Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mast raising and lowering on a small yacht

Dudley Dix has added a nice story to his blog.

The idea is more suited to his Cape Cutter 19 and Cape Henry 21 designs but at a pinch the Didi 26 should be able to use the idea? from Tropical Boating, many thanks.


From the Dix Design blog.

A few days ago I read an article about a system that seems to have sorted out all of the normal problems. The best solutions are normally developed out of necessity, which is the case here. The owner of the boat has a mooring that is up-stream from a low bridge, which means raising his mast after passing under the bridge every time he wants to sail and lowering it before the bridge when returning to moorings.

My thanks the staff at 'Tropical Boating' for taking the trouble to write a clearly illustrated article about a solo mast raising/lowering system that can be adapted to most trailer-sailers.

A Didi 26 "Butterfly" tied to a tree in the Swedish, Baltic Islands.

This is the kind of boat that could work with a mast raising rig.

See out full range of designs at

Wooden toy making with Superform bending plywood

The lad wants a pirate party for his sixth birthday next month, a plastic sword will just not work as the one Jake has in the Walt Dysney Junior Magazine, its on on page seven and eight, is all wood, can I make him a wooden sword was the question.

We had the pictures in the comic, so that was the basic thing to copy, what was made came out as a close enough sword and the lad was happy.

Ben with his sword before we glued it up, the hand cover was made from two pieces of 3mm bending plys, slotted to fit over the sword handle, it worked a treat. I can think of a number of toy items you can make with bending plywood, a trains boiler tube for one, how aboat the bonnet on a Bugatti car?

Cut shaped and assembled in around one hour, we can make more?

Ben is kitted out and ready for his pirate party!

Superform bending plywood is available from selected outlets in Cape Town.


Hailstones in the UK

Remember its now mid summer in England!

Hailstones the size of golf balls have damaged car windscreens and bodies as storms hit Leicestershire yesterday.

The severe weather also produced a tornado and torrential rain, causing damage and flooding to homes after drains and waterways were blocked by massive hailstones.
If your car was damaged as a result of the severe weather, contact the Sturgess Bodycraft Accident Repair Centre, we may be able to help.

Part of an advert for car repairs!

Hi Roy,

I get these emails now and then because I once had the Nissan serviced here at the main dealers, just look at the size of those hail stones. I remember seeing them this size in Joburg while working at the Atlas Aircraft Corp new factory at Kempton Park and that same storm killed sheep and broke shop windows in Boksburg.


Is this global warming?

Friday, 29 June 2012

Cape Clawless Sea Otter calls on us

Found this late afternoon, were some calling cards left on the foredecks of our yacht, new to me but a marina regular says they have been visiting the marina for about two years?

Photo by M Noonan, many thanks for use of your picture.

I could tell more than one had called and had rummaged around the cockpit area, pulling wires and various ropes out of their positions. Cleaning up after them was a hose pipe and scrubbing brush afair, it was all weed based and I saw little sign of any fish remains or shellfish either.

We have now had two more visits, probably from just one smaller fellow, I am considering a solar powered light left in the cockpit that will switch itself on and off with the change in the light, my idea is the night light will keep the Otters away?

The Cape Clawless Otter's scientific name is Aonyx capensis. The generic name, aonyx, which means "not-clawed", refers to this otter species' clawless forelimbs. The specific name, capensis, means "belonging to the Cape Province area of South Africa", which is its primary range, though it lives throughout southern and central Africa. The Cape Clawless Otter is a member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, in the Mammalian Order of Carnivora. Other mustelids include ferrets and mink.

Generally colored brown with white underbellies, cape clawless otters lack claws on all digits, with exception of the third and fourth digits of the hindlimbs. Adults range in length from 4-5 in length, weighing 30-70lbs.


This species range extends across the African continent, from Senegal to Ethiopia and south to South Africa. A variety of habitats are preferred, ranging from semi-arid, open plains to rainforests. Their front paws are completely clawless with minimal webbing, giving them an appearance very similar to human hands. They use their incredibly dexterous paws to grab prey such as mollusks and crustaceans and they may even catch and eat an octopus from time to time.

Brum is a Toylander

It was only a matter of time before Ben said Brum is the name he has given to the Toylander, who am I to disagree, so here is Brum.

The childrens TV program shows a small yellow car named Brum, here he is re charging his power supply.

I suppose its time to fit Brums head and side lights now?


Painting Johns Polaris 43 mast

The boat is Polaris, first of a run named the Polaris 43, about 1978 year and designed by Robert Perry, who told me the design was supposed to be a one off for a couple who had one of his designs before. Next thing he knew the boat went into production in the east, Taiwan, and Polaris was the first boat out of the moulds.

The design is a double ender and has a quite full body with a split keel to rudder on its own skeg, I replaced the rudders lower bush when I came back to the country in 1979, the stainless fitting was well made but some fool bonded the fitting to the skeg with a thick epoxy, plus the bolts. I then had to cut and peel the shoe off like a bannana, then have the bush remade and the shoe re welded, that was a very busy day on the RCYC slip.

