Saturday, 13 December 2008

CKD Boats are Harken suppliers in Cape Town

Just been delivered,a set of Harken deck gear to suit an order we are making up for a Didi Mini Transat Cruise,these will be shipped with the boats main kit to Perth,Austraila as soon as we re-open next January.

Andante,the enhanced pictures

These pictures are all of 29 or 30 years old,as may happen, colour pictures can either fade,or as in my own case loose colour and take on a distinct brown shade.The scanner I use is a Canon CanoScan 4200F which I can highly recomend for ease of use,excepting those working with Vista,it will not recognise that program.The program works with Studio Five,it offers such features as Auto Enhance,which is what I normaly use but also a wide range of other options such as,Tone Adjustment,Hue and Saturation,Colour Reduction,Colour Balance and Tone,Scratch Removal,plus many more options.I have been surprised how a little time taken can make a previously unusable photograph suitable for this blog.

Anodes,good old zinc or nasty alloy?

You can see just how long the genuine zinc type last in our local waters,while the anode on the left looks in bad shape,check out how little weight it lost in 24 months,its been working well but not fallen appart as you can see.

Twice as nice,zinc anodes in place.

An anode suitable for a propellor shaft.

Left click the above,it will open full size so you can easiliy read it.

Well its a choice you may have soon to make,some shops are starting to display the new alloy types,they say they are better and cheaper,I dont know about you but when my nice 18" Max Prop is concerned,price is not the issue,Rod and Mary off 'Sheer Tenacity',a new Shearwater 39 by Dix Design went the alloy anode route,four months later they were rubbished,so make you own choice.Thanks to Errol of Protea Foundry,Cape Town, for supplying the facts sheet when I spoke to him about the matter,I stocked up on a double issue of nice 35mm shaft sized Zinc anodes,I always fit two at the same time as well.


Pipedream design Andante, more pictures

With her mast removed for a strip down and revarnish, Andante is on the original floating plank walkways,the morning wash down is to remove the coal dust from the coal fired trains that ran just to windward of where she was.

Left click on all pictures to view full size.

That is Mel Bosman on the tiller, Jean McBride sitting, with Angus and his wife closer to the companion way, Roy took the pictures!

Sailing to Saldahana Port, which is some sixty two miles distant from Cape Town.

I find no mention of this particular 'Andante' on the web, she was pre internet days really, so its fair that I post the rest of my rather old pictures, even with scanning and adjusting them, they look old but that's part of the story?

Andante, a Pipedream sloop, designed by Francis S Kinney

Andante, sailing off the East African coast,picture supplied by Peter Bowman  the owner.

My copy of Francis S Kinney's updated version ( 8th edition) Skenes Elements of Yacht Design

Andante on the RCYC slip.

The service docks at the RCYC.

This is the repair dock I used at RCYC and where the boats sails were removed from (stolen) it will have been around 1979?

Note,the picture quality is very poor due to the age and condition of the photos I still have.

This boat I know more about than most may? when designing my own boat the Bahia 34, which I later built the hull of on an island on the river Thames near Waybridege, London, I bought a book writen by Francis S Kinney, he had written what became a reference book for many boat designers,in the book is his design 'Pipedream' with many construction drawings and photographs of a boat to this design being built.

My eventual decision to sell the Bahia 34 hull, after finding work in the Sudan, saw me end up back in Cape Town, a yacht broker Mel Bosman had just sold Andante to a Scots guy from Durban, being a Scot his name was of course Angus. The boat needed some remedial work,was I interested in the job? Looking at what was a nice boat but in need of stripping and a refurb, it was as good a contract as any at the time.

The boat was to be repainted, inside and out, plus the mast and boom removed and to be re varnished also, we are talking about a lot of work here, it was at least two months for me, with my wife Jean, helping with the mast preparation work as well, Angus paid on time, always a happy part of any job, we finally got the boat back together, fitted new hatch Lexans, port hole windows, painted inside and out, seven coats of International Paints clear varnish on the mast and boom, Angus thought it should have a brighter gloss I remember, it was gleaming as far as I was concerned! One matter that involved the police was when I had removed hatch covers, the boat was 'entered' and items removed (stolen) it seems the previous owner was not fully satisfied with the selling price, so he came one night and removed some of the boats value, he removed sails I remember.

On completion Angus decided he wanted to do an over night trip to Saldahna Bay, thats some 62 miles north of Cape Town, Mel was to be skipper, Angus and his wife, Jean and I went as crew, it was around July, winter in the cape, I remember the seas were calm enough but with little wind we motored through the long night and it was really COLD!

