Saturday, 13 March 2010

Robs Lynnhaven Canoe Build

Hello Roy
I am in the process of finishing off my Lynnhaven canoe and thought I would send you a photo or two . The kit was excellent and the design outstanding .I have learn't a lot about the epoxy ply process and hope to do a better job on my next project .Thanks again.

A visit from Goa,India.

Yesterday we were pleased to receive a visit from some people from India,thats Cmdr Dilip Donde on the left and his yacht Mhadei is in the V&A Waterfront,he has the last leg of his voyage to complete,the boats builder is Ratnakar Dandekar,thats him on the in the green shirt,we are happy to meet such interesting people!
Left click the picture to view full size and read our name board!

Aquarius Fibreglas have been chosen by the Indian Navy to construct the Sailing Yacht 'Mhadei' at our Yard in Goa which will make history by being the first Indian-built yacht to sail around the world single handed by Cmdr Dilip Donde. The voyage will commence in 2009 and will follow the old clipper route rounding the three Great Capes and Stopping at a few ports enroute.

The project is called Sagar Paraikrama which means traversing the oceans.

The design chosen is by the well known Dutch Yacht design house called "Van De Stadt Design". The chosen design is the " Tonga 56", which is a 56 ft boat, considered adequate for making what is considered the most difficult passage through the dangerous Southern Oceans.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Foil glassing preperations

With todays warmer Cape Town weather being back to normal,the Resolution 816 epoxy has cured to the stage where a Stanley Knife with a new blade (usa) would trim the excess off today,if left untill tommorrow,I would be using a mini grinder and a thin cutting disc,its by far the best to trim with a knife while you can.

The three layers of biaxial glass cloth are now applied to the foil,note the staggered layers,this was a development of the early foils to give increased strength in the area of the lower rudder pintal.
Left click to view in a larger size.

I have never worked out how many stages there are in making laminated rudder and keel foils,a great many for sure,we are now at the pre glassing stage.The glass cloth is special woven biaxial,it has a bias around 45 degrees,this makes it soft and quite pliable,its nice to go around shapes.

All that cloth will be applied with our thin laminating epoxy which will saturate and wet out the various layers (three)this will take a few days due to the curing time the epoxy needs.We stock epoxy and various glass cloths and tapes should you need any.

Left click the picture to see in a larger size.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets? well when I started my joinery trade apprenticship I had to swear never to give away trade secrets,it was one of those things,secret hand shakes at the masonic lodge.Well we are a long way from then now and part of what we do is to try and advise our customers what tools to use and any other related tips.
In this picture note the clean plastic we are working on,as the Toylander body has been coated all over with Resolution 816 epoxy,thats needed to stop the bond between the table and the Toylander.

The plastic sheeting top cover is due to the fact that while it was fine and warm when I started,a low came across and it went cold and damp,then we had heavy rain,moisture will cause amine blush to form on the wet epoxy,the plastic will stop that.
Note,amine blush is a trade term for an epoxy that has cured under conditions of moisture,the epoxy is fine but is quite wet to the touch,it can only be sanded off!

Left click the pics to see in a larger size.

The Toylander body has had a nice thin layer of epoxy all over,inside and out,it is now waterproof.

Note the long handled 50mm radiator brush,use this to do the corners before wetting out the flats with the fine mohair roller.

We are a little ahead of ourselves applying a thin coat of epoxy right now,more finishing could have been done,like closing the front wing tops off but as we were applying epoxy to a set of rudders today,it made sense to do the Toylander.

Bombaloza Scull Kit

We posted this design last year,a little premature as Dave its designer did not quite have his parts kit fully sorted,its now ready and as listed below.We can supply the boat kit,Dave will supply you the plans and the parts he manufactures.
The kit will cost you only R3540(U$472) plus vat if your local,plans are extra and direct from Dave.

1. 2-stay aluminium riggers, complete with gates, height washers
and tholepins.
2. Runners (pair)
3. Complete seat with aluminium undercarriage and sealed ball bearings
4. Complete Footplate with plastic heel cups and heavy duty Velcro foot-strap
5. Serrated mounting brackets for footplate (3)
6. Aluminium fin
7. 6” water tight hatch
8. Stainless Steel nuts, bolts and screws to fit all parts
9. Self adhesive grip tape for the main deck
10. Self adhesive Bombaloza logo

The Toylander manual explained

This is quite a set of instructions! there are seventy seven (77) pages of detail and information,metal parts drawings,assembly and electrical installation pictures,it takes you from the start to completion.
Note,some pictures show the use of wooden corner cleats,we have now designed those out.
Left click the pictures to view full size.