Note, the job came from the well known local sailor, Craig Middleton who ran a yachting shop named 'Craigs Cabin', originally in Strand Street. Craig helped me by allowing my own clients to use his shops phone number as a collection point, very much a two way deal but this certainally helped me at that time.

I wonder when or if the mast was ever repainted, the one owner before John had the hull repainted about twenty years back, possibly the mast was done back then too.

From Bob Perrys blog, were  he mentions the Polaris 43.

One of the Taiwan rip-off projects was the Polaris 43. I had been contacted by a fellow, Al Liggett, from Guam. He said he wanted to build a one-off boat in Guam and had in mind a flush deck version of a hull like the Valiant 40. I charged him a really stupid low fee and drew up a design that was essentially a modified Valiant 40, with 12" more freeboard so we could do a flush deck forward. I explained to the client that he could only build one of these boats. It was far too close to my Valiant design to let him build the 43 in series. My contract with Valiant prevented me from designing any other fin keel, canoe stern boats for anyone but Valiant. He said that was no problem. He would build one boat in Airex core construction on the island of Guam. Later he called and announced that he was going to build a mold in Taiwan and produce the 43 is series. I objected and once again explained to him why he could not use my design for this project. But this did not stop him, he was an attorney and production of the Polaris 43 began. It was not a well built boat but it did sail well and Liggett's own boat SUNFLOWER is featured in one of Steve Dashew's books as a well designed offshore cruising boat. That was salt in my wound. I was not being paid any royalties for the Polaris 43's. But the 43 project was at best only limping along so I felt vindicated.


Rock Lobster trap pots in Hout Bay Harbour

Never a dull moment in our harbour and given a break in the winter weather its time to repaint some rock lobster pot bouys.

Each line had been run out and checked for wear, the length being suitable for the position of the intended drop today.

 Pictures by R McBride using a Canon FT on various settings.

I assume the letters HBY stand for Hout Bay, find out more about the place via the HBYC club web site.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Proteus 106 catamaran launch and sailing.

Seen here and in the water the first Proteus 106 catamaran looks really nice .

This is a really good package for a smaller but ocean going catamaran, designed by Angelo Lavranos to take you offshore if required.

This is the first Proteus 106 to be launched, the boat was built in Thailand and from templates, which takes a lot longer to do than with one of our CNC prepared kits. One boat builder in New Zealand has estimated the time saved will be around 400 hours.

Pictures are by Rick who is the owner and skipper of the boat.

Yacht Outcast, sailing in Thailand, this boat has the optional longer stern and rudders hidden underneath.

We are looking at an option to ship a kit to California,USA and in two lots, this will save the buyer the initial cost to a full outlay and allow him to set the bulkheads and stringers up, he can then purchase the hull and deck skins when he is ready for them.


Yacht 'She' on the wall inside Grainger Bay

This was one of our TBA get togethers, they were always so well set up and run, the entries often out numbered the available berthing space, so first come, first served and make sure you got that entry form in.

Picture by R McBride using a Canon FT film camera.

The yacht She is alongside Dixy Rollar, a Spray 35 in steel and now in Grenada, as we heard a week or so back.

The late Brian Bradfield owned She as long as I can remember, a design to Buchanen and in teak, even the decks plys were made from teak! then had teak laid over the teak ply. The Grainger Bay training section put on a wonderfull show for us, we were hosted really well that weekend.

Note, Yacht She was recently removed from the water and moved to an inside location, there the boat was stripped and basically rebuilt, Brian would be pleased to see that.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sail training at the Hout Bay Yacht Club

The HBYC has dinghy and yacht classes from the Optimist size boats and through to keel boats, how you proceed is really up to yourself, some do the dinghy course and fade away, others carry on right through and find themselves competing in the Lipton Cup.

The five crew of this L26 Lipton Cup type yacht prepare to sail in the bay, it got quite nasty within an hour of me taking this picture but they handled the conditions and sailed back into moorings. The L26 was designed by Angelo Lavranos about thirty years back with input from a Durban sailor David Cox, the boat is made in solid GRP and is made to last the course.

Rather dated now as far as space and performance is concerned, they are to be found country wide so fill the spot when a national event like the Lipton Cup is concerned.

Read the story writen by Justin Phillips at the link.

The Hout Bay Yacht Club asked the National Lotto for financial assitance, this was granted and the funds were used to upgrade the boat park and build a storage cover for club dingies, plus a lecturers office.

The new club sign proudly displays the link to Lotto, now await the further funding to allow the employment of a trainer and the purchase of more suitable training dingies for the clubs junior section.

Lotto funding in Hout Bay


Bending wood and plywoods

This has been a subject full of secrets for years but since we started importing bendable plywoods and veneers, things just got more simple.

Lifting stairs with solid clear oregon pine stringers and treads laminated over a simple former. The treads are made from three layers of 8mm bending ply and laminated in one go with teak flexiveneer both sides.

