Friday, 10 April 2009

The Saldahna Bay Yacht Club waters

This is always a nice club to visit,calm waters and friendly club members and always a Braai in the evening next to the club house,recomended!

Rudders and foil manufacture

The spin off with our kits and boat building became the in house manufacture of both rudders and foils,we made them the hard way to start with,templates and lots of hand and eye work,we soon moved to CNC profiles and found the result to be well worth the time and effort.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Setting up station ten

This is a great shot of one of our Didi mini transat kits having the last bulkhead set up,next will be the boats backbone and bow sections,followed by the hull stringers,we supplied those pre moulded on two corners so the they will fit the stringer notches easily,we also supplied the Radiata Pine building stocks (treated) and epoxies,the boat is in USA.

The real reason we have fire extinguishers?

Have you ever wished you could justify the high cost of both buying fire extinguishers and having them serviced each year? we find them very handy when we are laminating such items as keel and rudder foils,normally glued up on our cast Iorn topped circular saw bed,with that and the stuff loaded on top we know we will have a perfectly flat laminate to work with!

A Hout Bay 50 on Table Bay,Cape Town

This is a steel construction in radius chine,not one of our kits but we could do such a thing easily enough.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Seeing Cornwall,Polperro is unmissable

A Google Earth picture of the entrance,from 1572 feet high,its low tide,so all the boats are aground.

Known as a painters haven,its easy to see why.

This is no place to be on a dark stormy night,with massive tides,navigation excellence is not an option.

The entrance to the small harbour is tight,it can be really rough,when winter storms arrive they can lower large squares of timber into grooves in the harbour entrance,one on top of the other,they then keep the sea from samshing the inside of the harbour.

This is Chris,a life long resident of Polperro,he is the local harbourmaster,he also painted the painting below this photograph.

This was the place of dreams when I was a lad,its always had the fishing boats but the same men were also said to be smuglers too,the mind ran riot with ideas,its a nice quaint place with real cornish pasties made right there in the shop you buy them from,produced in the long curved shape they are, so that the miners could eat the insides without getting their hands touching the food,tin is a poisen,they must have learnt this the hard way.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

HMS Warrior,an Iorn ship designed by Brunel circa 1860

These two pictures were taken by R McBride using a Sony digital camera.

We could hardly miss this well known vessel while we were in the naval dockyard at Portsmouth,what was not known was one of the worlds greatest cast Iorn engineers in the world designed her,his name was Isambard Kingdom Brunel,he made sure she was bomb proof by making her hull 4.5" thick,that 114mm,imagine the weight.
Note,he also designed the Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension bridge down in Bristol.

HMS Warrior built 1860 was the world's first iron-hulled armoured battleship.
She was built for the Royal Navy in response to the first ironclad warship, the French battleship La Gloire launched in 1859.
When first launched, the 4.5 inch thick wrought iron armoured belt meant that she could withstand all naval cannon in service at that time, she was regarded as the most powerful warship in the world.

The rapid advances in technology at that time resulted in HMS Warrior becoming obsolete within ten years. In 1875 she was relegated to the Reserve Fleet ranks her guns and upper masts were removed around this time. HMS Warrior was saved from being scrapped by the work of the Maritime Trust.They recognized the ship as one of the Royal Navy's most historically important warships.

Restoration of HMS Warrior for use as a museum ship began in August 1979 and by mid-1987, after years of hard work the restoration was completed, on June 16th 1987 she was moved to her current berth in Portsmouth.Visitors can view all aspects of life on board, beautifully recreated as it would of have been, there are countless artifacts on board, such as cannon and naval equipment of the day. The officers quarters hold some very fine furniture, you can also visit the quarter masters store and the engine rooms.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Visitor Centre
Victory Gate
HM Naval Base

Home for 50 years. Llanion Cove on the Cleddau River, Wales.

Thats Warrior rafted up with other Royal Navy warships,you can see this was a very long time ago.

Warrior began active service most inauspiciously. She froze to the slipway when she was launched on December 29th 1860 during the coldest winter for 50 years. Frozen snow covered the dockyard and Thames braziers blazed down the ship's sides but when Sir John Pakington, First Lord of the Admiralty, came to do the honours, she refused to budge.

