Thursday, 31 December 2015

An Endurance 37 back from Brasil

I have been fortunate enough to own not one but two Endurance 37 yachts. Both went transatlantic and with myself as an owner/ builder / skipper status.

I was fortunate to have some of the best crew possible on each trip.

On Ocean Planet the trip  was back from Rio Do Janerio to Cape Town and with my good friend Alex Notman (notty) as the only crew, we came back in thirty two days, not bad really, twenty nine was very possible until we had a South Easter gale, we ended up in Saldahna on that trip.

Ocean Planet started with a bare hull and at a cost of R4500, the cockpit cost another R920 and both options were worth every cent.

Then some years later and after we had sold Ocean Planet, I bought another Endurance 37 and for a similar amount of money, being R5000, that purchase had a catch though.

Gulliver of Knysna was wrecked off the coast near Slangkop lighthouse, on its way to Cape Town and from Knysna.

I bought the wreck, stripped by another who bought her from the yachts insurance company, all I got this time was the hull and deck with a big hole in it.

The yacht was bought at a place further out and in the surf than it is in my picture, the risk to me  was great and as I now owned the wreck, the liability to move it had become mine.

I hired a man named Dennis Gentry of Tandem Rigging, he and his crew camped on the high ground and near where I was standing to take the picture. Dennis was there about five days and almost gave up but in the end he managed to drag the wreck up the rocks and load it onto a large low bed trailer.

We then took the trailer and wreck up and over Chapmans Peak Drive, that is no longer possible and even back then it was tight on the many corners.

Ocean Cloud as I renamed the boat and back from Trinidad and Brasil, Simone and her then boy friend Nigel sailed her back double handed.

The trailer and boat were directed to my home in Hout Bay, there the cradle and boat were set down in our front garden. We then had quite a good party, the guys from Tandem Rigging  had really earned their drinks and snacks.

Some fifty one weeks later I re launched the boat and in Hout Bay Harbour, a year or so later we sailed off to Brasil, my friend Notty was again with me, so was his daughter Simone and anther good friend John Holmes.

View the one on Oil Changes.

That was quite an adventure!


Looking back on the HBYC marina

The date is 31st December 2015 and as good a day as any to look back a little, how far back is a good question?

My picture gives many clues, the HBYC marina extension looks brand new, many berths are still vacant, the Endurance 37 had just returned from Trinidad by way of Brasil and the young girl pictured was probably only six then?

She is now thirty three, so twenty seven years back!

All the very best for the year of 2016 !


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

A lightweight rowing tender

This was a subject raised in the West Indies, we were at the TTYA in Trinidad, discussion about the quality of our yachts tender design was quite normal.

This tender was taken from a cold moulded dinghy which I was told one of Cape Towns senior yachtsmen made.

In GRP it is still quite light but if is was cold molded in okoume marine ply or even strip planked it would probably be some 20% lighter?

We would need some forward orders to develop the files from this dinghy.

It will carry two adults and two children safely, it will row and sail, it also only needs a 2hp outboard to move it quickly when fully loaded.

There is also an option to fit inflation tubes around the outside of the hull, this means it makes a good fender for when going along side another yacht, it becomes very stable with the float tubes there if you ever dip a rail of course.

Contact me for plans and a kit which can include the alloy bolt rope track, fastener's and the inflatable floats.


The information highway

In this case the information is what I have learned over many decades and since I signed my deeds of apprenticeship,  which in my case clearly stated that I would not divulge any of the trade secrets I was about to learn.

Selling materials and boat kits comes after having already sold many species of wood, types of plywoods, veneers , epoxy and all the related stuff we use when building a boat.

Given that I have just sold a customer  some of the above I find it only fair to then pass on some of the skills I have learned while using similar products?

There are exceptions  when I am asked to explain how to use a product, epoxy is one such product.

It goes like this:

Imagine  I am visited and asked for the information on mixing and using laminating epoxy, then when I have explained at some length the process involved, I ask '  How much do you want to buy? ' , the reply is sometimes quite a shocker ' No I dont want to buy any as  I have already bought what I need from ABC but they have no idea how to use it, so I came to you to find out '  This has happened to me more than once.

Recently I was asked while I was standing next to my own wood/epoxy boat. The question was how to use the micro balloons and fumed silica? These products  I had listed in a quote I had given to a local guy for a Hard Spray Dodger we sell as a CNC cut kit.

It was easy for me to explain by indicating the various parts of my own boat, then I was told that the person had found my quote to be too expensive, so the guy went out and purchased the list of items in my quote from another company, they will have cost him more per item anyway?

This guy was now asking me how to use what he had bought !

There must be a strong word or group of words to describe such people, its a pity I cannot use those words here in my blog.

Compliments of the season to everyone and wishing you well for the coming year of 2016.