Friday, 6 February 2009

Building our boat kits is Kids Stuff

The young boat building team,what a great idea,it teaches life skills that will last forever.

The BCMS resident dog checks out progress.

Dave (in the dark jacket) checks his boats progress.

Station 4 on the move.

The pictures say it all,BCMS asked this group of inner city students if they wanted to build one of our Didi Mini Transat kits for Proffesor Dave Hyland,the reply was a very firm yes!

The tall ship, The Eye of the Wind visits the V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront logo,Cape Town.

The logo of the TBA

This picture of The Eye of The Wind was taken by Roy McBride

We see a regular amount of very interesting tall ships vist Cape Towns V&A Waterfront but its not often we see them under full sail,this is one way of fixing that issue.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The Cockleshell Heros

Cockleshell Canoes,those who served so we may be free,yet another sailing boat of note,

Marking the 66th anniversary of the daring raid by the Cockleshell Heroes, this new and unique display explores the untold story of the British Military Canoes of World War II.

During the war approaching the enemy coast had to be done in secret and canoes were the ideal tool. Difficult to spot and easy to hide, canoes could be used to land and collect special agents, launch attacks and seek out possible landing places; whilst collapsible canoes could be carried and launched from submarines.

The display brings together three of the rarest military canoes of the time. The oldest, the Mark 2, was made famous by Operation Frankton in December 1942 which was the basis for the film The Cockleshell Heroes. The 'Cockleshell Heroes' were Royal Marine Commandos who got their nickname from the canoes that they used which were known as ‘cockles.’ The other two canoes are unusual in that they were built of aluminium for use in the tropics.

Captain George Hogg, Museum Trustee says “The significance of this display is that it spans the development of military canoes during World War II, from the first to the last, from wood and canvas to sectional aluminium types. There is a great deal still to be learnt from these canoes and I look forward to the response from the public.”

The complete story of the World War II British military canoes can be read in the recently published book The Cockleshell Canoes by Quentin Rees.

MV Dolphin,

Gavin tells me that around five of these boats were shipped as used fishing boats to Southern Africa from Norway,one is still in Mozambique,Gavins was from the east coast,when it came down named as Arkiwiena,a german family had some grand idea to do the canals of europe and rigged her as a floating caravan,gaff rigged sails and all,by the time they had rocked and rolled all the way from Cape Town to St Helena Island,they had second thoughts,got off the boat and returned to Cape Town on the mail ship,a delivery crew brought the boat back. Gavin has spent a lot of time upgrading his boat and thinks the world of it,even being run down by a 12,000 ton ship did not put him off but thats another story!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Whats on in our factory today?

Thats 154mtrs of 19x32mm timber,with Mike doing the last of sanding to Daves Mini Cruise Foil at the back of the shop.

Stringers machined and ready to pack.

This is the machine work which does a 6mm radius on two edges of each stringer we supply with the Didi Mini Cruise kits.

We have a second Didi Mini Transat Cruise order,this one is off to John in England,we have been machining the boats stringers in between preparing another similar kit thats soon to ship to Dave in Austraila.We machine the stingers to size and when they have to fit into a bulkhead slot,we also 'bulnose' the two edges to allow them to fit neatly.

The church of St Tanwg in Wales dated 435 AD

St Tanwg Church,possibly built in the 5th century and in 435AD.

Jean and Roy,on the beach in front of St Tanwg Church,picture taken by Janet McBride with a Sony Cyber-shot 3.1 mega pixel digital camera.

A dark and stormy looking Cardigan Bay,North Wales.

Left click on any page to view full size for easy reading.

Why mention a church on a blog that is mainly about boats? well the church of
St Tanwg, which will almost certainaly by Britains oldest church is placed on a beach in Cardigan Bay,close to Harlech Castle and was founded by St Tanwg as a staging point to open up Ireland which is off to the west.It is thought that the small drying bay behind the church, will have been where boats sailed out with supplies and those taking religion to Ireland,my wife Jean,daughter Janet and myself found the place quite by accident,we were staying that night in Gwenns B&B just up the road.The Prince of Wales,Prince Charles,the son of Queen Elizabeth has been in this church,I am sure he had to duck his head some to enter its tiny spaces,if the church is locked a lady who lives just up the road and past Gwenns B&B has the key.
Think on this,if history is correct and St Tanwg church is as old as they say she is now some one thousand five hundred and seventy four years old! (1574) amen.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Weighing our epoxies,Andrews Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009
First Layer Progressing - Slow but steady.
Haven't updated for a while as I have been busy glueing the First layer in place. This is turning out to be quite a slow process, as each piece needs to be removed and then any minor adjustments made before glueing back. Weather also dictates, as when the wind is blowing too much it makes it difficult, mainly due to the dust blowing up and getting on the joints to be glued.

Thanks to Dave for the idea, and Roy for posting it on his blog, I have also now made a scale for measuring out the exact quantities of epoxy and cure.

Tall shipThe Tecla

My friend Josh has just posted a comment that he will soon be sailing on the tall ship Tecla and comments she looks very similar to the boat in St Catherines dock,liverpool.The boats may be similar but Tecla is smaller and the rigs are not alike.

