Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Basils Optimist kit building

This second one will go faster than the first one we supplied, Basil has a third to do as well.

More on the finishing when we have it.


Monday, 30 May 2016

A Perkins 4108 marine diesel for sale

I have posted this before but as the engine is very near complete I think some  pictures of the engine in its etch primer and a price is in order.

The engine when opened was found to be in fine condition, the timing gears show no signs of wear at all.

The crank journals are the same, zero wear and the same unmarked bearing shells were re used.

The reworked cylinder head looks like its has new valves and springs?

The price is R49,950 with a Vat invoice for those who are in South Africa, those outside South Africa can get a 14% discount. Or a total take away price of  U$2800 only for an export or visiting yacht.

New piston rings and a rear crank seal have been fitted.

The engine was basically stripped down to bare metal and then etch primed. It will be sprayed in the correct Perkins hammer finish pale green when complete. This is not just a rebuilt Perkins 4108 marine diesel but a restored one as well.

The capacity is 1760 cc or 108 cubic inches, the engine puts out 50 bhp and weighs 230 kgs.
Both the Motorola 63 amp, alternator and the Lucas starter motor have been tested at an auto electrical shop  were seen to be working well.

The engine has been filled with Castrol 20W/50 motor oil and has been turned over to prime the engines oil pump and galleries, So we are ready to start the engine.

The engine can be viewed running or a short video of same can be supplied. It can be crated and shipped to most places at whatever the cost is.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Restoring a Perkins 4108 marine diesel

The engine has now been assembled, cylinder head back on, it was fully refurbished and looks like new. The tappets have been re set, its nice to have the motor able to turn over once more.

The CAV fuel pump was fully rebuilt, so were the injectors which now have new tips, all works were done by local specialists and correctly.

The pump and injectors will be fitted today (26/05/2016) the engine will be nearly ready for its spray coat of Perkins hammer pale green paint soon.

An update, the last piston is now fitted and the big ends have all been taken to 42 pounds, now the sump goes on and when the block is back up the right way I can fit the new cylinder head.

This is going very well, there is just one more set of new piston rings to fit, then the brand new cylinder head can be fitted.

The price of the rebuilt engine, its also restored, will be just R35,000 which is U$2250 depending on the exchange rate. Residents of the RSA will also pay the local 14% Vat.

A comment from a reader of this blog:

Hi Roy,

Those were the days when Britain truly deserved to have the Great before it, now we are just Little Britain, Just like the TV show by that name. What a splendid factory that is and just one hours drive from where I live, a real British success story that is!

It's good to know though if I ever do manage to buy one of those Princess 32's or Project 31 river boats that most of them went for twin Perkins Engines! And as you have researched and done, they are very much upgradable at not unreasonable costs as long as you are prepared to get your hands dirty and have an aching back for a while.

It's a good job you enjoy the good bits, the thrill of knowing that you have restored a well designed British engine!

A funny engine story

That is the story that is funny and not the engine!

This is number one of a series of tales on diesel engines, some of which I had never heard of until very recently.

From a friend.

Here’s something for you……

As I have already mentioned, I started my marine engineering career as a Cadet Officer with a shipping line near  Cape Town .

Anyhow, we ran a well-equipped and -staffed ship-repair workshop and chandling store on the ground floor of its marine offices at No. 5 Quay. It also serviced RFD and Dunlop liferafts for the industry on those premises. That building was subsequently demolished to make way for the Victoria Shopping Mall – the white flag-mast outside marks the location of the  the local offices. (At the invitation of the V&A developers I designed that flag-mast. Please salute it when you next visit !)

Sometime in 1966 my ship arrived and berthed at the cargo-working quay, No. 6 Quay – now the site of the Table Bay Hotel. As usual the elderly German workshop foreman came aboard for coffee and to enquire about any urgent repairs we might have. He told us about an engine runaway in the workshop a few days earlier which was very comical but could have had serious or even fatal consequences.

It concerned a single-cylinder Deutz winch engine from one of the fleet’s smaller ships. This engine had two very large flywheels, overhanging the engine at each end of the crankshaft. The engine ran at about 300 rpm with tremendous torque, blowing smoke-rings with each “doeff- doeff” sort of thing. It was clutch-connected to the winch. The engine foundation on deck was effectively a raised plinth or pedestal, necessary to give clearance for these two large diameter flywheels, the visual proportions of which were reminiscent of the rear wheels of a tractor.

