Saturday, 24 October 2009

Hout Bay Yacht Clubs new web site banner

Justin,our web master has just redone the web pages,made it easier for additions and changes he tells me,he still has a nice shot of the marina though,calm and flat as it was yesterday and today with not a sign of the easterly wind that can come from time to time.For those who are arriving soon,please contact the marina office on 021-790-7095,or cell 082-446-9424,with email at

The Cape Windjamers Education Trust

The idea is to voyage and train while doing so,persons from all walks of life will get a chance to participate,young and old,black,brown and white,its a skills thing,not just sail handling and navigation but hands on with maintainace,carpentry,electrical,plumber and engineering,with a Leading Hand showing the students how its done and done properly,lots of chances will come the way of the students for the future and a better life,we can all learn from this idea.If you think you can help the trust in any way at all please make contact.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Jessica Watson has Watchmate AIS

31st October 2009.

I noted a smart reply to my posting the news that Jesica had a collision,this is
the reply from the makers of Watchmate.


Hi Roy,

Jessica Watson installed our gear AFTER she hit the ship! She chose the WatchMate because the system she had before installing the WatchMate didn't alert her to the cargo ship.

You might want to clarify that for your commenter.


103 Westhaven Drive, St. Mary's Bay
PO Box 91164, Victoria Street West
Auckland, New Zealand

Phone: +64 (0)9 950 4848
Fax: +64 (0)9 950 4085

A picture of Jessica Watson

WatchMate Joins Jessica Watson for Solo World Record Attempt

Australian teenage adventurer Jessica Watson has chosen the AISWatchMate® from Vesper Marine for her on-board AIS solution as she prepares to depart on her solo around-the-world sailing challenge. The WatchMate is a unique and sophisticated collision warning instrument which is very easy to use. As a dedicated safety tool it provides mariners with advance warnings and features prioritisation and filtering capabilities that eliminate the clutter and complexity associated with other AIS solutions. Vesper Marine believes safety is too important to be buried in complicated menus or user interfaces. As a result the WatchMate's intuitive interface provides concise and relevant data at those times when it's needed most.

SAIL magazine's annual Pittman Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative products in the sailboat market each year. The Pittman Innovation Award winners appear in SAIL’s February 2009 issue and were featured at SAIL’s Innovation Station during the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show.

Jessica Watson aims to set the world record for youngest unassisted solo sailor to circumnavigate and the WatchMate provides her with a valuable watch keeping tool utilising the safety benefits of AIS to help increase situational awareness of surrounding marine traffic. The very low power consumption of the WatchMate is important to energy concious sailors like Jessica that rely on solar and wind to keep batteries charged.

The system was installed aboard Ella's Pink Lady by Vesper Marine agents Aquatronics Marine in Brookvale.

CKD Boats in Cape Town will be stocking Watchmate AIS soon

Toylander series two in production in South Africa

With the help of our customer Andrew,who built his Toylander series two from one of our kits,we have just about completed the cut files with the changes in some finger joint details, that Andrew feels will benefit the cars that follow.We will be making the next car in our own workshops,then showing its progress as a regular feature on this blog.Practical Mechanics magazine will be showing in their november issue what the Toylander is all about and our main web site will soon carry a full section on the car and what we can offer,their will be a link from our site to Real Life Toys Ltd,so you can find extra details that way.

Know your flags and Distances

I have a near full set and some to trade for the missing ones,full sized,not the mickey mouse ones,I will post on here what I have,maybe we can do a straight swop?

Know your alphabet !


and your distances . . .
1° latitude = 60 nautical mile
1' latitude = 1 nautical mile

1" latitude = 30.9 metres

1 fathom = 6 feet / 1.829m
1 nautical mile = 1.85 kilometre / 6080 feet / 10 cables

1 statute mile = 5280 feet / 1.6093 kilometres

1 cable = 185 metres

1 knot = 1nm/hour

The British Navy,three factors,including stealth.

Left click the picture for a larger and clearer image.

