Saturday, 5 February 2011

As small as it gets........The Quick Canoe 155

Written on February 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm by Michael Storer .
New plywood canoe plan builds in 4.5 hours.

Quick Canoe 155 plan info

Length – 4.7m (15ft 6ins)

Beam – 0.83m (33ins)

Hull Weight – 23kg (45lbs)

Draft – 0.100m, (4″)

Three sheets of 6mm (1/4″) Plywood.

The plywood “disposable” canoe  has been renamed the more salubrious “Quick Canoe”. I quite liked the name of “Disposable Canoe” but I agreed with the critique that it hinted at something that was poor quality rather than simple and Easy. It could have been the EasyCanoe, but that name was already taken.

It fills a gap that our classic Eureka plywood Canoe doesn’t cover. The Eureka is a pretty canoe that is easy to build and paddles very nicely. It builds quickly over a couple of weeks if you can work full time, but with the Quick Canoe we were thinking of something possible to whack together in a weekend.

The Quick Canoe series has been designed to be as easy to build as possible while keeping some of the qualities of a good paddling canoe – in particular the ability to track. It is not designed to be the BEST canoe, but the SIMPLEST plywood canoe that was FASTEST to build without being too bad on the water rather than going the best paddling canoe we could do as represented by the Eureka.

QUICK CANOE 155 – A simple plywood canoe – Plans $30  or Rands 248 if your in South Africa and sent to you as a PDF file,we have them here now,a CNC cut kit set on the three sheets of plys is also possible.

All pictures are  from the Mike Storer web site @

Check it out for the full story now.


Hout Bay (no wind)  021 790-3859 or email me.

The Quick Canoe 155 is easy to paddle (free plans available) or you can fit a small  electric trolling motor with a suitable battery in a secure strap down postition.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The singing Russians

Stop Press News!

Departure is now on hold,please check before going out to see them off.


Dear Members

On Sunday our intrepid Russian explorers are leaving for Brazil on their amazing inflatable tri-maran! (their presentation last night was quite incredible)

We want to give a great traditional Hout Bay send-off and get our fleet on the water to see them off and wish them well. Bring your boats, flags and whistles, and as many guests as you can find!
 El-Commodore suggests we have a braai on the water to follow – what a great idea – the weather is looking perfect. We can raft up and have a royal picnic!! Dinghies, paddle skis, lilos, marina-boats, tenders also welcome!

See you there. 10:30 on the water. Sunday!

The HBYC were treated to a one hour presentation by the very slick crew of the trimaran Energey Diet,this included film clips and charts of their previous two trips,plus a background of what the craft is all about.There was also an amazing (truly amazing) eight minute film clip taken as they sailed past Slangkop Light House but not on the outside of the reef,they were inside and sailing over it,straight through the Kelp! The arrival of Station Eights two NSRI boats was a good  idea,disaster was a very possible event,the waves they were in were quite something.

NSRI were in good form too,they went close in with a rubber duck and put a young man on board Energy Diet,the crew knew they were in good hands then,the guy was also given a presentation as recognition of his performance at the time.

Here the boats captain,Anatoly, speaks in Russian,which was then followed by a translation in English by Jack (eugene k),the format was really well thought out and prepared,that one hour went all too fast for me.
To end off the presentation the four crew sang us their ships song,in Russian,the harmony was fantastic!

Thanks guys and have a good trip to Walvis Bay.


Hout Bay
(bay of winds)

For a better story on Energy Diet have a look at the link below ( thanks karin)

Sailing Ariete (on his own)

Johan was having a great day out in the bay yesterday,the stronger afternoon winds predicted had not arrived,well not untill about 5pm,then is came in with a vengence.From a light breeze to thirty knots in seconds it seemed.

Ariete is a Fred Bingham design in wood strip plank,Johan built her himself and fitted her out with gear he bought from around the world as he traveled on his business trips.

The design is very similar to the Flicka 20,just a little larger.

Even with a fair bit of canvas up,Johan and his boat were quite in control,with the wind now around twenty knots and gusting over thirty,thats quite a craft he has there.

