Saturday, 24 May 2008

Floating About (time)

This tender,its a local GSM 'Duckling' glass reinforced design and is hanging on the back of a Dix 43 made from wood/epoxy,the yacht is now eight years old but the tender will be heading for twenty five years now?The addition of the 135mm diameter inflated tubes means the tender is very much more stable,it is also nice when you come along side yours or anothers boat,as its built in fender.The tubes on this boat are inflated by a single end fitting,you just pump the tubes up with an inflator every so often. We can offer the same type float tubes,alloy bolt rope track,fasteners and fender washers as a kit.All we need from you is the length of each side of the tender and a template of the bow shape,prices will depend on the size of your dinghy of course,the tubes can be in white,grey and red also,we can ship world wide.


Rudders and Foils CNC shaped

The first two Didi mini transats we built had one pair of rudders and an aft foil each,the second of the two also had a forward foil due to the boats cant keel arrangement,this was the first ever Cant Keel Yacht launched in South Africa.We made the first rudders and foil in an old method style,shapes taken as templates from the designers drawings,this saw some three and a half days hard work to have the three blades shaped,even then they prooved to be less than perfect and we actually replaced the rudders at our own cost later on for a set we had CNC shaped.After the CNC shaping takes place,it takes one man just three and a half hours to free them off with a power planer and belt sander,time saved,is money saved of course and more to the point,they are correct! We now offer the CNC shape work,roughed out or as finished units,as part of our Didi Mini transat kits extras.Other similar work is always considered.

Conservation Stuff and Bio-Magic

We hear the word conservation on a daily basis now,at this time the main theme seems to be targeted at Global Warming and why its happening,if indeed it is happening,keeping an open mind on the matter seems the best choice right now? From a company stance,we try to use products that are from renewable sources,surely this makes sense for us all,its one thing to use a product for your personal gain but totaly another if we remove the species from the face of the earth?

To try and meet this factor,we are pleased to advise that our Superform bending plys and our Ockume marine plys are from renewable sources,it was Dudley Dix of who told me about the Ockume species being regrown,the suppliers of our Superform bending plywood was enforced by the country they produce in,to proove that all species used in ply manufacture in their factory, were from a renewable source,so strict was the government,that they actually stopped production in the factory for two weeks while the truth was prooven! The end result was a CE certification to the fact that all materials,glues included,are none harmfull,either to the workers in the factory or the end users in some other part of the world.

CKD Boats cc took up another option,at first this seems to little to do with boats but as time goes by,it may factor in to some ideas regarding marine sanitation,especially pump outs of raw sewage into our waters.Enter Bio-Magic! this came to our notice around four years back when a very good friend Alex (notty) Notman (we did two ocean crossings together) took on the Bio-Magic agency for Great Britain and Ireland Notty thought a market existed and soon found he was correct,he in turn had been told about the product by Clive Breed,a mutual sailing buddy who now resides in Auckland,New Zealand .Bio-Magic is becoming global,try for Australia and for the USA.

Bio-Magic has many uses,Notty has targeted the sanitation side,RV homes,Canal Narrow Boats,Campers and of course Power and Sail Boats,in fact anything that has a toilet.Bio-Magic is fully bio degradable,this means you can discharge it and the related waste into a municipal drain and if you do pump it into the ocean,no poisons exist to do nature any harm.So you will find two signs outside our factory,one is CKD Boats cc and the other is Bio-Magic SA.Check out or web sites or contact me direct for detailed information.

Green Boating Products,say:

Biomagic sewage holding tank treatment
This product is pitched towards those who have sewage holding tanks or cassette loos. One of the main reasons for smelly holding tanks, or the failure of the sewage to break down, is the lack of oxygen. Biomagic is a Formaldehyde-free treatment for holding tanks which is rich with oxygen, thus breaking down the waste and eliminating the odours (not simply masking them), environmentally and economically.

What is BioMagic?
BioMagic is an oxygen rich liquid that is manufactured from water, oxygen and nitrogen. There are no dyes, poisons or harmful chemicals in it, so it is safe to humans, animals, plants and the environment. A perfume is added for identification purposes only.

