Saturday, 14 June 2008

Charlie Whipple is sailing for Hawaii on June 17th

Thats the news we have right now,the intended departure from New Zealand two days earlier has been put back because of weather,this is from Charlies blog:

Delayed departure 13-06-08
The weather is not conducive to departure on Sunday and Monday, so the departure date for Hawaii is Tuesday June 17, 2007. That will allow me to get everything almost completely done.

Rebecca Hayter, author of the book "Oceans Alone" and freelance writer, came down with Mike Hunter, Boating NZ Photography Editor, for a ride in Resolution and interviews for an article later on this year. Here are a couple of photos Mike took.

The man on the helm looks awfully rotund, but he'll slim down as the voyage progresses. :)

Just thought I was going to upload photos. Typepad's new system takes forever and I don't have enough battery energy to sit around and wait. That means you'll have to do without images. Sorry.

Holiday Shop

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Southern Africa



Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls


Namibian Desert

Cape Town

Cape Town

One of my daughters,Lorna, married the guy she used to go on multi country camping trips with,Brett is his name.This was and still is a great low cost way to have an adventure holiday,you fly in,get met at the airport,then taken to a hotel for the night,in the morning your adventure begins!In this case by means of a 20 seater 4x4 truck,all camping gear and food is taken too,normally the first country will be Namibia to the North West of Cape Town,then depending on the duration of the trip,will head across land as far as Kenya and Mozabique,with over night stops at the Victoria Falls on the Zimbawe boarder.The trip back to Cape Town may call in at Lesotho and Malawi too,thats the adventure tour side.

At this time the two have taken a leave of absence from their eventual travel related jobs, to restore a large Victorian Farm House on Bretts family Dairy Farm up in the highlands of Natal in South Africas North East,its inland from Durban on the east coast.The work being near complete its back to doing what they do best,organise holidays for clients world wide.Brett stayed in the adventure side of the market but as management,he also managed a hotel along the way,while Lorna moved to another level and arranged specific type holidays instead.

Imagine you want to do a Golfing or Cycling holiday,it could be Surfing or anything really,Well Lorna will sort out all the options,planes,hotels or B&B accomodation,depending on your needs,then do the costing and present the program as one package.As Lorna and Brett have been just about every place in Southern Africa,even trips on trains like the Rovos Train,its certain they will know just the place for you to vist,as they have probably been there themselves.With the local Rand currency (see the blog below this) being more favourable to tourists now than for some years,this could just be the right time to visit.

Contact me for details,


Friday, 13 June 2008

Rand Currency Exchange Rates are really low

We see the value of the Rand slip and slide but its not been as low as it is today to the U$ Greenback for some years,it was R8.14 to U$1.00 early afternoon today,so a really good time to consider buying products from South Africa.


Rates today as below : if requested,this could be a regular friday currency update?

Forex Rates

All exchange rates are updated regularly. However, the rates that you receive in a FNB Branch may differ to these rates due to changing market conditions and the amount of your transaction. Please contact your nearest FNB branch if you wish to buy or sell foreign currency.

For your convenience, our Forex Calculator is available online.

Please note
Bank charges and commissions have been excluded

You can receive these rates by subscribing. These rates will be emailed to you at 09h00 and at 16h00 on valid business days.

The following European monetary area currencies have been incorporated into the Euro currency:


Public Exchange Rates against the rand for amounts up to R50 000.

Published at 2008/06/13 03:32:00 PM

Rand per foreign currency unit

Description Code Bank Selling rate Bank buying TT Bank buying TC's Bank buying notes
EURO CURRENCY EUR 12.7540 12.2473 12.2151 12.2348
BRITISH STERLING GBP 16.1638 15.5217 15.4694 15.5059
US DOLLARS USD 8.2880 8.0326 7.9766 8.0244