Pictures are from a Canon G11 on telescopic,I m surprised the quality is so good,I was being blown around so much be the winds myself!
Hout Bay (bay of winds)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Classic car racing down under

Bryson takes start to finish win

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Andrew Bryson and Jason Rowley have led from start to finish to win the Early Classic handicap competition, for cars built prior to 1966, in the third running of Targa Wrest Point.

Driving a 1964 Hillman Imp Rallye, Bryson held a 55 second lead at the end of the first day, and extended that advantage even further on day two to win by over two and a half minutes.
“It’s great to win, as I’ve been trying to for 30 years,” Bryson said. “The car went well, we thrashed it mercilessly and had no problems at all.

“The highlight came on day one, overtaking a Porsche. I’m very much looking forward to the champagne now.”
There was heartbreak for the 1965 Ford Cortina of Peter and Roslyn Killick, who had second place in the bag until mechanical failure one kilometre into the final stage forced their retirement.
This gave Jack Waldron and Vin Gregory second place in their 1955 Fiat Abarth, with Scott and Wayne Kent taking the final spot on the podium in their 1965 Ford Mustang.
Russell and Melanie Clark were fourth in a 1965 Ford Cortina, while David and Deena White rounded out the top five in their 1963 Austin Mini Cooper.

Bryon’s dominance bodes well for the longer Targa Tasmania, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary when it gets underway in early April.

Early Classic handicap results after Day 1

1. Andrew Bryson (UAE) / Jason Rowley (SA), 1964 Hillman Imp Rallye

2. Jack Waldron (VIC) / Vin Gregory (VIC), 1955 FIAT Abarth 750, +2m33s

3. Scott Kent (TAS) / Wayne Kent (TAS), 1965 Ford Mustang, +3m42s

4. Russell Clark (TAS) / Melanie Clark (TAS), 1965 Ford Cortina, +16m27s

5. David White (TAS) / Deena White (TAS), 1963 Austin Mini Cooper, +17m12s

Thanks to Andrew Bain for supplying this.

The Sonnet dinghy,some up to date news

Sunday October 12th 2014, an update:

We were not able to transfer what was on offer measurement wise to a DFX cut file,so as things are now we do not have the Sonnet dinghy on our books, if anyone can offer the required DFX or similar files we would be happy to start offering the Sonnet.

The SA Yachts blog posted a new page on this exciting design,this is its start:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011Sonnet Sailing Dinghy

I have been motivated to do a review on the Sonnet for a number of reasons - (1) a new CNC kit is about to be launched (CKD Boats) (2) the Sonnet Sailing Association has a whole new breath of life and energy (3) Sonnets (along with Dabchicks and Tempos), are the brainchildren of a great dinghy designer, the late Jack Koper, an ex-Capetonian, and (4) I have personally built and owned two Dabchicks and one Sonnet (S269 - which I still own). Very close to home then!

It was these boats, built in 1965-73, that got me hooked on Sailing and Boating, and for which I owe my Dad a whole bunch - we learned carpentry and sailing at the same time back in those years. Dabchicks probably account for more accomplished sailors in SA than any other class to date I reckon!

(writen by Sonnet owner Justin Philips)  open the site to read some refreshing words on the class.

Yesterday we had a meeting which consisted in Bill, a prospective new Sonnet owner from George and Theo,the class technical guy,plus myself,the idea was to find out some common ground on the design as it is now?

I had set out the copies of the original Jack Koper plans on a long table,even Theo had not seen those and the class association had no copies either,this backs up what I had been told a month or two back.What they do have is the class rules and a set of measurements!

Jack Kopers original design has morphed over the years into a more suitable boat for both its builder and its crew,its better suited near the bow for the local breezy conditions and is less liable to dig in or bury its bow.,the seating angles have changed and while its still a Sonnet,its a very much better boat now than when first drawn up by Jack Koper,class development over time and for a reason is good I think?

So we have a class,we have rules but we have no drawings of any sort as those on our table in front of us are in practice out of date and basically useless!

What this means is someone,needs to produce the actual set of drawings to enable the boat to be put into the CNC machine (nigels) and before a boat is cut the drawings need to be certified by the class committe,I will not cut or sell a single kit untill we have this commitment and that the new drawings are accepted as correct.

