Saturday, 22 November 2008

Sounding a book by Hank Searles

This one I have not read but a reader of this blog has and recomends it,I see two different covers,so have a look,if you find a copy,let me know,Jean my wife,asked me to get it,as its part writen about what sperm whales think about man!


A novel by

Hank SearlsNext book >>
Hank Searls

SOUNDING takes us into the extraordinary mind and emotions of the magnificent sperm whale, an aging bull roaming the waters of the Atlantic. Troubled and separated from his herd, the whale wants to fulfill his one obsessive desire -- to communicate with the human race and learn why they can be both vicious hunters and frolicking playmates.

Far away, on a doomed Russian nuclear submarine, Lieutenant Peter Rostov, the sonar officer and a classical musician, is spending what he's sure are his last days listening to the beautiful "sounding" of the whale.

In the amazing climax to this unique novel, man and whale come together -- and a magnificent destiny is fulfilled.

"Searls is remarkably eloquent. . . . you'll stand up and cheer." -- The Washington Post Book World

Sportz 16 sailing boat from Bowdidge Marine Design

This one is a gem,small enough to tow behind even a small car but powerfull enough to sail really well,it has an SA/D of 24,thats a handy power to weight ratio without it being too over powering,we will soon offer this new design as one of our kits.

design brief:

The Sportz 16 brief was for a fast and thrilling
racing yacht with excellent performance
high on the priority list, but yet at the same
time it had to be easy to sail, with a comfortable
cockpit for weekend day sailing for the family and a
competitive racer without breaking the budget. The
cockpit size and deck layout had to be carefully
balanced to achieve this three fold role. The result
is an attractive, easily to handle, ‘club racer’ or
weekend day sailor.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bosuns Mate 23ft runabout by Bowdidge Marine Design

This just has to be a great way to move about on the water,the graffics are brilliant!kits will be available quite soon.

The thought behind the design:

BREAKING camp early, the morning fog lifts
as you slowly explore and work your way
through the endless estuaries, inlets and
headlands. The smell of the coffee and the warmth
of the mug within your hand, reminds you of the
simple pleasures of life. A life away from the endless
grind of work and suburbia.
Exploring your way around a small headland, you
notice a break within the giant boulders. An
opening finally appeared with clear waters, a sandy
beach, and grasslands behind. The excitement
begins to build as the kids begin jumping up and
down and pointing. We’ve finally found our next
campsite and even better, there’s no one around for

Design brief:

Approached by Warren Jacobsen of JACOBSEN
TIMBER BOATS, we were asked if we could design
a boat of similar nature, only lighter in construction,
to the one he was building at that time, a heavy
‘traditional plank on frame’ boat.
With rising fuel costs, could we design a workboat
to suit his professional client’s needs, ie: a
fisherman’s workboat, that would not only suit that
market, but would also appeal to the recreational
fisherman and coastal explorer market. Overall, our
main priority had to be a simple open plan design,
with the priority being the reduction in fuel
consumption without compromising the strength,
durability and safety.
On discussion the points noted were:
• It had to be an open boat;
• Length overall - around 23 ft (7m);
• Beam overall 6-7 ft (1.82 - 2.13m);
• A recreational boat for camping and fishing
• Workboat for Professional net fisherman/
crabbers and the like;
• A multitask design;
• Loads of storage compartments and seating;
• Lighter in construction;
• Easily built;
• Easy to handle getting on and off the trailer;
• Long range;
• Minimal Horsepower requirements;
• Less fuel consumption;
• The fraction of the cost of a similar size new
alloy power boat.
Overall, it had to be a simple design, pleasing to
the eye, but capable of many concepts and tasks.

Harken price increases

Each year Harken USA put prices up in the new year,this year on a local sense we will see this compounded by a drop in the value of the Rand currency,so in South Africa we can expect a minimum price rise of 20 to 25%? excepting Harkens increase,this will not affect our customers who buy from over seas.

Bowdidge Design Sportz Master 19ft power boat

Click on the pictures to view full size!

