared with other boats of a similar overall length she was far more spacious and usually sailed better too. However, she was significantly more expensive to build, retailing at 25% more than the Parker 21, Horizon 21 or Jaguar 21. She was more commodious than any of these boats and really should be compared with larger boats.
Red Fox 200S
The 200S is a day sailor based on the same hull and rig as the 200E with the same lifting lee-boards. It has a longer cockpit and a shorter cabin, with a blister coachroof similar in style to the Squib. Inside the cabin are the two settee berths and the forward V berth as in the 200E, but there is no provision of a galley or heads. Being 250k / 350lbs lighter than the 200E she is even more lively to sail.
Red Fox Vision
In 2000 Red Fox Yachts introduced a larger boat, the ‘Vision’, although only a limited number were ever built. It was also designed by David Thomas as a development of the 200 concept. It was 23’5” LOA, had similar lifting leeboards, but unlike the 200E had a long shallow stub keel containing the ballast, and had twin fixed rudders. It had a much heavier displacement, a higher ballast ratio and was fitted with an inboard diesel engine. It had 6’ 1” standing headroom throughout the cabin and like the 200E, had remarkable accommodation for its length. These boats should really be compared with much larger boats.
Red Fox Yachts was taken over by Select Yachts of Rock in Cornwall in 2003.
Select Yachts continued to make the 200E and 200S, rebranding them as the Hunter 20. They also added twin keel variant to the range.
The Hunter 20T is similar to the Red Fox 200E but has fixed twin keels instead of the lifting foils and has a fixed rudder. Her draught is 0.69m / 2’ 3”. In all other respects she is identical to the lifting foil version. She can be trailed, but with her extra draught, she is more difficult to launch and recover.
Select Yachts went into receivership in October 2008.
Since then British Hunter boats have been owned by Lauren Marine in Southampton. They can be contacted at: http://www.laurenmarine.co.uk/index.html
Some reviews and articles on Red Fox boats:
200E: Practical Boat Owner July 1995 / Sept 2007
200T: Practical Boat Owner April 2004
Vision: Practical Boat Owner June 2000
Yachting Monthly June 2000
20 Sport Practical Boat Owner March 2012