Sunday, 16 December 2007

Price Increase


As mentioned before, most prices based on internationally purchased materials,have now increased,we have moved this to a rise on our price list of just 7.5% for now,as the factories annual rent went up 10% as it does each year and fuel many times more than that in our country over the past year,I am not sure how long we can keep to such a low increase? With this being a global force,I doubt we will see others not having to do the same.

Top selling brands,our 'Superform' bendable ply,continues to impress the local market with its flexability and quality,it is a fully CE branded panel,this is not marked on the actual ply panel but is marked on the packing crate,which is quite an acceptable practice,ensure that you can find the genuine (it's waterproof) 'Superform' panel in your area by making contact,we can then tell you where to find our distributor in your area,some areas are vacant,any established board sales companies, that feel they can market our panels,please contact me on 021 510-7206 or .

Chinese marine plys to the BS1088 standard have continued to impress both myself and customers alike,they carry a stamp but no certificate but are made to the same standard as our french plys,both are in Ockume veneers and use the same glue line,please ask for any specific information on either ply panels,both are readily available.

Epoxies? a subject that continues to open debate,why are our epoxies so low priced is one question? the easy reply to which is we buy in bulk and decant to smaller pack sizes ourselves,we also recycle plastic milk bottles as suitable containers and find this goes down very well with customers.Each container is first cleaned and then sterilized, then dried properly before refilling with epoxy or cure agents,at least this way we get to use that throw away plastic container at least twice! we also offer no fancy (costly) pump pots,we ask you use a set of scales,normally to be found in any home,or purchased at a low price from most discount stores.

Other reasons,well we use what we sell and have done so for a very long time,this is on our own boats not just a customers,from an Optimist kit to a Dix 43,that particular boat is now some ten years old,its been in the water some eight years come next month and prooves the system works.You can spend more on other systems but why? we also find each year that we are asked to explain the end use of other system epoxies to those who have bought elsewhere,normally as the shop selling it has no hands on use in what they sell.To our customers, advise goes from preperation of the plywood/timbers ,then right through to the application of the twin pack top coat paints too,we supply those too!


Monday, 3 December 2007

Ever lasting?

If we get one single question from our prospective boat kit buyers and builders,it normally starts as a question such as : "So how long will one of your Wood/Epoxy kits last?" the standard reply to which always starts as "well at least one hundred years but a thousand may be possible?" This normally brings on a sense of serene calm in the customer,as he or she can imagine sailing away forever into the distance on the boat they built themself. Maybe not but I normally then show them a picture of a warship called 'HMS Victory',ok its in a permanent dry dock in the Portsmouth Naval Dockyards, England but it is 220 years old or so and lets face it they had no epoxies back when Admiral Horatio Nelson was out fighting on the high seas.I wonder if we can do a kit for a boat like that,any takers?

The discusion may then drift off to talk about masts,wooden ones,this bit gets easy,you know the wood masts are made from things called trees I say,have you seen them? they can be found all over the place growing to very great hights and with no bits of stainless wire holding them up either! One such discussion saw my looking find out how large and old some of the worlds largest trees are,thats the Californian Redwoods,known to size up to over 300 feet or so and grow to and age of over 2500 years and more,no bits of stainless wire holding them up either.So how long will a Wood/Epoxy boat last,the truth is if we build one any near as good as its possible,we may never live long enough to find out,family airloom any one?


Friday, 30 November 2007

Two Weeks and Counting

Yes Folks,thats all the time we have untill we close our factory doors for the year of 2007,so if your thinking of that job over the December holidays and need materials or boat plans,you need to get your order list in soon as we will close for one month,Friday 14th December,then officialy re open,Monday 7th January 2008.


Monday, 26 November 2007

Wooden Mast Kit saves the day

We sell a lot more than just our CNC cut boat kits,from a roll of packing tape to a box of screws to just information,thats free of course.Now and again we find that our kits,plus the rest of the chosen boats parts,start to look a little too high for the customers final budget? once this was taken to the extremes,when the customer,who was about to place his order,finally cancled,saying he never realized he would then need to join a yacht club and rent a marina! he should have taken one of our trailer sailers instead.