Extra tugs and hydraulic rams pulled her while hundreds of men ran from side to side on her upper deck, trying to rock her free. After 20 minutes, she finally gave way. Sir John smashed a bottle of wine over her bow with the words "God speed the Warrior"

Warrior later in her career

Warrior was obsolete within a decade. She was relegated to the Reserve Fleet ranks and in 1883, withdrawn from sea service. She was now little more than a floating hulk, although still officially classed an armoured cruiser.

Her masts and guns were stripped when she was used as a depot ship for two years. Her name became Vernon III in 1904, when she joined Portsmouth-based HMS Vernon, the Navy's torpedo training school. Her role was supplying steam and electricity to neighbouring hulks. A year later, another armoured cruiser called Warrior was launched.

The Hon Arthur Cochrane, son of the Earl of Dundonald, became her captain after her commission on August 1st 1861. The ship underwent minor modifications after a sea trial. In June 1862, she started active service in the Channel Squadron, patrolling coastal waters and sailing to Lisbon and Gibraltar.

Crowds of up to 6,000 people turned out to see the new supership as she visited British ports. She never once fired a shot in anger. Her strength was her ability to keep the peace.

Foreign navies soon imitated her advanced features, and armour-plated lookalikes with even greater firepower rolled down dockyard slipways. Engine designs improved steadily, with coaling stations springing up in ports all over the world.

Warrior, second from left, during the early part of the Twentieth Century

Nobody wanted the old battleship when she went up for sale in 1924. Five years on, she inherited the name Oil Fuel Hulk C77 when starting life as a shipkeeper's home and floating oil jetty at Pembroke Dock in Wales.

Some 5,000 ships refuelled alongside her in her 50 years at Pembroke. However, the Royal Navy kept her in reasonable condition with occasional maintenance trips into dry dock keping her hull intact. Warrior was the only example of the 45 ironhulls built between 1861 and 1877 to survive.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Experts use our web site features to explain how things are done

Click on the pictures to fill your screen and see all the details.

The pictures are Dave and Wendys,we supplied their Didi mini transat kit and shipped it to them in Arizona,USA,they may have just launched it? CKD? The letters CKD are well known to anyone in the fabrication trade,be it furniture or even motor cars,CKD is the shortened version of 'Complete Knock Down',the name seemed to fit what we do,its worked well too,if CKD Boats is entered into a search engine such as Google,CKD Boats pops up all over the place,we have become well known? The Spanish company mentioned below thinks so anyway?

November 3rd, 2008 Posted in Shradha Bhandari |

An example of CNC cutting technology applied to mass production in an industry, is that of pre-cut boats.
This concept makes use of CNC routing to develop metal and plywood kit boats, comprising of CNC cut design components such as bulkheads, backbone and skin panels. These members interlock into each other egg-crate fashion, and the joints are then epoxy filleted and glassed.Machines such as DIGICUT are used offering CNC routing and the cutting files for these components comprise info in dxf format.

This technology enables a layman to build a boat from scratch by simply assembling the various pre cut components in a pre-defined order. Also the use of CAD programs to ascertain the interlocking members and accurate CNC cutting results in a rigid form capable of withstanding the pressures applied by the sea on the outside as well as loads applied from the inside.

Text courtesy Dix designs and CKD boats.

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
C/Pujades 102 baixos. Poble Nou
Barcelona 08005 Spain
Tel: (+34) 93 3209520
Fax: (+34) 93 3004333

HMS Victorys 42 pounder bronze cannon surfaces

A Bronze cannon on the shipwreck site of HMS Victory bearing the royal crest of King George I, in the English Channel Photo: AP
The Odyssey Explorer, owned by Odyssey Marine Exploration. They codenamed the shipwreck 'Legend' Photo: AP
The ship, the fourth of six HMS Victories, sunk with its 1,150 sailors in October 1744 around The Casquets, a group of rocks off the Channel Islands. Among other valuable artefacts, it is thought to contain 100,000 gold coins.