This engine had been in the workshop for some repair and before being returned to its ship needed to be test-run. It seemed that a make-shift plinth had been provided on which to temporarily plonk the engine for the test. A fuel “tank” was apparently something like an upside-down Brasso tin with a copper pipe soldered into the screw-cap. To aid starting provision existed for the use of percussion cartridges which looked like cigarettes that were inserted into a special holder in the cylinder head. The engine started with a bang on the first revolution of the flywheel, surprising all involved, and enthusiastically increased revs with each “doeff”. It promptly vacated its temporary seat, and resembling a tractor with a drunk driver at the wheel, it took off with wheel-spin on the concrete floor. Each collision with lathes, concrete pillars, etc., caused extreme changes of direction accompanied by flying chips of plasterwork, concrete, paint, crushed cans, escaping compressed air, etc,  as it chased its “rescuers” around the place. It eventually expired against a wall where it wheel-spun until it either ran out of juice or somebody killed it. The workshop atmosphere was clouded with a heavy mix of exhaust smoke and cement / concrete dust.  By then the rims of the flywheels had the appearance of having been chromed. In his thick German accent the foreman had us in stiches describing the fast unfolding scene of devastation.
We went to inspect the damage – there was lots of it – concrete chunks, damaged machines, crushed boxes and equipment in the workshop – but fortunately no one was injured and the engine itself was not too badly hurt. If it had “escaped” through the open workshop door it could have run amok on the quayside, slamming into parked vehicles or even committed suicide by plunging off the quay into the dock.

There was at least some “colour” in those days before health and safety killed the radio show…… But I never forgot the lesson about the consequences of an engine runaway.

Enjoy your day,

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Email server problems

As of yesterday afternoon, Wedensday 11th May 2016, our email server stopped working, this is after moving to them after poor service from another server.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible?


We have been re connected!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Marine diesel engine hours, how many between services?

This seems to come up less and less now?

The handbooks for marine diesel engines often say that you change the oil and filter every 50 hours or once a year?

Then some may add that if you use a higher grade oil (Shell Rotella is one) you can change the oil every 100 hours and once a year?

So what is the truth, can we go further than the 100 hours?

On my last cruise and to St Helena Isle, Brasil, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the return to Cape Town in South Africa, the oil was changed every 250 hours.

This worked out fine and when that boat was later sold the BMW Hatz 30hp twin cylinder had some 3600 hours on the clock.

The issue is that the oil in a cruising boats engine hardly ever gets cold, this means there is less chance of an acid building up from condensed moisture in the engine.

A comment from a marine engineer follows:


Purely on appearance as depicted in your photo, I would suggest it can be returned to service. It is running hours that matters -  age in years is not significant - of course provided it's suffered no corrosion through moisture in the oil during extended periods of cold idleness. In ships' generator engines, which run continuously for weeks or months at a time, bearing renewals at under 25,000 hours would be unusual. A year of continuous running equals only 8,760 hours, and I doubt your Perkins hasn't seen that in its 30 years' life!!

Think about my recently traded-in Toyota Hilux with 270,000 kms on the odometer. In running hours, that equates to:

7,700 hrs at 35 km/hr average speed, or

3,800 hrs at 70 km/hr average speed,

and involves lots of cold starts, hot stops, crawling in traffic and high-speed cruising. I think that engine has worked longer and harder than your yacht engine. It's been resold by the dealer without any opening-up and with a guarantee.

Unless your engine has suffered abuse in use, poor maintenance or some other calamity, I would suggest a head overhaul and a crankcase / sump clean is all that's justified, plus possibly injectors and fuel pump to clean / service. Or maybe nothing at all!

If it aint broke don't fix it!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Optimist dinghy sail for sale

This one was made by North Sails and  has been used a few times, I was told in an international regatta.

It can be purchased for R1500 ( about U$100)  and is supplied complete with its North Sails bag.

The picture shows a similar sail and on an Optimist that was built from one of our CNC kits..

The sail is in Hout Bay, South Africa and can be posted to most places?


Wood / Epoxy as a boat building material?

This issue gets kicked around from time to time and often falls finally on the boats resale value and worth?

