Saturday, 12 December 2009

Interthane white top coat paints

This has been a fine tender to our boats,it is sized at 2.62mtrs long and 1.25mtrs wide (8' 7" x 4'1 1/2") which places it in between our Dix Design Dixi Dinghy which is 8'0" long and the Argie 10 which is 10' 0" long but this GRP tender of ours outweighs both of those plywood/epoxy tenders!

Mersey Mac,our family dinghy,we bought it second hand and must have owned it twenty five years,we took this dinghy to Brasil,French Guyana,Trinidad and Tobago,Venezuela,all the time on the deck of our yacht.

We have used and supplied International Paints products for a long time now,fourteen years or so? Having experianced top class results we can recomend their products,primers,top coats and antifoul.This Duckling class GRP dinghy has just had a hull sand down with 220 grit wet and dry paper,then an application of 990 Interthane polyurethane twin pack white top coat,the gloss is good,right off the spray gun,we can supply the right gun for you too,its a high volume low pressure type,so works with most air compressors.

Building a Tiki 38 catamaran by James Wharram

This started out with a request from Dan for plywoods,when it was known we can supply clear oregon pine and specialist epoxys,we were then asked to machine all the boats timbers to the designers lists and supply the epoxy.The build has gone really well,it was speeded up by the CNC works on the bulkheads and hull panels,we now have this as a Wharram Tiki 38 cut file and can easily supply others withn this well known design as a kit,providing proof of a set of plans being purchased is given.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sadler 32 build fit out progress

We continue the Sadler 32 new boat build with blog 1001,some words are below under the pictures.

When Andre started his fit out,it was from scratch,the only things in his hull and deck unit was some stringers,he came to us for materials like epoxies and biaxial glass cloth and exterior grade plywoods,that seems not so long ago,so his progress is good.

Blog one thousand and counting

While we had been cutting CNC kits some while the boat below was the first yacht build we undertook,we had done dinghies before but what about a real ocean capable Didi Mini Transat kit.As it turned out the build was easy,we had the first hull built in just twelve days,we did a second boat after this one,it was the same again,twelve days.The boat that followed was a Didi 26,longer but narrower,that took 14 days to build the hull.
Note,our Didi Mini Transat kit includes the boats interior materials and all CNC cutting,this saves any builder at least one weeks labour for the price of the materials.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Druma our dog sails too

Druma first went to sea on Hout Bays charter boat Drumbeat 2,he was a very small puppy then and thats where his name came from,seen here checking out the marine life,seals,sunfish,dolpins and birds,they all abound in Hout Bays waters,whales in season too,thats The Sentinel in the distance,a landmark for any sailer arriving in our bay.

Nandi,Nicks Didi 34 kit build

One of those great moments in time when we see our ideas go to fruition,only those who do things themselves can know the feeling of such success,you also save money big time too!Nick used our CNC cut kit,materials and paints we supplied him.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

How to turn your boat hull over?

Andrew and his scale model of yacht hull Tididi,well worth the effort!

Andrews scale model of his whole set up,while this took a lot of work,it allowed a pin point indication as to where to attatch his turning points.

The picture below shows how well Andrew has his hull balanced,he is tying a control strop on the build stocks underneath,as you can see,the hull is quite happy in the position its in,as it was for the whole 180 degree turn.

As the blog prior to this one shows how Andrew turned his Hartley 37 hull over, I will explain below how I did a larger hull myself,Andrews situtaion was quite similar to my own,excepting he had sand below his hull,while we had concrete! I suggested my own turn method and Andrew did the rest,on the day he could have turned his hull quite easily on his own.

When you do finally reach the time when your new hull is ready to turn,the options on which method to use starts to cross your mind,I have done this a number of times,normally with block and tackle,one to lift and one to control decent,if the boat still has its building stocks in place,its very easy to fit long side rails to that and use those as cross beams for the roll,this way the hull never touches anything.

When I came to roll a 43ft wood epoxy hull I had built (six weeks build time) I had a new problem,the space was far tighter than I thought,in fact so tight I had guys digging the concrete floor out to make enough space,the other option being to remove the roof of the outside shed I was building in,that was not going to suit me,so I took the concrete,big hammer and pick axe route.

Even then I was in a tight squeeze,so how to keep full control with the four chain blocks I had thought to use,I was certain some hull damage would be the result? Then I had an idea,what about a spit turn,just like a rotisserie,make up a turning spindle for the transom and the bow and then turn with an up haul and control with a down haul.

