Saturday, 28 February 2009

Natasza Caban,Solo Sailor on her 34ft S&S sloop is in Hout Bay,South Africa

A picture of the Polish flag.

Natasza has her 34ft Sparkman and Stevens sloop tied up safely on the Hout Bay Yacht Clubs marina.

A second Polish solo female sailor arrived in Hout Bay only yesterday,film crews were busy as she arrived on friday and took footage of her anchored off the harbour wall in rising gale conditions today.


Fashion model or solo circumnavigator? Natasza Caban could be both.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

But Caban isn't in it for fame and fortune. She's been, to put it bluntly, obsessed with sailing since she graduated high school, crewing on dozens of yachts, from the Maxi 80 Kia Loa IV to Sydney-Hobart racers to Caribbean bound charter boats. Her stunning beauty and outgoing personality certainly opened doors but skippers quickly realized that she had much more to offer.

When Caban decided she wanted to crew in the Sydney-Hobart, for example, she had no crew position, no money and no place to stay. She found a request for crew online, asked the skipper to sponsor her visit to Australia, borrowed money from her family for a plane ticket and found a job the day after she arrived. On the ride back from Hobart, the yacht she was on dismasted and the entire crew had to be rescued, but her resolve never wavered. She's pursued her passion with a single-mindedness that has to be admired.

If she gets her way, as she usually does, Caban could become the youngest Pole to solo circumnavigate.
Photos Courtesy Natasza Caban
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

You can follow Caban's journey on her Web site - as thousands of Polish schoolchildren will be doing - at Be sure to click on the little British flag in the upper right corner to get the English version.

- latitude / ld

And a comment from our local solo sailor and past HBYC Commodore,Justin Phillips:

UNBELIEVABLE! I need to have a word with these two tomorrow! Need some tips for when I go round Robben Island!

Hillman Imp Sport and Race exhaust systems.

We have sold a number of these now,quite an international event too,USA,Denmark and UK,we ship world wide as part of what we do,so exports by sea or air are no problem.We can also consider systems for other cars,Honda,Mazda,Ford,BMW exhaust manifolds come to mind but if you have some special you need manifolds for we can look at it for you.

As from next month (march 2009) we will now have systems ex stock,starting with the full race twin Webber carburetor version,then the large bore Janspeed type exhaust manifold only,prices are on application.

Polish Single Hand Yacht Master , Marta Szilajtis-Obieglo

A picture of the polish flag.

Martas yacht Ania alongside the Dix designed Dix 43 Flying Cloud, on the HBYC marina in Hout Bay,South Africa.

Around the World. By herself

Marta Sziłajtis-Obiegło is setting off for the voyage of her dreams. After her voyage around the world she stands a chance of becoming the youngest Polish sailor to sail around the world.

A few days of intensiva preparations and equipment tests in the Captain’s Andrzej Armiński Szczecin Shipyard in Poland and then she fly to Venezuela where yacht Mantra ANIA is waiting in the Puerto la Cruz marina for the voyage. Following a required yacht test, necessary formalities and the provision of food supplies she set off to struggle against the wind, waves and her weaknesses.

Her voyage follows the Passat Route via Panama, the Galapagos Islands, the Island of Polynesia, Australia, Indian Ocean, South Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil to attend the carnival and back to Venezuela. She will call at 14 harbors on her way but none of the stopovers will take longer than a couple of days. Those calls will focus on indispensable repairs, new supplies of fuel, water and food and some sightseeing.

The voyage is meant to take 12 months and given favorable winds and luck this period of time should be sufficient to sail around the world.

A 8.5 m long vessel designed and built by the Captain Andrzej Armiński Szczecin Shipyard will be Marta's home for the upcoming months. Mantra ANIA is ocean going yachts with reinforced hulls, large navigation table with stowage compartments and large fuel and drinking water tanks. Such yachts offer sailors a large degree of autonomy during voyage and allow for long voyages without making ports.

The intended route.

Marta and her yacht Ania,a Mantra 28 has spent some time on the Hout Bay Marina while on her circumnavigation in the attempt to be the youngest Polish girl to ever do so.

