Saturday, 17 October 2009

Classic car white ash frame repairs and building

Left click pictures to view in a larger size.
This we can make,the alloy firewall too,you will have to find your own wings and chassis though!

Its a passing trade thing,one guy says 'Can you cut some american white ash for my MG body frames?' job done and forget it,then another guy wants his 1934 Riley Kestral body timbers remaking,some are simple fixes,one was a Austin Heally 100,nice car,the owner wanted a new panel of ply wood that goes behind the two seats,he had the old but original one as a template,it was very much delaminated.

Looking at the remains had me thinking,why not disasemble the ply veneers,then reglue it back with the correct phenolic glue we stock,then its the original panel as it left the Austin factory with,the owner was a little confused with this repair but fully understood why I did it.

The pictures show a Morgan Mk3 (i think) its an nice car to build,just look at the skill in the alloy wings,its great to see such craftsman are still making things as they once did.

Friday, 16 October 2009

We were missing for two weeks?

I think thats correct,we were having problems with our original email and web site server,so decided to move to another,that sounds easy enough,excepting the original server would not release our web site,we fought and fought and I would like to think ICASA will take note of the complaint we will now lodge,so all of you who could not enter our main web site pages,please understand it was not of our doing.

Regards Roy

Superform Bending plywoods in stock,its waterproof!

Left click the picture below to view in a larger scale.

Superform Cross grain plywood,simply the best there is.

Stock is forever changing,we move it as both retail and wholsale from our own factory but also through a number of other trade vendors,the thicknesses we have can be 3mm,5mm and 8mm,with both grain directions a possiblity.

Oil changes,a story about the wrecking of Gulliver of Knysna

Shell Oils logo.

Gulliver of Knysna,as she was when I first saw her and more or less in the spot where I bought her,we were sailing her a year later.
Left click on this picture to view in a remarkable full size and see all the details.picture is a bit damaged,taken by Roy McBride

Guest Column
By Roy McBride - Cape Town, South Africa

Oil Changes

Cape Town
December 21, 2005

From the desk of ‘Flying Cloud' - A ‘Dix 43’ Wood/Epoxy Sailing Cutter

An ‘Engine Oil Use’ Survey Result based on the personal experience of the writer, you may use your own judgement and take further advice from the supplier and manufacturers of which ever Diesel engine you own.... skip my diversions if you are not keen on true life stories and sea rescues!

A beginning with myself and marine diesel engines:

Farymaan Diesel engines from Western Germany , have been around a long time and due to a really once off special offer at the time, when the new local agents here in Cape Town, took delivery of their first stocks. I was one of the first place my order with them,this was about 25 years back!

The engine was what is termed a ‘V Twin’ and rated at 30 hp (horse power) it was raw water cooled. Once started that engine was unstoppable, due in the main to a Flywheel one man could not lift! This made for a truly economical motor to run……when the 'Endurance 37' yacht (Peter Ibold Design) it was fitted into was sold on, the Farymann engine had around 1400 hours on the clock and was in perfect condition. A good start to my life with marine diesel engines.

Being rather keen to maintain the engine in peak condition, I always changed the engine oil and filter at the specified period of every 50 hours, or as it said in the owners hand book once per year, which ever comes first. Which means I changed the oil 28 times! This was in Six years of ownership. So that was a oil change every few months, or 4.66 times per year to be more exact. A double transatlantic on the same boat went a long way to clocking up those hours.

Then we sold the boat, cleared our home mortgage (bond) and started looking for boat number two, which as fate would have came by surprise a week after one very dark and stormy night. We had on order a 'Tosca 36' hull deck and bulkhead set. A trench (thanks Lorna) had been dug in our front garden, waiting to accept the boat's keel stub when the mouldings eventually arrived. The boat was a week late, then came the storm mentioned.

It was a very rough North Wester, which off the Western Cape here in Cape Town, where we live, means it was an onshore storm. For a reason never discovered, a yacht called ‘Gulliver of Knysna’ was out in the storm, sailing from their home port of Knysna further north on the east coast of South Africa. The boat was an ‘Endurance 37’ and from the same moulds as the one we had owned, so a sister ship of sorts. The yacht's owner and his three crew had been out for four days and as they closed Cape Town the weather became ever closer to the wind, It is fair to say that ‘Endurance 37s’ are not really at their best in such conditions.