The problem is that we never really know the truth until we try and sell the boat?

Recently a Dix 43 that was built in a plywood/epoxy method was placed on the market, it took a number of months, then the prospective buyers arrived.

Some may have been  interested in the boat due to its condition, as even after sixteen years in the water the boat still looks as you can see in the picture above.

The boat found two possible buyers and within the same week, the first to place his deposit became the buyer.
One guy flew down from Richards Bay at his own expense, he was totally knocked out by the design and the quality of build.
Of the four main possible buyers not one questioned the fact that the boat was built from a wood/epoxy system, not one made a lower offer and the boat sold at its full asking price.
So the next time I am asked about the resale of a similar construction built boat, I will suggest that it is not the material the boat is made from but how it has been  built and then maintained?
The buyer was recommended to have a survey, one of the capes well known boat builders did the job.
The in the water survey showed that there was no area with a moisture content higher than eight percent. The surveyor later did a Skype call to the buyer and recommended that the boat be purchased.

Picture a gaggle of British Seagulls

If such a thing exists that gaggle may look like the picture.

Some are quite alive and some are sleeping and waiting for parts.
We recommend a new Villiers type coil, this one is some sixty year old now and even if it supplies a spark to start with it can fail at any time?

Allow about R1900, plus 20% Duty and 14% Vat?

Restoration and labour charges are available on request, supply the engine number and some pictures of your motor please.



Thursday, 5 May 2016

Perkins 4108 re built engine for sale

Perkins 4108 marine engine rebuild

The Perkins 4108M diesel engine is one of the classic diesel engines, it was in production some thirty years and is found world wide, did I once read they use the same engine in London taxies and ice cream vans? They were still in production in 1992 and the records show that companies like Alfa, Hillman and VW used these engines as well.

We now have a spare engine which will be rebuilt using spares imported from England.

 We can offer it as a short motor or with the brand new  cylinder head in the picture, with serviced injectors and high pressure fuel pump, you can then remove the other parts from your own engine and fit them on to the rebuilt engine.

Click on the images for a larger view.

This is a Perkins 4108M, its running and has done around 1900 hrs since new, it uses no oil between services and has been found to be very reliable. Suitable for yachts around 35ft to 50ft and also for work boats and power craft, the rated HP being between 45 to 50hp depending on the boats hull form and engine speed used.

The two black pipes on the right of the engine and supported by the stainless steel springs, are the supply and return to the boats calorifier and hot water system, run the engine for twenty minutes and you can have a nice hot shower with clean fresh water!

Prices will depend on what you want, we can even offer the heat exchanger system and also a Borg Warner Velvet Drive gear box, plus your existing Perkins 4108M may be taken in part exchange?
The engine is in the Cape Town area which is South Africa, we can deliver country wide.

Work started on this project  is now in process, the new piston rings and assembly gaskets are ready for fitting.

Contact me for options and pricing.


The 2016 Jester Race.

Entries are still open?

For 48 hours anyway,

Start off western end of Plymouth Breakwater at 1200 noon BST (TBC) on 
Sunday 15th May 2016
(HW Devonport 1603 BST - neaps).....read more


Philips AP Mk8 GPS display

This works fine, the remote antenna does not.

So either the display is for sale or I am wanting a replacement antenna?

Contact me for details.


B&G ACP1 autopilot for sale

Simply the best when it came out I have an ACP1 autopilot control and a Network Pilot to control it with.

I also have the more powerfull ACP2 PCB (circuit board) if the upgrade is needed?

There are a number of the daisy chain wires and end plugs to suit, plus a HRF (heading reference unit) to indicate the rudder angle.
Contact me for prices etc.

B&G Network repeaters for sale

Brooks and Gatehouse make some of the worlds best navigation systems.

There is a large collection of such instruments now for sale.

There is a mix of the later Network digital too.

The Network system can be used with the Hornet 4 system.
The Hecta depth sounder matches the Hornet 4, both are the Rolls Royce of such systems.
This Network speed transducer also gives you water temperature, it has never been fitted, the skin fitting was installed but never used.
Contact me for a complete list and prices etc.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Origami folding dinghy

We started with this design almost ten years back but just never cut one as the EU sized plys were not available here.


An enquiry has just come in so we are looking at the kit side once again.