Peters place on Ilha Grande

singer chamois's conversations
Notty Notman said:

Hi All,

I was lucky enough to be part of the crew on the yacht anchored there off Peter's Place as everyone called this little bit of paradise. What this photo represents better than most I have seen is the fact that you CAN live the dream without being a BANKER, especially these days now that bankers are falling from their ivory towers. A great place to spend some time if you're cruising this part of the world. The beer is good. the food is fantastic and the people are very friendly, it is interesting to note that Brazil has never declared war on anyone? They are all to busy just enjoying life as it should be.


I posted this picture on Google Earth some time back,its the first such attempt at such things,now people are finding it and making favorable comments.The fact is the place is part of a national park,its pristine,clean and unchanged in twenty years,well done the people of RJ, Brasil,feel free to post your own comments check others out at the link below.


News from Ilha Grande,pictures too!

This was a message that came in from Rod and Mary on Sheer Tenacity,a Shearwater 39 yacht designed by Dudley Dix,they are enjoying the island of Ilha Grand,which is around sixty miles south of Rio de Janerio,Brasil.

Hi Roy,
The weather has settled, and Ilha Grande is really turning
on the charm! The Vende signs are cropping up more and more on islands ,
villas, and beautiful dreamy places! Enough to tempt one, until you register
that Brazil has escaped most of the financial turmoil, until now that is !
The beauty about cruising here, is that nobody can own a beach, and
anchoring is for free! Why would one want to own an island, be stuck in one
place, and have all the fixed costs and maintenance? Rather park off someone
elses beautiful island, and let him look after it!!

Friday, 27 February 2009

The South African Yacht Industry Review

The following was dated mid 2008

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.
note: February 2009,we have now sold to twenty one (21) 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?

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’

Stampa il documento

Your being Screwed?

Threadless wood chipboard screws,no use to anyone.

A trade rumour from many years back,tells of a factory in England making steel wood screws,one shift made the required 1000s but had not checked production quality as the machines ran on.The next shift arrives to do the packing,it would be 100 units per box and per size,only to find that the screw heads had no slots,so they were just scrap?

One machinist (he became a manager later on) looked at the problem and suggested to his foreman,'why not place one faulty screw in each box of 100,I doubt anyone will mind,if they do we give them one screw more in exchange?' So this is what was said to have been done,the shifts faulty production just disapeared into boxes being packed and of course they never did get a complaint,I think of this when ever I see a fault in a single screw,are we being screwed?


Didi 38 kit to the South Pacific loading

The paint we supplied are the stack in front of Clinton and Tim,International Paints local area manager,all supplied at our trade costings plus a small margin to cover our expenses.

International Paints supplied all the coatings that Charles would need.

This was one of those kits that started as a set of bulkheads and related materials to a Dix Design Didi 38,Charles had bought his plans,we asked could we quote him on the supply of materials,he accepted our offer and we were awarded the contract.

What then became clear was that Charles was going to build his new boat on a small island in the pacific ocean,its about 170 miles west of Honolulu,there was never going to be a chance of him finding anything locally,so we started to ask for prices on North Sails,Sparcraft mast and boom,Yanmar diesel engine,Anderson winches,Raymarine electronics,International Paints,Gebo Hatches,Jabsoco toilet and pumps,Stainless push and pullpits,fastners,glues,in the end we made up a single package and sent it off as one lot,the picture shows the keel being loaded here in Cape Town.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

An electric car named the Joule,made in Cape Town,South Africa

The Joule electric car was first on show at the Paris Motor Show,October 2008.

We have seen a number yachts use electric engines in boats recently,this idea is growing fast and I do believe the next five years will brainstorm the idea and for some,electric will be all that is acceptable,imagine,no more smelly diesel in your boat,no super expensive new parts,no servicing,just clean and fresh silent power!even now many yachts are AC free but have full electronics,lights and a fridge,powered by either soler panels or windchargers,yachts are the perfect candidate for electric propulsion right now.

What a jewel: South Africa's electric car

Optimal Energy, a privately-owned South African company based in Cape Town, has unveiled Africa's first all-electric vehicle. Appropriately named Joule, the zero emission car is a six-seater multi-purpose vehicle.

Designed by Optimal Energy in association with legendary South African born automotive designer, Keith Helfet, the ultra sleek Joule is scheduled to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show this month.

"The world's finite energy sources are being used inefficiently and urban transport plays a major role in energy wastage and climate changing pollution," says CEO of Optimal Energy Kobus Meiring.

