Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Didi 34 by Dix Design,yacht Nandi being launched.

One of the best designs in a kit package,this boat has it all,its ocean capable,you can build it yourself,even the keel and Dudley Dix supplies you a set of plans to make a hollow box section mast,it has a batt car track with carbon spreaders,we can supply the mast and boom as a kit too.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Watchmate AIS by Vesper Marine arrives in South Africa

Tony,a visiting Australian yachtsman and world cruiser, is full of smiles after installing his new Watchmate AIS by Vesper Marine,we did a direct import for Tony,he supplied his yachts registration and required MMSI number and Vesper Marine did the pre programing at their factory,you can program yourself if required.

The local magazine Sailing has a feature on AIS in their January issue,its in two parts,this one is four pages long,Ausi Bray tested Watchmate,NASA,SR161 (new to me) and Winradio G305e,which needs a plotter.

There were two tests in different locations,NASA was excluded from both sets of results due to a fault?

Tests were done in Australia.

Test one in Botany Bay gave a result as below.

SR161 42%
Watchmate 94%
Winradio 32%

Test two in Careel Bay

SR161 54%
Watchmate 100%

Its probably a bit simplistic to only view the final percentage but very interesting all the same.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jessica climbs her mountain!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 (10.00pm AEDT)

We are incredibly proud to announce that Jessica Watson has conquered the Mount Everest of the maritime world by rounding Cape Horn this evening at 8.40pm (AEDT), doing so in 40 knot winds, mist, drizzle and a bumpy 4 metre sea.

However, the miserable conditions have not dampened the spirits of this inspirational 16 year old who is having the time of her life out there!

The predicted gales hit as scheduled today and Jessica has been sailing in 30-40 knot winds for the past 24 hours, but they are expected to abate soon as she heads north east towards the Falklands.

Jessica has now sailed 9,800nm on day 88 of her solo circumnavigation as she approaches the half way mark of her journey. Whilst there is much work still to do for Jessica, this day is one she will never forget.

Fnally, a huge thank you to all the loyal bloggers for your wonderful contributions to Jessica’s journey to date. The image below is a tribute to Jessica and her team on behalf of all the bloggers, from blogger Samurai (Sam).

More detailed updates on Jessica’s rounding will be posted tomorrow (AEDT

Thailand,skipper your own boat.

This boat is Outcast,built in Thailand from plans,we make life and building a lot simpler by offering a full CNC kit,designed by Angelo Lavranos,this boat is a winner.

Jessica Watson closes on Cape Horn

Jessica has a Watchmate AIS on her boat.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
A Stones Throw from the Cape!

With the wind gusting to 35knots Ella's Pink Lady is really surfing away the last 80nm to Cape Horn. It's looking like we'll be rounding the Cape first thing tomorrow morning, super exciting! Fingers crossed that the cloud lifts a little and I get a half decent view as we sail past.

Up in Punta Arenas (Chile), Mum and Dad are getting ready to take off later today and will be circling around overhead in a plane. We'll be able to chat over the VHF radio so looking forward to that.

Also, boats from both the Chilean Navy and Argentinian Navy are expected to swing by to give us a wave. It's been over a month since I've seen another boat and almost 3 months since I've seen another person, so I feel totally thrilled and spoiled to have so many guests all at once! I was extra careful brushing my hair this morning, (which is of course completely pointless in this wind!).

The other exciting news is that I heard from Dilip that he and Mhadei rounded the Cape ahead of us and are now on course to the Falklands to sort out his steering problems.

Anyway, there's plenty happening and things that need my attention out here, so I'm going to sign off for now.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 (9.10pm AEDT)

As Jessica prepares to round the infamous Cape Horn, she may first have to face more gale force winds over the next 24 hours, the result of a low pressure system to the south of her current position.

Jessica is currently 150 nautical miles from Cape Horn, sailing in winds of 20 knots and a 3-4 metre swell. She is well prepared for the possible and excited about rounding the Cape.

“It is only 20 knots at the moment, but it looks like we may get some stronger winds before we round the Cape. But Ella’s Pink Lady is doing fine and we are in good shape for whatever conditions we may face,” said Jessica.

