Saturday, 2 July 2011

Talking sawdust with Div De Villiers

Its nice when a customer is a friend,many end up that way of course,many just sail off and are just gone.

Div is one of those who did just that he hand built his own steel boat,fitted it out to a very high standard but not like some french gin palace,more like a country cottage,it looked great!

Div contacted me a while ago for some of our epoxy,this is what he made with it.

Div can make you special furniture as well,all one offs,he uses no drawings as far as I have seen on his web site,he can do copies but each piece will be slightly different,thats nice.


Div has a website,check it out below and contact him via that direct.

Howzit Sawdust makers!

There is a new blog on :


However good your table saw is, the cut will only be as good as the blade fitted. Let’s look at important points and how to choose the right one for the job.

In a previous blog I talked a little about the versatility of the table saw and how to operate it safely. To realize its full potential the right blade must be fitted. Condition of the blade is also important. Blunt, chipped or missing teeth, a warped plate and resin build up will drastically reduce the accuracy and .....

Read the complete article at

Feel free to add your comments and suggestions! Talking of which, any suggestions for future blogs will be most welcome!

Yours in sawdust


Nandi,one of our own

Nandi,a Didi 34, was built in a rather short period of time by its owner Nick,we supplied all the materials,CNC cut kit, epoxies and also the International Paints.

With Cape Town now being a world leader in boat building (I never imagined I would write that) fitting out boats is simple,all the leading brands are mainly off the shelf here now,or in the case of a complete boat,parts are brought in with regular shipments.Masts and sails are made to order right here using the worlds best materials and in the case of sails,fabrics.

Friday, 1 July 2011

An open and shut case for the Hillman Imp in 1967

When I first saw a bright and brand new yellow Mark 2 Hillman Imp it was at Mr Pughs farm in Garth, North Wales,I had thought of an 850cc Morris Mini but as soon as I looked closer at the amount of space and engineering in an 875cc Hillman Imp, I was off to the local Rootes dealership named Kirbys In Maghull,Lancashire the next week.

Look at all those openings,the ease of loading this car over any other,then or now was just miles apart from anything then available.The doors are very wide too,making access to the rear seats easy,they fold down flat for carrying a load too.

This is a Mk2 Imp so circa 1967 when the revised front suspension lower pivot points were introduced,first seen on the Hillman Californian Coupe.
Note,the car in the picture carries a 1968 F registration number plate,as can be seen by the letter F at the end of the plate.

I was able to buy a Mk1 Hillman Imp painted in Balmoral Grey,which is quite a light shade,it was a single owner car and I paid 425 pounds for it back then,a Mini of a similar age would have been 400 pounds but just look at all the extra features the Imp gave me.As a regular camper,it was a real load carrier and excellent on rough roads and wet farmers fields,you never bog down an Imp!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Water based three coat application varnishes

Some months on,seven I think,as we did the test in November 2110? so where are we now with our test panels exposed to the suns rays each day,not to mention the effects of wind and rain.

I have been suitably impressed but have noticed if the surface gets wet,the water seemed to go through to the wood,as the surface changed colour and became dark.Then  last week I noticed the sample left down on the HBYC marina had started to break up.End of this test for now,the suggestion that it will easily out perform other products in this case does not stand up.

Check out the white bits,a sure sign of degrade and it happened very fast once it started.

November 2010
A new product,  we have the samples and its easy to use and safe being water based.
I have some quotes heard recently on the HBYC Marina,Rubol is not what it used to be and I am not buying Rubol at R260 a liter! not my words and I did not make them up either.When I tried to buy some at Makro recently I found they will not even stock it now due to the high price,so now what?

One of our suppliers has a product that will do the job and at a much lower price and as its water based the price should remain lower,with oil now at a record U$90 something a barrel,oil based products are set go one way and thats up.

The test sample is on new Iroko wood,the brush marks would not be there with either a thinner application,or using a foam roller?

The primer is on the left,its really muddy but dries near clear,the top coat is the one on the right,both are easy to apply and clean to use.

This is a new idea for me,there is a base coat,one layer,then two layers of top coats and your done,I am assured this will out last other coatings,time will tell on this but there is no reason for me to doubt our suppliers.

The coatings dry really fast,it looks a bit muddy when first applied but soon smooths to a decent teak colour,other shades are available too,the great issue with this is its water soluable,so there are no turps or thinners to buy and you just wash your brush in clean water!

Note,I suspect application with a small foam roller is better than a brush?

Available from CKD Boats cc.

A later test on teak wood with a roller worked well.

One coat of primer applied with a 100mm foam roller,this is on to plantation grown teak which was pre sanded with a 100 grit sander disc.The application was easy and a much better looking finish.

Two top coats are done with the same roller after washing it clean from applying the primer coat.

After application of the primer coat,I washed the foam roller out in clean water before the application of the top coats,this is the same roller after application of the top coats and a second washing,ready to use again,no mess and no solvents either.

This is a remarkable surface finish from only three coats.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Brer Terrapin and trade wind sailing back from Rio de Janerio

Its taken me some 35 years to get this bit of information!

News just in from one of the guys in this picture,was it in 1976? Peter Hosford was one of these guys,the boats new owner was Dennis O Brien and he took the picture but who was the third crew member?

