Saturday, 16 May 2009

Nandi Racing

The boat closest to you is Nandi,a Didi 34,the boat she is racing is Faraway,a Far 40,so all of six feet longer than Nandi,if you look closely you will see that Nandi has a rather dirty bottom,while Faraway has a very clean one,so Nandi is doing ok!

Some comments from Justin who crews on Nandi just came in.

Nandi has been a great build. Its a combination of a great design, a great build, and a great kit. She is usually sailed with 2 or 3 people only - even the shot with the bag up has only Nick and I onboard. Deck layout and rigging etc is all perfect. Only slight gripes with this design are that the rudder is very constrained in its V - perhaps a few spacers to set the pintles out a bit would help as it catches in the inside of the V. The mainsail is huge and a bit of a handful when reefing, lowering or packing. Lazy jacks would help I suppose but out of place on a racer.

When racing - getting the sails balanced can be quite tricky. She is prone to round up in sudden fits of weather helm on occasions - both up- and down-wind. I guess this is not uncommon with broad sterns. Reefing the main early does help. So does reducing the Genoa - for reasons I haven't quite figured yet. She is very fast off the wind . . .

Her high freeboard makes her quite dry and comfortable too. A very successful performance-cruiser - good for both round the cans and offshore races I think.

During spring regatta, we paced the very high-tech L34 "Sensation" for many miles just a few feet apart - them with a crack crew in uniforms, carbon sails etc etc - and 3 of us in overalls on Nandi. she has the potential to be a very hot boat.


Nandi,a Dix Design Didi 34 built from a CKD Boats kit.

Nandi sailing in Hout Bay,Nick the owner did a great job of this Didi 34 and finished her in only two years,the standard of finish is really good,the attention to finish detail puts this boat apart from many other boats .The way he did this was to pay attention to the surface finish inside and out,then paint it white,also inside and out,this saves a lot of fancy finish work and the labour required to do wood interiors,it also is cheaper,we supplied Nick with the International Paints too,Intergard primer and Interthane top coats.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Justins ideas on a live aboard power boat,this is his long range Passagemaker design concept.

Design number two.

Design number one.
Since the blog on canal Narrow boats was published recently I have seen a good deal of traffic on the idea,more so than normal,so we have an interested viewership out there? A fellow yachtsman and soon to retire (he says) is a friend named Justin,he liked the canal boats too but thought he wanted a boat that could do the occasional sea passage,coastal,maybe offshore,he started to do a rough sketch,then got deeper into the idea and found he was then drawing boats! They are of course concept designs,nothing more having been drawn but if the interest for such craft exists we can take it a step or two further.My thanks to Justin for his input on this one.

Below is his concept in words:

Long and thin - I think she will be quite agile and easy to build in hard chines, with a box keel.

Selling points would be:

Economical to build and operate
Offers a lot of accommodation for her size. Two versions are shown - one has an extra aft cabin for guests/chartering.
Traditional looks
Ideal for Med, European rivers, and Intra-coastal waterway.
Long range - about 2-4 k n.m depending on tankage.
Quite comfortable for a motor cruiser - limited rolling.
Light and airy saloons
Very quiet underwayIt wouldn't be hard to make this boat unsinkable and fully self-righting. Need to do the tricky work on hulls etc before I can prove this though
I also suspect she would sail suprisingly well off the wind with the features of a sharpie (allowing for limited reserve stability, small rudder and large fixed prop). Though this is not the design objective at all .


To save a whale,USA West Coast

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

The Whale

If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle,
you would have read about a female humpback whale
who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps
and lines
She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused
her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of
line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line
tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands
(outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.
Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was
so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her...

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.
She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them,
pushed gently around-she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was
following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bruce Dalling,the original skipper of Voortrekker

It looks like I got this one wrong,thank you to Frank for his corrections.

Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:59 PM

Subject: Speedwell Of Hong Kong

Hi Roy,

I chanced upon the article you posted regarding the sad passing of Bruce Dalling.

It was of particular interest to my wife and I, as we, along with lifelong friend, Doctor Taki Caldis, were the owners of Speedwell of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1993. We carried out an extensive refurbishment at RCYC, after sailing with, and subsequently purchasing her from Judge Louis van Winsen in Saldanha Bay.

Unfortunately, we honestly believe the claim that Bruce Dalling owned Speedwell to be incorrect. He sailed and owned another vertue that was moored at Simonstown YC. We sailed on the boat, comparing notes with her then lady owner, who also mentioned the fact that Bruce Dalling had commissioned her in Hong Kong, and sailed back to SA. I recall the boats name as Vertue Carina.

This is Speedwell's line of ownership: Commander Peter Hamilton, John Goodwin, Judge Louis Van Winsen, Frank & Anne Snyders & Doctor Taki Caldis, Brendan Boyle, Shirley Carter.