We have been asked our interest in supplying power and sail craft by Mark Bowdidge who is a Westlawn Design graduate and a winner of the Cruising World 2007 yacht design competion with his 57ft sailing catamaran,this is a sample of his powerboat,suitable for a 60 to 70hp outboard.We will be offering this boat and the larger 'Bosuns Mate' 23 ft general purpose power boat as kits in the very near future,shipping world wide is no problem.

For more information on this exciting design,go to

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Schooner Mieke,Hout Bays other tall ship

This fine schooner spent quite few years fishing long lines south of Hout Bay,which she tended to use as a home port of call,again she was often tied up in the harbour just down the road from where I live,we could see her from our windows.Designed and built locally on the east coast,she was a rugged go anywhere type of vessel,here are some details:

Mieke is a 110ft (33m) steel two masted Gaff rigged Schooner built by Portnet Marine, Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1997 to a design by Seaboats. She had a complete refit for charter in 2004 and is currently chartering off the Mozambique coast.

Sails and Deck Gear
Guest Cabins
Comments Specifications

Approximate Dimensions
Length on Deck 110ft 33.5m
Beam 24ft 7ins 7.7m
Draft 10ft 6ins 3.2m
Displacement 132.74 tons 135 tonnes
Sail Area 4,500sq ft 422 sq m

Sails and Spars
Mast main 24m 8mm x 410mm galvanized/painted steam pipe
2nd mast 20m (steel 300 wa galvanized)
Booms and gaffs Solid wood 330 – 160 mm diameter (African Pine)
Rigging 19 strand 40mm galvanized wire through enclosed bottle screws to 25mm steel chainplates
Sails 422sq m Duradon 14 ounce heavy duty synthetic flex / Scottish material – formed by Doyle Sails

Ground Tackle
Anchor windlass and winch system Radicon hydraulic drum winch with two capstain heads serving as both anchor windlass and for sail hoisting
160m / 16mm galvanized chain with a 150kg Kluseman anchor as heavy weather gear
1 x 90m / 16mm galvanized chain with 150kg anchor as secondary gear

Engine and Machinery:
Caterpillar 3408 500bhp diesel
Double hydraulic ram steering system operated through hydraulic pump from power take off on main motor plus independent mechanical hydraulic orbital pump at outside steering station
Emergency steering In addition to above 2 systems / rope and block system on quadrant below deck
Power Generators 2 x 70KVa Perkins 1000 provide 380V and 220V
Air-conditioning system Chilled fluid circulation system with evaporator condensers, flow control valves and circulation fans in each cabin custom designed to operate from either genset or inverter
Refrigeration 2x 30hp semi-hemetic Discuss Compressors
Cold Storage : 50m3
12 cubic metre walk-in Prestcold blast freezer
Icemaker : Turbo Marine - 4T per day
Hydraulic Power pack : 2 x 30kw double backup capacity
Fuel Separator : Alfa Laval
Water Makers : 2 x Aquamarine = 1T/24hrs
1 x Filcon Model BMSWA 24/2/1 1.72T/24 hrs

DC systems
Electronic equipment - separate Battery bank with 2x12 = 24V
Main motor – separate bank with 2x12 = 24v
Radios – separate bank with 2x12v = 24v ---

Above 3 banks all interphased and charged by 3 separate 24v alternators on gensets and main motor

Separate bank 0f 24 x 2v batteries provide 48v / 1500 amp hours through a computer regulated inverter to provide 220v when gensets not running
charged by 200amp battery charger when gensets are running

Diesel 14,000 litres in two tanks
Fresh water 10,000 litres
Waste Grey water 7,000 litres

Ship Electronics
Satellite Communication : Inmarsat C system - Sailor H1622D
SSB Radio : Furuno FS 1562-250m
VHF Radio : Uniden MC 795
Radio Direction Finder : TAIYO
Radar : Furuno M1832 MKI
2nd Radar : CETREK
GPS Navigator : Furuno GP50 Mark II
Colour Plotter : Furuno GP 3100 Mark II
2nd Plotter : SEIWA LCD8
Weather Fax : Furuno Fax 207
Satellite Sea Surface Temp. Recorder : Winsat Pro
Sea Surface Temp. Recorder : ATA 128
ECHO Sounder : Suzuki ES 5300
2nd ECHO Sounder : Suzuki ES 1050
Autopilot Furuno : Fap 330