This requires a bit of engineering,welding of steel tubes and foot plates,this done I called on friends Tom and Peter one saturday to help with the turn,we nearly made it but more concrete was required to be moved,so we had another go the following saturday.This time Peter and my wife,Jean, came to work the blocks,all was secure,the turning spits on each end were bolted to the concrete slab they stood on (very important) I had Peter controling the up haul chain block and Jean up a ladder with the down haul chain block.The trick and the unknown bit is whats going to happen when your hull reaches its point of no return and moves from an upside down postition to a right side up position,balance is everthing,if your spit attatchment points are in the right place,its balanced and the hull will be quite happy in any position.

We had a few inches to go,Peter took his Chain block up higher,Jeans chain block was by now at the point where instead of taking up the slack,she now had tension on it,this was our point of no return,how good was our balance point was now on our minds,as it was we were fine and Jean lowered the hull untill it was right side up all on her own.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Andrews Hartley 37 hull turn

Andrew after his hull was turned had a great reason to smile,thats his dad just to the left of the picture.For these pictures I used a Canon G11 digital camera set to auto.Left click the first click to see the depth of his smile!

We have known Andrew just a year,he called in November 2008 and asked for pricing on WBP plys,we discussed the end use,which was his Hartley 37 hull skin,(two layers of 6mm plys with epoxy) an important part of any boat,I asked him to call at our factory so we could discuss using a better grade Ockume veneer marine plys,I showed him how easy it is to work with,plus the fact that WBP 6mm ply is just a three ply construction while 6mm Okcume marine is a five ply constuction and why the price is higher,Andrew bought the better ply,plus epoxies and Internationals twin pack paints,the quality shows in these pictures of a really (very) succesfull hull turn,well done Andrew!

From Andrews blog at:

That is how Saturday was. The turning went better than I could have hoped for and a great time was had by all who attended the Turning and the after party. Thanks to all those who came and made it such a great day. It is sometimes unwise to thank people individually in case you leave someone out who might feel hurt, but there are a few people who need special mention. First and foremost my Father who taught me all I know and Maureen for support and encouragement along the way. The diggers, Theo, Brendon and Skatie who pitched in and dug out the ground as she was turning. Patrick for steadying the ship as she went over and all those who assisted in turning. All the ladies who assisted with food and salad preperations and Skatie (once again) who took it upon himself to organise the fires and braai the meat. Christine and Roy for taking pictures to capture the moment (attached pictures by Roy).

Lost and Found,the power of communication.

A mail as sent to Richard Crocket,editor and publisher of Sailing magazine in Durban,South Africa.

Lost . . . and Found !

This is a great thank you to you and your magazine.
After talking to you and writing a "Letter to the Editor" to try and find my brother after a fruitless search of around 15 years I got mail yesterday!!!!
Roy McBride, who knew Noel, sent me mail and gave me the number of Tom Maben, who restores boats and cars, as a possible contact to get hold of Noel. After a short call I had the landline, cell number, and e-mail address.
Well, what a surprise! I spoke to him yesterday; first time since 1982.
This is a big thank you to the SAILING magazine, Roy McBride and Tom Maben.
Charley Jacobs

LDV Truck Canopy Kits in plywood

This is the type of canopy we would aim to produce,this is not one of our kits but a sample idea of what we can make.

We are talking about producing a new line,its a Canopy Kit to fit a range of light delivery vans,CNC produced it will have a roof and tail gate made from moulded light weight plys,epoxy coated,painted with twin pack paints,it will have normal glass fixed or slide windows,gas struts,over center fastener clips,all the materials you need to make your own canopy at a huge saving over a GRP one.We can look at brands like Ford,Mazda,Nissan,Isuzu,Tata,Kia,Hyundai,Toyota,Opal,Mitsubishi,Fiat, etc,
Contact or phone on Cape Town 021-510-7206

Vulcan Rock,Hout Bay

Sunday 6th of December 2009,we went out for a motor sail,the wind was very light and the swell was the same,it was close to low tide and that was about 1.5 mtrs? so you can imagine that as a high tide,it was 1.7 mtrs this morning and given the same conditions and this rock just will vanish?

Many years back an advertising company were doing a film shoot for Nissan,they used a helicopter to place a new Nissan car on this rock but before they got any pictures,a swell washed it away!

Both pictures below were taken with a Canon G11 digital camera (roy mc bride)left click the top one to see the sea gulls standing on the top of the rock!