This covers,the surface,the air and underwater,are those reflective stealth tiles on that subamarine? they work really well too,when one ocean race was on in Cape Town,it was the Volvo Ocean race a support ship was a Swedish Naval vessel,we took the boat we were on right up close with our sixteen mile Furuno radar on,the radar saw nothing,not a blimp,the ship right in front of use just did not exist as far as the Furuno Radar was concerned.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Building our Proteus 106 kit.

This one is in Caracas,Venezuela,I had expected it to be built upside down but do have to agree that this right way up build makes a lot of sense,no crane or gantry is required for the hull turn over and you get a much better sense of what your building as the shape comes to you.

The South Atlantic Race to Punta del Este

This cartoon was obviously penned by a competitor in one of the race we used to have from Cape Town to Uraguay.Compliments to Duckworths Magazine for posting it.

New vent hatch painted

This is where we are up to now,the plastic locking handle is installed but we have not yet bonded the lexan window to the frame as we only sprayed the thing yesterday,we will look at that next week,using Dow-Corning 813 black silicone,we then need a suitable pair of hinges for the rear of the frame.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Help when help is needed,The Big Issue Magazine

The same guy,same spot,same time of the day but instead of using my Sony Cybershot camera,I used a Canon G11 one,what a differnce,left click on it to see the quality.

Too much sunlight messed up a nice picture of Roger but you will get the idea?

I am hardly the most generous of persons but I do witness daily cases of persons in need and lately have taken to giving loose change away at traffic lights when I have to stop for a red light,the value of the coins means little in todays value,not to you you or I but I suspect that a five rand coin means a great deal to anyone of those we see selling that street magazine called The Big Issue.

The magazine works this way ( i think) we purchase a copy,its a monthly edition,for
R12,the vendor receives just R5.00 for their input in that sale,so my R5.00 as a gift, means a one copy sale to him or her? if that vendor has a good day and sells ten to 20 copies,the return on a days work can amount to R100,not much is it?

I have one vendor who normally services the same set of traffic lights,I asked him one day where he was from,turns out its Butterworth in the Transki,one of the old so called homelands.I also asked him his name,he told me but its a xhosa family name,I could hardly pronounce,he then said try Rodger,so Rodger it is! Over the past few months I have now been passing him a sandwich as I drive past each afternoon,its almost a tradition now,some days my arm goes out and I near stop the traffic behind (no comlaints this far) but Rodger always gets a bite to eat,its a small thing but we get on well.

Today the lights were on red,so a total stop was in order,sandwich handed over,I joked with Rodger 'you have no job yet?' he then brought things down to earth for me,yesterday and today he has sold not a single copy,nothing at all,I reached for my wallet and at least managed to put a smile on the guys face.So next time your sitting at the lights,have look around,these people are not begging,far from it,they are doing a job of work,some days for nothing.


The Big Issue magazine’s vendor-force in Cape Town comprises mainly of long-term unemployed Xhosa-speaking people from township areas.

Job creation is at the core of The Big Issue’s work and critical to this is the development of vendors’ skills. Vendors who sign up with the project benefit from the multi-faceted Vendor Support Programme; the philosophy of this programme is 'a hand-up, not a hand-out' and striving to create opportunities for permanent and sustainable change in the lives of vendors.

The Big Issue magazine has a readership of over 96 000 and has provided employment and social support for 10 000 people, who have earned over R13-million since its inception

Sunlight,epoxies and paints

Its this that does the damage!

While on the subject of sunlight,I may as well mention a case that happened to a boat I built myself,well the rudders from that boat,the boat was built in house using a design from Dix Design,it was built with plywoods and epoxy,a normal build use today.The client has a thing for black and asked that we spray the hull that shade (its not a colour?) I mentioned to the designer and customer that any dark shade on a wood/epoxy built boat was asking for trouble,the heat build up will break down the epoxy bond,by coincidence Practical Boat Owner had an issue out on the same thing,I scanned the pages to designer and customer and the boat was later painted white.

