Saturday, 25 April 2009

Salvador Harbour,Bahia,Brasil

Thank you to Eric Wells for supplying this picture.

I have spent a lot of my sailing and cruising time in Salvador,the area is quite large and has around three rivers entering the bay,each river has its own attraction,its a step back in time certainally.The main part of the old harbour was upgraded some years back with a marina,we had to anchor to the left of it in the old days,this is the best picture I have yet to see,its taken from the Elevator that takes you from the old lower city to the new upper city.

Waiting for the fog to lift

This classic was spotted one early morning in Gweek,England.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Brasil,Peters Place,Lucas writes about his visits.

Peter and friends,note the whisky bottle on the floor.

The spectacular view from Peters house.

Its not surprising more people than I liked going to Ilha Grand and meeting Peter who had his own beach with a house set in the palm trees,Peter made many friends,one has just contacted me and this is his mail.

Hello sailor !

This mail is to thank you for bringing back old memories of the paradise
beaches of Ilha Grande and my great friend Peter Thoeriddle.
I lived for well over five years (1966-1972) with wife and three daughters
in a beachhouse on Jacuacanga Bay where I was the production manager at the
Verolme shipyard when that was still a Dutch enterprise.
Already from the verry beginning Peter new to find me when he needed some
assistance for odd repairs or tubboat transportservice to his beach.
An open invitation to Arrueiras followed and many weekends my family and he
spent barbequeing and drinking prohibited smuggle whisky and caiperinhas on
the beach after wich we mounted his overaged jeep for a swim at praia Lopes
Reason that I found your nice fotograph ( I have one from the same spot) is
that one of my advantouch granddaugters sailed in march as crew on a Volvo
Ocean 60 -Nova One - from CapeTown to Rio . I therefore opened Google Earth
and found your photo.
The last few weeks she boarded a Brasilian wooden tourist ketch and is now
sailing up and down that area from Rio to Paraty and thus crossing the
waters where her mother spent so many happy years.
I saw your nice Blog but I did not find a way to enter this with some
.These I took in 1984 when I was for business in Brasil with my wife and we
took the opportunity to look Peter up for a last time.
I am now a nearly 80 year old retired shipbuilder and a fanatic yachtsman
and I want to thank you again for bringing back these good memories.

Lucas R.Fabriek

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Singer Chamois Sport engine number 610

The crank was re-ground to an exact size by the local Ferrari agents,Viglietti Motors,this means they actually take the block and new bearing shells,fit the shells and then check what the crank grind should be,nice to have such good service.

Thats the cars production number,not the engine number,all new parts excepting the pistons were fitted,so the bore is still the genuine 875cc it started with,why move from standard when we can continue with the original Sport piston set,we fitted new rings of course.

Jan and friends sailing in Hout Bay

This is a group of Janets friends joining us on a Dix 43 for a days sailing.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Jensen Interceptor wheel hub center badges

A similar Jensen Interceptor,having a Chrysler 6.3ltr V8 petrol engine.

The Interceptor is a brilliant combination of massive American V8 power and sharp Italian styling, incorporating a glass hatchback. In its day, the Interceptor cost more than the equivalent Aston Martin and was twice the price of a Jaguar E-Type. For their money, buyers got a very luxurious, fast car - and, if they'd ordered the FF, a technical tour de force, as this model had four-wheel drive and ABS brakes. That level of complexity means that a Jensen in need of repair can be a financial liability, which is worth remembering if you're considering buying one. Fuel consumption is alarmingly high, but not surprising considering the size of the engine, which comes in 6.3- and 7.2-litre capacities. Expect an average of 12-13 mpg. The Interceptor isn't for everyone - some consider it a bit flash - but if you want to make a big impression in something rare and beautiful, there is no better classic.

These are new,as packed when Jensen UK posted them out to Cape Town,intended for a 1971 Mk 2 model,supplied from Jensen themselves,they were never fitted and may also suit another model? probably now ultra rare as new items,they are a set and for sale.

Well it took a little time but they were sold this week!  I had sent them to their owner in the UK, Paul contacted me from Australia, I put the two together, a deal was done on the pricing and now Paul has his badges.

This came in from Paul,

Thanks for the help Roy with the wheel medallions, keep up the good work on the site.



Reliant Scimitar SE5 and SE5a Overdrive switch,new

Janet and our 1970 Reliant Scimitar SE5 at the Killarney Race Circuit in Cape Town,the overdrive switch will also fit the later 1975 SE5a model.

This overdrive switch was bought in as a stock back up for the two cars we owned,it was supplied by Graham Walkers,in Chester,England,it is a new item and ex factory,it sill has the original parts enclosure,part number 204461-33C9,a rare item these days I am sure,it is now for sale.