With reduced sails and a three cylinder diesel providing extra power, the skipper carried on into one of the blackest nights to be remembered, such were the conditions that being out in them just made little sense, the option to turn to starboard before Cape Point and make for Simonstown was long gone. It was about 2am.

The skipper and his crew thought they were on course for Cape Town but in reality they were heading for Hout Bay, which is at the back of Table Mountain. They had been pushed inshore by possibly as much (no GPS back then) as four sea miles and a heading of 15 degrees lower than safety required. Visibility was close to nil. A recipe for disaster, which of course was not too far away… Off that coast is a light house called Slangkop, which is dutch for snake head, It can be seen from a long way off but with poor DR (dead recogning) navigation, compiled with the bad visibility, Slangkop light house was never seen by any of the four crewmen.

Slangkop light house is there for a reason of course, being is a very long reef, locally called a ‘Blinder’, which will crest and break only in very poor conditions, such as the night in question. The skipper was bang on course by now to find himself, yacht and crew inside this Reef. This is a favourite surfers spot, when conditions are right , when it resembles the waves in Hawaai. It was one of those wave sets that rolled the yacht right over and onto her starboard beam, the mast was lost, windows smashed, sea water was sucked into the engine, which seized solid in seconds,the boat and crew were now 'dead' in the water.

If they were not very quick and given a little luck, they would soon end up on the rocks around a half mile away. What happens next is amazing - while some crew went forward and deployed an anchor on a long line, a mayday was sent out on the yachts VHF, whose arial had been at the mast head. The mast being lost over the side meant that all that was transmitting was a stump of RG 59 coax sticking out of the teak decks!

South Africa's Station Eight sea rescue is situated around some seven miles away in Hout Bay to the north west from where this drama was unfolding, somehow the mayday was received and a twin engined ski boat was sent out, with the stations cox and a crew of three others. At a press conference the next day it was stated that they expected to be on the scene in no more that 15 minutes, which highlights just how bad it was that night, as they took close to one hour!

Eventually ’Gulliver of Knysna’ was reached and anchored as it still was, it was decided, that given the bad seas going alongside was far too risky, so the crew were told to launch the yachts inflatable lift raft, board it and fall off free of the danger of the pitching yacht, where they would be picked up. That is what happened, the four men were taken on board the rescue boat and the boats pilot opened the twin throttles and headed for home.

Excepting that a huge wave picked them up and pushed the life boat backwards and drowned the two engines, one of which just managed to re start and an escape was made back to Station Eight in Hout Bay. This rescue was nearly one of disaster, the eight men could easily have been lost, the rescuers were recognized at a later awards evening and all four men involved from Station 8 received a citation to bravery.(there is a painting of the rescue hanging in the club)

What? I hear you say has this to do with oil?

Well by early morning the yacht was aground and holed on the port side, a total loss and written off the very next day by the insurance company that held cover on the boat, a deal was made and the boat was sold as she lay to a guy who wanted the lost boat's gear. It was some three days later that I went to see the wreck and realizing it was an ‘Endurance 37’, which are seriously strong boats. I bought what was left, being little more than a hull and deck but with a very large hole in it. My successful salvage and eventual re launch just 51 weeks later will make for a story some other time perhaps?

So we now have a very large full keeled 'Endurance 37' sitting in our front garden with a hole in it as mentioned. The Tosca 36 (angelo lavranos design) delivery was put on hold and I set to rebuilding my new boat, the family were just delighted.

The new engine that had been bought for the 'Tosca 36' now found a new home in the 'Endurance 37'. That was around twenty years back and the engine is still in her, having done close to 3000 reliable hours now.

Back to the Oil thing.

That engine is a BMW, a car and motor bike company who never really made diesel engines then? So they used a German Hatz Diesel, then marinized it with various sizes of engines based on the same block, adding cylinders to acheive more power, mine was the 32 hp in Line twin cylinder and just like the Farymaan engine very reliable and economical too.