The picture below,left click and see more details.
The black thing to the left in the water was a local Seal that just happened to pop up its head.Local sailor,Justin informed me yesterday that a ledge exists at a depth of 2mtrs just to the left of the rock as we see it,so never cut that corner,we saw a wave or two form right there as we went past.

This is a very dangerous rock,its not marked,so be aware it exists,in many ways when its calm its could be more dangerous,as when any kind of sea is running,its very easy to see due to the white water and waves,some info:

Vulcan Rock (Reef)

Vulcan Rock is a large pinnacle rising to 5m below the surface. It is covered in colourful marine growth - Hard and soft coral, box stars, nudibranches, deep water cowries and crayfish. Many playful seals are present and fish such as hottentot, galjoen and other species are plentiful. There is a large tunnel running through the rock at the bottom.

Navigation tip,from my late brother in law,Kenny Paarman,who lived his life as a local fisherman.

When entering Chapmans Back on a return from Cape Town at night,if your unsure of where Vulacan Rock is,head for the easier to see Slangkop Light House,then when the road lights over to port and in Vishoek in False Bay line up,you can make a safe turn to port and enter Hout Bay safely.

S34°03.967’ E018°18.582’

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009). A permit is required.

The rock marking the site is shown on charts of the area as "Vulcan Rock."

Maximum depth is over 30m but this is some way to the north of the rock.

Vulcan rock is the top of a very big granite tor. It is made up of large corestones on top of more of the same, down to at least 25m . There are lots of crevices, overhangs and fairly narrow gaps. Boulders are often several metres high. There is usually a knocking sound as loose boulders are rocked by the swell.

There is a swim through cave directly under Vulcan rock. The bottom is at 18m, roof about 2m higher. There are 4 seperate entrances, none of them easy to see from outside unless at the same depth. The cave is probably between 20 and 30 m max extent, and maybe 20m wide at the widest. Two of the entries are at the edges of the relatively flat floored part, and the other two are across boulder strewn bottom and irregularly shaped. There is also an air cave overhang on the north east side of the main boulder at about 13m depth with a number of small domed pockets in the ceiling which are bare of all growth, showing that there is often air in the overhang.

There are big bolders or pinnacles to both sides of one entrance. The next entrance anticlockwise is at the bottom of a little gully, and has a small cave to the right of the entrance to the main cave.

To the north of the rock is a fairly shallow pinnacle.

Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton

[edit] Conditions
LOCATION: A blinder off the Karbonkelberg, to the south-west of Hout Bay.
ACCESS: The blinder breaks at all except the highest spring tide and can be seen from the sea. It is a short boat trip from Hout Bay harbour (20min boat ride). Most of the dive shops and charter boats run trips to this spot in the summer months.
CONDITIONS: It can be very clear but icy cold after a good up welling. There can be a strong surge if there is a swell running. You should always check conditions carefully before exiting the boat as there is sometime a 4-5 knot current, either on the surface or at a depth. Even if there appears to be no current, a drift line of a few hundred metres is strongly recommended.

The position is shown on chart SAN 120 and BA 2083. ... Vulcan Rock complex, 34º04'S; 18º19'E. Foul ground, Duiker Point, 34º02.5'S; 18º18'E ...
Note,please do your own position check,we are not responsable for any errors in the above positions as found on various web sites.


Near Miss at Vulcan - Graham Lambert
I'm lucky to be alive, and I hope my story may prevent you from getting into the same trouble as I did.

It was a hot windy Cape Town Wednesday afternoon and the invitation to slip off work and go looking for a lost anchor on Tafelberg Reef (near Vulcan Rock) was irresistible. I'm a seasoned Cape Diver (300+ dives) and not easily put off by less than perfect conditions, but as we rounded the bend in the road into Hout Bay and saw the sea for the first time, my first reaction was to start thinking of any excuse to give this up as a bad idea. The swell was fairly big with the tops of the waves whipped white by the strong South-Easter and starting to break. If I had been on my own, I would have turned around and gone home right there and then. We pulled into the parking lot at the slipway where my animated and highly enthusiastic buddies soon dispelled any hope I had of talking them out of it.

I'm not a nervous diver, but having personally found a dead woman diver underwater, and listened to several first-hand accounts of divers being lost by their boats then being miraculously picked up at sea by other fortuitously passing boats, I have a personal rule that I always carry a reel and surface marker buoy (SMB) when diving from a boat. In my experience, there are 3 scenarios where this very important:

The obvious one - you intend to penetrate a part of a wreck or cave and you need to find your way back out again. NEVER penetrate a wreck or cave without a reel - disturbed sediments, a dead torch or general narcosis/panic may render you unable to find your way out. Someone tends to die like this every year, don't let the next one be you.