A new customer recently costed his proposed new 38ft boat build,the budget was good if not a little tight,between us we ran the numbers,we came closer to an order,then a week or so and silence,not that this is unual but you do start to wonder if the order will happen?

The following emails from the customer, had mentions of a large portion of the available budget being taken up by items such at the Sails and Mast,for which we had supplied quotes from well known suppliers.From my side I could feel the order was slipping away............then I did two things,re priced the kit in our new chinese made marine plys,instead of the normal french made plys,then suggested a wood mast is made instead of alloy?

To the customers credit,he listened to my proposition,he could have just walked away but when I further re-worked the numbers,I found that the chinese plys saved around R15,000 (about U$2200) and that a mast kit in clear Oregon Pine,machined to a 'birdsmouth construction' method cost about the same? this in effect gave the client a mast for free! its not quite that simple of course but we will now save a huge portion of the budget,which in turn allows spending on other parts of the order,which I am pleased to say has been placed and we will cut the boats plys next week.I must also add that in this case the designer of the boat in question Dudley Dix had already included the wood mast sections and related parts in his original design fee,they are really well done,carbon fibre spreaders,all metal detail parts in stainless too.


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Proteus 106 Designer arrives!

One of our well known yacht designers ,Angelo Lavranos,arrived in Cape Town this past weekend,he has been based in Auckland,New Zealand for some years but his background is very much a Cape Town story.Angelo has many boats on the build here in South Africa still and he makes sure he maintains regular contact with the various boat yards building his designs.

In this case he will also be meeting up with Rob, our boat kit customer,who has just taken delivery of his 'Proteus 106' catermaran boat kit,thats 35ft long to those who do not work with metric! Angelo and Rob will be meeting at our factory later this week,to discuss the design and its building,this has not started yet in its designated build factory but Rob has taken delivery of the CNC parts and has already begun to glue sections together,ready to deliver to his factory and start the build proper.

We are lucky to have this build here in Cape Town,the last kit went to Caracas,Venezuela,so not so easy to follow the builders program,here we can be at the boat yard in a half hour or so,you can expect regular updates and pictures on our web site when the build gets underway.


Monday, 19 November 2007

Digicut CNC service

Times running out to get all the news out before close of play,work is play?

Those of you who have kept tabs with us and our progress this past year will have noticed a new name crop up on our web pages 'DIGICUT' this came out of a joint venture between Janet Mc Bride and Nigel Ormond,they both took a rather large leap,bought their own CNC machine and started business themselves,this is no small venture or indeed machine,the table bed of which is a full sized 4mtrs x 2.1mtrs,so just about any sheet material will fit the bed.

CNC? what do those letters mean,we see them writen and used all the time,try
'Computerized Numerical Control ',what it in turn means is, that once your design is down and on file,it can be retrieved at any future time and simply recut,or changed to suit what ever design progress may have been made since conception, if no changes are made,then each new unit cut will always be the exact copy of what came before. For this reason any boat that came from the same CNC shop files,will always be the same as the others,this in itself makes for a very inexpensive way of creating a 'One Design Class' boat and without the need for pages of measurement rules either!

The new company is fully writen up and a stand alone team,the members moved their machine from the CKD Boats cc work shops some months back and can now be found at the following address and contact numbers:

Unit 20a, Heron Park,Kommetiie,Cape Town. phone and fax number +27 21 7855892 or on the Cell number 082 554448

Contact them direct for all none boat design work,such as shop and office works,all other can come direct to +27 21 510 7206 and as normal.


Saturday, 17 November 2007

Price Increases are due?

Time to add to the Blog,stuff is changing week by week,not month by month anymore,the big news is we will close for 2007 on Friday 14th December next,so any orders you may have on your mind had best be placed soon.

Prices,we have seen quite large materials price increases in the past six months,some are fuel realated and we have not seen the end of this yet,SA Ports put up their handling fees by 8% a few months back,add that to shipping fuel surcharges and you can imagine the knock ons.Its very much the same with inbound deliveries by road,fuel prices have risen eight times this year,with a large one to follow just in time for the Christmas holidays,so rates per Kg have gone from around R2.65 and will soon head for R4.00 per kg.

