Saturday, 20 December 2008

Halloween a local design

Restored by a local company,Stremple Marine,of Tide Street,Woodstock,during the same period they also restored Coral,Halloween was a well known RCYC fleet boat,locally built and sailed.When completed Karl and Gerhard Stremple sailed her off to Brasil,the last I heard of her she was sold in Spain,Karl was working in Germany and Gerhard in Spain,any news on these tallented artisans would be appreciated!


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

KD660 Two Masted Catamaran

Its nice to see some fresh thinking on an old idea,Bernds designs are so clean and nicely drawn,here are a few words from the boats designer Bernd Kholer.

Hello Roy

Here the drawing of the rig and the sails for the KD 860. For the mast the section is F101 from Sparcraft Oceanic line ore equivalent.
Sorry for the delay of the cutting drawings for the boat.
But, it is your fault ;-))
You started almost a hype. A lot of persons are interested on the DUO 660 and bombard me with questions.
One Dutch guy special, he wants to start yesterday. So I work on both.



Tuesday, 16 December 2008

KD 860 catamaran

We have a lot of interest in this design,its another build it yourself kit,the designer,Bernd Kholer says 'if you can fix a chair,you can make this'any budding chair fixers out there?


Designers data and info pack:

KD 860 - offshore catamaran

This is K-Design's or Bernd Kohler's smallest offshore cruiser. A sea worthy fast cruiser catamaran for a family of four. The performance of this boat is exceptional on all courses to the wind. To make sure of this, the boat is light and has a low streamlined profile for windward performance. The study plans include diagrams for speed prediction and dynamic stability, so you can see for your self.

The boat is a plywood/glass/epoxy composite construction. Any handy amateur can build this boat without difficulties and surprises. Quoted in it Study plans "Every person who has repaired a chair can build this boat"


LOA/LWL: 8.76/8.60m
Beam: 5.60m
Draft hull/rudder: 0.4/0.7m
Weight empty: 1400 kg
Weight cwl: 2800 kg
Sail area
Main: 27 m2
Jib 10 m2
Reacher: 26 m2
L/B ratio: 1:2
L/B ratio hulls: 1:11
Prismatic coefficient: 0.569
Righting moment max.: 5600 kgm
Optimum speed: 21.5 kn
Outboard engines 2x 6 HP

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sofala,a yacht that escaped the Frelimo

The flag of the then Rhodesia,Sofala may have sailed under this flag.

Ian Allen sent me this picture and the following true story.

Hi Roy,

This is the only photo I could dig out of Sofala, aside from a large one that hangs in our lounge. She was a lovely old boat and a classic John Hanna Tahiti ketch. She was built in then Rhodesia and planked and decked with Iroko. Her engine was a horizontally opposed 20 HP Coventry Victor of the type commonly used for farm generators, and occupied almost as much room as a baby grand piano, though needless to say not as tuneful and sweet. Actually, the engine became known as Smorg, the dragon from the Hobbit, because it was given to grumbling and growling when disturbed in the dark recess of its home beneath the cockpit sole and the belching of odorous smoke and flame when pressed into reluctant service, but which could be harnessed to work if handled correctly. She was a steady little ship and on a number of occasions I sailed her on my own, trimming her sails and lashing her helm in a strong breeze and then retiring to the end of the bowsprit with a beer whilst she contentedly cared for herself.

Anyhow, Barry Johnson, who farmed in Rhodesia, launched his boat in Mozambique and named her Sofala for an ancient seaport on the coast of that country. He kept her in an idyllic little anchorage at an island off the coast of Mozambique where he had a cottage, and would fly in for sailing holidays from his farm.

Well, when Samora Machel's Frelimo took over, they attached all property of settlers, both fixed and movable, and that included Barry's proud little 'Sofala,' and she lay unattended at her anchorage for over a year whilst Barry fumed at the injustice of it all. I say unattended, but that is not quite so, for Barry had a very devoted African chap who worked for him about his property on the island, and one of who's jobs it was to row out every other day to the boat, sluice down the decks and crank old Smorg over a number of times. So assiduously did he attend to his duties, even in Barry's long absence, that when the time came for a moonlight flit from the shores of the old Portuguese colony, the motor started on the first attempt when it really counted.

But I am getting ahead of myself, because after Barry, a tough little ex submariner in the wartime R.N, had decided to cock a private snoot at Mr. Machel by extricating Sofala from Frelimo clutches, the first problem he faced was how the hell to get into Mozambique and his anchorage under cover of darkness.

Not to be stymied by such peccadilloes, Barry made the acquaintance of a piratical band of ex-mercenaries running a fishing trawler out of Durban. The old Scope magazine ran an article on the adventure all those years ago, and I can tell you from the photographs in that story that these were not the kind of guys you gave lip to in the local pub! A more archetypal band of nautical cut-throats you would seldom ever have seen before.

