Thursday, 20 May 2010

Wonderfull Watchmate (the owners words)

This is a mail from one of our Vesper Marine Watchmate AIS customers,Tony is an Ausi,heading to Ireland in the UK,he installed his Watchmate while in Hout Bay when he wintered over,Jeff is the designer and maker of the Watchmate Ais down in New Zealand.

Dear Jeff,

How’s things, all good I hope. You did invite me to write to you giving you suggestions, and quotable quotes for your website if I felt like it.

Here goes.

“The WatchMate receiver gives me peace of mind above all else. There is no longer the rising panic, as at a distance, a Panamax “skyscraper” appears to be on an inevitable collision course. “Should I try to call him and ask if he sees us, should I wait, what should I do?” A quick check of the screen shows that I needn’t worry as it is all an optical delusion, and he will pass us with a healthy margin. Monitoring his Rate of Turn and Course on screen confirms the continued safety margin.

The other major bonus is the name of the Panamax displayed on screen. This allows us to call it up by name on the VHF, and there is always an answer. The Captain seems to always be happy for the diversion mid-ocean. This means that we have been able to get local weather information on long passages as we don’t have iridium or weatherfax aboard.

Twice in the South Atlantic, I was able to inform tankers that their AIS transmitter was not functioning. They were able to see my AIS transmissions, but I couldn’t see them on screen. They were both grateful for the information. The WatchMate links us to these big guys as part of their normal navigating and safety network.

The intuitive operating system means that both of my greenhorn crew stepped up to the WatchMate, and were operating it effectively with virtually no formal instruction.”

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Laquers for floors and bright wood surfaces

We have used many finishes over the years but now only recomend two products,both are from a Dulux based supplier,one we recomend for both general surfaces and floors that see normal traffic,this we supply in a satin finish,gloss tends to show any imperfections,we have another product which is a polyacrethane and is ultra hard wearing,normally in gloss as that will give the harder surface finish.

With veneers,remember you are walking on the laquer and not the veneer itself! the picture shows a refinish using twin pack laquers in satin and applied with a spray gun,brush application is possible too.

Didi mini transat cruise drop keel painting

This section is the same as the Didi 26,just a little shorter,it uses the same 400kgs of hot pour lead ballast we also supply.The core of the keel is solid laminated Iroko wood,with five layers on each side of uni directional glass and epoxy,this one will ship to England,we have shipped similar keel foils to the USA and Australia in the past.The paint is a special formula high build twin pack etch primer,we have sprayed two coats on at this stage,after a light sanding another two coats will be applied,it will then be ready for packing and shipment with the rest of the clients order.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bombaloza Scull plans are ready

The plans are some twenty pages long,with very detailed set up and building instructions,plans are from Dave at  and the kits from you can ring me at work on Cape Town 021 510-7206 for prices .

Message just in from Dave.

Hi Roy,

I've finally finished a DIY guide for building the Bombaloza sculling boat. I'm making this freely available so there is no restriction on distribution. Also, it doesn't go into too much detail as I feel the Bombaloza is a fairly easy build.

Let me know if you feel there are any modifications required to the doc, otherwise feel free to pass it on to potential builders.



David Hartwanger

Tel: +27 (0)43 748 5518

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Yamaha P320 turntable belt and stylus

The Yamaha turntable, Sony radio amplifier and Akai tape deck were all good products when bought by me new, will they work now?
The album, On Every Street from September 1991,was Dire Straights last album,which may be when my turntable was working last?
Calling Elvis, anybody there?

The opening words off an old 33 rpm vinyl record I have from a Dire Straights album were heard once more, Roy had decided to hunt down a new drive belt that broke at least a decade back. That album is called On Every Street, its a great one too, distributed by Vertigo code # STARL 5836,on CD its STARCD5836. We have a great many LPs (long players) as the old style records were called, some go back to the mid sixties, music that can not be found on CDs.

Finding a new drive belt and stylus was never going to be easy, not in Cape Town, or so I thought, looking on Google I found the belt was type FNB 23.6, which are how many inches long it is, the belt is 3/16" wide.In metric the belt is around 583mm long and 4mm wide?

I found a belt for sale easy enough in the USA, its a common one used on many brands of turntable,with a price of U$7.50, plus another 6.50 to postage we were looking at Rands 105, not out of order but out of the country, whats local I thought?

I found a used record shop in Rheede Street, Gardens,Cape Town,
Mabu Vinyl - The Cape Town Music Store, 2 Rheede Street Gardens , Cape Town 8001. Contact: Stephen ... The Cape Town Music Store. Mabu Vinyl is the record, CD, DVD, cassette, book, ... -

they advised I try a well established audio shop in Maitland, on Voortrekker Road, named Radio Discotheque, its been there close on forty years I hear? they used to supply a night club named Blaises, on the top of what was then Sanlam Center, twenty two floors up, in the mid seventies when I worked there some nights as a DJ.

try Ian or Vanessa on phone 021 511 4559 she emailed me back to say they had lots of belts and stylus and would I take the turntable in for matching with new ones?  I took the turntable in early on Saturday morning and spoke to Ian, the new drive belt was fitted for me, tested and the stylus arm was balanced too, with a new stylus the price was a very modest R200, or about U$27, no problems with that at all, it was great service from a shop that really does know hi-fi, give them a call if you need anything. Of course we now have a huge range of music to listen to again and guess what, vinyl audio sound is actually better than CD, its got a lot to do with the depth of the pressing track and the type and quality of the stylus you use. Next I have to see what music Mabu Vinyl have waiting for me?

Jessica Watson arrives back home

Jessica made it yesterday afternoon,her time,she has certainally shown what a young girl can acheive but there was wonderfull organisation behind the scenes here,well planed and thought through from the time she began,well done Jessica,whats next?

Solo sailor Jessica Watson, 16, completes globe-circling feat

Watson sails into Sydney Harbor after her seven-month voyage, and is feted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who calls her 'Australia's newest hero.'

Watson with her mother during a reception with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Sydney, Australia. (Dan Himbrechts / EPA)