While all the reconstruction and engine fitting was going on in my new boat I made a discovery, or perhaps revelation is a better term. In the BMW/HATZ owners handbook is the frequency of oil changes. Again each 50 hours or once a year, whichever is the sooner - But! It also said that if a specific higher grade diesel oil was used the oil could be used for 100 hours! That is twice the use on the same filling of course. So it was by now clear to me that an oil change each 100 hours was realistic. In my case I used Shell Rotella Diesel grade oil but I suspect that oils to the same specifications will give the same results I had.

note,we took this boat on a family cruise across the south atlantic,to Brasil,Trinidad and Tobago,then on to Venezuela,that trip was just over a year,then a crew member on the outward leg brought the boat back with a friend and the boat is now on the Hout Bay Marina where we started from.

Roy Mc Bride - Founder -
email -
Cape Town
South Africa


I did a little asking around our local harbour on the oil change issue,two things came to light,one trawler fisherman said he had a double sized oil capacity,this gave him much longer hours running,another on a charter boat that runs around eight hours daily and seven days a week,said they could run 400 hours between oil changes, as the two V12 engines were housed in a fully insulated engine room that just never ever gets cold,so there is no danger of an acid build up in oils due to condensation when an engine cools down.A final confirmation on engine hours a diesel motor can run came from the local Cat diesel guy,they will run 200 hrs between oil changes,its actually about the third item down on their sales brochure!


You need to know your oil will protect your engine under all conditions. No matter how hot, cold, steep, dusty, muddy, or extended your operations. Whether you own one truck or a thousand, late models or classics, whatever your maintenance routines and procedures, Shell Rotella® heavy duty engine oils can deliver the protection you demand.

From reliable products using well-proven formulation chemistry, to unique and exclusive technologies for the latest low-emissions, severe-duty engines, we can offer the right performance and protection. Built around a deep knowledge of the operation and lubrication needs of heavy duty engines, our scientists and engineers have developed products built on technology that adapts chemically and physically to the changing conditions within the engine, to help keep it running.

The Bressay Bank right now

This was the ship as taken by me a few days back,a little worse for wear but given a clean bill of health when she has a survey,I expect she will clean up well enough and soon take on a new lease of life and become a tall ship.

Tiki 37 Build

Dan is making a first class job of this build,just look at the surface finish he has acheived.

We were asked to supply materials to Dan for his new Tiki 37 catamaran build,we supplied the plywoods,clear oregon and epoxies,Dan then asked could we look at CNC work on the bulkheads,that was the first thing but then the hull panels were cut,so bit by bit,as Dan proceeded,we ended up with the cut files to the Tiki 37 design.eventually we should have the rest of the boat cut too.

Note,we will only cut other Tiki 37 boats on proof of the purchase of plans from the designer.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Why Hout Bay should be your stop over port in the cape

The marina viewed from the northwest pier,entrance being from the left of this picture.

This has to be one of the better places to stay when on a passing visit to the cape waters area,I say passing through but many international yachts men and women leave their boats on the HBYC marina while they return home for a visit or to stock up the kitty,some just find they are late in the sailing season and winter over,we have a really friendly marina,give us a call on 021 790 7095,thats Peter our Marina Managers office number,he will advise on bookings for you. try for a stack of info,which include approach charts and VHF channels.


Cape Cutter 19 build in Picton,New Zealand continues

We sent Ian a kit down south a while back,he has steadily progressed to the point where he has just fitted the steel plate drop keel,these pics show some final works before that event.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

July 2009 the Pogoria is dismasted

This is news to me,my thanks to Dennis of the South African Cape Windjammers Education Trust for sending me this news.

Polish tall ship Pogoria dismasted off Finland
The vessel was dismasted on July 7, 2009, whilst racing to St Petersburg. 37 members of the crew of 50 were winched off by Finnish Coastguard helicopters. The remaining 13 stayed on board whilst the ship was towed into Hanko, where it arrived the following morning.
The cause of the dismasting is not yet known.
Photo Finnish Border Guard

The Picton Castles next world tour is announced

There will soon be a link with South Africas Bressay Bank Tall Ship,Captain Dan Moreland of the Picton Castle will be doing the ships rigging.I trust this is in our home port of Hout Bay.

