Saturday, 17 April 2010

Out of Africa

Out of Africa,a reply.
Taken word for word from the Imp Clubs monthly news letter Impressions,issue April 2010.

Mike Marsh,Bulgaria.

I saw the Out of Africa picture sent to february's Impressions by Roy McBride.The pictures has been on my website for many years and Ithought members might like to know whats behind it.
I first saw it about 20 years ago when I was serindipitously perusing the classifieds in the back of a Motor Sport',which I seldom had time to do and spotted an advert for a Christies motoríng memorabilia auction.The ad featured a thumbnail of the catalogue front cover,which was mostly taken up with this painting,as it was one of the lots.
I recognised the elephant (being ex-Kenyan and a fan of David Shepherd's art)

That is my own name for a painting I assumed was by David Shepherd,I found it on the web but with no explanation as to why it was there or what was the reason for the picture of an elephant chasing a Mk1 Hillman Imp?This was around two years back,I now have an explanation,these things take time!

Steel Joiners or carpenters hand planes

From three countries and left to right:
Left click pictures to view full size
Stanley (bailey) Jack Plane #6,good for work on longer jobs and jointing,made in England. Salmens Jack Plane #5,similar to the above but a narrower blade and shorter body,made in Germany,plastic handle,damaged front knob,none original blade fitted (record). Macrome #1190 Smoothing Plane,owned by me since I started work,its inner body should be painted red,none original blade fitted(stanley)suitable for smaller jobs,made in England. Mulholland #19 small hand plane,original,circa 1900? made in Belfast,Northern Ireland,this is a gem of a plane! I also have a Record # 5 1/2 plane.

We can use some tools for all jobs but when it comes to planing wood,the right blade width and length of the plane can be important.
Note,the Stanley #6 plane used to belong to Pim Penso,ex commodore of the RCYC and a crew member of South Africas Tall Ship,the Lawhill,I have his original Diston panel saw also.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Howard Davis sails again!

The Howard Davis trains again

Commencing on the 7th of May 2010, Cape Windjammers Education Trust will be running their one-day marine environment awareness voyages aboard the Howard Davis which is a classic sail training yacht originally commissioned for the South African Merchant Navy in 1965. After spending over 25 years in service at the General Botha Sailing Academy the Howard Davis is now in private ownership under command of its skipper Charles Fenton. Once again she will be involved in training young South Africans giving these youths the opportunity to receive character building and nautical training of the highest standard. The Howard Davis follows in the proud tradition of sv Lawhill and SATS General Botha and will be followed by a new sail training "tall ship" currently in the planning stage.

The Howard Davis was named after the son of Thomas Benjamin Frederick DAVIS. Saddened by the death of his son Howard during World War I, T.B. Davis, who is featured on this picture at the helm of his yacht "Westward" conceived and executed on his own initiative a living memorial to his late son in the form of the first Training Ship in the Southern hemisphere, named after South Africa's first Prime Minister, General Botha. T.B. Davis stipulated that the ship be used for the full time training of boys of British South Africa thus giving these youths the opportunity to receive character building and nautical training of the highest standard, to serve in ships sailing under flags of Great Britain and the British Empire

TB Davis was a keen yachtsman in the grand style, making his own sails for his yacht the 'Westward' which was a familiar entry for Cowes Week for many years.

Captain Phil Nankin, a General Botha old boy, sailed the Cape Horn "tall ships" the sv Passat and sv Cariad and of course on South Africa's own (prize of war) Cape Horner the sv Lawhill as deckboy, cadet, third officer, second officer and later chief officer. In 1963 Phil Nankin was appointed Captain Superintendent of the South African Merchant Navy Academy General Botha - and remained in office until March 1985.
The sail-training vessel Howard Davis was the brainchild of Phil Nankin who knew from experience the great value of training under sail. In later years he was a keen supporter and life member of Cape Windjammers and a strong advocate of their campaign to acquire a sail training ship for South Africa. Phil understood well that the main value of sail training in this modern machine age lay in its unique ability to foster the somewhat old-fashioned character virtues of courage, comradeship and endurance. The objective was not merely to expose young officers and sailors to the use of sails, various types of ropes and operation of ships of the bygone era. The aim was primarily to develop a spirit of adventure and inculcate in each man the laudable qualities of team work, cohesiveness, esprit de corps, alertness, physical and mental agility, leadership qualities and the ability to face challenges with confidence, resoluteness and a positive attitude.