What does BioMagic do?
It controls and eliminates unpleasant odours and assists the breakdown of human waste faster and naturally, without the use of poisonous toxic chemicals. It even breaks down normal toilet paper into liquid. Soon, this type of product will replace all the poisonous odour control agents presently being used.

So, how does it work?
BioMagic is a natural bio-stimulant, enhancing Nature's ability to break down waste products. Unpleasant odours are produced by waste when natural bacteria, already present, do not have sufficient oxygen to complete the breakdown process. Oxygen-rich BioMagic assists natural bacteria to work more efficiently. Treating waste with BioMagic produces a harmless and odourless liquid residue that can be flushed away without causing harm to the environment.

So What’s the advantage of using BioMagic?

BioMagic does not poison the environment but works with nature. It does not kill the essential bacteria that help nature to break down waste products and it does not stain your skin or harm your equipment. It is cost effective as well, so there is no reason to continue using the old poisonous chemicals to treat your waste. BioMagic-the-Future is here now. It has an indefinite shelf life and is not affected by sunlight. It will be accepted by all environmental agencies and will not result in damage to sewage systems, wastewater treatment plants, the water table or the environment. In some states in the USA, poisonous chemicals have been outlawed by City Councils because they are causing millions of dollars of damage to wastewater treatment plants. It will not be long before legislation will be introduced in the UK and RSA to prevent the poisoning of the environment. Then, BioMagic may be the only treatment accepted.

Where can it be used?
It has an indefinite shelf life and is unaffected by sunlight. It can be used anywhere there is an organic waste and odour problem including, chemical toilets, sewage holding tanks and grey water holding tanks in boats, narrow boats, and deep-sea power or sailing boats


Thursday, 22 May 2008

Cape Town Technikon

About ten years ago,yes back in the last century,we started getting visitors from the local technikon college department of interior design, normally first year students and just starting out.We supplied then,as we do now,as much help and information of using our Superform ply and Flexiveneer ,as the student requires. Last year we had a visit from a student called Inga,she wanted to enter a competition for design that was to be hosted by the fashion magazine ELLE Inga had a suitable wall storage unit she had thought up,simply put,it looked like a four leaf clover and was to be displayed on a wall. Inga had nice drawings and even a sample made from cardboard but could she make it from our Superform bending plywood?

We discussed the various options,changed a few dimensions,she then went off to speak to Janet and Nigel at Digicut cnc cutting,for none boat related works, contact Nigel on 021 785 5892 on the phone/fax. who do all our CNC works,they in turn cut the demo unit out and assembled,it looked just great,so much so that Inga took second prize that year,so well done!

Monday, 19 May 2008

How do I bend wood and plywood

This question 'How do I bend wood and plywood' is one that used to come up quite often,its a marine trade thing from my side but also a furniture thing,from my many years as a proffesional shopfitter.The bending of ply woods became easy once we started importing the specially made Superform bendable plys,available from 3mm to 16mm thicknesses but we just stock the 3mm,5mm and 8mm ones, as they can be added together to make most combinations and either grain direction.The days of reading a boat builders descripition of Tortured Plywood Construction are now long gone and when you use Superform Bendable Ply,at least your certain of it being water proof and not just simply moisture proof.

Bending wood is a different matter,not all species are happy to be bent,Mahogany and Teak come to mind but Ash,Oak and Beech seem to revel in the treatment.Steaming is the normal route to those doing a traditional method boat building construction and Oak is always going to be the species of choice,all you need is a metal pipe or tube closed one end,as long as the wood stock you have and a little more,you then need a slow fire at one end,enough water in the tube to boil it and with the tube set up on an angle,20 degrees will be good,you just cook the wood untill its soft enough to shape to your required form? Green steamed Oak,can be shaped to the most amazing profiles while it is hot,once fastened,then dried out,which will mean cured and seasoned,it will be as hard as nails and quite unable to move,perfect for frames on boats of course,we have the bronze fasteners and copper roves,should you need them.