As well as my making the boat,I made the twin rudders and aft foil,using a wood core with an epoxy glass sheathing,they were supplied to the owners own fitter for installation.Later the owner had a set of carbon fibre rudders made,then sold on the original rudders to another client of ours,who was in our factory a while back,he told me the rudders were ok,except they had a delaminated epoxy glass sheathing problem.I was quite alarmed,I asked him what area was the delamination on? the reply was 'only the lower area where the black antifoul was' Bingo! its not often we get proof like that,so do your self a favour,stay away from dark colours and black when painting your wood epoxy boat.

Global Warming and kit boats

One thousand ice sculptures melt in the sun to highlight global warming,
an artist has come up with a cool idea to raise awareness of global warming.
London Daily Telegraph picture and words.

Whats global warming got to do with kit boats I hear you ask,well at one end of the scale,we can now start to consider not only the North West Passage but from news I heard recently,the Russians have now done the North East Passage,such is the effect of global warming on the ice always found in both regions.

On the other side we are informed that the national electricity supplier for South Africa,named Eskom,having increased tarrifs in the year 2009 by around 36% alone,now want a further tarrif increase of 45% per year for the next three years! in real terms this ammounts to 300% with it being a compound effect,the bottom line for myself is a roof mounted solar water heater in an attempt to reduce my daily electricity consumption,Eskom even pay you back 20 to 30% of the installation cost,thats an indication of how things are looking for our future?

We are no strangers to either solar or wind power,the boat has both and runs 24/7 a fridge and what ever lights we need,if the house was a boat we would not need Eskom,so we start to think about this line of attack,only this week we had an enquiry from Chris re what insulation should he use in his Lavranos GRP yacht? I told him to use a polyurethane foam as used in industrial applications,just a 25mm layer of that will stop most of the decks heat entering the boat,the difference is amazing.

So now Roy is tuned into things solar and whats next,well on 567 Cape Talk yesterday was a guy talking about heat reflective roof paint,they nearly cut him off as it was starting to sound like a sales pitch ( it was )however,the caller said' listen,I just want you to know the technology exists,you can use any suppliers paints' that kept him on air and he got his point across.

This was the basis of it:

Electricity and its higher end use and cost. Basically he is saying massive amounts of Eskoms power goes into air conditioning,he was talking about Malls and large office spaces with large roof areas but did say it can transform a normal three bed home for about R20,000,which costs less than buying one aircon,which then of course needs electric power? We were all listening by then I can tell you,its a NASA spin off from those heat shield tiles on the space ships,I know in summer our upstairs area is as hot as hell when no windows are left open,check out this Ausi site,I can not find the local lot,its named Ken Kote?

I find no mention of this particular KenKote but did find a company in Australia producing the same thing?

Whats on my mind is to use that on my boats decks,the none slip areas are a pale grey,which will soak in a fair bit of heat,possibly this heat reflective paint will reverse this?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Cape Town,a view from inside the V&A Waterfront

This is a great wide angle picture,thank you Damien for posting it.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo - Damien du Toit

The sail boat in the center of the picture is named Maharani but its former name was in fact the Howard Davies,the sail training vessel for South Africas merchant marine training school that was once in Grainger Bay,the most well known captian being the late Phil Nankin,great guy was Phil.

A guide to sharpening hand tools

My early lessons on how to sharpen tools came from some real experts,they still remembered those dark days after WW2 when hire and fire on the same day was not unknown,they would start in the morning,have a very short lunch break and never stop to sharpen a plane blade,rather carry a spare one as the boss would drop on you like a ton of bricks for wasting 'his' time while you sharpened 'your' blades,you would then get sacked at the days end anyway? they were grim days.

My quick guide to sharpening,one buy decent well known branded tools only,with chisels,Marples stands out,hand planes,Stanley make good planes and blades.Two do the same with your sharpening stone,Norton is a good name.