This brings up a new issue,who will buy the new kit? we have Bill  but just one new buyer will not re launch this exciting class,we need more on board right now and they need to be able to put a deposit down (refundable if we do not produce the kit) the numbers seem to say we need at least three but five sounds much better? a kit cost is now looking like about R7750 plus vat,the deposit,will be R2000.

Note,of the cost, R250 is the payment per each boat we cut to the class association as its royalty fee per each boat.

I think this is where we are for now?

Contact me on 021 790-3859 for banking details etc.


Hout Bay (windy bay)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The inflateable Trimaran concept

This seems to have very little to do with our selling kit boats,or does it?

From the time I walked back to look at the boat Energy Diet for a second look at its engineering , I am more than certain we can offer these boats and as a catamaran also as kits,instead of being our normal wood and epoxy , they are prefabricated parts and finished Hypalon tubes ready for inflation.

Each kit will contain all that is required to assemble the boat,this will include the floats,tubes,trampoline, nuts and bolts,hand tools,and a repair kit for services.

The design concept drawing,taken from the Energy Diet web site,in practice the actual boat is very close to the actual design as above.

We know size can be eleven meters long as thats how long Energy Diet is,it is eight meters wide,so a square measurement of around eighty eight square meters,there could well be uses in search and rescue or expeditons for such craft world wide.Each craft sold would include a designers fee.


The Sonnet Dinghy Class Poster

This selection of pictures says it all,stable and fast sailing even in high winds.

Left click to view in a larger size.

Thanks to Sonnet owner Justin Philips for supplying the above poster,he tells me the Sonnet Dinghy will soon feature in his SA Boat blog.

Sonnet Dinghy kit news

We have firm progress on this idea,my feeling has been that unless we have a buyer to at least one kit and the support of the Sonnet Class Associtaion,there was little point in proceeding with the idea?

What a fantastic screamer of a boat!

I am pleased to report we have these requirements in place now and more news should appear quite soon,the class upgrades will be designed into each kit we cut,the royalty will be pre paid and a sail number will ( i think) be supplied with each kit sold. I am not sure when a first kit will be ready but watch this space or phone me on 021 790-3859 in Hout Bay
(the bay of winds)


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Nissamaran IG 600 invertor gen set for sale

The guys on Energy Diet are shedding some weight,also the incoming funds would go a long way to fund the next two legs of their adventure to Brasil.

Open the box,whats in the box?

They offer what looks to me like a brand new invertor 12volt generator,at 600 watt its powerfull but also really light weight too (only 8kgs) and at a selling price of R3500 its a gift,try U$500 or subject to being unsold by the thursday press conference,when it will go to auction,then you can scrap with the rest of the bidders and pay more!

If it looks brand new I think it is brand new and probably never even had fuel in it.

Perfect for a small or large yacht or camper unit,at 600 watts,its good output but being lightweight there is no penalty on the weight side.

Back in its (new) box with a plastic filler container.make this yours now and phone me on 021 790-3859
Cape Town (hout bay) right now.


Moving yacht Energy Diet

Stop Press  Message:

Sailing enthusiasts and members of the media are invited to view the boat and attend a presentation on the expedition at the following Venue and Time:

Thursday 3 February 2011 
Hout Bay Yacht Club - Club House ( inside Hout Bay Harbour) lots of parking available,cash bar too!

For further information contact Karin Solomon: 083 781-2000 or Evgeni Kovalevski: 071 963-7065

For background information on the expedition, visit and run through Google Translate the site: 

Seen from my Canon G11,the camera views the camera and the yacht on Hout Bays Harbour slip.

As soon as the crewmember taking the video went down to lend a hand,I walked over to keep a watchfull eye on his camera,I am told they have had one stolen in the Seycheles already?

The make is Sony,I dont know what model as yet.

The team of whats posted as Extreme Sportsmen on Energy Diet,no ordinary crew is this,one is an Olympic Gold Medal winner in cycling,I need to find out which one?

The boat in calm waters,not much of that on South Africa coast line!
I shall get the correct names to the four guys later,here some strain was on the control line to the shore.

Big guy,small camera.

Moving a craft thats eleven meters long and eight meters wide on a ski boat trailer is not so simple.

The boat needed a tie down on this side,then they were ready to move to the HBYC boat park.