The Howard Davis was designed by Kurt Oehlman and built by Louw and Halvorson. She was designed with a large saloon with all round visibility to make it suitable for teaching a class of upcoming navigators.

Launched in 1965 at Quay 4 in the Victoria Basin. She spent the next 25 years based at Granger Bay in service with the Academy, during which time she was used for sail training and navigational exercises.

In 1971 she was used as guard ship for the first Cape to Rio yacht race under the command of Captain Phil Nankin; and subsequently completed several Atlantic Ocean crossings to South America.
In 1991 due to restructuring in the budget as well as the training syllabus of the Academy, she was sold into the private sector. The current owner has done extensive renovations and she is once again safe and suitable to train young people.

Technical Specifications

Construction: Mahogany on Oroko frames
Length overall: 66 ft
Length waterline: 58 ft
Gross tonnage: 53.65
Ballast: 16 ton lead keel
Original compliment: 2 Officers and 12 Ratings
Main Engine: 215 hp Perkins Turbo diesel
Fuel Capacity: 3800L
Sail area: +/- 200sqm

Please support sail-training on the Howard Davis.

Mail just in from Chris Sutton in Durban reads:

I was at the Bothy in 1983 and did quite a few miles on The Hotdog and the HD was fondly known.



The CKD Boats Optimist jig and boat in build

Thanks to Stuart for supplying his pictures.

The TVR Griffith V8 engined sports car

This classic and very nice TVR was parked outside the entrance to the Royal Cape Yacht Club some years back,so it was not a members,as it would have been parked inside the car park otherwise.I took the time to have a good look at it and took these two pictures with my Canon FT film camera with a 1.5 50mm lens.The car has a notherhern suburbs registration,CY19900 which is Bellville.
Left click either picture to view full size.
Though the Griffith was produced in a relatively small quantity, total production of the three series being 261, it would provide the hinge-pin for moving the TVR marque from that of a four-cylinder little British sport car to a very overpowered and superior competition vehicle, a reputation that has lasted into the racing records of the 21st century. Reference The Griffith Years by Mike Mooney, Griffith factory test driver

We are fortunate to get a fair cross section of interesting sports cars arrive on our shores,the TVR is one of my favorites,some history is below,thanks to Wikipedia.

TVR is an independent British manufacturer of sports cars and was until 2006 based in the English city of Blackpool, Lancashire but has since split up into several smaller subsidiaries and relocated elsewhere. The company manufactures lightweight sports cars with powerful engines and was the third-largest specialised sports car manufacturer in the world, offering a diverse range of coupés and convertibles. Most vehicles use an in-house straight-6 cylinder engine design; others an in-house V8. TVR sports cars are composed of tubular steel frames, cloaked in aggressive fibreglass body designs.

TVR's two arms are TVR Engineering, which manufactures sports cars and grand tourers, and TVR Power, their powertrain division. The company had a turbulent recent history and an uncertain future.
TVR Griffith 400
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The TVR Griffith Series 400 was a 2 door coupe sports car produced by Griffith Automobile Corporation between 1964 and 1967. It is the successor to the TVR Griffith 200, featuring improved cooling via a larger radiator with twin electric fans, and a redesigned rear with better visibility and Cortina Mark 1 tail lights.

Although the standard engine was more powerful than the Ford Windsor engine 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) and 225 bhp (168 kW; 228 PS) engines that were fitted in the Series 200, although the 271 bhp (202 kW; 275 PS) "HiPo" engine was available in the Series 200 as an option, the 400 weighed a few more pounds than the 200 and the now-installed Salisbury independent differential gave it a higher gear ratio providing it with a higher top speed.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Matra 530 Sports Car,very unusual too.

This is what it will once have looked like.

I had tracked this French made Matra car for some while,at this time it was at a very low point in its life and parked outside an auto electrical shop in Cape Town City,I asked the shops owner Richard,to find out if I could buy the car from its then owner,he duly asked and I was refused.
The car had been seen by me many years before and in another auto electrical shop,its main fault was that the cars differential had broken,the engine being a V4 from a Ford Taunus (germany) I think it was a 1700cc sized engine.Louis who owned the electrical shop,said the type of differential it used was just not available anymore.

The Canon FT SLR has done a double exposure in this picture,they are not ghosts!

This is an unusual car,dated around late 60s,early 70s I took an interest in such cars from France,their other sports cars having done very well in rallye work,this car was a roadster only I think?