A solid corner that was laminated from bending plywood, once installed the white ash flexiveneer was applied.

The other side of the same corner.

The chart table corner saves space.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Johns Didi mini cruise escapes

I say escape but of course that was the freedom of the outside air, John built a Didi mini cruise from one of our kits. He is in England.

Note the higher coach roof on the cruise version,it makes for a lot more room inside.
We also supplied the deck gear, stauntions, push and plupits, Harken deck package,rudders and the drop keel.

Out at last!
Message just in from John below.
Hope all's well. Boat got out of the warehouse with 1/2 inch to spare will send you video, etc,.

This really is a lot of boat in just the six meters of length it has, up front is a double cabin, there is a loo near the mast and aft of there two single berths, one each side and they are wide enough to be comfortable too.


A CKD Boats Blog milestone

I never thought we would get there so soon, months back when I saw the possibility I thought July 2012 may see the blog views pass 500,000, well it happened at close of yesterday, so some time in front of my estimate.

So thanks to all of the viewers who ever and where ever you may be, its quite a global thing and can be from the USA to Japan and all of the countries in between!

Hout Bay
Cape Town
South Africa

Phone and Fax line on 27 021 790-3859


Monday, 25 June 2012

Corn syrup Fructose health warning

Below is an edited version of an email I received recently, if this is true I think its time to check those food and drink lables.

Hi Roy,

I've been doing a bit of research on junk foods that are harming us and making some of the UK population fat. The first thing I found out about was Fructose, a man made sweetener made from American Corn Syrup that is twice as sweet as sugar and 1/3 of the price, so it is now being used in just about everything from soft drinks to cakes, spreads, salad creams, sauces and loads more. This problem with it is that it is so new that our bodies have no way of dealing with it and no enzymes have yet evolved in the gut to break it down so your liver has to store it as belly fat that is almost impossible to get rid of.

Is this really healthy bread?

We are now looking at all labels before we buy any products that we think could contain it.

The most surprising thing we found was that most of the bread available in the UK is a dead food manufactured to look like healthy bread but made only from severely refined flour. What we though of as Whole Wheat healthy bread is in fact made from refined white flour that has been coloured to look like health bread. Only bread produced from Whole Grain as apposed to Whole Wheat is healthy. The flour produced from the whole grain has all the nutrients and fibre that bread used to have in it but it does not suit the supermarkets because it goes off faster and attracts weevils, insect and mice, simply because it is so rich in the stuff of life while the refined flour gets rid of all that is good in the grain. How sick is this, profits before health.

This selection of bread does look good but is it?

You can still get whole grain bread here but only from a few places, I have been on most of the big supermarket websites looking for whole grain bread and flour products and only Waitrose have them in stock so we shall buy our bread there in future.

Just google Fructose and Whole Grain bread and see what comes up if you have the time.

Toylanders are fun

Holly fits just fine on the rear seat of a Toylander.

Our Toylander gets lots of use when the grandchildren visit, ages from around one and up seem to enjoy them, even without a motor, which does require that the child is about five to understand the controls fully.


Toylander service department

Toylanders are basically weather proof when pre coated with our AR600 thin epoxy, in our case we then painted it with the same paints found on your average car.

Our Toylander in the wash bay

The paints are twin packs and based on Dulux Durathane K, the trade name tends to be shortened to DK and from who ever makes it, I used the product made by BASF, a German manufacturer. Beware on certain  health requirements when using such paints, you will need a good face mask and protective clothing.


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Toylander drive chain adjustment made simple

The chain and sprockets we are using right now are standard bicycle stuff, we think its easier to use a 1/8" British made standard chain and sprocket in the future. Adustment to remove the slack in the chain has been an issue.

I started by adjusting the 12 volt drive motor upwards, this became a bit hit and miss using plywood shims, I have now changed the way the rear axle fits to the body, check the next picture.

Check the way the nuts are both spacers and lock nuts, I can now adjust the axle and make it higher or lower with ease, this tensions the chain. If this works the idea will need stronger bolts to take the loads. The four studs and nuts with washers are holding the 12 volt drive motor in place.

Note, I used a second hand sprocket set to start, on closer inspection I found that the new chain was out of gauge with the old sprocket, causing it to jump. Anew set of sprockets is being fitted today.


Driving the yellow Toylander

I re installed the 12 volt drive motor so that Ben can drive the Toylander.

Ben gets to grips with the Toylanders steering wheel, looks like fun!

Ben has things under control, he is about to make a left turn.

The controls were made quite easy on this installation, a simple three position control knob is on the dash panel, the driver selects position 2 to move forward, or center to stop and to go into reverse position number 1, Ben who is five and a half, handles this just fine.


Toylander driving

Seen here the grand children are having a great time driving the Toylander we made.

Ben and Holly are out for a drive, thats Druma the family dog offering his frisbie too.

 This Toylander thing seems to bother Druma, now he wants Holly to play with his tennis ball.