What many will not tell you is the wood should be 'green' this is a term used in the trade for wood which is 'wet off saw' or close enough,wood is full of sap when the tree is felled, it is normally sawn in this condition,it will then be taken to dry out,pin stacked,either air dry which is slow,or Kiln Dried,which is many times faster and can be taken to a given moisture content,around 12% to 14% is normal.

Compress Wood, this is another method I have followed with great interest,we have had many samples,such as the one in the picture,that sample is real wood,its not a plastic copy,it has been twisted into shape and allowed to dry,which then leaves it as you see, I have never seen it in use in South Africa but I suspect its well known in Europe where it was invented and then developed. Compress Wood,the name says it all but you would never actually guess what it means? Stock of timbers as mentioned before are selected for quality of grain and no knots,sawn wet to a stock size,it is then steamed in an enclave,then removed and placed in a hydraulic press,simple stuff really,its a ram one end of the support bed which compresses the wood from one end,the takes it 20% under its original length,some of which will spring back when the pressure is removed. The wood has now reached a point when it can be bent,the reason being it has had all its internal tubes smashed,those tubes normally carry the trees water or sap,they are also responsable for the strength of the species.If the Compress Wood is to be used right away,it can be taken to the shaping jig and moulded,if it will be put into stock,it will be vacume packed and made ready for use later,sold in regular sizes,its and easy task to make the most complicated shapes!


Sunday, 18 May 2008

Resolution is sailing for the very first time

Mentioned recently was the news that Charlie had launched his John Welsford design,the Sundowner,the news now he has been out sailing,check out what he has posted on his blog:

Sea trials I
John Welsford and I took Resolution out for the weekend to put her through some paces to see how she did. The wind had blown upwads to 35 knots during the day, but had settled down to about 20 as we left Tauranga Bridge Marina about 5 in the evening. Resolution's tiny Bukh engine muttered along without a hitch, taking us through the Tauranga harbor channel and out into the South Pacific east of Mt. Maunganui. The low pressure area that had come across the Tasman into New Zealand had created a Southeast swell and the winds of the day had kicked up a chop that was running at cross purposes with the swell to make the seas confused, to say the least. The swell reached two meters at times and the choppy waves running across them were often four to five feet. Resolution bucked and rolled, but never felt to be in any danger. With the wind off our stern quarter, we elected to raise the jib and the staysail and boom along toward Mayor Island at 3-4 knots. We sailed all night, reaching the island just after midnight and sailing around it in the wind shadow for the next five hours. On the other side, we reached back out, looking for an angle that would take us back to Maunganui. As we wore ship to head back to the harbor, a forward stay turnbuckle popped (I'd not set the lock nuts -- lesson in that) and I had to jury rig it while the deck bucked on the confused seas. We decided to motor back, and the Bukh pushed us along at just over 6 knots for the next six hours. Oh, along the way, we hove to, and Resolution sat quietly with her staysail aback and the tiller hard alee. She may have forereached a little and drifted downwind a bit, but she was so quiet you'd wonder about those confused seas and whistling winds. Docked at about 4 pm and prepared a long list of to-dos that we learned from the trials. The major one? Move the aft chain plates 250mm further aft. Rig running backstays. And more. Talk to you later.
John came over from Hamilton. We rigged the main horse and sheet, fired up the little Bukh, and headed out of Tauranga Bridge Marina with my little 2.2-meter inflatable in tow. Winds were very light, but Resolution ghosted well, making 1.2 knots in what seemed like a dead calm with a few breaths of air. John climbed into the dinghy and took off to shoot photos while I tacked back and forth across the bay next to Mt. Maunganui. It felt like we were moving at a snail's pace, but when John tried to catch up in the dinghy with its 2HP Suzuki, the boat was going faster than it looked to be.
Wonderful day. Nice sail. Monday will see the electrics finished up. Tony the sailmaker will come down to have a look at the main. I've got a few details to fix up. Then, HAWAII HERE WE COME.