The picture of her in the article is of the yacht under Shirley Carter's present ownership. The histories of the 2 boats are somewhat similar. Speedwell was built at Wing On Shing in Hong Kong by Commander Hamilton, and sailed via the Cape to England. There she was purchased by John Goodwin, who in turn sailed with his wife back to Cape Town. Hamilton's trip has been extensively written about, and is mentioned on the Vertue official website. We have an old yachting magazine with the article, and corresponded with him soon after purchasing the boat.

So there you go, for what it's worth.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Snyders

Bruce Dallings own boat,the Vertue 26,hull number 44 built,seen here in a recent picture moored in St Georges Harbour,Bermuda.

Bruce Dalling: Solo sailor who achieved fame in transatlantic race
IN HIS ELEMENT: Bruce Dalling on the yacht Voortrekker in 1968. He came second in the Observer Transatlantic Race

‘The sea is the simplest thing there is. You either learn to handle it and survive, or you don’t’

Chris Barron Published:Jul 13, 2008

Last years news (2008)from a posting in The Times (south african)

Bruce Dalling, who has died on his farm near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal at the age of 69, was hailed as one of the world’s greatest solo yachtsmen when he was second overall and winner on handicap of the Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race in 1968.He covered 6 600km across the North Atlantic from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island, in 26 days, 13 hours, on the 15m ketch Voortrekker.

The stocky, blond, bearded Ernest Hemingway look alike survived gale-force winds of up to 70 knots, and 18m waves. For much of the race he had no radio contact after his generator was flooded. His main boom was swept overboard, and three winches smashed.

Dalling, whose motto was “stick to it and it’ll get better”, slept three hours a day, a total of 11 hours over the final six days, and lived on cake and coffee — losing 7kg during the race.He came in 17 hours after the winner, English geography teacher Geoffrey Williams. After it was found that Williams had used illegal navigation aids, receiving daily computerised course instructions from London — which he admitted helped him bypass the worst storms — the race committee invited Dalling to lodge a protest. He refused. “If you win the race you are the winner,” he said. “You cannot begrudge a man winning a race like that. ”

The commodore of the Long Island Yacht Club said that “Dalling brought a welcome breeze of sportsmanship into international sport. He would almost certainly have been declared the winner had he objected.”Dalling insisted that “coming second was a product of personal bad judgment rather than any other factor”. He was referring to his attempt to skirt a storm off Newfoundland, which led to him being becalmed for three days.

The race brought Dalling considerable fame. In South Africa he was a household name. The adulation made him uncomfortable .“I don’t think that I’m a home-town hero. Coming in second is the same as last. You either win or not. In competition, coming in second is absolutely nothing.” Before leaving for the race he explained why he wanted to do it. “I go because I prefer to deal in simple things. The sea is the simplest thing there is. You either learn to handle it and survive, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that.”

Dalling was born in Johannesburg on August 16 1938, and attended St John’s College in Houghton. After matriculating he obtained a BSc degree in agriculture at the then University of Natal. Hungry for adventure, he spent five years with the Hong Kong Police Force . He led a penetration platoon against communist guerrillas in the jungles of Borneo. While in that part of the world, he started crewing on Australian boats. He had a 7m sloop built , which he sailed alone across 12800km of the Indian Ocean, from Hong Kong to Durban, in 1966.

Note,this was 'Speedwell of Hong kong' a teak built Vertue 26,a boat I know well having done repair works on it,the boat was then owned by the RCYC president,Judge Louis Van Winsen,other noteable owners also include John Goodwin (roy)

He was nearing Durban when the boat overturned in massive seas. He lost his mast and radio, and his engine was flooded. The boat righted itself and he erected a jury rig and limped into Durban days late, by which time everyone feared the worst. When he came in, he met a student who was waitressing at the Point Yacht Club — and married her in 1971.

Dalling had interrupted a degree to do the transatlantic race.
He completed the degree when he got back and considered becoming an Anglican priest.Instead, after skippering Jakaranda in the first Cape to Rio Race in 1971 (he lost a rudder when the boat hit a whale), he studied law and became an advocate, ending up as a High Court assessor.For the last 10 years of his life he battled colon cancer, osteoporosis and, a lifelong cigarette smoker, emphysema.
He died after having a heart attack in his sleep.Dalling is survived by his wife, Carol, and three children

New crew shows what Voortrekker can do

What are we looking at here? for a start we have six (seven?) highly tallented navy guys being allowed to take a forty year old boat out of what was basically storage,then prepare her to do an ocean race crossing,using twenty year old sails (check that main,its an old Hood sail)then enter the boat in one of the worlds best ocean races and do around 3600 miles finishing forth over all!The question now is will the navy do this again and can they get these guys onto a more competitive race boat,I sincerly hope so.

