Saturday, 22 January 2011

CKD Boats cc Optimist kits are weight ok

We know from experiance that our Optimist boats will fit in the required 32 to 34 kg weight limit,they tend to be lighter than GRP Optimists too.Mail in from Boyd in Zimbabwe,who took two of our kits reads as follows:

The Optimists build was successful although I did find getting the daggerboard fore and aft measurements accurate a little tricky. It took about four months for both boats. They are fast and light and the envy of many.

Note,we now cut the exact outer profile of both the rudder and dagger board,leaving only edge  shaping as is allowed in the rules.
Roy,Thanks. They both were a little over 32.5 kg without buoyancy bags etc. Haven’t weighed them with the buoyancy bags etc in yet.


First Touch,a Didi Mini Transat launches

The place is the Small Craft Basin and the RCYC,the time was some years back,the boat is the second Didi Mini Transat we built,as mentioned in an earlier blog,the hull only takes just twelve days to assemble,thats no fluke,we did two,one after the other.The Dix Design Radius Chine build method is the secret,it works on all sizes of boat too.

Its a fine picture,I think Andrew took it,he was the owners agent to the project.

The picture has been posted before,it came out yesterday so we could show a Swiss client what the original steering looked like,there were some small changes,to what we now call the Mk2 version,we are supplying the customer a set of powder coated alloy stantions (our design) push and pulpits,tiller assembly with the required duel rudder linkage,plus the boats chain plates in 316 stainless steel.

Export of such items is quite good,R2500 shipping cost only,thats about U$360 (cheap!) we can offer similar packages to other designs ,plus the rudders,drop foil and fabricated keel sets,the lead ballast moulds for the boat and the Didi 26 are ours as well.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Atlantic Wind self steering gear update.

With three enquiries on the first day of posting the news of manufacture of the new Atlantic Wind (tm) Self Steering Gear,its time to step up a gear and get into production. We also have a 31ft yacht here in Hout Bay who is willing to be the test boat and may even allow customers to go out on his boat to see how well it works.
This is a picture I have lifted from the Scanmar web site,they have a very full information package on the many types of wind vanes possible.The system works with the trim tab assisting the rudder,helping steering in light weather.

The engineers have the design file,the CNC shop has the rudder paddle design,the BS1088 plywood rudder halfs are now epoxy laminated and by next week we should at least have the pricing in.One of these days we will even have some pictures for you.

Materials, 316 stainless steel to all fabrications,Vesconite bearings,BS1088 marine ply,with epoxy and glass cloth on the drive rudder,Dacron on the actual wind vane,black Acetal for the drive gears.


The Didi 26,a most successfull design

With Dix Design selling over 250 sets of plans to the Didi 26 yacht,its fair to call this a really sucessfull design,they are easy to build too,I built a hull myself  from one of our own kits,the build took me just fourteen days,or was that fifteen? either way it was fast,the two Didi Mini Transat hulls took me twelve days each to build only.

Mail from Dudley Dix:

The Didi 26 has been available for about 13 years and is now at 250 boats. I think that we can label that one as a successful design.

A Didi 26 sailing in New Zealand
left click the picture to view in a larger size.

Here is what Bill Richards said when he sent the photo.

"The conditions where extremely testing with a southerly wind that ranged from 5 knots to 30 knots. So we put up as much sail as we dared and went for it. We did wipe out several times both using the fractional and mast head kites. We tried very hard to break stuff but didn't succeed. max speed was 15 knots in flat water. And everything was under control on a good deep run, unfortunatley the course then called for a reach to the finish so we had to turn and try and carry kite, we managed very well until the gusts built to strong and then couldn't control it, ( the other boats wiped out before us) recovery was quick and I can now prove that the boat has a good righting moment, as we managed to have the mast head kite up and full main up with the top of the mast in the water!

What helped us was that the oppositon were flying conventioanl spinnakers and when they lost it they didn't recover as quickly as us. When we rounded up we didn't ever get as far as head to wind or worse as the oppositon did. The crew didn't even get wet feet as the boat on its side sits very high in the water. There is no chance of any water getting near the companion way.