Announcing Fifth World Voyage 2010-2011
On or about the first of May, 2010 the sail training ship, the Barque Picton Castle and her crew will set sail on a monumental 14-month voyage bound around the world. Up to 36 people from all walks of life will be accepted to join this tall ship for this challenging once in a lifetime opportunity—truly the ultimate voyage. These crew will dedicate themselves to seafaring under square-sail and to learning all they can from the ship, the ocean, new found friends on far flung islands, each other and themselves.

This voyage will take the ship and her crew over 30,000 blue-water, deep-sea miles circling the globe in fair winds and foul, pleasant trade-winds, calms and squalls. We will follow in the wake of great explorers and voyagers who came before us, sailing throughout the tropics, putting in at remote and storied ports of call. This voyage is expected to be the last world voyage of the Picton Castle under my command.

Captain Daniel D. Moreland

Dakar, Senegal

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A History of Nick Franklins 'Aries Marine Vane Gears'

Nick Franklin in 1990 when he retired,his daughter,Helen still runs a spares service at the address below:

contact: Helen Franklin

address: 6 Dunvegan Road, Penryn, TR10 8HJ. UK.

phone: +44 (0)1326 377467

fax: +44 (0)1326 378117

I have bought three Lift Up Aries gears from Nick,plus I had a hand in the type in the picture below,we were in Salvador,Bahia,Brasil at the time.We had writen to Nick while in Salvador,his reply was posted from the Isle of Wight the day he received our mail to him,it was the same when I later bought the three units myself.Nick's company was built on service and good quality and plenty of both,I once asked Helen Franklin for some parts,her reply was that she could hardly keep up with her emails,she would send forty replies out and get another fifty coming in she told me!I think I read that Nick produced 8000 of one model Aries Vane Gears alone,thats a lot of gears!

Group photo 'Marine Vane Gears' 1975 For readers interest: the Aries was developed on purely practical level with no calculations or theories. There have never been any drawings used. All parts had a 'master sample' nailed to the wall which worked perfectly and still does.

Yachting World September 1968 the second advert ever placed for Aries Vane Gears

History of Aries Vane Gears

History of the Aries Vane Gear 1964 - 1992 by Nick Franklin, its inventor, designer and manufacturer.

I built six more and with bated breath placed the first advert in Yachting World magazine in August 1968. Within two weeks a French Canadian called Leo Cotourier worked into my workshop, gave me a cheque and I air freighted a vane gear to Gibraltar the next day. Needless to say I did not tell him he was my very first customer! I hope he is well and that he reads this!

The first model Aries used the inefficient and large vertically pivoted wind vane. I had in fact developed the horizontally pivoting vane before I sold the first Aries but decided to delay its introduction to give myself more time and stay with something that I knew worked and was tested. Apart from the first 40 Aries produced all others had horizontally pivoted vanes.

In fact, the vane axis is approximately 25° from the horizontal to prevent 'oversteer'. In the mid 60's none of this had been tried let alone the ration between the wind Vane and Servo Rudder and Bevel Gear ratios in the linkage to also prevent rudder oversteer. To solve these questions I made a completely adjustable Vane Gear on which you could alter every linkage ratio, angle and balance etc on the Vane Gear by hand while it was actually steering the yacht. I used by father's Dragon Class Keelboat which has a responsive helm and in ten minutes had solved the entire problem. Every Aries since has had the same design and despite trying hard I have not been able to improve it.

How it used to be

Apart from buying castings from foundries all machining and assembly was done in our workshop. Most sales were direct to skippers, with large stocks always to hand for same day dispatch. 95% of sales were export. No complaints, no records kept whatsoever, no computers, rather crazy customers. Good fun. The exact opposite to how we are told we should run our businesses today.

Aries Vane Gear Rope Drum

This is not new,its had very little use though and is for sale,it has been stripped, cleaned,serviced and correctly reassembled,it works perfectly,only the U clamps to fasten it to your steering wheel are missing but we can source them for you too.
contact me at:  we can discuss price and postage etc.

Update, it was sold for R800 at the beginning of March 2011!


Its now January 2013 and we still get requests to supply this Aries rope drum from time to time.

Try these makers and suppliers.

Helen Franklin can supply spares from her place in England.