We do not see many Russian flags in Hout Bay!

The South African national flag with the Sponsers own flag.

The flag says it all,I have not yet tasted this stuff,wonder if the have samples?

Energy Diet is loaded and strapped down on the starboard side,the landrover is Chris Suttons and it was his job to move the boat through the busy harbour at whats rush hour tourist wise,more pics to follow.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Moving Energy Diet

More on this later but here is a picture to start with.

With the HBYC commodore,Chris Sutton,aided by the marina manager Alan Batley and a whole host of others,the trimaran Energy Diet is being lined up to enter the clubs boat park.With the gates being 8mtrs and the boat also 8mtrs,this was always going to be a tight squeeze!


Captain Notty passes the Sentinal

At 11am on saturday there was no breeze in Hout Bay at all but more than enough once we cleared the Chapmans Peak Drive side of the bay and into Chapmans Bay,as the south easter comes off the land and over Long Beach.

Its good that my friend Notty helms us out of Hout Bay and into Chapmans Bay,both places in history of some sort,so is this blog,its number 1500 acording to the counter,so here we are still blogging after all these years,still sailing too,Notty and I have done two South Atlantic crossings together,one each way.

 we did a Rio de Janerio ( ilha grande) to Cape Town (saldahna) return trip on Ocean Planet (tal gal) and a Cape Town to Salvador,Bahia,Brasil on Ocean Cloud (gulliver of knysna) both boats being the Endurance 37 design by Peter Ibold and moulded in Knysna by Knysna Marine (roger clancey).

Notty later did his own voyage and with his wife Sonia and son Dion on their Fortuna 37, Jacana,they went to Brasil,West Indies,Azores,Spain,England and a good few other places too.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Energy Diet,the full story

Its best we publish this which I found on the web,my thanks for the newspaper The Mercury for the copy.

Inflatable catamaran’s crew aiming for record

January 11 2011 at 12:26pm

Story by Kamini Padayachee (many thanks)

Picture by Roy McBride using a Canon G11 digital camera.

Energy Diet seen here in Hout Bay Harbour after her sail down from Durban,well done guys!

Anatoliy Kulik captain of Trimaran and Evgeny Kovalesky member of the Energy Diet team in Durban Point Yatch Club.

Visitors to Durban’s Point Yacht Club will see an odd-looking boat in the harbour – it belongs to four Russians who are embarking on a transatlantic voyage hoping to sail into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Evgeny Kovalesky, Evgeny Tashkin, Yury Masloboev and their captain, Anatoly Kulik, all of whom are from Siberia, began their voyage in November, setting sail from Mauritius.

Kulik designed and built their boat, Energy Diet, an inflatable catamaran that consists of three balloons fixed to fibreglass and metallic tubes and with sails.

The name of the boat refers to the energy drinks the team rely on to sustain themselves at sea.

The boat can be dismantled and packed into carrier bags.

The extreme sports enthusiasts want to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first people to complete the longest voyage on an inflatable sailing vessel that can be dismantled.

On Sunday, Kovalesky said their two-month voyage from Mauritius had been difficult.

“It is not a simple task, it is uncomfortable. We have no cabin, no bathing or toilet facilities. All we have is a little two-man tent and a gas stove to cook on. It is a small space to live in, especially for four middle-aged men.

“Not many people use it for such long trips because there is no comfort. You are as close to nature as possible. It is especially tough during the storms because water gets into the tent and our sleeping bags.”

Kovalesky said they had wanted to start their voyage from the Seychelles, but the country had refused them permission because of piracy in the area.

“We waited three weeks in the Seychelles for permission, but they refused. So we disassembled the boat and flew to Mauritius.

“Our next stop is Cape Town, then Namibia and then we will travel across the Atlantic to Brazil.”

Kovalesky said the team had to stop in Durban to repair their vessel.

“The sea is rough, so our boat gets damaged easily. We have had to stop to fix it up before we can carry on. We are determined to get into the record books.”

The team did two other voyages, in 2006 and 2008, that lasted about two months.

Aries Vane Gear comes out of retirement

This Aries Vane Gear looks reasonably new but its already been on two of my yachts and done three South Atlantic crossings plus the leg from Brasil to Venezuela and then Trinidad and back.