The photo shows us doing about 12 knots."

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Didi 28 yacht kit set

Having posted the new Didi 23 a few days and already being asked for a quote for a kit set on that,its time to post the next version of the very popular Didi 26,the new Didi 28,some words by its designer,Dudley Dix will follow.We can supply the plans as well as the kit,the norm is we offer you a 15% discount on the plans when bought with a kit.

I have been asked many times to draw a bigger version of the Didi 26, one with a bit more headroom, that is more suitable to be used as a small performance cruiser for coastal cruising. We now have the Didi 28 Maxi Trailer Sailer to do just that, a cruiser/racer that you can build for yourself from plans. It expands our range of radius chine plywood designs that started with the DIDI 38, which I designed and built for myself in 1994/95 and which was followed by the DIDI 34, Mount Gay 30, Didi 26, Didi 23 and our two boats to the Mini 650 Rule, the Didi Mini Mk2 and the Didi Mini Mk3.

The Didi 28 is a direct development of the Didi 26, so it has many of the same features. It is in every way a big sister to the 26 but with more space built into it for comfort. This was achieved with a small increase in length and proportionately greater increases in beam and depth, as well as by raising the cabin structure to gain more headroom.

This design is about 380mm (15") wider than legal towing width for most countries, so we are calling it a "Maxi trailer-sailer". It will need a special permit to tow it legally but that will allow you to take it home for winter storage or to tow it across country to new cruising waters that are not accessible by other means.

Simple Plywood Construction

Construction is mostly from 10mm plywood, which is used for flat areas of the hull and all bulkheads, assembled with a 12mm plywood self-jigging backbone and solid timber stringers. The radiused portion of the hull skin is two layers of 5mm plywood bonded together in place. Keel loads are carried by bulkheads and the structure of the keel box. All of these parts are plywood and epoxy filleted together, making for simplified construction.

Assembly of the hull follows the principles of model aeroplane construction, with stringers slotted into the bulkheads for attachment of the skin

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Atlantic Wind self steering gear for yachts

Soon to go into production (and about time too) a design I drew up some years back of a  self steering gear,suitable for yachts to around 35 feet (11.6mtrs) the design has its own rudder,so in the event of the boats main rudder or steering failure,you have a back up.In effect you actually set the boat up to sail its self,there is no point in making the self steering gear work overtime. Once your desired course is set,all thats required is to lock the vanes gear in place,the wind vane and the auxiliary rudder system will already be in the right  position, from then on its down to simple fine adjustments that are provided.

Manufacture starts next week,enquiries are invited at you can find an email link and phone number there.


Cape Town
South Africa

Tom meets Notty

Tom hears lots about Notty and Notty hears lots about Tom,I am the link and email allows me to tell one about the other but untill yesterday they had in fact never met,here they are meeting for the very first time.

There is a close link that bonds these men,both have built their own yachts and sailed an ocean or two,with family and doing their own navigation,such skills that many will never learn?

Tom has other skills too,he is a well known Classic Car Restorer,he went into retirement a couple of years back but gave that idea up last year,this is a 3.8ltr E Type he bought as a basket case,its in the process of assembly right now.

Its amazing what goes on in Hout Bay,high quality works of all kinds,boats and cars.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

How to change the pitch on a Max-Prop

This should be simple,it is when you have the basics right,Errol was kind enough to give me a hand and repitch down from 20 degrees to 18 degrees.I have read of three divers doing a free dive and re pitching,that was in the warm waters of Belize,they practiced each move in the cockpit says the story.The boat was Garys Slithermoon,another HBYC member who built his Shearwater 39 here in Hout Bay, by then the owners  were Douglas and Bernadette Bernon, Bernadette, Bernadette was the then Editor at large of Cruising World magazine.

As always,left click the picture to get a larger view.

Why the name Slithermoon you ask? one clear night and after a glass or two of wine,it may have been more than two glasses? Garys wife looks to the heavens and says look Gary,a slithermoon,I think she intened to say silvermoon but the name stuck.