Wreck of HMS Victory found in English Channel

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Odyssey Marine Exploration
A bronze cannon known as a 42-pounder, for the size of ball it fired, is lifted from the sea above the wreckage of the HMS Victory.
The discovery of the shipwreck solves a longtime mystery about the fate of the warship, which sank in 1744 with 1,000 people and potentially $1 billion in gold aboard.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
February 3, 2009
American salvagers say they have discovered the long-sought wreck of HMS Victory, the mightiest and most technologically advanced warship of its time, which sank during a violent storm in the English Channel in 1744.

Armed with as many as 110 massive bronze cannons and carrying a crew of 900 men and 100 supernumeraries, the Victory was lost with all hands and reportedly with a treasure of gold bullion whose value is estimated at $1 billion.

In a news conference Monday in London, Greg Stemm, chief executive of Odyssey Marine Exploration in Tampa, Fla., said the company found the remains in 330 feet of water more than 60 miles from where the vessel was thought to have sunk -- exonerating the captain, Sir John Balchin, from the widespread accusation that he had let it run aground through faulty navigation.

"This is the naval equivalent of the Titanic, perhaps even more important than the Titanic," said marine archaeologist Sean Kingsley, director of Wreck Watch International, who consulted with Odyssey on the find. "It's the only intact collection of bronze guns from a Royal Navy warship in the world."

The ship, he added in a telephone interview, "was the equivalent in its day of an aircraft carrier armed with nuclear weapons. . . . When it disappeared off the face of the Earth, there was a collective gasp in the establishment and the general public."

Like the Titanic, the Victory had flaws that rendered it vulnerable to its fate: Its three-deck design was unusually top-heavy, making it susceptible to excessive rolling, and its timbers were not aged properly, leading to premature rot.

Those flaws were corrected when its successor, the sixth and last British warship named Victory, was designed and built three decades later for Admiral Lord Nelson.

By that time as well, the massive bronze cannons had given way to lighter, cheaper cannons made of steel, marking the end of an era.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, which finds sunken ships and sells the artifacts, has made other notable discoveries.

In May 2007, it announced that it had recovered 17 tons of silver and gold coins from a Spanish wreck in the Atlantic, off the coast of Portugal.

The company is now in court with the Spanish government, which claims ownership of the treasure.

The company has been criticized by experts who say it has inflated the value of treasure to procure financial backing. Kingsley and Stemm both noted that the team had so far seen no sign of cargo on the Victory.

Odyssey's shares, which have fallen sharply since September, rose 25 cents, or 6.3%, on Monday to close at $4.20 on Nasdaq.

The Victory search will be profiled this Thursday night in a documentary on the Discovery Channel.

Odyssey has also been criticized for its emphasis on finding wrecks carrying valuable cargo.

"I don't approve of treasure hunting," said marine archaeologist George Bass of Texas A&M University.

"I would like to think that historic shipwrecks would be treated like historic monuments on land, not broken down and sold for profit," he said.

Stemm said Odyssey was negotiating with the British Defense Ministry over what salvage rights it will have.

The Victory site was discovered in May during Odyssey's extensive surveying of the English Channel area with ships carrying sensitive magnetometers and other instruments. The location has been kept a closely guarded secret ever since.

Researchers used the company's 8-ton remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Zeus to explore and photograph the site.

Lost in 1744 that 'other' Victory has been found

Frank Pope, Ocean Correspondent
With its thruster motors fighting the current, the submersible pushed through a blizzard of sediment. Far above, in a darkened control room, the robot's operator squeezed his eyes shut to push away the fatigue. Making three dives a day, he had lost count of how many times he had approached suspected wrecks only to find a clump of ferrous rocks or junk from a ship. This time it would be different.

The announcement this week that Odyssey Marine Exploration, the world's biggest commercial shipwreck exploration specialist, has discovered what appear to be the remains of HMS Victory has caused a sensation. At the time of her sinking in 1744, the Victory was the most powerful warship in the world and was the immediate predecessor of Nelson's flagship now berthed at Portsmouth.

The 240ft Odyssey Alert had towed high-frequency sonar and sophisticated metal detectors across the search area, identifying anything that did not appear to be natural. Odyssey Marine had surveyed about 4,700 sq miles (12,170 sq km) of ocean floor in the Western Approaches of the English Channel alone. Then the 251ft Odyssey Explorer arrived with the robot Zeus to take a closer look with cameras.

