Thursday, 31 December 2009

Another good wooden boat,Paper Jet 14 building

Pictures by Denzil,left click to open full size.

This Paper Jet 14 is being built from one of our CNC cut kits,Denzil tells me his progress is steady and good,there is a fine (large) very detailed builders book that is supplied with the plans,you are taken step by step through the build,lots of pictures too.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Yacht Zeeslang,a good wooden boat

Taken at the RCYC Classic Boat Rally in 2007,I think this may be a Trevour Wilkins picture.Note the very unusual and inovative original coach roof.

Click on all pictures excepting this one to view full size,more pictures below, taken by R McBride with a Canon G11 digital camera.

Taken from the book writen by J.S.Rabinowitz a history of the Royal Cape Yacht Club,Bill signed my own copy for me on the evening the volume was released.

Page 333:

In 1958 came the biggest shock administered to the sailing community in the shape of a Van de Stadt-designed boat introduced by Kees Bruynzeel.We looked at this over-sized dinghy of a boat and declared we wouldn't trust our lives to such a small craft in Table Bay.There she lay at the bottom of the jetty,looking,in our eyes like a glorified sharpie.

Then came her debut-in an ocean race to Dassen Island and back in half gale conditions in july 1958.P111 (Parergon 3)could have been expected to win,especially on the beat into the northwesterly,but the wind blew up a sea that was just too short for her and she pounded her way from wave to wave to Dassen Island,finding,to her surprise,the Zeeslang was holding them.On the way home she beat them by some 40 minutes.

The answer was simple-P111 built along the old designs with plenty of boat below the water could not hold a virtually flat-bottomed boat by comparison,with only a slender keel offering resistance below.
Fred Smithers had been on a trip to Europe earlier and had spoken about this type of boat but we took no notice of him.As to her seagoing qualities:

6 of the 8 starters had dropped out including P11 (Parergon 2) who had lost her mast when the backstay shackle parted.Windsong lost her main and jib and Active retired as her crew was to small to stand up to the conditions encounted.John Goodwin sailing to Saldanha on his Vertue,decided to give up the weather best and returned to shelter at Robben Island.

This race blew away our cobwebs and established the name of Van der Stadt as a designer.It also gave the answer to our long quest for a one design for the club-but not immediately.In march the General Committee approoved the purchase,by the Sailing Committee of plans for a selected one-design boat.

Page 353:

Mr Bruynzeel took an interest in the RCOD and at his own expense had modified plans of the successfull overseas racer "Black Soo" drawn up by Ricus van der Stadt to suit Table Bay conditions.What had finally influenced the club to go for a 'Zeeslang' design was her 33 hour voyage back from Mossel Bay to Simonstown,with Mr Cliff Leh at the helm.

Note,Zeeslang has been known to reach speeds of fifteen (15) knots!

Comments below from a friend,Notty on his memories of Zeeslang.

I think Jeff Smith owned Zeeslang for a while and Jeff was a big mate of Jock Grey and Alan Duncan so he used to sail with both Jeff on Zeeslang and Alan off Sonnet, Julian was also part of that little gang with his original Red Wing and they all really had some fun on their boats, I never actually sailed on Zeeslang but used to hear all the stories about it. Julian was good enough to loan me Red Wing when Sonia's elder sister came out so we could take her for a sail on Table Bay. Not sure when that was but I started sailing from the RCYC in about 1973 I think after buying Sunmaid off Colin Cooper who had been a Lipton Cup winner at one time.
HBYC marina and as restored a few years back by Tommy Walker for Bernard Diebold Zeeslangs owner.

Not many imported boats take off the way this design did,said by many when it arrived in Cape Town to be too lightly built to survive the waters and weather found off the cape,it soon changed peoples minds by breaking records and not itself.

News in a few days back:  17/05/2013.

Dear Roy McBride,

You may be interested in the plans of Zeeslang.

They can be provided by the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam. Inventory number 1994.2573

They are send by We Transfer.

Costs are €15,- admin and €4,- for each plan. There are 3: lines, construction and sailplan.

I hope this info is useful to you.