Some of the crew in Simonstown Naval Dock Yard,with Voortrekker on her cradle in the background.

Gusty sailing at the start of the race in Table Bay,Cape Town.

Voortrekker,just started,only 3600 miles to go!

On the 10th January 2009 the iconic yacht Voortrekker set sail, after a gap of 15 years, to compete in the Heineken Cape to Bahia 2009. The yacht is being sailed by a team of seven young sailors trained at the Isivunguvungu sailing school in Simonstown, including three that are now on the schools staff.

The Voortrekker has a rich history of competitive sailing and has been sailed by South African legendary single-handed ocean racers such as Bertie Reed and John Martin.

Due to the vigorous campaigning by Rear Admiral JG Louw and commodore of the RCYC and Race Director John Martin, sponsorship was raised to enable the yacht to set sail. The charity sponsor is Pick n Pay Race4change, a web based sponsorship programme that enables event participants to raise money for charity as they race.

The Isivunguvungu Sailors are competing professionally in the racing class of this prestigious yacht race, and they are also using the opportunity to raise funds for their school, in an effort to afford future young sailors similar opportunities. They are using the Race4change fundraising platform to raise sponsorship.

This entry is a culmination of years of development training where the first ever crew of colour, from Skipper to Bowman, is participating in this prestigious event. I encourage everyone to support these sailors in their endeavor to raise funds for future sailing talent' said John Martin, Commodore of the RCYC and Race Director.

Izivunguvungu, which means 'sudden strong wind' in Isizulu, is the first school in South Africa to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children. The project teaches life skills through the medium of sail training and boatbuilding. The School also has a focus on education based on the environment, health and literacy. The children do not only learn to sail; the array of activities they are exposed to and the mentorship they receive are invaluable to creating adults for the future of South Africa.

'At present Voortrekker is sailing really well. I gave them advice on which route to take, which is the more northerly route to ensure they keep in the wind most of the time. They have been averaging 10 knots since they left and have had no problems on board. On handicap, they are lying 4th at present, but over the next three days their routing should pay off and I expect them to go up in the handicap ratings' said John Martin

Voortrekker's return to the race is appropriate, since the yacht was instrumental in motivating the first staging of the classic South Atlantic Race in 1971.

Janet bending Superform bending plywood

This ply is just 5mm thick and cross grain,we supply it also in long grain,plus in 3mm and 8mm thicknesses,it is also fully water proof.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sailing yacht Voortrekker,pictures taken by John Perry

Left click each picture to see how John Perry has captured all the action in detail!

Much has been said in the past about Voortrekker,some good some bad but forth place overall in the 2009 Heineken sponsered South Atlantic race from Cape Town to Salvador,Bahia,Brasil just about says it all,to my mind thisa was simply the best performance from the all South African Navy crew with a boat that is around four decades old,they sailed the boat back home too! Navy Chief Petty Officer Bertie Reed would be mighty proud.

NB:On the race I hear they slowed down the boat due a suspected crack in the alloy mast,they found out later it was an old fracture and had been fitted with an internal doubler.

Proteus 106 study plans available

This has to be one of the best catamaran kits on the market,its designed to be able to cross oceans safely and quickly.We have a standard study plan file,contact us on for a copy of the file.
Note the boat in the pictures was not built from one of our kits,it also has extras added onto the original design.

Fifa World Cup 2010 is a balls up?

matt Says:

April 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm
LOL, very funny. And yep, a great work of art, apart from the physics point of view..damage..weight of the ball..etc……Sloof Custom Fabrication doesn’t exist, and wait for it….SLOOF in reverse is FOOLS…LOL.

XJR1200 Says:

April 24th, 2009 at 2:56 pm
JA RIGHT !!!! Us bloggers are not fools. IF this was true (which it isn’t) and the brackets were wrong, the adjustments could have been done on sight. a Boer Maak a Plan.

I am not sure if this is a fake but it looks real enough to me!

North Sails Cape Town

The square head cut main sail that is a modern must have right right now.

North Sails director Andy doing a pre packing check on this export order.

The quality from North Sails is in the construction details!

We can supply North Sails with our boat kits,once such set we sent to a customer in New York,he has built his Didi Mini Transat boat and is now sailing.

No wind in Knysna Lagoon

I have always titled this picture 'Waiting for the wind' its the Didi Mini Transat we built first.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Tall ship Libertad

A fine picture of the Argentinian tall ship sailing out of Table Bay with shortened sail due to a stiff South Easter breeze.

ARA Libertad (Q-2) is a tall ship which serves as a school ship in the Argentine Navy. She was built in the 1950s at the Rio Santiago shipyards near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her maiden voyage was in 1962, and she continues to be a school ship with yearly instruction voyages for the graduating naval cadets.