Foreign currency unit per rand

AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS AUD 0.1277 0.1343 0.1349 0.1344
BOTSWANA PULA BWP 0.7871 0.8598 0.8706 0.8606
CANADIAN DOLLARS CAD 0.1221 0.1296 0.1303 0.1298
SWISS FRANCS CHF 0.1263 0.1317 0.1323 0.1318
DANISH KRONE DKK 0.5811 0.6128 0.6168 0.6134
HONG KONG DOLLARS HKD 0.9205 0.9863 0.9937 0.9873
INDIAN RUPEES INR 4.5230 5.4255 5.4255 5.4310
JAPANESE YEN JPY 12.9930 13.5448 13.5673 13.5587
KENYAN SCHILLINGS KES 7.3311 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
LESOTHO LOTI LSL 1.0000 1.0000 0.0000 1.0000
MAURITIUS RUPEES MUR 3.0743 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
MALAWI KWACHA MWK 15.9628 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
Not Available MZM Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
NAMIBIAN DOLLAR NAD 1.0000 1.0000 0.0000 1.0000
NORWEGIAN KRONER NOK 0.6282 0.6606 0.6673 0.6612
NEW ZEALAND DOLLARS NZD 0.1595 0.1689 0.1695 0.1691
PAKISTAN RUPEES PKR 6.5034 7.6190 0.0000 7.6267
SWEDISH KRONER SEK 0.7315 0.7691 0.7721 0.7696
SINGAPORE DOLLARS SGD 0.1641 0.1744 0.1757 0.1746
SWAZILAND LILANGENI SZL 1.0000 1.0000 0.0000 1.0000
UGANDAN SHILLINGS UGX 185.6419 206.9816 0.0000 207.1931
ZAMBIA KWACHA ZMK 342.9054 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
Not Available ZWD Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Visa and Master Card payments

A facility for Visa or Master Card payments has been asked for by customers for some while, our application to Visa/Mastercard has now been approoved and we are proud to be able to offer this service to our customers,as a way of easing payment methods and making transactions that much faster.The facility will take a few days to be installed.For orders and payment with your Visa/Mastercard,please contact me for information and the transaction form,I will send that to you via email.


Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Captain Charlie Whipple!

This micro ocean boat builder is getting his John Welsford designed Sundowner ready to sail from New Zealand,to Hawaii (next week) then on to Cape Horn,with a short stay in Port Stanley,Falkland Islands,before heading off to South Africa and Hout Bay,all this will be a single handed trip.We will up date this blog page as he progresses,so check in now and again,or try a site still under construction,it should be active quite soon? Plans are to make this super little ship into one of our pre cut boat kits soon.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Hout Bay Yacht Club waters,South Africa.

Nandi,one of our Didi 34 kits,chasing Megafreight in a local race

A view along the main spine on the HBYC marina

Nandi,her first sailing in Hout Bay

Hout Bay Marina in the fishing Harbour,morning tranquility and at its best

Flying Cloud,a Dix 43 made in ply/epoxy,in Chapmans Bay and reaching into Hout Bay

Some may wonder what we are doing down here at the end of a continent,I wonder myself some days but there is nothing like a drive along our wonderfull coastal roads,on my way to work each morning,to remind me about just why I choose to live here in Hout Bay as I do.Hout Bay is near land locked,depending on where you look from,the open sea can not be seen,some say its like Venezuela and having spent many months there,cruising on our last Endurance 37 yacht with my family,I can only agree,the sunsets can be amazing,the sun lights up the mountains to a pink blush,then its dark for the night.If you want to find out more about Hout Bay and its environs,the yacht club and other places,check out these great sites. or


Sunday, 8 June 2008

Birds Mouth wooden masts and spars,revisited

Wood for boat masts? with global materials prices on any product made using energy for its production,this may be a good question to both ask and answer,plastics and any sort of alloy has reached dizzy prices world wide,so the cost to carbon and alloy spars must rise too.Wood,less so but for sure some will find ways of increasing its cost,shipping surcharges come to mind?

What kind of masts and spars can we build with wood? well anything from an Optimist to an eighty foot schooner,all have had wooden masts in the past,some still do of course.We can have solid masts,they will be too heavy for most applications,we can also have hollow ones which will sort out the weight issue to a large extent,they can be round or rectangular,it depends the end use and how the sails are bent on?

Round masts will normally see the sails attatched with rope or wood hoops,smaller designs may just have a luff tube sewn into the sail,that then slips over the round spar mast.Rectangular masts can either have an alloy extrusion bolt rope or sail slide track screwed on to the back of the mast,or we can pre machine the mast to have an internal groove to take either a bolt rope or slides.

We should be making one of these next week for an Argie 15 the original round alloy pole and the alloy bolt rope track is no longer available,so we make a mast and boom kit to a special order,we have done quite a number so far.This set will be made from four pieces of clear oregon pine,in this case with a scarph to allow the sections to fit in an air plane flting cargo to Kenya,normally we use our stock 5.8mtr lengths to make in one go,no bothers with a scarph joint by the way,they can look quite good too.The picture shows some sections of an eight segment mast,in this case round but by making some of the staves a little wider,we can easily make the same spar into a rectangle.

For my full and published story on this subject,check out Duckworks Magazine,a great on line boating store we work with,try this link: