Thursday, 30 December 2010

Irwin 54 rudder stuffing box

Twenty years of marine service,this was the ' Before' picture.

The ' After' picture looks a whole lot better!

Sort of a before and after,we had the chance to remove the bronze stuffing box on the Irwin 54 we are making a new rudder for,plus upgrade the clamping system,our bead blaster came in handy as you can see,this is a service we offer for all sorts of cleaning works,car engine piston and valves come to mind?

Karen and Greg splash their new Argie 15 build

Greg started with one of our Dix Designed Didi mini transat kits,then had an idea,why not build a smaller design to get the hang of things,he chose the Argie 15 kit,they launched it the other day,the Didi Mini Transat is now built and turned over,so the plan worked well.

Hi Dudley,Roy,

Attached is picture of our launch day.

It has been a long time coming,but appropiately we launched on Boxing day.My wife karen and younger son Kent went on Maria's maiden voyage.

Maria was the name given to the boat (by the family) as she was the other women in my life for the year whilst building!

What a wonderful experience it has been from beginning to end.

She sails beautifully.

Thanks for all the help and support along the way.

Kind regards


Greg and Karen

One hundred thousand and counting!

When this blog thing started I had little idea how it would grow,we are into year three now,if not we should be soon? Google clocks the page impressions,checking the other day I see the all time score is over 103,000 and last months viewers were 15,000,thats amazing!

The blog is supposed to be a  generation of orders idea,I am not at all sure this is fully the case,I wander off course now and again but todays blogs get us 100% back on course with some remarkable pictures from a friend and fellow boat builder Dudely Dix.

The scene outside the Dix home in Virginia USA.........

We had a blizzard move all the way up the East Coast last weekend. We had 14.2" (360mm), which is the third highest single snowfall since records started in mid 1700s. Everything is still white and we have about 40-50mm of solid ice on the road in front of our home. Makes driving somewhat interesting. The major roads have been cleared but we have to drive about 1.5km to reach a major road. See attached photos from Sunday. That is home-made boerewors, chicken and pork ribs on the braai. I roasted a beef round the following day, also on the braai.


Dudley Dix

Dudley Dix Yacht Design

1340-1272 N Great Neck Rd #343

Virginia Beach, VA 23454, USA

Tel (757)962-9273 Fax (757)965-3573

You know what they say, 'n Boer maak 'n plan. (A farmer makes a plan). I am 25% Afrikaner, so some of it must apply.



And I came home from the boat yesterday,it was again blowing 35knots of South Easterly I thought to myself, yet another evening without a nice braai,then Dudley sends me these pictures,am I a wimp or what!?

Tonight we braai!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tek-Dek boat decking,in Cape Town

As South Africa's sole agents we brought a lot of Tek-Dek into the country,as the Rand currency weakened the price went up,plus we found it less UV restistant then once thought.With the Rand now at a much stronger level and the factory promising they have sorted out the UV problem,there may be a renewed interest in this decking,its very much a do it yourself type product if you have the idea to try it and some basic tools?

We still have stock to clear,not more than about four square meters but enough for the average cockpit floor or two? contact me for profiles .  Roy

You assemble the required panel in segments,then glue them down when your ready,you can do assembly at home on your work bench,then roll it up and take it to the boat later.

Laying is similar to laying a vinyl floor as its a plastic sheet with different profiles to work from.

Washable,even with a power cleaner.

Laid by a professional,who owns the boat,if more stocks are needed it will have to be imported for your job.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Irwin 54 new rudder manufacture using Vesconite

We are on the next stage of seeing a new and upgraded version of the original rudder on an Irwin 54,Charles Marine,Hout Bay, is handling the project and is doing a great job of bringing all the (many) required skills together,this is over the annual holiday period,so no mean feat at all.

The new heel fitting,the stainless is marine grade in 316,the bearing is in Vesconite,which is self lubricating and should never wear out,inside is a bronze disc with an upper dome shape for the rudder shaft to turn on.

It was decided to dump what was left of the original rudder,this included a total rip out of the internal structure inside the boat that supported the top bearing,we made up a marine ply kit for that and a specialist laminator fitted that bonded it in with epoxy and biaxial glass cloth.

A yacht specialist Charles doing a test fit of the new lower heel bearing shoe.

The new rudder has a longer shaft which allows a lock ring to hold the shaft captive inside the boat,we also had the machine shop mill out slots to accept the 12mm x 75mm flat bars which were then welded in place.The plys are the center core of the final rudder,our CNC shop is shaping the two outer faces,which will next be laminated to the core prior to a final power and hand plane finish and a coating of biaxial glass cloth and epoxy.

This is Tyk,Charles Marines head security officer,Tyk does a great job too!

The new rudder shaft and support webs.