Entertainment Electronics
Widescreen SANYO television in lounge
SANYO DVD player in lounge
Coffee machine in lounge
Widescreen television in crew quarters
Sony CD players in 6 cabins and in main lounge and crew lounge

Watersports Equipment
2x 4.5m stealth ski- boats with 60 hp outboard motor each/2003
13 X complete scuba diving sets
Dive compressor Bauer Mariner M11 3 EH 230 L/min
3 x sea kayaks ( Stealth Wahoo)
Water- ski -Stinger combo
1 x wakeboard
2 x windsurfers
2 x surfboards
4 x duneboards
1 x Quicksilver tube
13 x sets of fishing rods +reel
4 x sets of spearfishing gear

Safety Equipment
Full compliment with 2 x 20 man life rafts

Tall Ship Pogoria

Our room with a view of the Pogoria tall ship in Hout Bay

Our home is on the hill just to the back of the picture,so we had a birds eye view of the Pogoria.

Whats in todays blog? How about Hout Bays own tall ship,its one of two in recent times past,the Polish sailing ship used to berth at the bottom of the hill from my home,that was on the inside of the North Wall,near the end,it would stay some months but its not been on the South African route recently.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pogoria at anchor position in Portofino, Italy (January 2006)STS Pogoria is a Polish barquentine launched in 1980 in Gdańsk Shipyard, Poland.

The ship was built for the for the Iron Shackle Fraternity - . She was designed by Zygmunt Choreń.

The Pogoria was built in 1979-80 in Gdansk, for the Iron Shackle Fraternity, a a marine educational project which was conceived and founded by Captain Adam Jasser in 1971. She was launched on January 23rd, 1980 and made her international debut, barely a few weeks after completion, in the 1980 Tall Ships Race Kiel - Karlskrona - Frederikshavn - Amsterdam and the windjammer gathering in Bremerhaven that followed. She was designed by Zygmunt Choreń.

In the southern Summer of 1980-81 she was chartered by the Polish Academy of Sciences as a relief vessel for a Polish scientific station on King George Island in the South Shetlands (Antarctica). On that voyage she called also at Stanley in the Falklands and in South Georgia.

The Pogoria took part in the 1982 Tall Ships Races Falmouth-Cadiz-Lisbon-Southampton. That winter she sailed in the Canaries and the following summer in the Baltic. From September 1983 to May 1984 she sailed for the ęClass Afloatł project with young Poles and some young (and a few ęadultł) Westerners on a clockwise circumnavigation of Africa, with a loop around Bombay and Colombo.

From 1985 until the end of 1991 she was under virtual full-time charter to the Canadian Educational Alternative of Ottawa and Montreal, working with school afloat (with breaks only for maintenance holidays). She had a Polish crew of 9 and 20-40 Canadian students and their teachers. In 1985 she made another circumnavigation of Africa. The voyage ended in Montreal and she sailed back to Poland, by way of the New York Op Sail `86. In 1987-88 she sailed around the world. Since then she has been operating in the Atlantic between Europe and West Indies, the USA and Canada. The charter ended at Capetown(hout bay) before Christmas 1991 and then the Pogoria set sails for home, for another refit which took place in 1993 and was financed by the City of Gdynia and the Sailing Foundation of Gdynia became the co-owner of the ship. Right after the refit Pogoria joined the cruise-in-company and the second leg of 1993 Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races Bergen - Larvik - Esbjerg. In 1994 she sailed across Atlantic to join the series of Maritime Festivals on the Great Lakes. In 1995 the Sail Training Association Poland became the shipłs operator and Pogoria entered the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races Edinburgh - Bremerhaven - Frederikshavn - Amsterdam. In 1996 the operator has chosen the Mediterranean series of Cutty Sark Genoa - Palma - Naples. The following years the ship participated i The Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races every Summer. In 1999, in Aalborg, the final port of the race series "Pogoria" won the most important and prestigious award - the Cutty Sark Trophy. The winners of this award are the crew and the ship which contributed the most to international understanding and friendship during the series of races.