Daan Jaspers

Sunday, 27 December 2009

NSRI Station 8,Hout Bay

This may have been back on 15th May 1986 but Hout Bays Station 8 are still doing a grand job,thanks to them!

Left click on images to see full size.

The Pipedream 37 by Francis S Kinney

When I restored Andante,a Pipedream 37 design at the RCYC little did I know that some thirty years later I would be both asked for information and find myself asking too.

Will Lau emailed me from New Zealand,he has a Pipedream 37 of his own and wants to find more about this classic design,so has posted its own web site at:

I contacted Colin Farlam,the RCYC historian and asked him to refresh my mind on the boats built locally,there were two,Allegra and Andante,both built by different owners with some persons having worked on both it seems? I posted a very long reply on wills blog but its lost,so I will do it here and the info will be findable in the future I hope,maybe Will can copy and paste to his own web site later?

Colin Farlam tells me that Allegra was built on land near Lakeside or what is now named Marina Da Gama on the Cape Flats near Simonstown,False Bay,the boat was launched around 1969/70 ? the owner was a Mr Seddon Cripps,who had various skilled persons build the boat for him it seems,they used the book by Francis S Kinney as a guide,I was told that its possible a Mr Cupido worked on both boats,I know he worked on Andante which was built later and used Allegras lead keel mould.

Using my first edition copy of A history of the Royal Cape Yacht Club,which was signed and given to me by its late author J.S Rabinowitz,on the evening it was launched by Bill himself,the first mention I find of Allegra is in 1973 when she won a race skippered then by the new owner Harold Sender,then vice commodore and later to be commodore,this is on page 436,when Harold bought the boat from Seddon I have yet to discover,I saw Allegra around 1975,she sailed off some time later,I have no idea where to?

Andante was a good restoration project for me,repaint inside and out,remove the mast and five coats of clear varnish after it was completly stripped,Jean and myself went the the new owner and selling broker one July (?) night up to Saldahna,the Volvo engine was overheating at any more than 4 knots,so it was a long and very cold night.

Andante was built by her owner,his name I have yet to discover but two persons I know will tell me,one did the 1976 Cape to Rio yacht race on the boat,the owner/builder was the skipper.Mr Cupido was one person who worked on her,this I know as when it was found some required keel timbers (floors) were never fitted on construction,it was he who was called in to install them having worked on the boat prieviously,this was done in the RCYC clubs car park.This was after a dramatic start by a delivery skipper to Durban from Cape Town,they hit bad weather and the caulking at the keel was leaking so bad,they only just made Hout Bay twenty miles away.Once repaired the boat was delivered to Durban.

October 16th 2010 I met Derek Lourens one of the crew in the Cape to Rio race on the HBYC marina after a yacht race,he did the return trip to and tells me the owner then was Gert Van Dyk who now lives on the east coast of South Africa,it would be nice to make contact with Gert.

Frans Loots found this blog entry and has sent me the following information.


You posed the question if Andante sailed to Rio.

Yep it sailed in the 76 Rio race and finished somewhere near the back.

In preparing for the race Andante had her IOR measurement inclination test done at the same time as we did the Navy's Centurion class sloops. I was based at the sailing centre under then Chief Petty Officer Bertie Reed (national service does not come better than that!) and we all helped Gert Van Dyk that morning because he was on his own.

Many thanks Frans.


Thursday, 24 December 2009

CKD Boats cc wishes all our readers and customers world wide all the best of the season!

Many thanks to Norman Dunn for the use of the christmas logos from his web site to be found at

Roy and Jean.

Vesper Marine sends a Christmas Greeting

What a fine Christmas Greeting,its from Deirdre and Jeff of Vesper Marine,designers and manufacturers of the Watchmate AIS Ssystem down in New Zealand.