Back to this Max-Prop,the instructions that come with the prop are writen by italians,who make this fine propellor,as most technical people expect you to understand the obvious and what they already know,they just assume you can understand what they do? So the words are ok but the actuall diagram is impossible to replicate in practice,Errol took the words away and had a think for a while,came back and sorted the setting out,thanks Errol and Cheryl,who are now in New Zealand,having emigrated and sailed there on their self built Dix 38 Pilot.

Cheryl is standing just behind the rudder,I have no idea who the other guy who is holding the instruction manual is,he was just passing by.


Monday, 17 January 2011

launching Flying Cloud,a Dix 43 in wood/epoxy

Eleven years ago today  we launched Flying Cloud,for once my folks were around to witness what a launching was all about.

The boat took around three and a half years to build and fit out,of which fitting out took most of the work,the hull and deck unit was around fouteen months work for one man.

The place is Hout Bay and the then larger boat park of the HBYC,we are ready to lift the boat on to the road cradle you can see in front of the boat,which weighed around twelve tons at this time.

My dad and mum watch on,as do Jeans own family members.
All pictures excepting this one were taken by my dad Robert Henry McBride (r.i.p) thanks dad.His camera was a Pentax SLR.I assume I took this one myself,with my Canon FT with a 1.4 lens .

As Jean handles the bow line,we are lifted towards the road trailer,I must comment on the skill of all crane drivers I have worked with over the years,its a special tallent they have.
If waterline length is important to speed,the Dix 43 must be a good boat for the cruising class of the Cape 2 Rio yacht race,why am I sitting here blogging then?

This is what a Dix 43 looks like,you can see why they sail so well and quite fast too.

The crane was supplied two days before by Ronnie,the first time it was to place the boat on the keel,the second lift being the actual launch.

This is quite a slippy design,easy to build too,the Dix Design Radius Chine method saw one man build this hull basically alone and in just six weeks.

Ian watches on as Jean passes a glass of bubbly to John standing on the deck,John was the guy responsable for propping up the hull for me after we had lifted the boat onto the keel,Jenny ,johns wife
 and John Amm watch on too.

In the water,,thats John,myself and Nic onboard,the Perkins 4108 diesel engine is running for the first time in this boat,it was time to move to our HBYC marina berth.

Happy Birthday Flying Cloud!


the Dix 43, Flying Cloud is eleven

Seen here on the slip at RCYC,Cape Town in 2005.

Do boats have birthdays? well this one sure does,possibly the first boat to be launched in Cape Town in the year 2000,she was lifted by crane and launched by my mother,in Hout Bay Harbour on the 17th of January 2000,which sort of seems a long while back now,there will be some flags flying on her later today.

Jean watches as Eroll adjusts our Max Prop,take note,the instructions that come with the prop are right but the diagram they show is wrong!

Seen here back on the HBYC marina and dressed out with code flags for the boats birthday.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Dix 43 stern gear and A bracket

I have never been in favour of whats named a P bracket at the position just in front of the propellor,at best they leak,worst,they come loose,so when I was faced with how to position a bearing at the back end of this prop shaft,making an A bracket was the solution,its been a 100% success,the bearing inside the front and rear  tubes is made from Vesconite,which is a South African invention,made in Durban I believe.

An 18" Max Prop Classic (thank you Notty) which works really well,forwards or reverse,the engine is the Perkins 4108 46hp diesel and the pitch on the Max Prop is set at 18 degrees,which is about 2 degrees to course but the engine and  boat seems quite happy at this,with a cruising engine speed around 2000 rpm.
Note the two shaft annodes,made from real Zinc and not Alloy,Zinc costs more but lasts longer,as do two annodes over just the one.

The 35mm 316 stainless steel shaft if well supported each end and a dripless seal if fitted inside the boat,its a great idea and never drips a drop.The paint is International Paints Prop O Drev,applied with a spray can on their special etch primer,also a spray can application,recomended!