Saturday, 18 October 2008

Auto Pilot Hydraulic Ram wanted

Does anyone have a ram suitable for a 43ft yacht,linear drive and hydraulic prefered,new or used and at a decent price please.

Commercial Lumber timber suppliers

A gentlemans yacht.

Athol washing the dishes.

A nice interior

CKD Boats cc was formed out of what is best called a parent company called Commercial Lumber cc,which in its self was formed one night at anchor in Trinidad, when I realised that the wide group of exotic timbers being grown and sold locally,would make a nice base for a timber sales company when and if I ever got back to Cape Town, where I had just sailed from on, my Peter Ibold design Endurance 37 named Ocean Cloud.What happened later was the growth of a very small but special timber sales shop,both local and imported timbers,our stock list just grew and grew,we moved into plywoods,regular and bending plys, epoxies and other glues as time went by.

The timber species were based on marine use to start but soon moved to local commerce and building types,some being:

Pine,Meranti,Ash,Beech,Teak (plantation too) Kahya Mahogany,Honduras Mahogany,Karri,Blackwood,Red Cedar,its this last species that was chosen to fit out two Shearwater 45 yachts that Frazer Marine built,seen in these pictures with a rather dark red stain,the real colour of this type of Cedar is a pale pink,the latin name is Cedrela Mexicana Roem,also known as Spanish or Mexican Cedar.

As time moved on we became suppliers to such boat yards as,Stremple Marine,Southern Wind Shipyard,Robertson and Caine,Fortuna Marine,St Francis Marine,Matrix,Longmeadow Marine,Wilbur Ellis Co,Portnet,SA Navy,Sterling Yachts,Sentinal Boats,plus many others,our specialist selection and understanding of how to cut teak decking saw that we supplied a very large segment of the marine trade when teak decking was involved,we still undertake this work today and while our timber stocks now are more appropriate to our CKD kits,we do still import specialist timbers to order.

Nelson would not approove,the tiny 2" cannon balls are useless

I have no idea what this boat is all about,excepting its built on the GRP hull that was designed by the well known designer Angelo Lavranos,its plastic of course,I assume it is destined for the tourist trade,mabye the film industry too.Nelsons ship the Victory will still outlast this!

The Anna Woolf Story

To the best of my mind its never been writen,for sure its a film waiting to happen,Anna has been round the world at least one and a half times and she is out there again on another boat she built with very little help,this one is steel,the first time I saw her was when she was building her 44ft ferro cement yacht in the car park of the RCYC here in Cape Town,that was around 1975? with that built,she sailed to Scotland to argue in court for the custody of her two small sons,she won too,ask her the rest of the story if you meet her?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Wooden boats,how long will they last?

The question 'How long will a wooden boat last' is not a new one to me,I have a picture of the Victory on my office wall,I normally point at that and mention that that one is about 230 years old? to be serious,wood can last an incredible amount of time,the Vassa is a point in case,some of the Californian Redwoods are over 2000 years old too!If we are to be serious,many yachts see a half centuary and more,the plywood RCOD designs are at least forty years old now and this was well before the days of epoxies and polyurethane paints,we are so used to them now,we probably think they have been with us forever?

note: a customer told me her father completed his last year in the Royal Navy at Portsmouth,he was signed on to the crew of the Victory as a thank you gift from his officers,imagine your navy CV having HMS Victory on it! she also said quietly,not a single orginal plank exists from the boat that was built 230 years back (now you know)

Lowe and Halversons last wooden trawler build?

Brer Terrapin,RCYC Small Craft Basin,with the RCYC club house in the background, the picture is from a postcard,circa 1973

The logo of the Traditional Boat Association,which is based in Cape Town,its members are world wide.

Cape Towns TBA was founded around 1993 to keep the memory and spirit of traditional craft alive,membership is inexpensive and open to all,a monthly newsletter is issued and dicussion groups meet on the last thursday of each month,normally with guest speaker.You will find them at

This I can not be sure of,I took the picture from the deck of Brer Terrapin,a yacht I sailed to Brasil in in 1976,I was away a year,in that time another such boat may have been built but I never observed one after my return from the Sudan.At this time the vessel is un named but someone will know her name,the name Hesko was mentioned,she was lost but I dont think this is the same boat,does anyone know?
The boat was taken out of a shed in parts,it then was assembled as you see,this took days to raise the keel,then the frames,it was a awe inspiring event to witness,thats the slopes of Table Mountain and Woodstock in the background.

Jul 1974 Hesko Fishing Vessel 66 South Africa Off Henties Bay Sank, lost

The above is proof that my picture is not the Hesko,as she was lost before my picture was taken?

Argie 15 boat kit,delivery to Alan.

For a change this one is a local delivery,thats why my Ford 1600i delivery truck is in the picture,Alan works shifts,he is stuck with spare time during the day when he is on nights,so taking a Dix Design Argie 15ft as a nice project was his good idea,his wife did complain that the lawns around the house never got cut any more but thats another issue! Alan sure made a good job of the boats build,he did it quickly too,about six weeks and he was then painting it I seem to remember?