103 Westhaven Drive, St. Mary's Bay
PO Box 91164, Victoria Street West
Auckland, New Zealand

Phone: +64 (0)9 950 4848
Fax: +64 (0)9 950 4085

CKD Boats cc are proud to be the South African importers of Watchmate AIS systems from Vesper Marine,contact for information and pricing.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Swopping beers in mid atlantic

Left click the picture to view full screen size,the Camera was a Canon FT with a 50mm 1.4 lens,picture by Roy McBride.
The Barens Seatrader 39s,built in Durban and fitted out by Dick Schipper,the family of four became the boats name 4 Schippers.Meeting mid ocean is not as easy as you may think,Dick had radar,we both has Sat Nav,after the VHF radio contact was made we found each other about mid way between Ascencion Island and Salvador,Bahia,Brasil.

This was a later crossing,the event was to swop a six pack of cold Castle beers from our boat Ocean Cloud,whos fridge and deep freeze worked,to 4 Schippers whose fridge did not work.Simone on board our boat took a 6mm line we had an made a Turks Head knot in one end,we threw that line across and they are tying it to a B Canvas water bucket we sent over too,the exchange beers were Lions,not produced anymore? I still have that same heaving line,the bucket too!

Sailing the South Atlantic Ocean in 1977

Dennis,with at very large tuna we bought when in St Helena Isle.

Roy,32 years ago!

Becalmed,we never had those clouds in the distance reach us.


Arrival in Salvador early morning.

This must be the boats owner and skipper,Dennis,as I was holding the camera!

Trixi and Dennis

Dennis O,Brien our skipper,he had done a transatlantic on Brer Terrapin from Rio de Janerio to Cape Town a year before,he had to learn celestial navigation (no sat nav or gps back then) and it was up to Dennis to get us across the ocean safely,he did a splendid job of navigation,we arrived spot on and in the right place each time!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The voyage of Brer Terrapin to St Helena Isle in 1977

Left click any picture to view full screen size,the camera was a Canon FT with a 50mm x 1.4 lens and 35mm film, using Kodaks Proffesional Ektachrome slide film.
The trip took 13 1/2 days from Cape Town.

Commercial Lumber cc,34 Glynn Street,Cape Town

With a move to Glynn Street,we found ourselves in a very good position for retail timber sales,the only timber specialist in the city propper,we soon expanded from stocking only teak to around fifteen species,we supplied city council and the parliament builings,which are just down the road.While we have closed Commercial Lumber cc as a trading name,we continue to stock specialist timbers,such as Teak, Poplar,Oak,Beech,White Ash,Meranti,Oregon Pine.

Posniaks on McKenzie Street,Cape Town

The original Brimble and Briggs name plat was nailed to each fitting and window they made using tiny very sharp copper nails.

We fitted out two Tosca 36 hull and decks,this is boat one,it was followed by another,then a Fortuna 37 after which the building was sold and we moved to premises around the corner in Glynn Street,by then Commercial Lumber cc was quite well established.

We invested in a container of plantation teak,this was the start of Commercial Lumber,a successfull venture untill the exchange rates changed for the worst.

I recently added a blog on Brimble and Briggs my old Wetton employers,they used to own a building in McKenzie and Wesley Streets,these pictures are taken inside the office complex that we turned into our workshops,Bertie Posniak owned the building back then.

Markfield Town,Leicestershire,England

This was taken two days back by my good friend Notty,he tells me that he used his Canon Camera on the following settings.

The little church is St. Michael and All Angels' Church.
The green is Church Drive, Markfield, Leicestershire. Taken on a Canon EOS 450-D with an EF-S 18-55-mm Zoom lens on 20/12/2009. The settings were 1/200th. Sec. at F11& 100-4009 whatever that last number means?

Monday, 21 December 2009

Your Christmas Card

Happy Christmas every one!

This is a chistmas card to everyone who views our blog and I hope you all stay out of harms way like the bird on top of the tree has managed to do!