About 270 wrecks had been found so far, but on paper this latest target did not appear to be important. Then, into the glare of Zeus's halogen lamps, loomed a huge bronze cannon. “It was pretty amazing,” said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's chief executive. “We knew the Victory was out there somewhere, but we were expecting this 110-gun ship to look huge — but it was a tiny reading. We almost missed it.”

Related Links
Working in murky waters
Brass cannons clue to wreck of HMS Victory
Salvage team claims Victory find
The robot continued its exploration of the site, hovering just above the shifting sands, camera strobes flashing every few seconds as the wreckage passed beneath. A thin veil of marine life shrouded the pulley wheels, bricks and a copper cauldron from the galley. Octopuses shrank into cracks; crabs scuttled from the lights. Then the high-definition lens came upon the first of the enormous bronze guns. Iron reacts with seawater to form bulging, misshapen concretions, but bronze survives well. The proud crest of the 42-pounder — the biggest cannon to be made by the Royal Navy — stood out, crisp and solid against the swirling water.

Long splinters of wood lay exposed on the surface. Then the remains of the ship's 35ft rudder appeared. The fibres of what was once the heartiest oak on the ship had almost disappeared, leaving little but the iron hinges. Organic materials survive centuries of immersion only if sealed off from oxygen, but the Channel's sandbanks shift continuously. The first time that Zeus enabled a count, there were 31 cannon. The next time, 41.

Adding to the confusion is the damage caused by Man. Not the bottles, nets, and knots of plastic that littered the site, but trawlers. Many of the cannon appeared to have been dragged out of their original alignment, and some bear what appeared to be gouges on their surface.

The wooden remains hold the key to how the great warship sank. For 265 years Victory was thought to have struck low- lying rocks off the Channel Islands during a storm, but her remains had now been found 60 miles away in open water. How did she meet her doom? The answer to another mystery lies somewhere on that patch of seabed.

Naval commanders and their crews were rewarded with prize money for capturing enemy ships. But Royal Navy vessels also acted as armed couriers for valuable private shipments, taking a 1 per cent cut. Merchants did not want to advertise how much was being transported, however. The Victory is the only first-rate English warship discovered under water and promises to reveal how much naval commanders could expect to profit.

The Victory was last seen afloat by the commander of the Duke, one of the 33 ships in Admiral Sir John Balchin's fleet, on October 3, south east of the Isles of Scilly. A storm was still building and the Victory was already struggling. Eventually the wind shredded every sail on the Duke and left ten feet of water in her holds. Another ship lost her main and mizzen masts but all survived the storm, except for Victory.

For all her might, Victory had been cursed by her prestige. Designed by committees of naval top brass, the ship took 11 years to construct in the Portsmouth yards — nearly three times longer than it had taken to build the similarly sized Royal George. The result was top heavy, and notoriously unseaworthy.

The builders had run into other problems. By the mid-18th century Britain was running out of shipbuilding timber, and it would take about 6,000 trees — 90 per cent of them slow-growing oak — to build Victory. To make matters worse, in the 1730s, as she was being built, an unnaturally warm summer caused high levels of sap in Britain's trees. Rather than seasoning, the felled wood rotted.

This clue is not lost on Sean Kingsley, an archaeologist working on the investigation. “In the final analysis,” he said, “it may very well have been the unfortunate use of rotten wood in HMS Victory, the mightiest warship in the world, that broke her back in the storm.”

A nice clean engine

See the temp. gauge on the manifold under the air filter?
Know what it is for?

What a great idea,now to see if I can do the same with a spare Hillman Imp engine?

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunbeam Stilletto,Singer Chamois Sport exhaust manifolds

An early Sport cylinder head and new exhaust pipe system from a 1966 Singer Chamois Sport,car number 610 produced from only 2500 made in that series,its said just 24 now exist world wide.

Slightly used?

We are about to make a batch of the original specification Sport exhaust manifolds,we have a brand new one to copy Rootes fabrication and will have the bends and assembly the same as they produced,pricing will be known shortly,the pictures show old and new!

Fitting Didi mini transat deck doublers

We fitted the 9mm deck doublers before laying the 6mm deck skins,it made sense to be able to do this while wecould work from the outside,the doublers support the various deck hardware,Harken winches,blocks,stantions etc.