Despite the forecast of strong winds during the next 24 hours, the good news is that conditions are expected to improve as she rounds the Cape.

On current predictions, it is expected Jessica will achieve one of her dreams and round the Cape at some stage on Thursday morning (AEDT). Note her currnent position is 14 hours behind AEDT.


Watchmate AIS arrives in Cape Town

Watchmate AIS by Vesper Marine are available from CKD Boats cc,contact

This Tony,a cruising yachtsman from Australia,on yacht Ragin Cajun,he wintered over in Hout Bay and will soon be ready to sail to warmer waters north of here,he will be using his RX/TX Watchmate AIS by Vesper Marine to both track ships and be tracked himself,Jeff of Vesper Marine in New Zealand pre programed Tonys AIS for him,it is owner programable if you want to do it yourself.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Teak decking in plastic Plas Deck

For 'Do it Youself' instructions check out this link:

Please conatact me for a brochure.

We have at least as much background in plastics made to be used as wood as anyone else in SA and probably more than most,starting with the import about 15 years ago of Trex Wood Polymer,then Tek-Dek boat decking we learned as we went along,the Tek-Dek we dropped for various reasons.

Still enquiries for a plastic teak decking come in,we advise what we know,which is now changed for the better with a product that has addressed the issue of ultra violet burning,the makers have used the very best plastics UV inhibitors and had a five year test completed,in a laboratory I assume.

The products are varied but the basic is a 50mm wide strip in a 32 ft long roll,thats 9.753 meters.We have been asked to represent the manufacturers and will bring stock in to your order per boat as required.

6” x 32’ PlasDECK Roll – Shiplap
This deck material has a shiplap edge for ease of use and was designed with the Do-It-Yourselfer in mind. Each panel is fit to the next to form the body of the deck. As the panels are pushed together the glue fills the small crevice between, making it a solid panel. Each piece is 6” wide and 32’ long (16 square feet).

PRICE: $280.00

E-521 2” x 32’ PlasDECK Shiplap – Planking
This deck material has a shiplap edge for ease of use and was designed with the Do-It-Yourselfer in mind. Each piece is a single plank. Used mainly where it needs to curve laterally, especially towards the bow. Each piece is 2” wide and 32’ long (5.3 square feet).

PRICE: $100.00

Glass cloth,Biaxial 410 grams

Many of our wood/epoxy boat kits require glass cloth tapes,some require a larger sheet material too,if its to cover the boats outer skin we can supply a fine close weave cloth that wets out to a smoother finish than the normal woven cloth.When the cloth needs to be stuctural,we normally offer Biaxial cloth as in these pictures,its a joy to work with as it takes bends and corners quite easily.Some parts like Keel Foils require a Unidirectional weave,this norally means the cloth lays along the length of the keel foil,with most of the fibres being length ways.

Note,if it is expected to be a warm day,never start laying up in the early morning,as when the wood or ply warms up,it will send out air from its fibres,that air will cause bubbles under the cloth,its best to do the glassing when the day is cooling down and the air has stopped escaping,if you do get bubbles,dont panic,take a sharp knife,slit them and with an epoxy coated brush push them down.

Pictures by our Didi mini Cruise customer,Dave in Fremantle,Australia,thanks Dave.

Erminios Proteus 106 catamaran build progress.

Erminio is making a fine job of his Proteus 106 kit build,he is in Caracas,Venezuela,we shipped to him some while back,building the boat right side up makes so much sense!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Greg and Karens Argie 15 kit build

If you look closely,you will see plywood sections of another boat against the building shed walls,this is a Didi Mini Transat kit we sold to Greg a while back.Greg had an idea to test his boat building skills on a smaller boat first,its worked as far as I can see,he is making a really nice job of his Argie 15 kit build.

Some comments from Greg:

Hi Roy,
I had a bit of a break over Xmas,but now back into the project which is progressing well.Enjoying every moment and appreciate the accuracy of the kit.

Left click the pictures to view full size,pics,by Greg and Karen.