River Tyne Shipping

Another picture frozen in time,the tug will have been an important addition to the days when sailing ships had no engines,as a paddle wheeler and with a steam engine,this tug the Stag,would have done a much better job than a party of men in the ships long boats rowing their ship out.
Thanks to Norman Dunn for permission to use his photo.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

And now a new boat

The purpose of the boat is pleasure,its got a lot of wasted space on its ends,as if they want to reduce pitching but as its used in the mediterainian sea,I am not sure why,just a design feature,let me know when you want your kit.Roy

I have already been advised that we could make this as a kit,what say you?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The River Tyne,Pelaw Main in the 1900s

An early picture of shipping on the River Tyne,I think they will be loading coal,this picture and many others are to be found on Norman Dunns web pages linked to the Hebburn on Tyne web site at,have a look at the message board and post a message! Roy

Some history on Pelaw Mains past:

Pelaw is a district that forms part of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead,
Pelaw came into being due to the huge Victorian factory complexes of the CWS or Co-Operative Wholesale SocietyCo-operative wholesale societyA Co-operative Wholesale Society, or CWS, is a form of Co-operative Federation , in this case, the members are usually Consumers' Co-operatives...
which was the manufacturing division of the then burgeoning Co-Op company, which grew up along the length of the Shields Road.
This mile long stretch of red-brick industry was home to factories making clothing and textiles, furniture, pharmaceuticals, household cleaning products, quilts, books and magazines and the world-famous "Pelaw" shoe polish.
These factories created Pelaw and were practically its sole employer during most of the twentieth century but due to inevitable foreign competition, the prevailing economic climate and government policies of the times, the majority of the factories were closed and demolished between the mid 70s and early 90s to be replaced in recent years by modern housing estates.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A De Ja Vue experiance at Wetton Park,Wetton,Cape Town

I found this original Brimble and Briggs metal badge on a shopfitting we were removing from a job we were on,of course when we dumped the unit I kept the badge!

Wetton Park,Wetton,Cape Town

Left click either picture to view full size.

Yesterday I had occasion to visit Ian at a local company named 'Holdfast' they manufacture a large range of strapping and roof racks.I was on the HBYC marinas business,we require special webbing to hold the marina floats in place.

When Ian asked if I knew where Wetton Park was? my reply was an easy yes,as I had started my first job in South Africa in the same premises some 41 years earlier,that was back in october 1968.Then it was the premises of Brimble & Briggs,a large company of shop fitters in Cape Town.It was here I met Paul and Alan Gardener,who now trade in Natal Street,Paarden Eilnad, as the 'Gardener Bros',doing high class kitchens and cupboards.To the left of where I am standing was the covered area where I parked my Mk1 Balmoral Grey Hillman Imp.

I was to return to work in the same buildings later in life,this was after my return to SA after a job in the Sudan,around 28 years back,by now Brimble and Briggs had been taken over by the PG Group and Frederick Sage Shopfitters had moved in,so had Shelvit pty,the company I was to work for,the only time I ever went to work in a suit and tie,plus have a company car,it did not last long,they had so little share of the market,I resigned.Frederick Sage did a great deal of the new Sun City Hotel in this building.

I may as well write some history on Brimble and Briggs,they were a very well known company it seems and at one time traded from a large building in McKenzie street,off Roeland street in Cape Town itself,for some strange coincidence I was later to rent half of the ground floor of this building and run my own shopfitting company from what had been Brimble and Briggs ground floor offices!The machine shop was around the corner in the same building,which being made completely from concrete made the place sound proof,back then the building was known as Posinaks,its now SA Maps.

another finding on Brimble and Briggs.

You will often find old shop fronts and shop fittings with a small metal strip nailed to the inside of the glass,its silver letters on a black background says simply Brimble and Briggs.

Brimble & Briggs bldg (later Posniaks )
Corner of Wesley street and McKenzie street
Cape Town, Western Cape
Designed by

A famous painter who started work at Brimble and Briggs.

Frank Sydney Spears
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Frank Sydney Spears (1906 – 1991) was a South African artist. He was born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England.

He arrived in South Africa as a designer for Brimble and Briggs Ltd. in 1928. He established a high profile as an artist, broadcaster and actor, also known for his success in business activities and as a designer of boats.

General Botha Navy connections with Brimble and Briggs.

PW Immelman 1949/50.
Ater the Royal Navy turned him down for medical reasons, joined Brimble and Briggs as a shopfitter for 13 years.