Reliant Scimitar Ford Essex 3 liter engine oil pump

This new AE Ford part was bought in to do a rebuild on our Scimiter SE5 GTE,I never did the rebuild,so the pump is spare and can go to a good home for anyone re building the Ford Essex 3ltr V6 (what a good engine) its new and boxed in the original carton.The AE part number is POL 727 for Ford AE 122 opo2 45 A218,the fitting instructions and oil gasket are included.Boxed and labled AE auto parts,Bradford,England,so an original part,it is now offered for sale.
We can also supply modified unleaded cylinder heads and three branch exhaust manifolds to suit your needs.

The 3 litre Essex appears light on BHP at 138, especially compared to the engine that replaced it – the Cologne, which weighs in at 160bhp. But, the 3 litre’s biggest strength is bucket loads of low-down torque with tuning potential reaching almost 300bhp. At this level though, it gets a touch temperamental, so be warned! Before you really go mad, there’s two areas you need to pay attention to – first, the engine runs on 4-Star so unleaded seats need fitting,heads can be supplied converted, which is a good excuse to upgrade to a pair of performance heads too. The second consideration is the fibre cam timing gear, which can easily shred with more power piled in. We stock a steel replacement cam gear and again a good plan is a steel gear upgrade plus cam swap at the same time

Lead ballast bulb halves

This is Errol delivering a set of lead ballast halves,we have made and still have the moulds for the Didi 26 and the Didi mini transat,the cruise version uses the moulds from the Didi 26,so we cover three designs this way.The mouldings are pre shaped to take the keel foil,we supply pre drilled too,thats a big job for a guy with a hand drill by the way.The cast parts are 300kgs and 400kgs,depending on the design,we ship world wide.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Sir RKJ forty years after the first single handed around the world voyage

Then and now,some four decades split these pictures.

April 22nd 1969 to April 22nd 2009,This really is a remarkable event due only to a remarkable person,Sir Robin Knox-Johnston,well done sir!

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

The first person to sail single handed and non-stop around the world between 14th June 1968 and 22nd April 1969.

Born 17th March 1939, in Putney, London. The eldest of 4 brothers. School at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, the same school as Bill Tilman and Graham Greene. A term mate of Michael Meacher MP. Main interests long running, swimming and boxing. Not very good at team sports, indeed, chose tennis as opposed to cricket, but usually slipped away to Grandparents house to work on a 1927 Austin 7 car instead of either. Went to sea in the Merchant Navy in 1957 as a Deck officer with the British India Steam Navigation Company, gaining his Master's Certificate in 1965. In 1962 married childhood sweetheart, Suzanne, who passed away in November 2003 as a result of ovarian cancer. One daughter, Sara, born in Bombay 1963, and now 5 grandchildren. Interests:- Sailing, Exploring by boat, Maritime History, the marine environment, youth development, shooting.

In 1992 RKJ was invited to become President of the Sail Training Association, a youth development organisation which operated two topsail schooners “Sir Winston Churchill” and “Malcolm Miller” and also organised the annual Tall Ships races. Before he retired in 2001 £11 million had been raised to replace these two vessels with two larger brigs “Prince William” and “Stavros Niarchos”

He served as a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum, at Greenwich from 1993 until 2003, and on the Sports Lottery Panel and Sport England Council from 1996 until 2002. He is currently President of the Little Ship Club and the Cruising Association and Chairman of Clipper Ventures plc. .

He skippered "Condor" to Line Honours in two legs of the 1977/8 Whitbread Race, co-skippered "Enza New Zealand" with the late Peter Blake to take the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 for the fastest circumnavigation of the world, and completed the Velux5Oceans solo around the world race in 4th position in 2006/7 at the age of 68.

He was Knighted in 1995, and has uniquely been the UK's Yachtsman of the Year 3 times. He was ISAF sailor of the Year with Peter Blake in 1994 and in 2007 was one of the first 6 inductees into the ISAF Hall of Fame.

Bucket Night and Hand Mangles (what?)

Imagine being bathed in one of these,they were gas heated and the water was real hot!

The old days were one of communial baths and hand washing,I well remember being bathed in very hot tub that really was the container that took all the washing,what I do not remember is what came first,my wash or the clothes wash?

Taken from the web:

does anyone remember what bucket night was? I know my grandparents had a tin bath by the living room fire and a family of 6 took turns for a wash but I've never heard it referred to as that.

Didi 26 kit building

With a second coating of white epoxy primer,she was ready to ship.

This is the longer 'racing' cockpit.

Brian working on the Didi 26 dagger board case.