The old Volvo twin cylinder engine kept overheating, Mel kept the revs down, so we then went slower, then Angus would push them back up so we would go faster, we made it eventually, going inside Juten Island in sea fromel (foam) so thick that the water was not to be seen, I was really worried we may pile upon the rocks, Mel was quite happy with our position though, I have done that trip many times since on my own yachts but never seen fromel like that since.

Andante was one of two such boats built locally,the other was named Allegra,she had done the Cape to Rio Race but I dont think Andante had? Allegra and Andante were built by the same boat builder,was his name Misplon, he built them over towards False Bay near what is now called Marina Da Gama,Andante was built after Alegra and I suspect some issue was happening near her final completion, or one builder took over after another left the job, this seems likely as half the boats 'Floors' were missing, I mentioned this to Mel when I had the boat on the RCYC slip, I suspect he never informed Angus? Floors are what are used to tie a wooden boats lower frame ends together, they are not floors we walk on, they are called Soles, we walk on those. In this case I had the designers book which showed the construction details of the boat and it was easy to work out that given the missing timbers, the hull to keel joint was going to be weak and given bad weather, leak badly?

Later the boat attempted a trip to Durban, Angus had appointed a delivery skipper, some really bad weather developed right at the start of the trip and the man pumped the boat all the way to Hout Bay, which in normal terms is about three hours away, in this case he took all night. I was never involved with  the boat again but did see it on the hard at what is now the car park at the RCYC, one of the original boat builders was fitting the missing floors I was told.

The boat was to surface in my life some years later, by then (I assume) Angus had the boat delivery to Durban completed, then later he sold the boat on to a chap working or living further up on Africas East coast, was it in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania? The new owner was doing research on his boat,he found out about its sister ship,  Allegra and somehow found out about myself doing Andantes original restoration (cosmetic) he wrote to me (email?) and asked me to supply what ever information on the two boats I had?  We had a number of mails and he supplied a picture, which I have included in this blog, thats the owner in the cockpit. That was the last I heard from the man, as some months later his daughter put out a request for information on her father and Andante, they were both thought to be missing at sea, Cruising World magazine published the request, this entry in Cruising World was the last I heard of Andante and her owner, did the keel joint fail, or was it pirates?

My last mail from the last owner,Peter Bowman:

Hi Roy,

Thanks for your e-mail. I know what you mean when you talk about computers

Yes, I would like to join the "Traditional Boat Association" so if you can
tell me what information is required by them it will be most appreciated. My
postal address is:

Peter Bowman,
P.O.Box 10532,
United Arab Emirates.

While living in Durban I was a member of Point Yacht Club since, hell it
seems like many ages but must be about 20 years.

If you can give me the bank account details of the Traditional Boat
Association I can arrange to transfer the neccessary fees from here. I will
also appreciate it, if possible, for some back copies of their monthly
newsletter to be posted to me.

Hope you are able to help with all this.

Best regards,


Friday, 12 December 2008

Chris Van Gass editor Buisness day

CKD Boats cc

This is now a little dated,all sales are well up on those indicated:


Cape boat builders set sail for a bright new future

Chris van Gass
Cape Correspondent Business Day

ORDER books of some boat builders are bulging. Prospects look bright for members of the South African Boat Builders’ Export Council (Sabbex), the newest export council in the country.

With the formation of the council, there has been a shake-up among members to put the industry on a more solid footing and enhance its standing and reputation internationally, says the council’s CEO, Veda Raubenheimer.

With government support, the estimated R1,5bn industry is set to move forward with clear targets of retaining the foothold it has in foreign markets, especially in catamarans.

About 12 years ago, SA had 0,5% of the sailing catamaran market, but today, it accounts for 30% of global sales.

The South African boat-building industry has grown more than 120% since 1994, with 84% of growth in real terms driven by exports, especially to the US, the Caribbean, Holland, UK and Spain.

Western Cape accounts for 75% of the country’s boat-building companies and 87% of industry turnover.

Three flagship companies — Gunboat, Southern Wind and Robertson & Caine — are a reflection of the health of the industry, says Raubenheimer.

Gunboat built three yachts for R60m last year, and has nine more boats on order up to 2011, three of 90ft with price tags of about R70m each, and six of 66ft (about R25m each).

Southern Wind builds an average of five yachts a year in a price range of € 8m-€ 12m, and their order book is full, says Raubenheimer.

The largest boat builder in Western Cape, Robertson & Caine, built 84 boats last year priced at $380000 to $600000, for the charter market in the US and Caribbean.