In 2000 "Pogoria" successfully completed the Tall Ships 2000 on the route Genoa - Cadiz - Bermuda - ports on the eastern coast of the US - Boston - Halifax - Amsterdam. Every Summer "Pogoria" participates in the Cutty Sark Tall Shipsł Races. Since 1999/2000 the ship has been operated in Winter in the Mediterranean from the base in Genoa in cooperation with STA Italia.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Petr Muzik services

Following on from yesterdays blog about why the next Volvo Ocean Race should stop over in Cape Town, an email from my friend in New Zealand,Ian Allen, came in this morning,its about a local guy and underlines the quality of local Cape Town big boat service,here is a wonderfull story direct from the man who can service both Lewmar and Harken racing winches,his name is Petr Muzik,a guy who recently finished a mainly solo circumnavigation,aboard his self built Shearwater 39,a design by Dudley Dix,the boats name is Shoestring,taken from Petr's own boating shoe brand lable.


Article by Petr Muzik

Photographs by Nick Muzik

The phone rings at 09h00 and May and I are on our way to Cape Town from Port Owen, where we live. It is my old friend and racing adversary Anthony Spillebean, now one of the heads of the shore crew for the Ericsson team which have two boats in the race, namely E3 and E4. Their boats have come in 1st and 3rd and have a long list of repairs and maintenance. Would I come in a soon as possible to help them out in overhauling the winches for both boats.

Having been involved with all the Whitbread and Volvo races I can call myself qualified in this field, being trained by both Lewmar and Harken. These are no ordinary winches like one would find on my or your boat. Made of kevlar, carbon and titanium with three speeds connected to coffee-grinders they represent the F1 of yacht racing, and can be found on all Americas Cup and Volvo boats. Between the two boats there are 21 winches.

The organization here is terrific, four 40ft containers make up the maintenance section, a complete sail loft, engineering workshop complete with lathe, milling machine, 20 ton press and any tool you wish to name. Two containers carry spares for every eventuality. Then there are the offices, a fully equipped kitchen which serves two meals per day for nearly 60 people, and all this does not include the promotional side of Ericsson. By the way, Ericsson do not make cell phones, but make the network for them. Sony Ericsson are the manufacturers.

When I arrived, the activity was frenetic, people working on the keel, two rudders and daggerboards for both boats. The four spreader 100ft masts were removed and all fittings and rigging checked. All standing rigging is kevlar and running rigging is spectra. The masts are carbon fibre and they even flew out an expert from Italy to advise them on the state of all carbon/kevlar structures. He went through both hulls with a fine toothcomb to check on cracks and weak areas. The man is unique as he not only advises on Americas Cup, and Volvo yachts, but formula one racing cars and the Spanish government on their wind generator programme whose blades are now 120 metres in diameter and their tips are made of kevlar/carbon to stop vibration. There cannot be too many people in this field. All the crew's clothing washed in fresh water and dried ashore. These sailors spend most of their time "underwater" as the boats are very wet and very very fast. In 25 knots of wind they can reach at 35 knots! No wonder they are all doing close to 600 nautical miles a day. All food was taken off the boat and replaced by new food for 17 days for the next leg to India which is estimated to take 14 days. Each day has it's own bag to feed the 11 crew on board. All the meals are freeze dried (space age) and all you have to do is place the relevant packet in boiling water and voila, a complete meal for 11.

Everything on these racing machines is cramped. Forward of the main bulkhead is absolutely nothing. There are six bunks on each side of the main cabin area and the crew tack bunks each time there is a tack or jibe. All sails not in use are stored in the main cabin. The galley is tiny and just aft of the mast and the heads (only one) just forward of it. The tiny navigatorium is jammed underneath the cockpit. Life is cramped to say the least.

