Saturday, 25 October 2008

Superform Bendable Plywoods

Some still have no idea how flexible our Superform bending plwoods are,this is a sheet of 5mm cross grain,we have long grain too,also 3mm and 8mm,various thicknesses can be achieved using a mix of plys.

We have been importers of bending plywoods and flexible veneers about twenty years now,we have sold it to boat builders and shop fitters when ever they needed a quick way to fabricate complex shapes,we have used it many times ourselves,so have a good hands on idea on its use too.

More Didi Mini transat rudders to shape

This is a trial cut panel in MDF (supawood)you can see the clear advantage in doing foils this way?

We always glue up foil blanks with phenolic glues,we also glue up on the steel table saw top,its 100% flat,so we get a perfect surface for the planer thickneser to plane to the correct thickness

Our first rudder attempts in the picture above, was for Warlock,we made them by hand,not the best way to shape foils,so we did them a second time but with the CNC machine to do the shapes.

We seem to have done quite a lot of the CNC shaped Rudders and Foils now,a new order asks for the two rudders plus the drop keel foil too,that is from the Didi 26 which we have also done before,here are a few pictures of the start of the process with rudders.

Deep saw work and Fluid Film

The machines at work now have all bare metal surface parts lightly coated with Fluid Film,we are only about a kilometer from the sea,so we can get quite a lot of rust with out protection,normal light oil seems to work but not for long,then it wears off and the process has to be repeated.This week I had to deep saw some clear oregon,so I applied Fluid Film to the blade too,the depth of the cut was 95mm,nearly four inches but the saw blade just cut through the timber like a hot knife through butter,another use for Fluid Film from now on of course.

Building a Time Machine

How long did Noah take to build his Ark?

Late for work?

One quite regular question I receive on all of our kits is 'how long will it take me to build the boat?'this is near impossible to reply to when all the various matters are imagined,does the builder start at 8am and work through to 5pm,with just short tea breaks during the day,or does he wander in at 9.15am and stop at 4pm and maybe just open a six pack when his mates rock up to have a chat,as they have nothing much to do that day? this more or less sets the standard you need to think about when forming your days build,you will only get out what you put in of course.

This subject has bothered me for a good while,we may loose orders if others think our kits take too long to build? we nearly did very recently,the client,Dave is his name,told me quite straight,he thought that if the boat was to take him a number of years to build,as he has seen a similar 21ft boat taking on a web site,would he take as long,I told him I had built a similar boat in just twelve (12) days for the hull and twice that for the deck,cockpit and coach roof,it may have been less? Dave placed his valued order and I am sure he will progress very quickly,what one person sees as a need to build fast,another may just see it more as a project and a hobby,time is not an issue.

One client,his name is Nick,used to phone an other customer of ours (materials only)and building the same size 34ft boat,his name is Dave,the discussion from Nick was how fast he was progressing,of course Nick had a fully cut kit,so he would progress faster but as Dave rightly pointed out,he is in no hurry at all,its a project taking place while he gets on with the rest of his life,Dave has still to fit his boats decks,Nick is busy sailing his boat!

Tal-Gal,racing to Uruguay with six girls

The race across the south atlantic one year saw a tile adheasive company thinkup what they tought would be a sure fire sponsership deal,find a yacht,put six girls on it dressed in Tal colours and watch the press cover them and so it was,they used an Endurance 37 called Ocean Planet,re named Tal Gal for the race,the picture shows the action at the start of the race.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Wooden boats,how to build them?

Click on the main pictures below to enlage them and see full detail.

Its my biased opinion that to buy a kit set to any design, should only be from a company who actually has personal experiance in building such a kit,maybe not that actual boat but as long as its to the same system,the seller can easily supply building information as the customer proceeds with the build,for most of our boats,we have a large picture file on most steps of constuction too,it all helps the builder,a picture is worth a 1000 words as they say?

George Buehler does some intresting design work,said to be based on the USA West Coast fishing boats,whatever the design started as,its sure a massive piece of wooden boat structure,in my case I built a 'Diesel Duck 38',it just grew and grew,it was on steriods was my feeling at one time! The design called for a wooden hull,traditionally laid up keel,traditional planking but instead of then caulking the seam lines,we then clad it in two layers of 9mm (3/8") plywoods and of course the entire assembly was done with our Shell Chemicals epoxy system.

The frame patterns to this design are still in our store,we can create a frame kit set with very little difficulty,the keel and stem were layed out on the plys we skinned the boat with later,so that needs re lofting,not a bother of course,this is a belts and braces do it yourself build,it will of course make a very inexpensive commercial fishing boat as well,with the high cost to polyester resins now,wood/epoxy boats make even more sense than ever.

note: Shell Chemicals epoxies are now sold under the name Resolution Chemicals,the product quality remains as high as ever.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Waiting for the breeze

Dix Design use the ABS scantling rules to design their craft.

This is certainaly one of my favourite pictures of Warlock,moored in what is her home port of Knysna,Eastern Cape and at the KYC club waters.

Dragon Boat Racing,SA,the beginning

A Dragon Boat head,on one of the original gift boats in the V&A Waterfront,Cape Town.

The phone rang just now,could we make dragon boat heads? it became a very interesting discussion on the heads,tails and paddles,as Commercial Lumber cc,the beginning of what is now CKD Boats cc made all three items over ten years ago when the racing started here in Cape Town,I shaped some 500 plus paddles by hand myself ,they even gave me my own lapel badge for the opening international event,all South African entries used our paddles.Given reasonable new orders we may well be making paddles to the Dragon Boat class once more,only now we will CNC cut and shape them,they will all be exactly the same then.