This company has built more than 500 catamarans over the past 10 years.

Raubenheimer ascribes the success enjoyed by some companies to their strong brands. “People want to buy their boats,” he says.

Those companies have good reputations for boat building, and they have “a lot of good skills”.

The quality of their products is reflected in the technology applied in manufacturing, and it is cutting edge including the use of composite materials and vacuum-infusion construction techniques.

Employment provided by the top three companies numbers close to 1000, but many more workers with the necessary skills can be employed.

Raubenheimer says that it is in the skills field that the influence of the industry is being manifested and where there have been exciting developments.

The industry is establishing a boat-building academy with the False Bay College.

A new partnership, which will include the day-to-day management of the college, has been established to teach the skills the industry needs.

The academy will open in June, and provide teaching for a three-year academic qualification and short courses to fill skills gaps.

Raubenheimer says that the three-year South African Qualification Authority-recognised course would be akin to apprenticeship training, with six months of academic work and six months workplace training.

The shorter skills programme would be ideal for companies that need to expand their labour force, and assess skills levels of the existing labour force and scale up skills as required.

Her enthusiasm for the skills project is echoed by Roy McBride, owner of CKD Boats, a small boat-building business that specialises in exporting kit boats to up to 17 countries.

McBride says he believes that government support has made a “big difference” in the industry’s advancement.

He contends that the key to future success lies in expanding the skills base in the industry as “there are so many thing people can do with their hands. You have to keep training — you can’t build a business without the necessary skills,” he says.

The need for more skills is reflected in the industry’s steady growth of 10% a year in recent years, despite certain hardships being experienced in medium and smaller-sized businesses, says Raubenheimer.

Sabbex, with 31 members, has undergone a “complete review” of its membership structure, and also embarked on a rebranding exercise.

The main thrust is not only to export but to ensure steps to protect its traditional markets in the US and the Caribbean, says Raubenheimer.

A big breakthrough for Sabbex is its invitation to participate for the first time at the annual general meeting in Barcelona of Icomia (the International Committee for Maritime Industry Associations).

“This will give us the legitimacy and exposure and a platform to assist us to get involved in international discussions about the industry, and learn about how different industries around the world are regulated and what standards are applied,” says Raubenheimer.


What does the future hold?

Veda Raubenheimer says the industry is eyeing the Middle East market for work boats, light commercial vessels and patrol boats as well as for “really top end yachts” as the Middle East is a “discerning market”.

Boat builders will also be looking towards Europe, Thailand, South Korea and even into Africa, the latter specifically for the day charter boats.

“Anywhere there is a boom in tourism, there’s always opportunity,” says Raubenheimer.

‘You have to keep training — you can’t build a business without the necessary skills’

A perfect morning in Hout Bay Harbour

Photo by Janet McBride/Drumbeat Charters

This peacefull sight heralds the start of CKD Boats summer recess,we are officially closed untill monday 12th January 2009,the marina in view is a privately owned one,its part of the Hout Bay Yacht Clubs facilities and by arrangement open to none members for a monthly fee.The marina has 122 berths and will take boats up to 54feet long,about 18mtrs,with many cruisers now being in the Royal Cape Yacht Club and entering the Heineken Cape to Bahia yacht race in a few weeks time,we have space right now for visiting boats,phone the marina manager, Peter Godley on 021 790 7095,if he is not at his desk,please leave a message and he will get back to you.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

There be a Pirate ship at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront banner

Mitchells Brewery of Knynsa,the real beer company,try one and see for yourself.

Yes,its true and we built it,it was a design award winner too I am told,on time,on budget and just the thing to keep your kids busy while you enjoyed a real ale at Mitchells Brewery right next door.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Found doing nothing much in South West Africa,now Namibia

Found and saved I am very pleased to say,left click this picture to fill your screen in amazing full size!

When we were in our old Glynn Street premises,close to the city center,a customer for wood/boat building materials, came in with a picture of his boat,nice is it not,he found it abandoned(surely not?) in Namibia,thats what I remember he told me,I have kept the picture ever since,I wonder where the boat is now,its called 'Rebbeca' a beautifull name for a Beautifull boat.

What we drive,Ford Bantam 1600i Sport ldv

Ford Motor Company logo.

Ford 1600i delivery truck picture.Parked outside our factory premises at Unit L,29 Gray Street,Paarden Eiland,7405,Cape Town,RSA.

One of the best Ford commercials I have ever owned,probably due to the fact the engine is really a Mazda made unit,still it drives very well,with 107 hp and front wheel drive its both easy to drive and economical,with our local tempratures around 30c right now,the air conditioner it has is more than welcome.

