Thursday, 24 April 2014

We are pleased to announce that a Proteus 106 sailing catamaran will be built in South Africa soon.

The order means we are now sourcing the required okoume marine plys required and should have them here in about a month?

This order is the plys and MDF removable stations, plus epoxy, the customer will supply his own meranti wood and glass cloth himself, shipping as a flat pack of CNC cut plys and boxed 25ltr drums of epoxy is then easy for us.

The program will be updated as we proceed.

Plans and detailed design information can be sourced from Angelo Lavranos at

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hillman Imp engine number 1574 dated 1963

Todays picture shows a very early example of the Imps overhead camshaft design as taken from the lead from Coventry Climax (stickers in stock).  At just 875cc and this motor still is on that standard bore, there was plenty of power for a car that weighed just 710kgs.

There were around 440,000 Imps made between 1963 and 1974 so this really is an early unit.

Click on the image to enlarge.

The engine was rebuilt using stock parts to underline that the engine (this one) is now fifty (50) years old, once upon a time fifty seemed to be old but that's not the case anymore? This actual motor was gifted to me but in such a dirty condition that it took two days just to wash the dirt off with water soluable cleaner. Then another two days in the bead blaster cabinet until we had the parts looking as close to new as they can be.

In truth the sum of the parts were good, new piston rings and crank bearings, gaskets and so on soon had the engine on its way to what we can see today but it was still a weeks intensive work.

This engine design was just the ticket for tuning shops, so much so that the Rootes Competitions shop started producing their own kits, then moved into the larger 998cc bored engine.

See if this link will open for you, there are a great selection of Imps in it, many I have been involved with .


Monday, 21 April 2014

Henry the pigeon checks out progress

Henry was a part of the family, he even slept in his own room but as we know kids and pigeons soon grow up and the lad flew off when he was fully grown.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Henry was free as long as he lived with us, with doors and windows open he could and did follow us around the house and in my case into the workshop.

He is checking out the new side window rubber just fitted, Imported and quality, worth the effort and the cost.

With the 1971 Hillman Imp Deluxe Mk3  we are now re building well on the way to a new paint job, we have a full set of window rubbers on order.


Singer Chamois Sport barn find

I am looking for such a car, ok this one is not in a barn, looks more like garage turned junk store?
This one is near complete with just one piece of stainless body trim on the engine cover missing.

This one looks quite good for its age, the licence plate tells me its from year 1967, so would be 47 years old right now. Hillman Imp versions will also be considered.

With or without engine and mechanicals!


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Mirror Dinghy for sale, Cape Town, South Africa

An Easter 2014 special offer, you can collect it after Tuesday next week.

So here it its, kit # one now built and ready to be measured, after which we can apply for an ISAF plaque number and sell to the first person who wants it.

Note, we had our router fail and while a spare one allows us to access Google and the web, plus receive emails we can not reply. Please wait until our IT guy has sorted this out for us early next week!

Click on the image for a larger size.

You can take it as it is, or ask Peter the boats builder to fully fit it for you as you require.

This is a once only offer, as while we can build more to order we can never again offer the worlds first ever Mirror Dinghy that was CNC cut as a kit, this is the first such boat in the World!

Contact me for pricing.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A light weight Micro Caravan?

Cars are becoming smaller, so are the engines, so the pulling power has to reduce as well, its not just the power output but the actual weight of the pulling or tow car?

With the advent of new products like Deluxe Light Ply (DLP) we can now look at and design lighter trailers and camper vans around the DLP. The design has already started, one of our regular customers has the basics drawn already.

The designer is also a boat builder, so understands the use of epoxies and plywood's, the design will enable you the builder to dry assemble to allow you to understand the final assembly and gluing up process.

We hope to become the material supplier and also the company who CNC cuts and supplies the result as kits.

Drive away units will be an option, either fully finished or as a home completion project, you will need a car with a tow hitch ball!

More on this as it happens.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Mirror dinghy for sale in South Africa

Subject to a final measurement certificate we have our first CNC kits set build for sale and this month .

The boat is here at a pro boat builders premises and in Cape Town, the buyer would need to collect.

With the decks and inside of the boat having three coats of waterproofing epoxy applied the final finish is up to the new owner.

The hull exterior will be finished in all white.

Note the inspection hatch to the forward compartment.

Available now and on a first come first served basis!

Other Mirror kit sets can be built to order as demand requires, contact me for a guide to pricing.


On the bay in Hout Bay

The clubs president invited me to attend the HBYC annual Closing Cruise, the weather sort of played along with things too, so off we went.

Taffy the circumnavigator and Athol with the sun hat who is still in the planning stages came along for the ride.

Athol has just joined SAS (south African sailing) and was delighted to be told that as he was now 70 his fee was waived, Taffy turned 70 this month and thinks this is a great idea!


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Caltex extended life coolant

This is a dark subject that any owner of a fluid cooled engine should know about?

After seven years but with low mileage a 3.8ltr Jaguars alloy cylinder head required welding on all of the fluid transfer ports where the face of the head mates to the steel engine block, the welding repair cost was R2600 and that does not include parts and labour.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

My thanks to the filling station attendant Nommiselo Mzukisi for the LRP fuel he  put in the cars petrol tank and also to Druma for looking after the drivers seat.

