Saturday, 2 August 2008

Big River........ a song by Jimmy Nail

Shipyard pictures supplied by Norman Dunn,Hebburn

The Propellors of the Mauritaina,a ship built proudly on the River Tyne.

This is a mention for all those who may have a passing connection with a ship building river,in this case the River Tyne on Englands east coast but it may be the River Mersey or the River Clyde,all have seen the best of the best built ships roll down their ways in the days gone past.

My own grand father was a ship worker on the River Tyne,he was a Riveter,from what I have read,thats not a glamorous trade,its a shear bloody hard work trade,normally done in teams of four,one inside the ship backing up the hot rivet hammering with a big lump hammer,another is outside with a brazier which has heated the rivets red hot,it is he who,with a pair of steel tongs, throws a red hot rivet to another with tongs,he then places the rivet in the pre drilled hole in the side of the ship,while a forth man drives the hot rivet home,hence the man inside the ship backing up and ensuring the rivet clenchs over.

I have made contact with a web site dedicated to Hebburn on Tyne,my grandad Robert(robbie)McBride lived there in his River Tyne days before moving to Merseyside and Birkenhead,across the River Mersey from Liverpool.

Check out this U Tube song about the River Tyne

Re: Big River.
Posted by Mike (site ed.) on 25/7/2008, 1:19 pm, in reply to "Big River."

Wasn't it Jimmy Nail himself - in collaboration with Mark Knopfler?

Just a guess - but I suspect that the other song was performed at one of the 'Sunday for Sammy' concerts which Healy, Nail, Whately, Welch, Halfpenny,Healy et all put on most years in memory of the late Sammy Johnson (Stick in Spender)

this was part of the web site thread,while I sort out how to post a U Tube Video on this blog,please check out Jimmy Nail,Mark Knopfler and the song Big River,lots of pictures and clips in it.

I am informed that placing video clips on web sites may infringe copyright,so I will decline the temptation to upload Big River by Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Nail,if your interested in the subject its important you view that clip as its full of film clips of the period,ships being launched,sailing off to war,coal mines,River Tyne in all its past glory.


Biaxial Glass Cloth 450 grams

Our photo picture shows the diagonal construction of this woven cloth, it is such a pleasure to work with.

We sell glass tapes and cloth with our kits,normally used for stitch and glue type construction but we recomend Biaxials for work on the more complicated shapes and corners,all our rudders and foils are reinforced with Biaxials,some are stepped to allow loads to be better distributed,its a great product to work with,our Resolution epoxy and 205 cure agent(thin) soak right through the cloth easily,both the epoxy and biaxial glass cloth are normally available ex stock,you do not have to buy a kit either!

Didi Mini Transat kit ex stock

Two ply wood kits being prepared to ship to the USA,each crate contains one boats plywoods,the rest of the kit is crated and bundled individually.

I have personally built two of these boats,including this one,the build time for the hull only was just twelve (12) days only from one of our kits,which includes the boats interior materials and CNC cutting.

We tend not to keep our various boat kits as an ex stock item,space alone says we will have less and less of it (space) but one kit we have had on a regular basis ex stock,is the popular and fast Didi Mini Transat by Dudley Dix at we can ship given a weeks order time normally.I may be prooven wrong but I think we are the only company including the boats interior as well,this is the materials and CNC work to the Bunks,Water Ballast Tanks,even the Mast Step box,this saves weeks of fiddling about,as you just have to cut and fit it.


Friday, 1 August 2008

Boat Hull Moulded Cove Strip Planking,using Kiri wood

A close up of Cove Strip made from Plantation grown Kiri wood.

This is the Cove shape profile,we can also supply it in a regular T&G profile (Tongue-&-Groove)various and special sizes to your order.

We have looked at a new wood species recently called Kiri,in the wild it is from China and Japan,our suppliers are growing it in plantations in Austrailia,so its fully sustainable and if the word suits you'green',it has many uses and to my great surprise is fine for internal high quality joinery,it takes stains and laquer really well too.


Friday currency rates

Published at 2008/08/01 01:04:00 PM

Rand per foreign currency unit

Description Code Bank Selling rate Bank buying TT Bank buying TC's Bank buying notes
EURO CURRENCY EUR 11.6148 11.1641 11.1353 11.1528
BRITISH STERLING GBP 14.7421 14.1695 14.1228 14.1552
US DOLLARS USD 7.4268 7.2036 7.1476 7.1963

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Hillman Imp Alloy Pulleys

A Mark One block fitted with Rootes Competition Department 998cc liners and before fitting of their Alloy Pulleys.

The race engine on the Argus Series Hillman Imp showing the Rootes Competions supplied alloy pulleys,the lower crank pulley being out of sight.

The first batch is being made now,suitable for fast road and competition engines.The photo is of a set of Rootes Competitions Department works pulleys on a 998cc Mk 1 engine.

Coffee Table in Superform Bending plywood

Table design by Elzette

We have regular visits from the local technikon students doing design research,one such student was Elzette Kotze,she had her design drawn out in detail but could we make it with our bending plys? As we do not actually make up furniture,the reply was in the negative but we did agree the design principal was possible,its not visible from the picture but the lower curved lamination slides right through the larger and upper lamination,its worked out really well too.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Our machine shop side

This machine is now for sale, it runs on 220 and 360 volts AC power.