 He says, by the way, that the other guy on board Brer Terrapin was Dmitri, a guy he met on the beach in Brazil and who went over as crew. Great fellow he says. Peter will contact you soon because he'd like to catch up when they are there.

Cheers for now,

Ian Allen
Yacht Tip Toe
New Zealand

This was one of those rare fine weather days on the trip back from Rio and heading for Cape Town,the year was 1976,the yacht was Brer Terrapin,an Ingrid 38 designed by Atkin and built in South Africa to a very high standard by Pip Smith.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

KD 860 by Bernd Kohler

Yes,we are still doing the boat kits and this really smart 3D picture was supplied by Andrea who is building a KD860 with materials we supplied.

Left click for a larger image.

We do the CNC cut work on the bulkheads you can see the outlines of,plus supply the materials as specified by KD who did the design.

Andreas KD860 in real life,he has chosen to build the boat upside down,there are benifits doing it this way but building it the right way up saves the task of turning the hull later and you can walk inside your boat from quite an early stage.

Note,this KD860 has been stretched to 32 feet,thats around 10.6 meters,find out more @

Hillman Imp competition or fast road cylinder head

This 108 series sport head and R20 camshaft is ready to fit to its new 998cc short engine but first we need the other small parts arrive from one of our UK suppliers. Then we can finish fitting the cars under body and turn the Imp shell 180 degrees to start on that side of the project.

Left click the picture for more detail.

The R20 competition camshaft,camshaft carrier and tappet followers are all brand new and an import to this project,the steel inlet and exhaust manifold is made here in South Africa,we export those when we can get them,there is normally a waiting list!

Attention was made to hand fit the new inlet/exhaust gasket.

With all new parts,including bronze guides and BMW oil seals,the setting up of the head still took some five hours to get right.

We can supply gas flowed Mk1 and Mk2 cylinder heads to order,also small or large bore fabricated exhaust manifolds.


1968 Morris Mini 1000

Hiding in a garage is another engine,this one is not diesel but petrol driven and it has a Morris Mini car with it.

This barn find is a 1968 Morris Mini 1000,it has none standard wind up windows and vent lights,not normal on a car of that year I seem to think.More pictures will be posted when they are available,so keep checking this page.Thought not to be a South African assembled car,they had wind up windows in Australia before the UK,was it made down there?

The car really was taken apart,the entire undertray looks to have been repainted,the sub frames removed and the same with those,so I think we have an early rust free early Morris Mini 1000 here.

Front sub frame and steering rack,none disc brakes on this model.

A nice clean engine bay,I will find out what the state of the engine is?

With such a strip down and a full respray,this car should find a genuine collector who can also drive his or her car daily.

The car was restored about 15 years back,then parked and has been little unused since,I may find a buyer,who knows? I can bring the car back up to a high standard given the suitable buyer with the suitable funds.Remember this is the genuine thing,its not been chopped or made into some dream mini by a previous owner,we just need to change its none standard dash board and go back to the original type.

Shipping world wide,with a special low price to the UK when our competition Hillman Imp is sent there,as they will fit in the same container.


Cape Town

021 790-3859 phone and fax lines.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Ian Allens visit

Ian is a local,well sort of,we are both ex Royal Cape Yacht Club members and go back a long way,we supplied to Ian the last Cape Cutter 19 kit we were allowed to sell,he built it down where he now lives in Picton,New Zealands South Island.

Ian with the competition Hillman Imp we are putting together.

Ian was here on a visit to see his mother,he and his son Scott fly out to go back home today.Ian was telling me of a visit to his building project of the Cape Cutter 19 kit by the well known yacht designer Chuck Paine,he designed such boats as the Apogee 50. Ian owns and runs a B&B in Picton,so if your looking for a decent place to stay,contact Ian.

Ian & Paula Allen

The Gables
Web Site
Tel / Fax 64 3 5736772

Picton town,South Island,New Zealand

Hi Roy,

Big day for me on Tuesday the 9th of November, I launched Tiptoe after three years of building and three days before turning 60. The last few days were something of a mad flurry to complete rigging jobs. She came off her trailer eagerly, floated beautifully on her marks, and received champagne and blessings like the little lady she is. The first thing I did was to leap aboard and test the swinging keel down then up and had a little whoop when that all went smoothly. I started the outboard and motored out and then set genoa and main in a perfect breeze and had the unparalleled delight of that first sail - nothing to beat it - and I was thrilled at the way this gorgeous wee boat performed in a 12 knot breeze.

A picture of the complete family,wife,dog and boat,who could ask for more!

The only problem I had was that I had not realised that two screw holes from fixing floor bearers to the keel casing had in fact penetrated the casing and had not (foolishly on the part of the builder!!) been properly filled, resulting in a constant trickle of water into the bilge. So, any guys building out there should be warned, take care to see that all holes are properly filled before the big day!

Anyhow, the occasion was a thrill and Tiptoe came back onto her trailer a treat and I have now sorted the little bits and pieces needed to go sailing my new boat again sometime soon.



Sunday, 26 June 2011

Perkins 4108 diesel engine service kit

Found on offer from a specialist,I can see that a used Perkins 4108 engine can be rebuilt quite cheaply.

This rather complete engine rebuild kit will cost your just a few hundred pounds,all I need now is a spare Perkins 4108 engine so I can rebuild it! So what have you got hiding in your garage?


021 790-3859 phone and fax line.