A few words from the designer,Dudley Dix,

Alan Armstrong buit his Argie 15 in our home town of Hout Bay, South Africa. He started from a hull kit supplied by "CKD Boats" and did a beautiful job.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Pacifc Ocean Marshall Island Didi 26 kit order

This is what you can build with local stuff,if you need a larger boat try a CKD Boats kit!

We have done many shipments to the pacific,I suspect the reason is there is just so little there by way of marine stores!We have also shipped none boat kits,anything that you need,just ask.

A collection of islands sparkling like diamonds on a turquoise velvet sea-rug.
The Marshall Islands comprises over a thousand flat coral islands of white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons. There's pristine diving and lush tropical greenery, and the Marshallese people retain many of their pre-colonial crafts and traditions, especially on the outer islands

Johnston Island Kit Order

Johnston Island from the air,now disused and I believe has become a sanctuary.

Charles has managed to recieve his kit.

International Paints supplied the right paints for the job,its the stack in front of Clinton and Tim.

Where you may ask is that? well its as far away as a piece of land can possibly exist from the City of Cape Town where we work from,it is about 170 miles from Honolulu and in the Pacific Ocean.We sent Charles a complete Didi 38 boat kit,what started as the bulkheads and related timber and plys,eventually became all and anything we could jointly think of,paints,mast and sails,engine,deck and interior fitings,elctronics,we did our best to fill a 20ft container for Charles!The picture shows him when he had opened the container,its not as neat and tidy as when we packed it as it was transhipped but still arrived in good condition and all found to be correct and present,we had a surveyor check off each item as it was loaded in Cape Town.

Geography Johnston Atoll
Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 717 nm (1328 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, about one-third of the way from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands
Geographic coordinates: 16 45 N, 169 31 W
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 2.8 sq km
land: 2.8 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: about 4.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

World class Optimist kit,priced at R5470 each

We have sold a lot of this class of dinghy,brought about when it was discovered that the plans being supplied by the class asscociation had errors in them at that time,it boiled down to the fact that once made from plans,your hull had no chance of measuring,we removed these faults in our kit but still ask that you measure your hull before gluing it together!With the Wood/Epoxy Optimist you also require a builders jig,costed at R750 each,it is reusable many times if you take some resonable care with it,so you can share costs with others,we supply a free 14 page builders guide with our kit too.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Puddle Duck Racer anyone,our kit is costed at R5500 plus plans fee,kit includes mast timbers,you make your own sail.

This is a great box on water,designed be Micheal Storer,its a no nonsense way to get out on the water,with plans or with one of our CNC cut kits.The rig is varied,you can probably use that old dinghy or wind surfer sail in your attic or garage.

Reaching For Kids

Another of our export boat kits went to Philidelphia in the USA,there a Reach Out program invited local school children to become involved in a joint boat building program,they chose our Didi Mini Transat kit as their boat to build,as you can see they made a good job of it.

The first Didi Mini Transat on the water?

I am not sure of this but I expect it was,we have built the two now,Warlock and Running With Scissors,plus had a number of others built too.When launched she was named Warlock,she is now called SCM after her sponser.

Suitable to race in the Class Mini 650 events, one was racing in the last race.



Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Certificates of Seamanship

It crossed my mind that some may want to know how I became so involved with boats and boat kits,basically I joined a William Aitken designed 'Ingrid', named Brer Terrapin,a double ender built really well of mahogany on oak,it was locally built too.I joined as crew and sailed from Cape Town to Salvador,Bahia,thats in Brasil.The rest just happend and while I thought I had left college far behind,it was not quite true.As we can not skipper our own yachts without either a Skippers Ticket or a Radio opperators licence,here are some of the certificates I was granted as time went along,the last one being to 100 tons.


Monday, 13 October 2008

Birds Mouth wooden masts and spars,our kits

A Cape Cutter 19 with one of our mast and spar sets.

I have just been asked about why we have quoted a certain price for a set of mast spars,knowing what everything else costs in the marine trade I think it time to post this artical I did some years back,it was published by Duckworth Magazine,try the webb address below.Folk need to understand the complex processes involved,be it in making sails or masts,alloy or wood,they dont make themselves and they dont come cheap.

This is an extract from the Duckworths publication:

From time to time we are asked make masts, spinnker poles and the like. Our largest spar set to date was for an Italian Schooner that hit trouble when en route to Cape Town along Africas East Coast. The yacht was some 70 feet long and in a heavy Carvel Planked timber construction, so quite a large boat.

The Main mast (aft on a schooner) was all of eighteen meters long. The Fore Mast was fourteen and a half meters long. Both of these masts were quite new and the Oregon Pine (Douglas fir) timber and workmanship used to make them was very much top draw. It’s a pity both broke in some heavy weather when voyaging from Mombassa, Kenya, to Durban, then on to Cape Town, South Africa.

As mentioned the timber and labour to construct with was the best but they used the wrong glue. How can this be? Well, glues come in various types; waterproof may be just that but when its not suitable for boiling it may and most probably will fail under severe heat.The name WBP in a glue stands for ‘Waterproof & Boil Proof’, WP stands for ‘Water Proof’ only. Now we know we are never going to actually Boil our timbers

Read the Duckworth Magazine for the rest.