Thats one of our kit boats on the roof,an Argie 10 design by Dudley Dix at,we built it,sold it too!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

SV Coral circa 1902 and built from teak,is now Schooner rigged

Coral,the proud flag ship of The Traditional Boat Association,Cape Town.

Left click on the picture to view in amazing full size,photo by Roy McBride

Coral (eighty feet on deck) arrived here in Cape Town on the decks of a ship,the owner,Robin,thought it a good idea to rescue her from her mud berth in the UK,he had a motor and a temporary rudder fitted,then had Coral taken across the English Channel,where she was then loaded onto the ship who would bring her 7000 miles south to Cape Town.She was teak planked below the waterline,construction wise,the boat was typical of her type,not expected to last past twenty years but here she is now some 106 years further on and sailing once more,a tribute to her owner and those who worked on her,mainly Stremple Marine.

Commercial Lumber (now CKD Boats) supplied the clear oregon pine to Coral's new masts and spars,also the teak and plywoods to the new laid decks,this was over a period of about five years as the restoration progressed.Yacht designer,Ernst Van Der Laan drew the new Schooner masts set up.

Cruising the South Atlantic,Fluid Film does it again!

Fluid Film in stock at CKD Boats,we ship anywhere.

Sheer Tenacity,a Shearwater 39 by Dudley Dix at

The blog from Sheer Tenacity has just been updated,you will find a link to the boat on the HBYC home page at also to CKD Boats under Roys Blog,this was posted by Rod and Mary today.

Today the sun came out again to show us how
pleasant it can be in the trades, and we discovered that the
solar panels were not charging ! Corrosion in the exernal connection
plug! Now back on stream. These demands are fully covered by the
210watts solar panels plus the AirX wind generator. Having water
papered the blades , and coated them with Roys magic......... Fluid Film......, it
makes LESS noise than the quieter new generation AirBreeze which
failed the day before we left.
We have now crossed the halfway mark, which took 6 days 2hr 30
min, at an avr of 6.1knots. We are still running with a triple reefed
main and genoa,which is more conservative than necessary,and doing

Yacht She,a special boat

Photo taken by Roy McBride left click on the picture to view full size and see full detail.

Anyone reading this blog (does anyone?) will have seen me mention the yacht She more than once,the boat is special in that she is made from teak,even the plywood on the decks is teak plywood,this is not your average boat! I think she was made in India,or thereabouts,she is an Alan Buchanan design and easily out sails many other boats,just look at her lines,she is good looking too!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Red Ensign,Heavens Light Our Guide

The Star of India,circled with the words 'Heavens Light Our Guide'

I was asked by my friend Steve Clark-Grey from the Roberts Spray Dixie Roller if I could identify this flag,at the time I could not,Steve has owned the rather beaten up red duster at least twenty years,I think he found it in a second hand store? I suggested the star was added by a second person,Steve told me that could not be the case,its printed in the fabric,today I discovered this:

The Star of India had a star with the words Heaven's light our ... United Kingdom in use in London The Red Ensign or Red Duster is a flag that originated in India,etc etc

This proclamation was dated 25th June 1861

“ The Queen, being desirous of affording to the Princes, Chiefs and People of the Indian Empire, a public and signal testimony of Her regard, by the Institution of an Order of Knighthood, whereby Her resolution to take upon Herself the Government of the Territories in India may be commemorated, and by which Her Majesty may be enabled to reward conspicuous merit and loyalty, has been graciously pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to institute, erect, constitute, and create, an Order of Knighthood, to be known by, and have for ever hereafter, the name, style, and designation, of "The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India" ”

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Teak wood, genuine Tectona Grandis,we supply the best

Local boat builders 'Robertson and Caine' used our teak and labour to lay the decks on the two Richleigh 64 charter yachts they built,the boat was longer than 64 feet (21 mtrs) as it had a boomkin off the transom,it was said not to be an after thought by the boats designers Richard Ford/Phil Southwell but a purpose made access for diving from.

Top class yachts use our teak

The Compass 47 Navio, designd by Angelo Lavranos,owner is France Doffay

We have supplied many local yachts and yacht builders with teak,both for internal and external work,always is the same requirement,quality that will stand up as world class,check our pictures,I am sure you will agree that local workmanship is right up there with the worlds best.

I once asked a supplier for the teak we use (tectona grandis) for a quality specification on FEQ supply,the reply was thats not possible,first quality is export quality that is just the best,I did eventually get my hands on a written copy.