With the 12mm marine ply center core fitted,Charles checks the new rudder for ease of movement,it is so free that the wind was able to swing it with some ease!

More seasonal greetings

This one is from my good friend Dudley Dix,who is also our main designer due to his ever popular Radius Chine design development,its easy to build with,proffesional or amature,the Dix 45 in this christmas card is a steel construction,built for the Stockwells in Hout Bay by Brian Alcock and originally named Tantalus,it had a name change twice and is now named Vlakvark. All the timber for the boat was supplied by myself (Commercial Lumber cc) ,Cherry inside and Teak in the cockpit.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The winters longest day

In England the date has  just past on December 21st, near Markfield Town, they have an Oak post cut with a deep slot in it,when the sun is square on and in line at its lowest limb,the light shines through and reaches its furthest distance behind.Thanks to Notty for his pictures.

You may also want to read about Abu Simbel in Egypt,the same idea but on a mega scale by comparison!

The most remarkable feature of the site is that the temple is precisely oriented so that twice every year, on 22 February and 22 October, the first rays of the morning sun shine down the entire length of the temple-cave to illuminate the back wall of the innermost shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there.

Try also  ,its an amazing feat of engineering!


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Markfield Town in winter

Not only is it in winter but its today, Christmas Day 2010, my thanks to my friend Notty who took it while on a stroll with his son Dion,the camera is a new Canon XM1 video camera,it take stills too I assume.

Christmas wishes from a friend

Either way its all the best from me!


Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas is for kids,so are Toylanders

It looks like Ben and Holly are enjoying a ride in our Toylander,Druma the dog wants a piece of the action too?

Our traveling customers on yacht Merlin are in Brisbane,Australia.

Some,in fact many, of our customers for various materials sail away,not good business but thats the way it is! We supplied bending and light plys,plus veneers for this families 40ft catamaran,they sailed from the HBYC marina three years back,just look where they are now.

We got a mid atlantic call from them on the passage to St  Helena island,Greg was asking what of the many cans of lubricant sprays on board, he should use to stop both rudder stocks squeeking,it was driving them mad he said.I suggested the Fluid Film we supplied,that was the only spray thin enough to penertrate but thick enough to stay put,it worked too.

Joyeux Noel de la part de tout l’equipage.

Ciel nuageux a Brisbane mais cela ne devrait pas empecher un certain bonhomme d’arriver ce soir.

Bien a vous,

Happy Christmas from Merlin’s crew.

Cloudy sky over Brisbane but that shouldn’t be a problem tonight for Father Christmas.
Love to all,

Emmanuelle, Greg, Victor, Felix & Clea

Thursday, 23 December 2010

World ARC 2012 news update just in

For the full text and links to other events visit

World Cruising Club e-News
December 2010
In This Issue
ARC 2010
North America
World ARC 2012
Atlantic Circuit Forum
Boat Shows
Rally Portugal
Malts Cruise

ARC 2010
Alayat3 (FRA)
Crew of Alayat3 (FRA)
As we write this, the last ARC 2010 yacht is arriving in Rodney Bay. After a very slow start with fickle trade winds, all but 6 yachts finished in time for the prize giving.
Well done to all of the 233 ARC 2010 yachts and crews!

View the ARC 2010 yacht logs, galleries and results online at

Welcome to America!
World Cruising Club is pleased to announce that the Caribbean 1500 sailing rally from Hampton Virginia to Tortola BVI is now part of the World Cruising Club family. The Caribbean 1500, Bahamas Rally, Atlantic Cup and Ocean Sailing Seminars will be run by Rick and Julie Palm from our American office.

You can contact Rick and Julie on +1 (757) 788-8872 or

The team in Cowes - Cally and Jeremy -  are always available to help with preparation advice and answer your questions. We also have representatives in Germany and the Netherlands able to help you.
Cowes Office Contacts:
T: +44 (0)1983 296060
Skype: wccmail

T: +49 677194934

T: +31 614023357

World ARC 2012 - the fleet is growing! 
24 yachts so far!

World ARC yachts in San Blas Panama
San Blas
Reservations and entries are coming through strongly for World ARC 2012 and we expect at least 30 boats to be joining us in Saint Lucia in January 2012 for the first leg of this round-the-world adventure. 24 yachts are now either confirmed or have paid a deposit. Some yachts will be joining us for the whole circumnavigation, others leaving or joining in Australia for a half rally. Don't forget there is still time to take advantage of the early booking discount! 

We are pleased to welcome two families with children to the fleet, as well as early retirees and people taking a sabattical.  The 2012 fleet includes production boats from Beneteau, Jeanneau, X-Yachts and Lagoon, as well as Oyster, Amel and traditional cruising yachts.  Find out more about World ARC at
The World ARC 2010 fleet are now in South Africa, before they set off for carnival in Brazil in early January. The World ARC takes 16 months and runs on a two year cycle, so after 2012 the next event will start in 2014.

Learn from the Experts
Learn from the Cruising Experts at our Atlantic Circuit Forum. Saturday 08 January 2011 from 1000-1200 in London, UK.

Atlantic Circuit Forum
As leaders in the offshore cruising world, representatives from World Cruising Club and Yachting World magazine will be joined by a panel of experienced cruisers to bring you a broad range of cruising knowledge and expertise. The Forum will discuss the planning and preparation for an Atlantic circuit, with special emphasis on the ARC, and what to expect in terms of weather and equipment issues.

The venue is the University of East London Docklands Campus, close to ExCel for the London Boat Show. Entry fee is £10 per person and includes a free ticket for the London Boat Show (tickets collected at the Forum) 

Join us at the Boat Shows 
London and Düsseldorf
 We will be exhibiting at the London Boat Show at North Hall stand A30, so if you have any questions about any of our events, or about the practicalities of offshore cruising, please come along and say 'hello'. London Boat Show, 07-16 January, ExCel.  London Boat Show website

We will also be at Boot Düsseldorf at Halle 11 stand F21 on the ISTEC Parasailor stand. We will have German and English speakers available to answer your questions. Boot Düsseldorf, 22-30 January, Messe Düsseldorf.  Boot Dusseldorf website

Sail South With Rally Portugal
Sines, Portugal
Sail south and explore ashore!  

Entries are now open for Rally Portugal, with early payment benefits available until 19 January. Between 15 and 20 boats typically join us to cross Biscay and cruise down the coast of Portugal, visiting six destinations before finishing on the Algarve. At each rally destination we take time to get to know the area, visiting places of interest and enjoying local hospitality.

Some cruisers join Rally Portugal as the start of their transatlantic adventure with the ARC, others find it a convivial way to get to the Mediterranean, while others choose Rally Portugal as their summer holiday cruise.

Return of the Malts! 
Malts Cruise 8-21 July 2011

We are delighted to announce that the Malts Cruise will return for 2011. The format will be slightly different, but the scenery, sailing, camaraderie, and whisky will be just as enjoyable as ever.

The Cruise starts in Oban on 08 July, visits Tobermory and finishes at Port Ellen, Islay on 21 July.  Places will be limited to 50 boats.

The event will be launched at the London Boat Show, and the new website will be available in January, for more information and online booking.

Happy Christmas to all our customers

Well its just two days to Christmas Day 2010 and a good time to wish you all well where ever you are,with our customers very much spread world wide in thirty countries, thats confirmation that we can ship to most places now.

The picture is of myself making a Trex Wood Polymer table,once a Mobil Chemicals product,with a five year warranty,its now a private company and they give a life time warranty,I would give longer than that!

All the best from me and CKD Boats cc in Cape Town,South Africa.



The 2010 Noonsite Christmas Card

This arrived yesterday,being on the list of those who have contact with Nooonsite, its a nice card and greeting to recieve,check out the Noonsite web site for all kinds of info related to cruising on yachts.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A new web site for South African Sailors.

Will says:

 My site is a NON-COMMERCIAL community sailing site for people to post articles, video,
photo's and discuss sailing with an emphasis on SouthAfrica.

 Merry Christmas and kind regards,

 Will Goodlet

From what I can see,this is an interactive type web site where you can post your own yacht clubs sailing news,check it out and see whats in it.

Sea Hopper Folding boats

We have been asked a number of times to produce a folding boat,one we found seemed the answer but was just far to complicated to offer as a kit,we now find the Sea Hopper Folding boat,this is semi assembled by ourselves,then supplied to the customer ready to unfold and start sailing or rowing.
Sold under licence to Sea Hopper Folding Boats,each boat we sell will include a payment to the designer on our buyers behalf.

Seahopper Folding Boats
2 Holyoake Street
TA21 8LD
Telephone: 01823 665151 - Mobile: 07971 316381 - Fax: 01823 660282

Alice Driscoll With A Seahopper

The assembled Sea Hopper ready to sail,this boat has been fitted fith optional side floats,which also make great fenders for when you come alongside another craft.

Alice shows Seahopper can sail really well.

There are three boats on offer,check them out at then get back to us at for pricing.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Sadler 32 rudder kit packs

With the arrival of the Irwin 54 new rudder job,it reminds me that we also have on file the CNC cutting to the Sadler 32 rudder,taken from one of David Sadlers original drawings a client supplied.

We can supply just the ply sections for owner lamination from six layers of Ockume marine plys to BS1066 grade,the layers are peg holed,we supply the pegs and once you have applied the epoxy thats part of our kit,driving home the dowels brings the six panels into perfect shape.You will still have to finish planing to the profiles with a power and hand planer,then apply a layer of 410 gram biaxial glass cloth (supplied) or we can do this for you as an extra,supplying the rudder in a prefinished epoxy primed condition ready to fit.

If required we can supply the stainless shaft and upper plus lower bearing shoe fitting also.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Irwin 54 yacht new rudder building

We never know when such jobs may come our way,this one did due,I think,from crevice corrosion in the plates holding the lower rudder pintal bush? A new rudder is now in process,it will be made to the same shape and profile as the GRP one,but made much stronger in laminated ply/epoxy. A new 316 stainless shaft fabrication,installation of a new removable lower stainless shoe and Vesconite bearing,plus we will install a Vesconite center bearing where the shaft goes through the hull,none being fitted by the factory,that we can see?

The design as fitted has only a lower bearing bush which is held in place with a 50mm x 12mm stainless steel strap,the strap is through bolted to the boats skeg with three bolts,as two men can only just lift the rudder, we are talking about a lot of weight with this rudder and its all supported with just three bolts.We are beefing the system up with correct stainless webbing straps milled into the new rudder stock,then welded and also extending the stock to enable a clamp fitting on the top of the upper bearing,this can be lightly pre loaded prior to fitting the new lower pintal bearing fitting,it will have a shoe with six bolts to hold it in place.

The old rudder as dropped in the HBBY,note the bend in the shaft!

Now we have the patterns and sizes in our CNC machine we can offer these Irwin 54 rudders to anyone,look at it as an upgrade on the original design.

We will also do a total up grade of the upper bearing support inside the boat,the fabrication that was original had broken free in places and moved some 40mm,these parts are in 15mm ockume marine ply to BS1088 grade,this can be supplied as a CNC cut kit as in small flat pack for those who just want to up grade that side of the rudder installation.We can ship world wide.

One of our kit builds,the Didi 34 Nandi

Built in a fast time and to a pro finish by Nick,this is a great sized small cruiser racer.

Nandi is a smaller version of  Black Cat,the Dudley Dix designed Didi 38 radius chine construction that started it all,these boats are fast to build,I have built the hull on a Didi Mini Transat (two) in twelve (12) days and the hull on a Didi 26 in fifteen (15) days,thats working on my own,except for a worker cleaning up underneath as I fastened the hull sheets and radius planks.

Bulwarks make for a safer foredeck

Note that Martin has fastened through the scarph joint,adding strength.The reinforced tape can now be removed,the scarph joint is 250mm long.

This Iroko bulwark needed to be 6.1 meters long,using two shorter lengths we scarfed,glued with resorcenol resin glue and left it clamped a few days,delivered yesterday morning it was bolted in place by the boats owner  the same day.

Safety comes in many ways,adding this bulwalk plank on a steel Roberts 53 makes good sense,as your always sure of a place to rest your foot in rough weather,it will also stop some items slipping overboard.

The scarph joint in progress,Iroko makes a good choice for this,African Mahogany and Clear Oregon Pine also.

Friday, 17 December 2010

A view from aloft

Just to proove we have calm days in Hout Bay,this is one I took from the top of a mast early this year in mid January,the weather will be like this for the next two days,then the SE trades return once again!

Those empty slots are all full now,such is the amount of visitors to the Hout Bay Yacht Club this season.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bow lines in Hout Bay YC marina

Visiting yacht Chessie takes the strain with  outer bow lines,this is the first time we have had them in place and they really work well.

New for this year and only put in place around a week prior to the arrival of the ARC Around the World fleet were outer mooring blocks,specially cast in the HBYC clubs boat park,then placed by proffesional divers.The blocks are some 30 meters out with chain and risers to the marina,when not in use they will just lay on the bottom,its about eight meters deep here?

After the gale

Left click the photo for a larger view.

The evening before it was blowing around 70 knots in Hout Bay, a second ARC around the world fleet required assitance from the NSRI Station 8,who did a mastefull job of towing her in,even asking the yachts skipper to put his engine in reverse to act as a drouge to slow the yacht down.The yacht was delivered safely to harbour and left for the night on a clear space of harbour wall.The next morning she was moved to the safety of the HBYC marina,seen here being tied up by HBYC members and vistitors.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Monte Carlo performance road springs in Cape Town

left click pictures to see in more detail.

The longer springs are taken from the standard sport spec springs,just look how much longer they are!

Whats in the box? check below.

They have just arrived from our suppliers by UPS,this is their delivery driver Arashaad seen holding the packed carton,he was really keen on the idea and the various things we do here.

A brand new set of Monte Carlo Hillman Imp road springs,they are shorter and an up rated version of the standard and sport type rings.