Well, Barry managed to cajole these fellows (doubtless with the judicious deployment of loot) into taking him up to his island and depositing him aboard Sofala under the cloak of darkness one moonless night. Since none of the brigandish piscatorians knew any celestial navigation, Barry took his sextant and tables along and showed them the way. To stay their concerns about the return journey, he drew them a series of reciprocal courses on their chart which, together with a compass (their only piece of navigational equipment on their good ship), enabled them to regain the coast of Port Durban.

At this stage came Barry's full appreciation of the unseen toils of his trusty employee, because the engine leaped (and I use the term advisedly) into stentorian life on the first attempt at starting and never let him down whilst he made his break under power, not daring to show sail until well on his way.

Barry told me afterwards that he kept looking over his shoulder expecting to be pursued, but in retrospect he figured that all the dictator's men had either not seen him, were too pissed to care, or too lazy to make chase - more than probably all the above.

In any event, he had a reasonably uneventful trip to Durban, though doubtless presenting customs and immigration with a bit of a headache. Certainly the port authorities insisted he install little niceties like pulpit, pushpit, stanchions and lifelines before proceedings to Cape Town soon afterwards.

Well, Cape Town it was where we bought the boat from Barry and he went on to build an Endurance 37 in which he and wife, Frankie, cruised extensively in the Med. We took the boat eventually to Langebaan, where she saw many happy years of sailing and became a distinctive sight at her mooring just off Sandy Bay, her gaff rig often showing attractive sail on the skyline off Saldanha Bay.

We eventually sold the boat to a wooden boat fanatic who never really sailed her, but who put a great deal of resources into refitting her to be quite a showpiece. That owner in turn sold her to a fellow who sailed her to Portugal with his son. Eventually, the fellow told me, they were forced to abandon a foundering Sofala in hurricane conditions during their attempted return voyage. And thus her crew were saved by a passing ship, but the brave little Sofala was not and has doubtless become another prized addition to Davey Jones' cache.

Every little ship has her tail, be it long or short bold or modest and most are worthy of the telling. This was just a chapter in the life of one that reflects the combined personalities of both a valiant wee vessel and her intrepid owner with the springs of adventure strong in them.



First Touch,also the first cant keel design yacht launched in South Africa

It was this boat that we were able to develop our Didi Mini Transat interiors from,Warlock was done by hand,set out,then cut to size with a power hand held jig saw,Running With Scissors was done as templates,then CNC cut,this took the dry fitting time down from four and a half days to a mean four and a half hours,its this kind of extra we supply as standard, that makes our kits worth considering,we built this kit too.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Didi mini transat kit number one soon to be launched

Harken deck gear was supplied to these and other boats by CKD Boats,Cape Town.

Malcolms Didi mini transat number one,I think some eighty five sets of plans to this design have now been sold,many of which we have then supplied as our CKD Boats kits.

Warlock,now SCM sailing in Table Bay,Warlock,our kit number two, was our first Didi mini transat kit to be built and launched but kit number one is close to launch now.

Warlock at RCYC

When Dudley Dix asked me if we would handle the supply of plywoods,epoxy,timber stringers to Malcolm, a customer of his, I had little idea of just what my positive reply would lead to,we did the supply but at this stage only cut the boats bulkheads,as that was where Dudley was up to with his CNC program back then.Later and as we then recieved an order for Mikes Warlock and Mathews Running With Scissors Didi Mini Transat full boat builds,we found the cut files were then available from Dix Design to cut the rest of the boat.CKD Boats then used the two boats to develop the boats interior panels,we are probably the only licenced company to include the boats ballast water tanks (or dump lockers?) and the bunks and mast case as part of our kit.

Malcolm later brought back the uncut plys for the cockpit,coach roof,decks and hull skins,we then cut them and Peter Randle built the boat for Malcolm.We supplied a small amount of epoxy to Malcolm recently,his boat is nearly complete and may be launched early next year,so far as I can see the finish is top class,somuch so that Malcolm tells me that absolutely everyone thinks its a production moulded GRP boat,our ply/epoxy boats are liable to be lighter than GRP boats of course.

EPM Magazine features Simba kids play park

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront banner

Enviromental Planing and Management Magazine.

Left click on any picture to view as full size.

The Waterfront Landscape Architects (WLA) were given the project to produce a 'Simba' (potato chips) theme park by the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront managment,a company I had started in 1974,Commercial Contracts, was succesfull in tendering for the works.It was an interesting one too,we had to produce on time and on budget,which we did,Simba in turn said it was their most successfull and cost effective investment of this type they had ever done,the kids liked it too!