If you look closely you can just see a three stand line trailing in the water,that is a safety line that should be tied to the boat,its purpose being the paddle has a break off joint in case of hitting a solid object in the water,that way the joint breaks and not the Aries but for some reason Aries supplied the line about one foot short (305mm) and its near impossible to tie it to anything close.Charles,who was one of our crew for the day, says he can end to end splice another line to the existing one.

The fact is this vane gear is around thirty four years old,its been looked after and I fitted new stainless gears to it after the last crossing and return to Hout Bay on the trip back from Trinidad.
Spares are still available for the genuine Aries (beware local copies) speak
 to Helen Franklin @

Helen Franklin Telephone: +44 1326 37 7467
6 Dunvegan Road,
Penryn, Cornwall
+44 1326 37 8117
TR10 8HJ

Athol watches on a little bemused as to how the thing works and why,Athol has seen me mount the Aries platform box and connection tubes some while back,he was keen to see how an Aries worked,after about a twenty year lay off,so was I .

The Aries works once more! mind you we had our problems and each time we set a course,after a short while we would wander off a little (a lot) I was becoming bemused myself after about the forth attempt to set it up.We had both Charles and Athol re tensioning the new 8mm Dynema Braid control lines,which I was told when I bought it was just about 100% stretch free.  

This is certainaly not the case at all and the 14 meters I bought will now be at least 14.5 meters,I have never seen line stretch this much ever, its locally made, I may revert to a higher quality and import and use the Marlow line that Nick Franklin (r.i.p) used to supply originally.

Note,I have now taken Athols advice and removed the line,fastened it down to a strong point near the deck and then attatched a mast head halyard to it,with a Lewmar 46sta winch doing the job, I am stretching the dynema line,we should see it pre stretched and more suitable for purpose next time out?

Athol now (our line adjuster in chief) now understands how an Aries Vane Gear works,he has the so called Snaffle Lines,which when pulled will turn the wind vane either left or right,each click being six degrees either way. Once the wind vane is trimed to stand vertical,meaning the paddle in the water it contols is then plumb,we can engage the rope clutch on the steering wheel and from then on we are sailing hands free,excepting for the line stretch in our case.

To give you some idea just how much stretch there was,those red lines started off closer to deck level but as they stretched we had to adjust them ever higher to take up the slack,local is Lekker (good) I think not in this case.

A closer look,left click the pictures to view in a larger size.

Always remember to oil the center gears at least once per 24 hours,this Aries Vane Gear is now lubricated with Fluid Film,which should be a perfect long term weather protector for the alloy,stainless and plastics used on this type of self steering.

From the Aries web site on servicing:

In service, keep all moving parts well oiled - if it moves oil it. Of special importance is to oil the bushes No 53, either through the holes provided just below the lower bevel gear or around the outside of the gear where it sits on the thrust washers No 52. Oil on the steering lines, which must be 8mm pre-stretched will considerably increase their life span.


The wind vane is feathered or edge on into the wind, when the yacht goes off course one face of the vane is presented to the wind and it folds down sideways. This motion is transmitted through a linkage which deflects the servo rudder from 'dead ahead' in the water. The servo rudder is able to swing sideways on its top bearings and this in turn pulls the steering lines which operates the wheel or tiller. The gear only has to develop the low forces to move the main helm, similar to the helmsman as compared to the direct acting type of gear which has to steer the vessel by itself with the main rudder fixed.

Universal Rope Block

The Universal Rope Block is constructed of aluminium die castings. The rope sheaves are contained in a sphere which can be rotated to any angle inside the outer housing and locked in position. This is ideal for wheel steering installations where two steering lines are lead together as a pair to the wheel drum

Now made by Peter? under licence and in Denmark, highly recomended!

Aries Denmark Telephone: +45 7445 0760
Damgade 27, Holm e-mail:
6430 Nordborg www:

QuestionAries has by far the best name in the world. Why ?

AnswerTo build equipment for using at sea long term is not easy. You never know what can happen. Many builders and customers do forget that you do not always have normal conditions out there. You can not say "the gear will manage to steer from force 1 till 12". This is not enough. Every part of the gear has to withstand rough misuse. Then the gear will survive year after year like the Aries.