Why did this happen? for sure the lack of road miles will have been a  cause but given that the engine had the best antifreeze coolant that the suppliers I use stocked, I would really not expect such damage.

Those of you who know about what happens when two metals of different ends of the corrosion chain will understand that the alloy head and steel engine block were the main cause.

This 1967 Singer Chamios has the Rootes Imp all alloy engine, thats the head and the block, I have now removed all of the green antifreeze and replaced it with Caltex extended life coolant.

Its pink in colour and when spilt onto a cement floor turned green, so much so I thought it was antifreeze.

The coolant is pre mixed,it weighs twice that of normal tap water, if you need to top up the fluid for any reason and have no more Caltex extended life coolant you can use distilled water.

The coolant raises the boiling point by 8 degrees C , thats quite an advantage,it will also handle tempratures down to minus 40C.

The life of the coolant is five years or 200,000 kms.

The 5ltr pack was sourced for me by Clive of Killarney Auto Service in Montegue Gardens, the instructions on the pack clearly say you should not water the mix down. Contact with Caltex in Johannesburg told me that adding distilled water is allowed, this will affect the cold climate protection, which is not an issue in Cape Town.

My thanks for Caltex South Africa for having the Caltex filling station in Hout Bay stocked with 1 litre packs for me, talk about good service!


Didi Mini Transat Mk3 kit set

We started the name CKD Boats cc when the very first Didi Mini Transat Mk1 bulkhead kit set was cut, that was over a decade back and the design has since moved to stage three and with chines at the rear of the hull.

With another order in, we are now starting to get the plywood's together for a Didi Mini Transat Mk3, an export order and to a new country for us, making it thirty five countries this far.

The requirement on this order is to supply all the okoume marine grade plywood, this is forty four sheets in total of which we CNC cut thirty seven sheets in total.

Added to this is the timber list for the hull and deck, we are using African Mahogany (khaya) this time, as its strong, light, nice to work with and cost effective.

This will ship by sea and probably via Singapore, we can ship world wide to most destinations.

As I have personally built two Didi Mini Transats  from our kits I can offer plenty of advice on each stage of the building process, this applies to the other radius chine designs from Dix Design as well.



Thursday, 10 April 2014

Plywood boat kits of all sizes

This picture shows what is possible by using plans from one of the designers we are licenced to.

All of these designs are by Dudley Dix, a world expert and leader in plywood as a material for boat building.

Sizes go from 8ft to 55ft but size is rarely a limit when Dudley designs a boat, he has many stock plans and can do custom designs to special order. .open the link for the full story.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Spot the GSM Duckling dinghy on Hout Bays Hobie Beach

The HBYC is reinstating the once ultra popular Hobiecat long distance beach sailing event.

The poster of what the event may have looked like also shows a Duckling dinghy.

We have owned a Duckling dinghy for at least three decades, we sell the yacht but never the Duckling dinghy!

Click on the picture to enlarge it and see more detail.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hout Bay, todays weather as it is now

So we had a hot day on Monday but today started with fog, how nice to cool the air down.

Click the image for a larger view.

Winter is not really here but we do get plenty of days like this in winter anyway, the camera is looking North and towards the back of Table Mountain, and Cape Town.

Picture by R McBride the camera is Canon G11.


Hillman Imp sound sealing sheeting, do it yourself?

The car is a very sound Hillman Imp Deluxe and built in 1971.

Now under reconstruction, the owner asked the panel shop who are re painting the car to fit the sound seal he had purchased.

Look closely, yes the entire floor, seats and back shelf now have a flexible sound sealer in place.
Just look how well and neatly the guys have done this job.

I asked the boss about how many hours it too, his reply was ' Don't ask! '

The inside of the doors, front and rear wings and wheel arches may follow next, the idea is to upgrade the ride and silence as much road noise as possible.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Mirror Dinghy kit building, the details

Peter has spent at least as much time reading the building instructions done by the Mirror Asscociation in Canada as he has worked on the boat itself, my thanks to the guys in Canada for drafting such a detailed step by step builders guide.

The original drawings showed just one round drain hole on either side, we were advised to enlarge them as then the holes make good lifting purchases.

The skeg had the older style slot cut in it even if its no longer required now?

Hull lower panel stiffener is as per the drawings, the dagger board is a spare blank and not the Mirror spec, one.

We are told there should be an access hole in the forward bulkhead, two I would think, they can have screw in plastic covers? this will be added to the final CNC files. An addition to the standard drawings will be a port and starboard ply gusset to support the thwart area and take the loading to the hull, these will be fitted before the side seats are fitted and become part of our standard CNC kit.
This is Peters idea on the lower bow panel, he changed the grain direction of the way the 6mm x five ply was cut, making the required bend in the ply really easy, this may be an optional extra? For sure we are developing a few options that are making the kit more complete and easier to build.
Anyone wanting a new Mirror Dinghy building and in the Cape Town area, is welcome to view this build, contact me for the address and Peters phone number so you can arrange a time that suits both parties.