Log/veneer prices are rising also,plus our suppliers often buy in Euros but pay in U$,with the demise of the U$ currency,our imports will also cost more,add to that the normal year on year rent increases and you should have no bother understanding why our prices will be higher next year,in fact our next shipment of Superform bendable plys,arriving soon,will cost more from this month anyway.

To offset a lot of the increases in costs we have now moved all our CNC boat kits to Chinese Ockume plys,its a quality replacement and saves a stack of money but for those who want a Lloyds certificated ply,we can still supply from our french plywood source , you will see a large increase in price to cover Lloyds BS 1088 certification though.

Countries we have sold to.

We added another one this month,with a confirmed order to a Didi 38 boat kit,so I think we have fourteen countries as customers now,this new order is much the same as the one sent to Johnston Athol,close to Honnolulu,Pacific Ocean,the client can buy zilch boat parts where he is (they dont even have a marina!) so we will ship the entire boat out to him as a container load,thats the boat kit,sails,mast,engine,deck gear,interior fittings,everything right down to hose clamps, screws and paints.We have agencies for most marine equipment suppliers,we split our trade discount,or agree on a fixed mark up on cost,so the buyer/customer buys at less than he normally would anyway,he/she also recieves our in depth knowledge on what ever is purchased.

All for now!


Saturday, 10 November 2007

CKD Kit- Nick Fairly's DD34 Launched in October 07

Nick Fairly launched his DD34 today(11-10-07) in Hout Bay and what a perfect day too.

He took two years to build his boat which is one of our kits, the finish inside and out is A1, very few pro shops would do better, if as good.

The boat's name, Nandi, means "nice" in English. Which seems to be well suited!

Nick takes part in the local club races so watch out for this "nice" boat come sailing by.... because he sure won't be behind you for long! We are expecting to see some rather Glum faces as this boat is sure to be one of the fastest!

Late April 2008 news,Nick Fairly is now the HBYC Rear Commodore Sailing Officer,well done on your appointment Nick!


Hello,Roy here again,we started this in May,now its November,where has our year gone to again! No complaints its nice to be busy all year.

We are now better stocked with plywoods than ever before and have just stacked the shippment of Superform bending plywoods that arrived last week.We also have a new line of plys from a top french plywood maker.

We are very busy on our kit boats side too,a 'Proteus 106' catermaran is being cut right now and the owner has been taking production away in parcels as we cut them,he will assemble panels at his home then move them to his building factory in Philipi.The designer,Angelo Lavranos, will be here in a week or so to check progress.

The Didi 38 design kit by Dudley Dix,that we are working on, is very close to becoming a final order,this is a special,we have done them before,one shipment to a far flung place,open the container and you find a wholeboat inside,just in parts!

Our 6.6mtr power boat design by Angelo Lavranos,has also started to become an order,it will either happen late this year or early into the next one.

Designers,we would like to welcome Mr Michael Storer aboard as the new addition to our design team, Micheal is from Austraila and has a whole new concept on river boat designs,they move in very thin water! We have asked Mike to look at designing a Canal boat for Britains 7000 miles of canal waterways.

Didi Mini Transat kits,we have one ready for delivery ex stock,Dudley tells me he has sold about 80 sets of plans,we have sold many of these kits, built two in our factory,with two more being built in Cape Town,one of which has just sailed to England,UK.

Busy? yes I told you we have been busy!

Best Regards for the festive season and all the best for 2008!


Thursday, 24 May 2007

For our Customers!

The Blog page has been posted for those who may read our many pages on other sites,plus our web pages on our own site.

The intention is to find out what readers think of both what we say and what we do,you may want other designs from what we already carry,one offs from your approoved plans are fine by us,it will just cost more to develop our CNC cut files for your single build.

So,its now over to you our readers and customers,have fun!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


I hope you enjoy keeping up to date with our industry news and other interesting happenings!