Three,the area that is ground should be a single curve,not flat,its the hollow grind that will eventually give you the sharper cutting edge,once you have ground the edge,turn the blade over so that the back of the blade is flat on the oil stone (use thin oil) then polish that back face,this is very important,as its that back face that is the final cutting edge,not the front ,the smoother the back of the blade is the sharper the cut will be.When the back of the blade is smooth and all machine marks from manufacture are removed,you can turn the blade over and sharpen the upper face,hold the blade on an angle so that both edges of the hollow grind are on the oil stone,when the hollow has been lost due to succesive sharpening on your oil stone,regrind and start again,each time polishing the back face of the blade first.


A Guide to Honing and Sharpening


One of the most important skills a woodworker can acquire is the ability to sharpen tools easily and well. Working with hand tools can be a frustrating experience unless you have sharp tools. The goal of this lesson is, with a mimimum of equipment, is for you to be able to produce razor sharp cutting edges on any tool blade consistently.

This lesson focuses on honing. It was written by Maurice Fraser and is based on material and techniques taught in his classes at the Craft Students League in New York City. Maurice has been teaching woodworking for over 25 years and was a frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking magazine in additon to many other publications. Editing and additional material on the history of sharpening was provided by Bob Mathison, Curator of the Museum.

There are three areas of expertise in sharpening:

The mechanics of what is a sharp edge.
The particular technology of abrasives and the sequence in which they are used.
The technique of holding the tool so that a uniform edge that can be created and maintained with a minimum of effort.
What are sharp tools

We could describe a sharp tool as one you can shave with. This doesn't mean that unless a tool is sharp enough to shave with it's useless, or that you should be shaving with your tools, but it does give a frame of reference that is easy to understand. However, for the purposes of teaching sharpening we can come up with a less subjective description.

The cutting edge of a chisel looks, in cross section, like the apex of a long triangle. Although the meeting of the back and the ground bevel (at the end of a 25 deg taper) looks like a triangle, it does not taper to infinity. The edge is of finite but very small thickness - just a few microns across. If the edge is thick enough to reflect even a cobweb-thin line of light, it is dull for woodworking purposes. If there is no glint on/along the edge, then it is presumed sharp.

Edge tools ought to be sold sharp, but they rarely if ever are today. It is not practical to reduce substantial thickness by honing (rubbing on a whetstone). In the Western tradition, grinding (on the edge surface of a rotating abrasive wheel) does this. This is fast and effective. However, grinding to sharpness does not produce an edge that is ready to use. A ground edge has two flaws that must be removed by honing: 1. Coarse edge texture. 2. Burr. And there are additional reasons to hone. See the following section, "The 4 Reasons for Honing."

Why Sharpening Guides Make it Harder

The most important thing you can come away with from this lesson is the technique for holding and moving a tool on a stone. Most sharpening lessons deal with the technology and sharpening sequence and leave this part out. But free holding a tool consistently and easily is the key to sharpening easily and well. It's not that difficult at all. There are a tremendous number of products on the market designed to hold a blade at a consistent angle to a honing stone. However, almost all of them share two important flaws: The jigs allow you to repeat a motion but always in the same part of the stone. For waterstones this means the stones will wear in certain spots faster and require more maintenance. The second problem with honing guides is more subtle: The first time you sharpen you establish some sort of bevel. The second time you sharpen you need to maintain the same exact bevel; The important word here is "exact"; If it's not exact, you tend to create a secondary and then tertiary bevel at each attempt at sharpening. This makes for much more work. Even if you can get really, really close to getting the same bevel, setting a tool in a jig exactly is tedious and very hard to get perfect. And it takes time. You'll find it a great pleasure to be able to just take a tool and immediately put it onto a stone without having to worry about setting up a jig.

Jigs and guides do have a place. We do use jigs for holding tools when we grind them and for really rough honing where a grinder is not available and we have to remove a lot of metal using a coarse stone. And we sell all sorts of jigs in our Museum Store. Therefore please realize we are not trying to present a "religious" argument but simply trying to show you how we make it easier. An argument made against hand tools is that it's hard to make them work. A hundred years ago and more, people made hand tools work. They had no choice: they didn't have power tools. Woodworkers were able to be productive by having the right tool and developing the skill to maintain and use it properly. If you can duplicate that skill, you can be just as productive.