Well now onto the winches. I spent 11 hours a day for 5 days just on the winches! Each winch was taken apart to it's last part, taken off the boat and into the workshop. Only four allen keys are required as tools. Each part was washed in a pressure bath of paraffin to get rid of the salt and old grease, then dried with toweling and a high pressure air hose before assembly could start. All pawl springs, pawls and gears were checked for wear and tear and replaced where necessary. I accidently dropped and lost a special screw - and in no time a new one was turned for me in titanium! All gear teeth were brushed with a special grease to withstand the salt and sea water. Each tooth had to be covered but not too much and all excess grease was wiped off. All pawls and springs were oiled with a light oil. On some of the smaller winches (65's) the stresses and strains were so great that some of the gear wheels became oval and had to be replaced. Each winch, now complete cleaned and serviced was taken on board for assembly. At this rate I could manage 4 to 5 winches per day. Recently I overhauled 9 winches on a Swan 65 and managed to do them all in one day, that's the difference between a standard winch and a formula one winch. Consider that each winch costs an average of $15 000.

For me at age 70, this was a special experience. Working with young professionals was invigorating and gave me a new zest for life, even though after 11 long hours each day I was absolutely finished! I was priviledged to be invited to work with such a powerful team - roll on the next big race, I am ready.



Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Zaca,Errol Flynns other boat

A the helm,Errol Flynn

Boom end bronze,marked Errol Flynn 1928

Errol Flynn

"One ship sails east, the other west, by the self same winds that blow; it's the set of the sails, and not the rules, that decides the way to go"
Sirocco & Zaca

To mention one and not the other,would leave the fact file part empty,I think that near the end of his short but full life,Eroll was near broke,the boat had to go,the spooks went with it they say?
His finances were in such poor shape that he decided to sell the Zaca shortly before his death. The prospective buyers invited him to a party. He said he did not feel well and died of a massive heart attack on the boat he loved.

Eerie Phenomena
The new owner sailed the Zaca to Europe where it broke down, then rotted in a shipyard in the French Riviera. During these years, people reported seeing Errol Flynn’s ghost walk the decks. Usually, his phantom was seen during twilight. One man who saw the specter jumped overboard and was in a state of shock when others found him.

A skipper of another boat heard music and women’s laughter and voices as if a party was happening on the Zaca. Lights were going off and on. No one was aboard. The boat had no electricity hooked up.

The shipyard owners decided to repair the Zaca. Before they did so, they decided to have an exorcism done. A boat painter who had seen Flynn’s ghost took a model of the Zaca to a church in Monte Carlo for the rite. Others who had witnessed Flynn’s phantom were present. The ritual was performed by a Catholic Priest and an Anglican Archdeacon.

During the service, the boat painter groaned and slumped forward in the pew, but quickly recovered.

All who attended the service felt it was a success.

The next Volvo Ocean Race African stop over?


Driving into work yesterday,the news on the radio told me the fact that the organisers of the next Volvo Ocean Race,in 2012 I assume? will be again sponsered by Volvo,good news indeed,excepting that the sponser as decided to have less stop overs in that race and from the way I heard the news report,have cities actually bid on them? For the continent of Africa,both the city of Cape Town and Durban were mentioned,both are fine cities and both have a good yachting background but I seriously doubt that the organisers have even begun to think this through enough, the possible change from the Mother City in the Cape to Durban a thousand miles to the North East, is it at all workable?

While not all yachting manufacture is done in the Cape Town area,the vast majority of production is,names like North Sails,Quantum,Sparcraft,Southern Spars,Lewmar,Harken,Anderson,come to mind,the first four have their main manufacturing facilities here,the rest have their main stocking outlets here,to underline this,we have seen boat yards in Durban actually re locate production to Cape Town,such is the high cost of service delivery from one city to the other.

I can only imagine complete chaos,when a 70ft maxi race yacht arrives in Durban and requires a set of sails or spars serviced or repaired,while small service lofts and work shops do exist in Durban,they could never cope with the massive influx of work that requires doing,given the very small window of time from when the first yacht arrives and if your a late arrival,you have then got no chance of service prior to departure?