We built one for an order,it was a nice build,you can reach the center line from each side,this means less climbing up to screw down stringers and panels.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Toilets,round seats,some history

Toilets Through The Ages - A Show Me Guide To The Loo
Graham Spicer


Ok, so we're not actually going to tell you how to go the loo, hopefully if you can read this you've cracked that one. But have you ever wondered what people did before the days of the modern, flushable toilet?

Did you know that Romans used to go to the toilet to discuss the news or that the word 'wardrobe' comes from medieval loos?

Roy writes:

We all use toilets of one type of another,those who use loos with seats with pear shaped holes on them may never know why they became the shape they are,many will never even know that in Victorian days all waste from water borne toilets just went straight into the local river without any treatment at all! My Gran had a loo like that in Rock Ferry,Birkenhead,Mersyside,England.The loo was outside in a brick cubical in a corner of the yard,the inside of the cubical had a wide wooden plank seat that went right across the small room,in the center was a round wooden hole,which had a lid with a hinge.Where the hole went I never thought about but it would not be a great place to fall into,you could see running water below,its was of course an open entry to the sewer below!

Why the pear shaped hole we have in most modern type seats? Word in the building trade takes us back to post Victorian times when a modern type lady of the house is discussing fittings in her new home,the forman was asked what could be done about the plain round hole in the toilet seat? With a florish he removes his bowler hat and says,What about this shape madam? of course the bowler hat inside rim is of course not round but oval,from there the can be assumed to have reached the stage when it became pear shaped?

A message on the subject from my friend Notty:

My grandma on my Dads side had one of these loo's in a place called Awdenshaw Lanc's now part of Greater Manchester, her job was to take in washing from the streets around which she did on an old slop-stone sink, that was a large shallow stone trough with only a cold tap above it, this emptied into that loo so all the clothes washing water went down there as well. It was a cold damp place with bits of News of the World tagged on to a rusty nail on the door to wipe your bum on. God I cant believe I'm so bloody old?

I too remember that type of loo, it was like a brown ceramic tube that joined the sewer, when you lifted the lid you could see water at the bottom but just below ground level there was a type of counter balanced pan on a hinge. This held the crap and liquid until water from the kitchen sink poured into the pan, which then overbalanced and tipped the lot down into the sewer. Kittens often fell down and most were rescued from that pan ledge after people heard their cries, others must have made it to the river maybe?

The Day of the Long Shovel

One memory of my childhood days in Delacour Street still
brings a smile to my face. In our double tenement house
there two familes, five people downstairs, and seven upstairs.
There was only one outside toilet for all of us, and this was a
water closet type toilet.
One winter, when the water pipes were frozen making the
toilet unusable, a family friend allowed us to use her ash
midden toilet. This type of toilet was known locally as
"The Netty".
This brick built building was in the yard next to the coalhouse.
with the outside wall facing the back street. Inside, was a
wooden, oblong shaped box toilet. In the top of this box
was a round hole covered with a round wooden lid. The idea
was you would lift the lid and sit on the hole just like a normal
toilet. There was also a small candle, unlit, and a tin of white
powder, some sort of disinfectant or lime.
The principle of an ash midden was that ashes from the fire
were tipped into the hole, thus covering the toilet deposits
for want of a better explanation. Few of these toilets had the
luxury of toilet paper, and the norm was to cut a newspaper
into squares and place it on a nail on the wall. This is where
most people learned of the news of the day. It was quite dark
in this toilet due to there being only a very small window, plus
the light coming in through the air vent.
One day, when I was using this toilet, I was sitting there in
the semi dark, reading the paper, when all of a sudden, there
was a great rush of air up my backside. I jumped up off the
seat, my trousers arond my ankles, I turned to peer down into
the ash midden toilet. I saw before me, what I can onley
describe as a beam of sunlight shining upward through the hole
in the wooden toilet seat like a ray from heaven. Flying around
in this beam of light were many small flies
I peered down before me into the ash midden, and there before
me was a great long handled shovel. cleaning out the waste
from the midden, It was of course the council refuse man. They
came around once a week to remove the waste from the middens.
What an awful job,and what a fright.
Jack Hair
Toilets Through The Ages - A Show Me Guide To The Loo
Graham Spicer

Its all in the details

The big day when we turn the finished hull over,thats Brian with the chain block and Betine at the bow.

Dudley Dix really came up with a great idea when he designed his radius chine construction method,in effect what he did was present himself with his own order for a 38ft yacht and told himself to sort the design out as he went along,the result was of course a yellow boat we all know as Black Cat (peanut butter sponsership) and once the design was prooven Dudley could offer the idea on various sized boats he then started to design,he has sold hundreds of sets of plans now.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Day three

Betine,cleaning off the excess glue where the stringers meet the bulkheads.

I have mentioned before that a Didi mini transat kit from us can be built very quickly,well this is where we are at day three.