Helen Franklin Telephone: +44 1326 37 7467
6 Dunvegan Road,
Penryn, Cornwall
+44 1326 37 8117
TR10 8HJ

or try in Denmark.

Aries Denmark Telephone: +45 7445 0760
Damgade 27, Holm e-mail:
6430 Nordborg www:

Practical Mechanics covers our Toylander kits

Sean Woods

Staff writer Sean Woods can think of nothing better than “messing about in boats”… or maybe aircraft… or living off the grid… Hands-on by nature, he’s blown away by the ingenuity and quality emanating from backyard workbenches. And despite being called a gadget junkie, he doesn’t actually own any. Don’t ask…

Thanks to Sean at Practical Mechanics for featuring our Toylander kits.

Andrew was keen to have us venture away from boats,even if just the once,so we changed from a water base product to a road based one,I for one saw a future in this,so does Practical Mechanics,thanks to them we are now in the auto industry too.

We occasionally get calls at the PM office from dads lamenting the lack of father-son DIY projects available nowadays. Sensitive to their needs, we’ve delved into our archives (they go back to 1911) on numerous occasions looking for inspiration, only to find that our world has changed so dramatically that those exquisite designs of old no longer seem relevant. So I got quite excited when, trawling the Net for new gadgets, I stumbled across the Toylander – an electric-powered toy Land Rover for small children (top speed: about 6 km/h) available in kit form (watch the video to catch the Toylander in action).
The Toylander has become a legend since it was first launched in the UK 22 years ago, with many home-builds now on their third or fourth generation of drivers. You can either buy the full-sized plans (and do all the cutting yourself), or buy the base car body as a CNC cut kit plus the plans.

Andrew Bain, along with his son James, has built the first one in South Africa. As luck would have it they’re based in Cape Town, so I popped past their place and paid them a visit. James, now almost 12, has outgrown his tough little Landy (although he still enjoys playing with it). To for all intent and purposes it’s been passed on to his younger cousin Alastair.

Roy McBride of CKD Boats, who is responsible for bringing the Toylander into the country, has been developing and supplying quality kit boats – ranging in size from small dinghies to ocean-going yachts – for years. Although highly respected both locally and internationally, he’s the first one to admit that boat kits aren’t exactly fast-moving items. It was when looking for another (and hopefully faster-moving) product to add to his portfolio that he discovered the Toylander.

Needless to say, if you can design a kit boat strong enough to withstand the rigours of an ocean crossing, it stands to reason you can design a very sturdy kit toy car. McBride’s kit, cut in high quality BS1088 marine ply, is stiff yet lightweight. Included you’ll find epoxy, timber cleats, glass reinforced tapes, and micro balloons for making spot fillers and epoxy fillets. You also get finger joints, allowing you to assemble the body in a dry state prior to final assembly. Plus, there’s a jig supplied to form the bonnet.

If metalwork’s your thing, you can fabricate the various engineering parts yourself. Alternately, you can simply purchase the lot, along with the 12 V motor and wheels. The manual includes easy-to-read workshop drawings, and instructions for attaching the running gear and wiring up the electrical system.

Bain had no intention of throwing money into the project and just bolting it together. He wanted it to be a fun experience for both him and his son. So, in true PM style, he started scrounging around. He picked up a damaged 12 V trolling motor for nothing. He sourced an old 12 V deep-cycle battery from a yachtie who needed a replacement. The back wheels came from a ride-on lawnmower, the front wheels where originally attached to two wheelbarrows, and the spare wheel came from an old scooter. And for all the metalwork he bartered his skills with a buddy who makes air conditioner grilles. Says Bain, “Tasks that should’ve taken a few hours to complete ended up taking days because my son, wielding his plastic hammer, was involved. But I was spending quality time with my son, and no amount of money can buy that.”

The price list (depending on the exchange rate) is too extensive to list here. But, to give you an idea, the plans cost about R570, the kit costs about R4 060 and the wheels plus drive conversion set costs about R1 730. If you purchase everything a complete vehicle will set you back about R15 000.

Contact CKD Boats on 021-510 7206.

Watch the video to catch the Toylander in action.

Hout Bays own tall ship?