Copyright 2001 01 Inc., NYC

Radial Arm Saw Safety

Delta radial arm table saw,a great addition to any works shop,home or commercial.

A tungsten tipped saw blade.

Using Your Radial Arm Saw Safely

These saws are one of the most usefull tools in any work shop but a word of warning,always cut with your hands well away from the blade and never cut with your arm across the line that the blade may take,this also means could take if it jambed and lunged forwards.While you can rip timber with a radial arm saw I do not recomend this due to the fact the blade will then be on an upper cut,meaning the timber can lift up and in the worst case fly at you,I have seen this happen,the timber in question flew right across the work shop,not a great idea.

Read the manual from time to time,it will tell you how to set the machine up,drive belt tension and such like,use of various blades and probably how to fit a router cutter for running moulds too,Sharp blades are a must and the best are tungsten carbide tipped,well worth the extra cost as the cut better and last longer.

Radial Arm Saws

A radial arm saw basically consists of a motor (rather like a handheld circular saw) suspended from a long arm, in a yoke, which allows multiple degrees of rotation for the motor assembly. The motor assembly connects to the overhead arm by a carriage assembly that traverses the arm’s length when manually pulled by the operator. All parts of this assembly may be locked into particular positions as desired by the user. To achieve a simple 90 degree cross cut the saw is pulled from back to front, through a slot in the fence. To make a rip cut the motor head is rotated 90 degrees and positioned outside the fence parallel to it.
Radial arm saws were first developed by Raymond E. Dewalt in 1922 and were marketed under the name of the Dewalt "Wonder-Worker". Dewalt continued to manufacture radial arm saws until 1990 when they sold the rights to The Original Saw Company.

Circular Saw Riving Knife warning

A circular saw bench,showing the blade and riving knife behind it.
Note,should you have a saw blade with no riving knife,the use of a suitable wooden wedge in the saw cut in the wood behind the blade also works well,a second pair of hands can be usefull here.

A good picture of a circular saw blade with a riving knife behind it.

The riving knife pictured below should not be used,it has an open lower end and should the bolts come loose,the blade itself could come out and hit you,so weld this type closed at the bottom.

I am pleased I never took on as an apprentice wood machinist,most I knew have one or other finger missing,some lost a hand,I can still remember one incident with an up right spindle,the guy got his hand too close,nasty result. As apprentices,we were not allowed to use a circular saw with out a Riving Knife,thats a curved steel plate behind the blade,which was supposed to match the width of the set of the blades teeth.At that time tungsten teeth were not invented and what would happen was as the set of the teeth wore out,the blade would (could) grab the wood and chuck it back at you,the riving knife stopped that as the wood could not close on the blade,we never see riving knives now of course,except in saw mills.Picture to follow a little later.

Check this link now to read sheet 16 on woodworking practice:

D&T subject leaders in
Schools with secondary age children Bill Dewar
Kingston Centre
Fairway, Stafford. ST16 3TW
Telephone: (01785) 277900/1
Fax: (01785) 256193

Please ask for: Tim Brotherhood
Direct: 07800 626 534

Cc: Steve Brown, Mick Devall September 2005

Ref. : S:\DEV-GRPS\CURRIC\D-and-T\A-Secondary\Health & Safety\Letters\Alert Sep 2005.doc

Circular Saws – Riving knife
Dear colleague,
County Technicians have alerted me to two issues with circular saw riving knives.
Riving knife thickness
To be effective the thickness of the riving knife must be greater than the saw blade body but less than the width of cut. A small number of schools have recently purchased tipped blades imported from the Far East and the blade body is thicker than normal making the riving knife ineffective.