Knud Riemers,yacht designer 1906-87

Some mention of the yacht Astra means its about time to mention the man who designed the boat he called a Tumlaren,as Jeff Stevens commented yesterday,it was a Composite Design,today the word 'composite'probably means plastics mixed to us but back when Knud was designing in the early 1930s it could easily mean a mixture of timbers,in our case oak frames and honduras mahogany planks but also shaped steel internal 'I' beam frames to support both the keel and linked to support the rigging loads above too,it was a genuine 'composite' in its day.

Born in Denmark, Knud Reimers (1906-87) became educated as shipwright at Krupp-Germania in the twenties. He then worked as apprentice at Bremen-Lemwerder under the supervision of Henry Rasmussen, while paralleling his studies in Bremen. It was there that Reimers became familiar with the design of sleek fast yachts.

1930 Reimers took over the office of Gustav Estander in Stockholm, Sweden. Reimers launched his career as a naval architect for square meter yachts.

1934 he designed the popular double-ender "Tumlare", the predecessor to Adlard Coles’ seagoing legend "Cohoe".

Mel Stevens and the yacht called Astra,a Tumlaren

Astra's Story...
by Roy McBride - Cape Town, South Africa -

... Plus a part history of The Lipton Cup and other long
forgotten sailing issues in South Africa.
© Roy McBride

Thats Astra to the left of the picture and you can see the old Cape Town waterfront as it was then,circa 1960?

Credit: INTERNATIONAL PAINTS, Cape Town, donated all the paints used in this restoration, that’s a 100% free supply, when and where we required them. For this I would like to say a very big “Thank You!”

We had a vist from Jeff Stevens of 'Gemini Inflatables' yesterday,he needed some information on laying genuine teak decking on some of their larger rubber ducks,up to seven meters long I think he told me? Jeff was driven from his factory to our own by his dad,Mel Stevens,a gentleman well known in local cape yachting circles,one of his sucesses being to start Gemini and probably he can rightly be called the father of rubber duck construction in South Africa,many years back I used to visit Mel at his premises behind the old Roeland Street Jail,now the State Archives,Mel used to service life rafts back then too.

Mel asked was it I who restored the Tumlaren called Astra,most know I did,that was over ten years back,she is on moorings in False Bay now at the FBYC,Mel then goes on to tell me he was at the harbour berth in Cape Town when Astra was off loaded from the whaling service vessel,it had arrived from Norway? he says he was about eight years old then,yes Mel is into his eighties now and looking well I think you will agree.Mel is one of very few I know who used to live on Robben Island,he and his brother Brian,mother and father lived there at one time.

Note,Mels son,Jeff is a fifth generation RCYC club member,I doubt many others can claim the same?

Astra was hull number eight at the time of her build in 1934,she arrived here in 1935,so was still a very new boat at the time,the RCYC club house back then was at the lower end of Long Street,probably quite close to where the CTIC convention center now stands,yes Astra,a Knud Reimers design is now seventy four years old!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Didi Cruise Mini Transat kit being prepared

Didi Cruise-Mini
Radius Chine Plywood Mini Cruiser

We have done a great many of the race versions,the kit order we have now is our first cruise mini with the drop keel,it will slide up and into the boat,the ballast is 100 kgs more than the race mini,it is a genuine trailer sailer,you may have to tilt the hull on the trailer to conform with your local highway laws?We are looking at a Tabernacle for the mast,so it can be lowered easily.

Finance has never been better!

With the Rand currency loosing some 40% in recent weeks against the major currencies,financing the purchase of our products is looking better for overseas clients than we have seen for some years,you score,we get the order,we both win.To put this into perspective,the Rand to the U$ Doller last July was around R7.85,it has now passed R11.00 to one U$ Doller.

Rates ex this mornings postings:

Public Exchange Rates against the rand for amounts up to R50 000.

Published at 2008/10/22 09:01:00 AM

Rand per foreign currency unit

Description Code Bank Selling rate Bank buying TT Bank buying TC's Bank buying notes
EURO CURRENCY EUR 14.2676 13.6923 13.6496 13.6784
BRITISH STERLING GBP 18.1268 17.3957 17.3263 17.3781
US DOLLARS USD 11.0337 10.6870 10.6310 10.6762

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Navigator sail boat as a kit set

We have done a number of the John Welsford design boats as kits,we sell the plans,cutomers ask can we cut it on our machine,its a long process to set things up but of course once we have done the work,its ready for others then.We have a complete set of Birds Mouth mast and spars to make for the same design,we do all the shaping and machine work,the customer does the assembly and finishing works then.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Dassen Island QSL Cards

It seems we really do not have to venture far to find another South Atlantic island that ham radio has been used on,this one is in full view of our own Table Mountain,Cape Town,the island is a sanctuary and no landing is permissable,I assume a special permit was given for the DX transmision.

Ham Radio QSL cards,Ascension Island

Continuing the South Atlantic amature radio links,with QSL cards to show the contacts (by others) I had a much easier time finding pictures and info on Ascension Island,due I expect to it being such a busy place,both the BBC and NASA have bases on the island,I have been there twice myself,its a wonderfull place if you keep your eyes open.