We take on out work that is timber related as well as making the kits and selling Superform bendable plywoods,the machine tools we have are quite pro,we have machines from Italy,Belgium,Germany,Taiwaan,England,South Africa and a full set of power tools of course.The machine work for this last job,which requires a set of top bevels,saw us pull out our Spindle machine,its not a huge machine but more than suited for what we do,we have a large selection of specialist cutters too,some are for our Birdsmouth Mast and Spars,others are Joinery Section profiles.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Compass Swinging for yachts,you can do it yourself

An early handheld Garmin GPS 40, a simple tool to hand hold while your checking the yachts compass heading.

The compass card becomes easy to read when the view is through the adjustable mirror on top,this compass also has two C type dry cell batteries in its handle for easy night viewing,it still works!

A British Admiralty Hand Held Compass,type 06 from World War Two


This is the Garmin 192c used to check the compass heading on the boat we are using,its not a new model GPS and in fact is far more capable than required to check compass headings,a simple hand held set will do the job just as well.You will need to set the GPS set to 'Magnetic' to be able to confirm your compass headings.

This binacle compass has two navigational instrument heads mounted quite close to the compass face,the units were tested to ensure they do not interfere with the compass headings,to do this the compass must be re swung,one of the instruments is an auto pilot control,when the pilot is engaged it will be very important to ensure no interferance with the compass is caused.

Please note,the following information is as I know things should be done,I accept no liability of any sort should my information be incorrect,it is always best you check sources of information and of course use your own judgement.

A Compass Card that is clear and sharp,making it easy to read,the card will swing around a series of numbers on the compass bowl,basically from 0 to 360 degrees with the prime sectors or quadrants highlighted.

Compass Points,the headings we steer to in segments or degrees

A yachting type compass from C Plath a very well known brand.

Every boat needs a compass if it intends doing coastal or offshore work,its not just a job of taking the new (or old) compass from its box and bolting it down,certain things must first be done,here are a few pointers (no pun intended)the first thing to check is if the unit you have is a northern or southern hemisphere compass? this is due to the pull of the worlds magnetic field being different at each side of the equator,this means the compass card will show a lean or 'pull' on a compass fitted in England but now having traveled to South Africa,normally the card tilt is just a bother but in some cases the card can actually stick,then its a worry,assuming we understand that side of things we can move to the next issue.

Not all yachts and boats are made from the same materials,many today are GRP (glass reinforced plastic) this is non maganetic,as are wood and wood composites and even alloy but should we have a boat made from steel,we have a serious bother with the actual boats hull materials affecting the compass and what it does,I will not go into this now but rather cover the more common points.

Assuming we have a none steel construction boat,we can install the compass in nearly any position we want in the cockpit but remember large steel objects such as an engine below the cockpit sole,or a large gas cylinder in a locker,even an outboard motor close by will possibly upset your compass.Its often best to move around the cockpit with the compass in your hands,checking for any changes in the cards heading as you do so,if it swings for no reason at all,its very possible you have found a magnetic source,normally a compass is safe when it is one meter from such an object but you must check this first.Naturally when loading gear onto your boat at some later stage,you must remember the compass and what will happen to it with a metal container close by,a can of cool drink is easily enough to change the compass heading,so be aware and make sure your crew are too.

So we now have the boat,some tools,fixed and hand held too,what we need now is a calm day with no wind or rough sea state to knock the boat around while you test the boats compass reading against known bearings.In a perfect world we can form a series of routes or headings based on the cardinal marks,north,south,east and west,in a real world we will find some other bearings which are close enough to swing the compass.

Its as easy as anything to pre determine those headings,based on the course you intend to take to a known mark,such as a Lighthouse or large building which is marked on your nabvigational chart,make sure that chart is up to date!The idea is to head for your mark,under power will be best,as you will be changing directions many times,then while holding steady to your course,check the compass with either your hand bearing compass,or if using a GPS the course indicator that it has,you may need to change view pages to find this option.

On each chosen heading make notes on the actual ships compass heading against what you have on your GPS or handheld compass,keep changing to a new heading untill you have the main eight headings,this will be enough for you to do a card indicating what you have found.

to be continued:

Propellor Paint that really works,three years later!

These two boats are of a similar length but the Dean Cat 44 is at least double the volume of the Dix 43 alongside,which was able to manouver its larger partner around the harbour with comparitive ease,this was with an 18inch two bladed Max Prop which had been antifouled with Trilux nearly three years back,proof that the application really worked.

Flying Cloud,a Dix Design 'Dix 43' in ply/epoxy on the slip at the Royal Cape Yacht Club,Cape Town.While not from one of our kits,we can develop a kit to this design easy enough.

This boat is normally sliped every three years or so,thats very good progress from International Paints company,once was it was an annual event,one issue though has been growth on the Max Prop Propellor,even with a suitable application of primer and antifoul,sooner or later it allows barnacle growth and of course the fall off in performance under power drops.Discussing the matter with Tim,the local area manager of International Paints and our supplier,he recomended an aerosol application of an etch primer as an undercoating,then the application of an antifoul that is supplied for outboard legs and propellors.Would it work? here is what it looked like when applied and near three years later the boat performs great under power still.We carry stocks if required.

International Trilux Prop-O-Drev Antifouling Paint

Product Description Trilux Prop-O-Drev is a hard antifouling that is specially formulated for use on outdrives, outboard legs, propellers and sterngear. Aerosol spray is ideal for painting awkward shapes and difficult to reach areas Quick and easy application saves you time and effort Suitable for use on aluminium and stainless steel Application Details - Trilux Prop-O-Drev (U.K. & DK) Area Sterngear Finish/Sheen Matt Thinner: YTA600 Number of Coats: 3 minimum Available Shades: View colour chart and sales codes Pack sizes: 500 ml