Illustration taken from
HSE Woodworking
information sheet 16

If this applies to your machine you must stop using it until this issue has been resolved.
1. Replace the blade with one whose thickness is correctly matched to the riving knife;
2. Replace the riving knife with one whose thickness is correctly matched to the new blade.
Open mounting slots
One or two riving knives have been found to have open mouning slots possibly to allow easier maintenence. Should the knife become loose it could be ejected from the machine and caouse injury.

The bottom of the
mounting slot
must be closed

For this reason riving knives must have closed mounting slots.
If your riving knife has open mounting slots you must stop using the circular saw until a riving knife with closed mounting slots has been fitted.
If you have a circular saw in your department you should arrange for it to be checked as soon as possible for these problems. Any shortcomings must be put right before the machine is used again.
Remedial work can be carried out in school by someone qualified to use the machine or through the County Technicians Service. (Mick Devall Tel:01889 256290)
If you would like further information or need to discuss this matter further do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks

Tim Brotherhood
Adviser for design & technology

Monday, 19 October 2009

Hard dodger ventilation hatch with a Lexan infill.

I was going to cough up for a Lewmar size 30 low profile deck hatch,then I was told the price,so now I know why they call it coughing up,what a shock! This hatch was made from factory offcuts,when its painted with International paints Interthane white and the Lexan infill panel is bonded in place with Dow-Corning 816 black silicone,it will look the part and work fine.A pair of solid stainless hinges will be fitted on the forward edge,I need some sort of friction hinge to allow the hatch to remain open,either that or a stay,no problems I think.A neoprene gasket underneath will keep the wind and rain out fine.

While this one off was done by myself and using the factory machines,including a router and 30mm wide bit to cut the 7.5mm x 15mm window rebate,we could more easily cut to any size with our CNC machine,the ply is 15mm thick ockume marine ply.

Hard dodger ventilation hatch with a Lexan infill.

Introducing Unicoil by Gates Hose company

This has nothing to do with sales or what we offer,excepting it worked for me and well do so for you?

I have been fitting some new hot water pipes to the colorifier tank that heats fresh water on our boat,the original pipes were better made and took the bend required without kinking,the new Goodyear heater hose kinked as soon as I tried to bend it,I went back the shop who sold me the hose and took a sample of what was the original hose,it seems that is not available now,so I was sold two of these Unicoils in a 3/4" size (19mm) I must say they are very well made in solid stainless steel,they carry a five year warrenty too,they worked a treat in my case,not cheap at R40 each,about U$5.40 I think.They are designed in New Zealand but may be made elsewhere?
try the link below.

Americas First Fleet at Jamestown,Virginia

I was rather surprised to discover this small harbour and its fleet of reconstructed First Fleet ships in Jamestown,close by was a reconstuction of the village that grew up around the harbour,so americans were english it seems?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Maraquita,a Thirty Square design with class

Maraquita is owned by Mike Daly,the pictures were taken by Roy McBride,using a Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera,left click on them to view in a larger size

Maraquita was restored by the late Eric Bongers,I had the pleasure to view her reconstruction while calling on Eric and his boat yard in Somerset West,as you can see his guys made a great job of it.

Owning a boat is like ripping up pound notes and throwing them into a hole in the water.

Fishing boat the David Laurie in Hout Bay harbour,the boat could well be fifty years old by now?

We have heard this more than once? It true to an extent but the problem is often more related to a lack of maintainace,look after your boat,do regular upgrades and you are really looking after a fine investment,thats whats happening with the fishing boat in the pics,the boat has had its wheel house and deck gear completly removed,its risen up in the water a good half meter due to it but it does rather look like a hole in the water now.

Davids Didi Mini Cruise build continues.

David is down in Freemantle,Australia,the last pictures of his boat build we posted showed that he was working on the drop keel case,we supplied a pre manufactured drop keel,it was CNC cut to profile by Nigel my son in law,I then shaped and glassed it with unidirectional woven glass and epoxy,this saved David a lot of work of course.David is about to close off the two side radius chines,when thats done he can turn his boat over!