A tall ship visits Liverpools St Catherine Docks

Sailing ship Ruth and Zebu moored outside the Mersey Maritime Museum, Liverpool

Zebu under full sail.

The Brigantine Zebu,Liverpools resident tallship,photo by R McBride

I took this picture a few years back,this was in October 1997,yes in the last century,if I knew this blog was to happen I might have noted the name of the ship,does anyone know what her name is?If you left click on either picture you will see her full screen but even then I see no name on her,she is a Baltic Trader type?

Note,many thanks to Max of for recognising this boat,once he named her Zebu,my memory woke up and I agree.


Monday, 2 February 2009

Self design and build of my Bahia 34

left click the image to view full screen size

After a blue water cruise from Cape Town to Salvador,Bahia,Brasil,I just knew I wanted to both own and build my own boat,I went a little further and designed it too,thats it at the far end of Terrys yard and upside down,the yard was seasonal,come winter it was packed with river craft that needed storage on dry land untill the following spring.

Google Earth,Hout Bay Harbour

Left click to see in a larger size,if you want to see in a better size,go to Google Earth and put in the position 34 03 00.39" south 18 20 51.93" east,you can then view all the local pictures and see just how large this thing swiming in our harbour is,we have seen whales and great white sharks in the harbour before but this picture must be a million to one chance?

The new pictures of Hout Bay by Google Earth are a lot clearer than ever before,we know from some of the new buildings being worked on that this picture will be about a year old,so February 2008? But whats that swiming out of the harbour,you tell me,its submerged and very very large.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Didi Cruise Mini by Dix Design

We have sold many of the Didi Mini Transat range,in fact the first ever CNC kit order we recieved, was for Didi Mini Transat number one,we have shipped them world wide and at this time we are about to pack an order for the Cruise version to Perth,Austrailia and next week we will be cutting and preparing another Didi Mini Cruise to be shipped to England.

Notes from the Dudley Dix web site:

Since we introduced the Didi Mini we have received repeated requests for a cruising version, particularly with shallow water capability. This variation is intended to satisfy that need.

Construction is the same as for the standard Didi Mini, with some cruiser-oriented modifications. First, we have transplanted the lifting keel of the Didi 26 trailer sailer into the hull. This keel has a glass covered hardwood foil and lead beavertail ballast bulb for efficiency. It is lifted with a tackle inside the box and a winch on the cabintop. The keel casing fits neatly between the two parts of the plywood double backbone in the saloon and stiffens the hull by tying the hull and deck together.

We have used the keel casing as a division to introduce an enclosed heads compartment just aft of the mast. This can be fitted with a Porta-Potti or a small marine toilet. A simplified version of the Didi Mini fixed keel is also included in the design package, for those who don't want the lifting keel feature and the limitations that it imposes on the interior of the boat. Those who do not want the enclosed heads can build the standard Didi Mini saloon or build a navigation station in this area.

Forward of the mast, the whole forecabin is turned into a large double berth, comfortable when at anchor. In the saloon, the settees double as quarter berths for sleeping at sea. We have added a box step across the interior between the settees, for stowage and as a battery location.

The cabin roof has been lifted by 100mm (4") to give a bit more headroom. It also allows the cabin structure to give better protection to the cockpit from waves that may come on board when sailing hard. The cockpit protection has been further improved by extending the cabin sides and roof aft to form a dodger over the forward end of the cockpit. To compensate for seat length lost to the longer cabin structure, the stepped aft deck has been replaced by a deck that continues to the transom on one level.

The deck layout is a fairly conventional 3-winch arrangement. The smaller headsails sheet to the top of the cabin and are led to the cabintop winch. The larger headsails and spinnakers sheet to the cockpit winches. Tweeker lines replace headsail tracks. The lifting keel is also operated with the cabintop winch.

Terry Tappins yard,Weybridge,Surrey,England

You can view these pictures full screen size by left clicking on any picture.All pictures taken by R McBride with a Canon FT I.4 50mm lens and Kodaks 60asa film.(still one of the best cameras made?) Roy

While I was busy building my self designed Bahia 34 in cold moulded marine plywood on Terrys island on the River Thames,I got to know Kevin of Thamesway Marine Products (TMP) (they do gear boxes)AT 96 Thames St,Weybridge,which is opposite the Old Crown Pub,I think my build became infectious as before very long Kevin was rebuilding an old and abandoned classic that the yard owner Terry Tappin said he could have if he could fix it?

Here is my friend Kevin of TMP Marine taking on a derilict boat,its sprung its seams all over the place,Kevin wanted a small family boat for his wife and two sons,this boat was perfect if he could fix it,between the two of us we put new Green Oak steamed frames in called 'Sisters' named as such as they are fitted along side the original and broken frame.Kevin was outside hammering the Copper Nail,I was inside with the Copper Rove and another hammer,with Kevins hammering,the nail became clenched over inside and secured the Sister Frame,its easy stuff but takes two men and a lot of time.