We have a set of originals that we use to copy and bind to make up our own user manuals,a bound set will normally be ex stock,otherwise within 24 hours during work hours.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Toylander in progress

With various Toylander kit buyers seemingly gone walkabouts,one is in the Eastern Cape and another New Zealand,I am trying to stay one step ahead of them with my own production.Its amazing what we learn by doing the job ourselves,there are already processes I have found that may be best done before gluing up,not now when the Toylander body is in one piece,I will pass my findings on as we progress,this should save our customers time as they build themselves.

Todays work was Radius Corners,some of which would be better done prior to assembly of the main body.

Another Toylander is sold and joins our fleet

Toylander kit number one.

This is the Toylander car that started us off,Andrew brought us a set of plans he bought from Real Life Toys in England.From the plans we developed our own CNC files,removed the timber cleats that supported each joint and replaced it with a 'finger joint',which when assembled,glued and screwed (remove later) then back filled with epoxy and micro balloons,makes for a very strong Toylander indeed.Rob has just placed his order and will be collecting his new kit in a week or so,we will now have plans sets ex stock,at a cost of R590,which includes the licence to build one Toylander,Vat and postage,is a good buy.We do have a kit of course,we only use quality light weight marine plywood,its worth the cost to save weight and make the build more enjoyable.

Rudder foils,shaping

This series of pictures shows from the bottom up,each stage in the shaping,its not without skill,it takes a little care not to plane away the black lines!

Anyone can do this,given the right tools and our CNC profiled blanks.

Monday, 8 March 2010

The 2010 Auckland International Boat Show

The AISWatchMate is now available with an integrated two channel AIS receiver.
Excellent receiver sensitivity for maximum range.
Designed especially for highest AIS performance.
Easy to install. No external "black boxes".
Winner of two international innovation awards.

Jeff the managing director of Vesper Marine,designers and makers of the Watchmate AIS we are agents for,has just told me our next order will ship on wedensday and from thursday to friday he and Deirdre will be at the Auckland International Boat Show where they will have a stand,give them a call when your at the boat show,new inovations are expected soon.

Boat show organiser, the Marine Industry Association, expects a sell-out of exhibitor space on land, and a packed display of new boats on the water. The floating exhibition will sport a new layout to accommodate the America’s Cup class yachts competing in the Louis Vuitton regatta and their entourage – an active, bonus display in the Viaduct Harbour, from 9 – 21 March.

Boat show ticket holders benefit from a buy one, get one free offer at Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. Ticket holders must present the Voyager advert from the programme to qualify and to discover Blue Water Black Magic - A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake..

Rudder foils are started

We do rudders and foils to order quite reguarly,with our CNC shaping the profile and sections,they are spot on each and every time,shipped either as the blanks only and you do your own finishing,or as in this case we are doing the shaping and finishing with white twin pack etch primer,leaving the customer to paint with his top coats.The black paint allows me to see when to stop as I machine the un wanted wood awy.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Dirty Dicks, London

My mate and long time sailing pal,Notty,with his lady Sonia and workmate Ken in the original Dirty Dicks,London


Hi mate,

This was one of the old photo's that came from Sonia's sisters place when her kids cleared it out, we have an old pile of them but this is the only picture I have of me with an almost full head of hair.
Soni looks to be startled in the picture as the barman just caught her out! The other guy is a Salford bloke I worked with call Ken, he was as mad as a snake and helped me to pull daffodils up out of Hyde Park gardens for Soni's birthday once when we were both 3 sheets to the wind.

The pub we're in here is the famous Dirty Dicks near Liverpool Street Station, London, the ground floor is a gourmet food bar where you can sit and eat oysters, fine cheeses and all type of cooked meat with crusty bread.
Down stairs where we are, is a sort of dungeon complete with cobwebs and real dead cat skeletons that are made to jump around when the barman pulls a string to scare the young birds like he just had with Soni hence her popping out eyes. The youg girls are asked to stroke the lucky cat and make a wish, the barman pulls on his string and the biltong like dead cat leaps around.

Well, mate, that was the young and hairy Notty enjoying the good life in the 60's long before we even knew we were going to SA.


Opposite Liverpool Street Station, on Bishopsgate, is Dirty Dick's, an historic city pub, which takes its name from the dirty Warehouse on Leadenhall Street.

Before the beginning of the 19th century, the pub was called the Old Jerusalem, but the owners transferred the name and the storey from the warehouse because it was too good and too famous a name to let die.