The question mark is because I am not sure if the Bressay Bank will stay in our local harbour once she is converted to a sailing ship? I also do not know what her name will end up as,Bressay Bank is not her first name as it is but suits me as she is named.We had our own tall ship in our harbour on and off for a few years,named the Pogoria,she made a fantastic and very welcome sight,its not many who can look from his windows at home and view the masts of a tall ship? The Pogoria either berthed around were the Bressay Bank is right now or inside the same section of the harbour but to the north of the pier that goes down to the Hout Bay Yacht Clubs marina.

The invisible man has gone?

This is the best untill last,it took me a while to find him,many thanks to our customer Ian,down in Picton,south island New Zealand for sending me the series of pictures.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Bressay Bank is to be converted to a Tall Ship

News From the WINDJAMMERS,now That TBA Is Involved With SASLA

Pictures later (tommorrow)

A ship, a ship, my kingdom for a ship
After years of hoping and planning, at last we have a ship. Ken Evans of Circe Launches has donated the Bressay Bank, a 50m, ice class, North Sea beam trawler which once fished here in the South Coast Lobster trade.
The North Sea hull form is generally considered to be one of the most seaworthy types. The stresses, strains and stability demands on an ocean going side trawler are virtually identical to that of a sailing ship making the Bressay Bank an ideal candidate for conversion of the former to the latter (when combined with her easy sailing lines). Other examples of this North Sea type include: Barque Picton Castle; Full-Rigged Ship Danmark; German Navy Barque Gorchfock; Brigantine Yankee; Schooner Westward; etc. The Bressay Bank was built for the grueling North Atlantic trawler fishery sailing winter and summer. This service puts enormous demands on a vessel’s stability and strength of fabric. These ships were designed and constructed accordingly.
We are extremely privileged to have Captain Dan Moreland of the Picton Castle, coming to rig the ship. He is the most experienced and qualified sailing ship captain in the world, and has lots of experience in restoring and converting sailing ships. He will run a comprehensive, hands-on, skills training program while rigging the ship. This is some eighteen months away, but put your name down now to avoid missing out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Bressay Bank's barque rigging design will be based upon numerous very successful vessels; Captain Moreland’s years of ship refitting, rigging and seafaring experience since 1972; and carried out in accordance with Germanischer Lloyd’s tables for masting and rigging of ocean-going sailing ships. These are the only proven and internationally recognized guidelines for square-rigged ships. Vessels drawn upon for the rig design of the Bressay Bank include: Barque Picton Castle; Full-Rigged Ship Danmark; Full-Rigged Ship Georg Stage; Full-Rigged Ship Sorlandet; Barque Belle of Lagos; Barque Elissa, Brigantine Romance; etc.
We need donations of equipment: engine, gearbox and propellor; steel plate; spars and rigging cable; full set of electrics and electronics; full set of safety gear; plumbing; refrigeration; full galley setup; water-makers; gensets; wood for decks and interior furnishing; etc. And then all shipbuilding skills.
Significant sponsors names and logos will be featured on the hull. This will be a national effort, a truly South African ship - everyone can be a part of it - everyone should be involved. All players in the shipping industry will have an opportunity (may I say duty?) to contribute.
We have already had a number of volunteers signing up to get involved in this project. To apply please email or phone/fax 021-4481618. Be a part of building a sailing ship for South Africa - you know its the right thing to do.

How to turn a yacht hull over,the story of Tididi continues

I have been to a hull turning before,I also turned my own hull over,both were done very differently and in my own case I had more control as I placed the entire hull into a spit braai tuning frame but with out the heat,I mentioned this to our customer Andrew and look what he has produced,a full mock up in a smaller scale!

Andrew comments:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Countdown to Turning

Finally, all the holes have been filled and all that remains is to sand the hull, seal it and paint. There are a few other small things which need doing, like drilling the holes for the Keel and Skeg, making a cradle, making the frameworks for the pinions and A-frames and doing a bit of excavation. If all goes according to plan we will be having a huge party on the 5th of December.

I have now also completed a scale model of Tididi as well as the boat shed in order to get a better understanding of how it will turn and to work out where there is excavation needed. The top of the box depicts the ground level with relevant slopes allowing me to work out exactly how deep I need to dig to accomodate the arc the boat will take.