The boat anchors on a wreck or reef which you intend to explore, you run a line from the anchor as you explore, then find you way back to the anchor line at the end of the dive. Besides leading you to the boat, this will allow you to do your compulsory deco stop on the anchor line if you incur a deco penalty (don't tell me your dive plan won't go into deco time) - problems happen, buddies get stuck or lost and you may easily find yourself facing a compulsory 5 to 10 minute stop. If this is in say a 2 knot current, and you don't have the anchor line to hold on to, you will drift 60m per minute, so after 5 minutes you will eventually break surface 300m away from the boat. In a 2m swell you will no longer be visible from the boat - bye bye! In any case, if you're over 40 like me, you will always want to be doing a 5 minute safety stop after every dive.

You dive on a reef or blinder and the boat does not anchor because the reef wave breaks. You explore the reef and by the end of your dive you will not know where the boat is. (Natal divers may find this odd, as they always use a DM towing a buoy, but Cape charters seldom use DM's and often dive in this manner). After your dive, you attach your SMB to the reel and after partially inflating it, send it to the surface where the boat operator can clearly see you position and any other buddy pairs. He can then track your position as you do your 5 minute safety stop at 5m, comfortably hanging on your reel under the SMB.

As you can see, I'm sold on the reel/buoy idea, so back to my story:

As we started to kit up I discovered that one of the buddies had lost my reel on a previous dive that week as well as his own and we now had no reel between the three of us. If only I had had the 'balls' to be a wet blanket, and refuse to go, but they were all so keen and off we set with our top-man, a young inexperienced chap who would stay with the boat while the 3 of us searched for the missing anchor. After a very bumpy ride we reached the GPS target and cast anchor. Skipper watched the GPS for a bit to make sure the anchor was fast and we rapidly kitted up. As I watched the waves spraying over the deck, I wondered if it would be possible to use any cell phones or radios if we had to.

Our dive plan was to meet at the bottom of the 30m deep anchor line and then remain in sight of the line at all times, while searching for the previously lost anchor. The boat was pitching and pulling at the anchor-line like a wild horse and as I didn't want to hang about and get sick, I dropped over the side into the froth and went to the bottom to wait there for the others. The visibility was about 10m and the water was remarkably warm for Vulcan. I checked the anchor. It looked well hooked onto the reef and so I turned my back on it, and while remaining in one place waiting for the others to get down, I began to look around. When I looked round to where the anchor-line was supposed to be - it was gone. I was alone in a big ocean with no route back to the safety of the boat. In my rising panic, the first thought that crossed my mind was that I must have blacked out or swum about in a narked daze for a bit - why was I not still next to the anchor, it was there a minute ago? As it transpired the anchor must have been ripped off the reef by the pitching boat which was now moving off at a few knots. Skipper and our buddy had not met at the bottom of the line as planned, neither had they checked the integrity of the anchor. After a few minutes I saw their bubbles and joined them with some relief - but why was there no anchor line rising comfortingly up to the boat?

Skipper seemed happy, and I followed behind him and our buddy as they swam around looking for the previously lost anchor. I tried to signal to him "Where is OUR anchor?" When he appeared to have no idea, I forced both of them to begin an immediate slow ascent with me. I could feel the current and we held hands to stay together as we ascended.

A grim scene waited for us on the surface: The boat was almost out of sight and the swell had reached the point where the waves were breaking over us. My first thought was that it was after 5 in the afternoon and that by the time anyone missed us it would be dark. By morning in this wind and current we would be well out to sea. The only thing to do was put our heads down and swim - and pray.

If the boat had been over sand or drifted into any deeper water there would have not have been a happy ending to this story, but thankfully, the dragging anchor snagged onto something which arrested the drift. We were being carried from upwind with the strong surface current and carefully steered ourselves towards the boat and to stunned safety where we were greeted by the (now white-faced) top man. I doubt he would have been able to get the strained anchor line up on his own and come back find us one he realized he was drifting. We sat in a silence for a while reliving the dreadful moments

Please learn from my story: don't be afraid to say NO when you are not comfortable with the diving conditions; and get yourself a reel and buoy and learn how to use them - ALWAYS!