Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Steering Toylanders in the right direction.

While having the sole South African rights to producing the Toylander from Real Life Toys under a strict licence agreement,we have made some of our own changes as we built our own car,Isuppose its natural development.The first thing was to do away with the 20x 20mm body cleats made from wood,then design in our Finger Joints,making the assembly really easy,now we have our own type of steering wheel too,using the template supplied in the regular builders manual.We made the wheel larger than its 190mm diameter as shown and re did it at 250mm diameter and also cut it in 16mm MDF,which is harder and should be stronger than a wheel in 12mm plywood.

You may choose to round off the corners with a router cutter but the wheel will work well as it is.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Polar Bound at the HBYC marina

We are indeed fortunate to meet many cruising and local sailors,some are here for a day,some stay over our winter,some are starting out,some are part way on a circumnavigation,David Scott Cowper is one such person.He has a very special boat and is about to set off for Australia and another trip through the north west passage.

David Scot Cowper,a file picture.

I was pleased to meet David and took the chance to supply him with some Fluid-Film in a spray can,also in a paste form and asked that if possible he can try it out in the sub zero tempratures he will be in eventually,its said to withstand freezing,I have no way of testing that,David can but he says it will be a year on from now.

Both pictures are by R McBride using a Canon Gll camera on auto settings.

Text below is from the magazine Power and Motor Yacht,many thanks to them and their writer,Alex McMullen.


Over Russia and Around the World

How one yachtsman plans to circumnavigate the globe—the hard way.

Story by Alex McMullen — February 2002

What do you do for an encore when you’ve already performed four single-handed small-boat circumnavigations, the last one via the fearsome, frozen wasteland of Canada’s Northwest Passage?

Well, if you’re the seasoned British solo yachtsman David Scott Cowper, you set off on yet another circumnavigation of the globe, but this time you take in the 5,000-mile Northern Sea Route, along the north coast of Russia. Here you face the possibility of being stuck in the ice for several months, possibly even for a year or more. And a winter in these latitudes gives you 24-hour darkness and temperatures down to -40°F.

Long fascinated by the Northern Sea Route, Cowper cites as inspiration the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who in 1894 deliberately sailed his ship, the Fram, into the pack ice in what he called (and some people still call) the Northeast Passage. The idea was to gauge the strength of the current that was known to flow northward and westward, carrying the ice with it.

Cowper is the epitome of British reserve, a quiet man as polite and pleasant as you could hope for, but no publicity seeker. His achievement in being the first person to sail around the world in both directions—and briefly to hold the records for fastest single-handed circumnavigations, in both directions—went virtually unnoticed. Nor did his Northwest Passage feats in a motorboat create much interest even though he was the first person to tackle it single-handedly (albeit taking three years to do so) and the first to go around the world by that route.

If he completes his new voyage, Cowper will be the first person to travel single-handedly by the Northern Sea Route and says he will be the first to use it on a circumnavigation. Specifically, he intends to set off from Rosneath, Scotland, around the time you’re reading this, bound for the Azores, then Ascension Island, and then the Falklands, en route to rounding Cape Horn “the wrong way,” against its prevailing, often storm-force winds. Then he will head north up into the Pacific, calling on Valparaiso, Chile, Acapulco, Mexico, and San Francisco, from where he will set course for Dutch Harbour in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. From here he will aim to get through the Bering Strait and into the Northern Sea Route in July.

Cowper’s first two world-girdling cruises were in a 41-foot sailing yacht, the third and fourth in a 42-foot, wooden ex-lifeboat. For his toughest challenge yet, he has Polar Bound, a new 48-foot motorboat, designed and built not just for ocean going but for survival in pack ice.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Simply Red

Simply Red,with a little of the blues thrown in too.

Thats nothing to do with the band and its lead singer Mick Hucknell,who has now played his last gig with the band but the Argie 15 that has been built from one of our kits by Greg in KZN,he painted it red and is now well on his way with another of our kits,the Didi mini cruise,they turned the hull over just last week.If you look past the Argie 15 you will see it in the background.