Fairey Marine

Fairey Marine Boats for Sale (See current listings below)

In the world of sailing, Fairey power-boats are widely respected. In the world of motor-boats Fairey power-boats are much desired, being the first twin-diesel offshore production cruisers often raced in the glory days of the ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Nicolle Associates straddles both sail and power just as Fairey Marine did when it started after WWII at Hamble Point making over 10,000 sail-boats in 20 or so years using the hot-moulding technique developed during the war. Bruce Campbell was a school-boy chum of Richard Fairey, the MD at the time who was the son of Sir Richard Fairey the aviation pioneer, and it was Bruce who persuaded Fairey Marine to start making power-boats.

The deep-vee planing hull concept was conceived by Ray Hunt in America. Fairey Marine at Hamble Point employed marine architect Alan V Burnard to capitalise on this development and Alan’s first design was the Fairey Marine Huntress. This power-boat was very successful with the first customer being Sir Max Aitken with subsequent batch orders from the Royal Navy for Captain’s boat on large ships and Dell Quay who made Rangers based on the Huntress hull. Also, some of Bruce Campbell’s early Christinas were based on the Huntress hull.

Alan Burnard’s break-through design was the Fairey Marine Huntsman 28 having twin diesel engines and more accommodation establishing Fairey Marine’s position as the premier supplier of twin-screw diesel off-shore power cruisers. Like the Jaguar XK120 or the Aston Martin DB4, it created a new market. In addition, Fairey Marine Huntresses and a Huntsman 28 appeared in the James Bond film ‘From Russia With Love’ which, together with successes in power-boat racing, created a legend.

The Fairey Marine Swordsman 33 was designed specifically for the very capable skipper who needed more than weekend cruising. The aft cabin provided for another couple so this was serious boating for those with the necessary resources and wanting to go places. The early Mk 1 versions had an almost flat cockpit to the transom and, to improve headroom in the aft cabin, the later Mk 1½ version had a slightly raised aft cabin that could not be seen in side profile. The Mk 2 had a taller and more visible aft cabin with en-suite facilities. The final design was the Fairey Marine Super Swordsman with a revised and more modern interior.

In side profile, the Fairey Marine Huntress, Huntsman 28, and Swordsman 33 all had a similar bow. To improve the ride and reduce spray Alan Burnard re-designed the hull with a flared bow to give a drier and softer ride. Initially, the Board of Fairey Marine were sceptical as to the need, the boats were selling well so why bother? In reply, Alan made a hull in his garage, took them out for a ride and they were convinced. The Fairey Marine Huntsman 31 was sold in two versions, the ‘Sport’ or open cockpit and also the aft cabin version. All things being equal, this hull-shape is the one to have and if sold in a moment of weakness, it will be very difficult to replace.

The early ‘70s were challenging times with swingeing tax levies on investment income, the oil crisis, galloping inflation, and to move with the times Fairey Marine switched to GRP for the hulls, initially almost as thick as the wood it replaced. With a Fairey Marine Huntsman 31 as the plug, a mould was made and Fairey Marine Spears were sold to the military and law enforcement markets with the Fairey Marine Spearfish aft cockpit design to the civilian market. The Fairey Marine Fantome is similar to the Spearfish but with an aft cabin.

Fairey Marine Spearfishes are hard to find now as so many were exported and they do not have the glamour of the wooden Fairey Marine Huntress 28 – yet are more practical in many respects being GRP and sharing the Fairey Huntsman 31’s soft and dry ride. Also, Alan Burnard designed and Fairey Marine made a larger commercial GRP craft called the Dagger, referred to later.

Fairey Marine ceased making boats in 1973 and Alan Burnard based his design studio in the offices at Hamble Point Marina. Nicolle Associates, who were his neighbours for many years expanded into Alan’s old office and, pride of place, is Alan’s drawing board upon which he designed all the Fairey Marine power-boats.

Subsequent companies have re-kindled the spirit of Fairey Marine using the design of the Dagger hull and employing Alan Burnard as a design consultant. These include the Swordsman Marine 37 and Swordsman Marine 40 (Adrian Nicolle bought the first production Swordsman Marine 37 boat) and also the Supermarine Swordfish.

The team at Nicolle Associates have, between them, owned more than seven Fairey boats over the years and brokered the Sale and Purchase of dozens of others so much advice is available. Also, we have extensive experience of managing re-fits and renovations that provide a new lease of life to these fine craft. One example is the re-engineering of a Supermarine Swordfish with engines in the aft cabin space, we worked with Alan Burnard on this. Also, we completed the last Swordsman Marine 40 when they ceased trading. Recently, we managed probably the most detailed renovation of any wooden Fairey power-boat.

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Fairey Huntsman 28
1967 Fairey Huntsman 28
Fairey Super Swordsman 33 Aft Cabin
1974 Fairey Super Swordsman 33 Aft Cabin
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