The first real Matra
In 1965 Matra's CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère decided to develop a sports car more accessible to the ordinary, non-racing public, a voiture des copains (car for friends), as successor to the Matra Djet. The result was their first sports car (the Djet was a René Bonnet design) M530, named after Matra's R530 missile, designed by former Simca designer Philippe Guédon. Like its predecessor, the car was built upon a steel frame with polyester body and had a mid-engine. To accommodate for both 2+2, mid-engine layout and a reasonable boot, many engine options were considered. Finally, it was decided to purchase the running gear from Ford in Germany: the 1700 cc Ford Taunus V4 engine and gearbox stemming from the Taunus 15M TS were chosen. This setup is compact enough to fit between the rear seats and the boot. The other interesting features of the M530 were its targa top roof, pop-up headlights and most notably the outstanding avant-garde design.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

KD 860 sailing cat in a kit form

We are preparing one of these boat kits right now,we can supply the materials and cut the boats bulkheads for you,the plans had some tricks in them we have resolved, so now when you buy a KD860 kit from CKD Boats cc,you know its been checked through and the panels and timbers will line up,we hope to post regular pictures of the build process on our blog for you.

KD 860 - offshore catamaran

This is Bernd Kohler,of K-Design's smallest offshore cruiser. A sea worthy fast cruiser catamaran for a family of four. The performance of this boat is exceptional on all courses to the wind. To make sure of this, the boat is light and has a low streamlined profile for windward performance. The study plans include diagrams for speed prediction and dynamic stability, so you can see for your self.

The boat is a plywood/glass/epoxy composite construction. Any handy amateur can build this boat without difficulties and surprises.

Quoted in the Study plans... "Every person who has repaired a chair can build this boat"

LOA/LWL: 8.76/8.60m
Beam: 5.60m
Draft hull/rudder: 0.4/0.7m
Weight empty: 1400 kg
Weight cwl: 2800 kg

Sail area -
Main: 27 m2
Jib : 10 m2
Reacher: 26 m2

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The boat that started CKD Boats cc

All pictures supplied by Malcolm.
Left click any picture to view in a larger size.

Ideas start as dreams,or is it the other way around,either way Malcolm worked at this idea untill it became a reality,well done,its a great looking boat!

Note,the boat was to become a Mk2 as the aft escape hatch was raised to keep it free of the water,not that the Lewmar Ocean hatch leaks,it was just a move in the right direction.We further developed the kit after Dudley later offerd the hull and deck panels file,we made the jig templates to the boats interior,thats the bunks,mast step box and the water ballast tanks,which now form part of our standard kit offering,we are the only company world wide who can offer this.

It rained!

Malcolm,sees all his planning and hard work being launched at the RCYC,Cape Town.

This was our first CNC cutting order,we did just the bulkheads back then,Dudley Dix had been asked by Malcolm,the boats owner do do him a Mini Transat design,this was Dudleys offering.The design is a success,its sold well and we have shipped kits to many countries world wide.

Monday, 12 April 2010

More on hand tools

This Oak Biltong Cutter with its Stanley plane blade, will also work well in your kitchen on a number of veggies,carrots and celery come to mind!

I am not sure this is a hand tool,it may be seen to be a machine,it can cut a lot of things but was made to cut dried Biltong (beef jerky) which it does to great success,we have made hundreds of these in the past,as christmass gifts for a large insurance company,at the time buying all spare 2" Stanley plane blades up in one go that existed in Cape Town.

Vesper Marines Auckland Boat Show stand.

Watchmate AIS by Vesper Marine.

This is Deirdre,co founder of Vesper Marine on the recent Auckland Boat Show in New Zealand recntly.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sterling Hayden

A publication by International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press,PO Box 220,Camben,Maine,04843,USA.Copywrite 1991.

Also quoted inside the George Buehler do it yourself book,these quotes are made to get us thinking?

The years thunder by.The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience.Before we know it,the Tomb is sealed.

Sterling Hayden.

The Diesel Duck 38 as a kit

We built this build for a client at the very start of the decade,we have no cut files on this one,as its very much a do it youreslf design by George Buehler,who will only supply you paper plans and not in metric dimensions either.What we can supply is pre assembled stations which frame up the boats shape,those plus all materials such as wood,plys and epoxies to build your own boat.

George does supply each buyer of his plans with a very good instruction book on his designs,named Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding,its a very good read!

It is dedicated inside the cover to:

To all people who aren't afraid to do or think things for themselves,and thereby keep this world from becoming too boring,

Well said George!