The original Dirty Dick, was Richard, or some say Nathanial, Bentley, a prosperous city merchant living in the middle of the 18th century, who owned a hardware shop and warehouse, and it said to be the inspiration for Miss Havisham in Dickens' Great Expectations.

Bentley had been quite a dandy in his youth, but following the death of his fiancée, he refused to clear up or clean anything.

His house, shop and warehouse became so filthy that he became a celebrity of dirt. Any letter addressed to The Dirty Warehouse, London, would be delivered to Bentley. He stopped trading in 1804 and died in 1809. The warehouse was later demolished.

The pub that perpetuates the name and legend was described thus in 1866: " A small public house or rather a tap of a wholesale wine and spirit business"..."a warehouse or barn without floorboards; a low ceiling, with cobwebs festoons dangling from the black rafters; a pewter, bar battered and dirty, floating with beer, numberless gas pipes tied anyhow along the struts and posts to conduct the spirits from the barrels to the taps; sample phials and labelled bottles of wine and spirits on shelves- everything covered with virgin dust and cobwebs."

It seems that successive owners of the Bishopsgate Distillery and its tap capitalised on the legend. By the end of the 19th century, its owner, a public house company called William Barker's (D.D) Ltd, was producing commemorative booklets and promotional material to advertise the pub.

For years it kept the cobwebs, dead cats and other disgusting things in the cellar bar, but these have now been tidied a to a glass display case.

The Selborne Dry Dock in Simonstown

With March 6th and 7th being Navy Day at Cape Towns,Simonstown,why not do a feature on a dry dock,not just any dry dock either.
As a very regular visitor to Simonstown Naval Dockyard delivering either sealed tenders,delivering wood and collecting cheques from Dawn in the payment offices,I got to know my way around and meet some interesting people,one being the Dock Master.
He told me the dock was part of the British Empires way of doing things in the world,the stone was cut block by block in India,then shipped to Simonstown for construction,it was laid with a fall,end to end of exactly one foot (12") and even today if that fall is measured its exactly the same now,thats now 100 years later on!

In 1900 the yard covered about 13 acres, exclusive of the victualling establishment and naval hospital, and was provided with a small camber, slipways for torpedo-boats and small vessels, together with various dockyard buildings, storehouses, coal stores, &c., but had no dry dock or deep-water wharf. Under the Naval Works Loan Act of 1899 £2,500,000 was provided for the construction of additional docks east of the original naval yard. These works were begun in 1900 and completed in 1910. They consist of a tidal basin 28 acres in extent, with a depth of 30 ft. at low-water spring tides, enclosed by a breakwater on the eastern and northern sides and a similar projecting arm or pier on the west. The entrance to the basin faces'north-westerly, and is 300 ft. in width. South of the basin is a large reclaimed area forming the site of the new dockyard. Opening from the basin is a dry dock, 750 ft. in length on blocks, with an entrance 95 ft. wide and having 30 ft. over the sill at lowwater spring tides. The foundation stone of the dry dock was laid in November 1906 by the earl of Selborne, after whom it is named, and the dock was opened in November 1910 by the duke of Connaught.

The Selborne dock can be subdivided by an intermediate caisson in such a manner as to form two docks, respectively 400 lt. and 320 ft. in length, or 470 ft. and 250 ft. in length on blocks, as may be required, or the full length of 750 ft. can be made available. The dockyard buildings include extensive shops for the chief engineer's and chief constructor's departments, the pumping-engine house, working sheds, &c., while ample space is reserved for additional docks and buildings. Berthing accommodation is provided in the basin alongside the wharf walls which surround it. The walls available for this purpose have a total length of 2585 ft. lineal, are constructed of interlocked concrete block work, with an available depth of water of 30 ft. at low water, and are furnished with powerful shear-legs and cranes for the use of vessels alongside. Extensive sheds for the storage of coal are provided. The whole of the dockyard area (35 acres), including the enclosing breakwater and pier, was formed by reclamation from the sea; and the total area of the new works, including the tidal basin, is 63 acres

This then came in as a response to my blog:

Hi Roy,
Thanks for the article on the Selborne Dock. Just for info the granite blocks came from Scandinavia, not India. You will probably be interested to know that we are planning something special for the docks centenary in November this year.

Best regards,

John Sutherland
Simon's Town Dock Master.

Newspaper bilge cleaners

A clean and dry bilge is not always a posibility,its easier on a wood/epoxy boat though as they are so dry,unless you have an internal leak? Trying to mop up those last drops used to require a hands and knees appoach with a clean rag,these days I just roll up some clean news paper to the right size,lay it in the area to be cleaned and remove it the next day,its clean,it works and its free!