I think the idea of a Durban stop over at the expense of Cape Town needs a serious re-think.


two days after posting this blog:

A trade contact informs me that it is only the City of Cape Town that charges Volvo to use the harbour facilities,interesting?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Cape Charles 32 ft,a cruiser by Dudley Dix,soon to be available as a new kit set.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

New to our design list is this nice looking craft called a Cape Charles drawn by Dudley Dix,it is an expansion the very popular Cape Cutter 19,which was followed by its larger sister craft the Cape Henry 21,the Cape Charles will be more suitable for those wishing to venture off shore.

There be Dragons and things

We can supply just about any shape,not just the boat kits,this is an unusual request but it turned out very well.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Tally-Ho a design by Atken

The Atken design team

Built by Chute & Bixby at Huntington, N. Y., in 1931 Tally Ho! is an excellent example of small yacht construction. Tally Ho! is 30 ft. l.o.a., 28 ft. l. w. l., 9 ft. beam, 5 ft. 6 in. draft. Her sail area is 672 sq. ft. There is 6,600 Ib. of iron in her keel, with 2,000 Ib. of cement ballast inside and 1,000 Ib. of lead for trimming. The yacht's displacement is 20,800 lb. The deck is interesting. There is a narrow deckhouse abaft the mast, leaving wide waterways. Then there is a short house forward of the mast. The forward deckhouse was much discussed while the yacht was being designed. Some said it would look odd; others that it would be in the way; others that the craft was far too small to carry two deckhouses. In reality it is a success. For one thing there is 6 ft. headroom under it. It forms a fine breakwater, looks well, is a perfect ventilator, and handy to sit on. What more can one ask of a forward deckhouse?

Tally Ho! has a perfect cockpit for a small cruising yacht. Neither is it too deep, too small, or too wide. A deep cockpit holds too much water. If the cockpit is shallow then the helmsman gets but little protection in rough water. If it is too wide you slide all over the place when windy days play with your ship. The cockpit floor extends across the ship from the end of the bridge deck to the inside of the stern; but the well is only 4 ft. 6 in. long, 13 in. deep, and 5 ft. wide. Each side carries a built-in seat 16 in. wide and 10 in. high. If you will experiment with a couple of boards you will find this a very comfortable proportion. Most yachtsmen do not like the appearance of the gallows frame; but its convenience far outshines its ugliness. It is made from teak and anchored to the deck in a most substantial manner; nice thing to lean against, grand for reefing, and an understanding friend when furling sail.

RCYC yacht Acushla is found and is for sale

Largely restored,see how tight the hull seams are,Acushla is now for sale,contact me for information.

Nick off Wylo 2 and friend view the boats interior

Founder Member TBA,Cape Town

Astra,Acushla,Parergon 2 Circa 1936/39 Table Bay,Cape Town,South Africa.

When I restored the 1934 yacht Astra,a Tumlaren,I found a picture of Astra,Acushla and Parergon 2,its been on the web some time now since my story was published on Duckworths Magazine,well Acushla has just turned up and she is for sale,what a wonderfull piece of sailing history for some person to restore fully,contact me for more information.

'Acushla'design information,built in Cape Town and launched in 1936 to a design named Tally-Ho by an american called Atken for Mr A Barr,she had a transom stern,was approximatly 30ft overall and has a 28ft waterline,9'-6" beam,6'-6" draft and displaces 10 tons,she had a 14hp Brookes engine which was found to be underpowered,her mast was hollow and was imported from Sweden.


The above information is taken from the late Bill Rabinowitz book named 'A History of the Royal Cape Yacht Club' 1904-1990,page 165, published in a limited edition in 1995,I am fortunate enough to have receieved my own signed copy from Bill himself on the evening it was released.

News Flash, we have located where the boat was built and spoken to a nephew of the builder too,we have pictures of the boat yard and will post information on this blog page soon.

July 2016 I am being asked for more information of the boat, does anyone have some?


Volvo Ocean Race,Puma takes on Fluid Film stocks

As with other entries in this years around the world ocean race,Fluid Film was chosen as the rust preventer and lubricator of choice by the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race Yacht,Puma,she and the rest of the fleet sailed at 1pm South African local time from Cape Town,the next stop will be in India.