Comment on the subject from my good friend Captain Notty in England.
Hi Roy,

As a percentage of population, South Africa produces more talent than most other countries.
I think it has something to do with the mix and the quality of the population that settled there over the years and the fact that once they were settled, the lifestyle, sunshine and sheer opportunities to think and expand personal horizons was the perfect breeding ground for genius?

Anyway, it's fantastic that a country in Africa has produced an electric car at all when you think that when the first arrived there not that long ago, Africa hadn't even discovered the wheel.
It will be interesting to learn how much it will sell for and if it will be able to compete with the new Smart Car which now boasts a diesel engine capable of doing 100-mph and managing an economical 85-mpg?

All electric cars are a temporary measure until they get serious about producing hydrogen powered cars. Honda are the first in the world to produce a hydrogen fuelled electric fuel-cell car that has a range of about 250-miles on a tank full of hydrogen.

On the other hand, Mercedes are the first to have produced a standard V12 internal combustion engined car that runs on pure hydrogen instead of petrol, both proving that it's possible.

All that is required now is to find a cheap way of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen its two elements and we will have a fuel that will last until there is no more water left on the planet.

It's quite odd that water is made up of two of the most explosive gasses found in nature yet water can be used as a fire extinguishing liquid. Once the two gasses are recombined as in an explosion, the only bi-product released back into the atmosphere is water, so it has to be the fuel of the future.

Food for though? Get inventing Mr. Mac.


Red Sky at Night by Kevin Blair

Red Sky at Night,taken by Kevin Blair,at 17.40pm dated 21/02/2009

Some may recall a famous ship yard on the River Tyne,in fact there were many ship yards on the River Tyne,they are all but gone now but memory lingers on with those left living in places like Hebburn on Tyne,my interest in Hebburn was my grandfather,
Robbie McBride worked there as a ship builder him self,nothing glamorous,he was a riveter,thats hard work by my score.

The area has a town web site Mike Elliot runs it like a tight well run ship,the site is special in that no revenue is earned by way of advertising,no ranting or raving is allowed,its just a good neighbour soap box the way it should be but just look how successfull it is!

And one last bit of interesting news for tonight ...
Posted by Mike (site ed.) on 25/2/2009, 11:48 pm

... the counter on this messageboard page is set to count 'unique visits' - so you are only counted once per visit, even if you browse many messages in that time.

Most website counters are set to click up every time you look at a new page, then click again when you go back to the listing page, then again when you go to your next post - and so on. So the count on this page is a significant understatement of the actual number of page views.

Nonetheless, we have this month rolled past the one million mark since I reset the counter just over 3 years ago (Jan 06).

Not bad eh?

Building the Argie 15 boat kit

A nice picture of Alans completed Argie 15,he made a really proffesional job of the final finish.

CKD Boats delivers Alans Argie 15 kit to his garage.

We are asked many times how long it takes to build a kit and does the buyer have the required skills? the replay to both questions is normaly positive,we have never yet found a buyer of our kits who could not build what we supplied,one guy did have a few problems but he later admitted he had not read our detailed buyers building instructions,in that case we sent him around twenty buildpictures,that did the trick and he was on the water in no time at all.

These pictures are of the Argie 15 kit we delivered to Alan,does he have the build skills? as an Air Traffic Controler,he daily job certainaly wouldplay no part in the building but Alan was very soon into his build and the boat was finished in a couple of months spare time,Alans wife did complain that he would not cut the lawn around their home as he did before though,this may have been the reason ALan bought the kit?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Making Foils and Rudders to suit our kits

We can consider any other design,we ship world wide too.

We made the first set of Didi Mini Transat in the old way of a series of templates shaped to the designers profiles,this is a half profile shape of hardboard,set to every 200mm or so,it works but slowly,one pair of rudders and a foil takes one person over three days to do the basic shaping.We soon worked into using the CNC machine to profile in 3D,then cut the profiles every 50mm,this then gives us a pre cut shape and is quite easy to machine plane to size,we picked up a few tricks as we went,have a look at the pictures.The paint can be any colour,it shows up at the bottom of the cutter slot as we shape into the foil,it tells us when to stop shaping!


Hout Bay Yacht Club waters

Another perfect day in Hout Bay.

Jean handles the helm while I take the picture with my Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera.Click on the picture for a full size view.