Friday, 22 July 2011

Spigot bush tool

Quick one this,you can center a spigot bush to an output drive shaft by eye,well I can but the easy way is to use and old output shaft,some clutch kits like those on the Fords have a neat plastic tool,thats worth a lot when the engine is going back in!

Whats on the other side you may ask,check below.

The set up loose,the red spigot tool is a Repco made one,its not off this cars clutch,just an idea to let you see what can be easiliy made should you have access to a lathe.The clutch plate is in the correct position to fit to the flywheel,some have 'This face to Flywheel' but its best to check in the workshop manual.The bronze bush is just there so you can see where it fits,which is in the end of the crank shaft.

A lightened competition flywheel.

Its simple stuff like this that can make you work like a pro,this engine went into the engine bay and located on the transaxle just great.


Walking with Taffy and Shirleys Green Flash

Mail just in from our good friends Taffy and Shirley Bowen,cruising still on their Lavranos 40 The Road.

Well, this is it, the final epistle from Australia, Last Saturday was the farewell bash set up by the rally organisers with food and drink aplenty for one and all, and then on Tuesday there was seminar given by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities which if anywhere near actuality we are in for a very different and exciting adventure. So at 11-00hrs next Saturday morning 100 plus yachts set off for Indonesia, some 3 days or so away for us, where we are meant to drop anchor at Kupang in West Timor.

However, before we bid farewell to these well regulated shores, there is one issue that having brought up previously, I feel bound to bring to fruition, and that is the issue of bicycle generated genocide here in Australia.

You may remember that in an attempt to rid the country of those people that cannot afford cars, and unfortunately that includes visiting yachtsmen who from time to time have to use the pavements to walk from a to b, the Australian authorities decided that all cyclists must share the pavements with the perambulating masses, well someone in authority, here in Darwin at least, must have taken note of my safety concerns in this regard and come up with another regulation to solve the problem. Here is the crunch, they have decreed that both cyclists and pedestrians must be regulated to travel at the same speed, on the assumption that being run over from the rear would then be mathematically impossible. Clever eh, unfortunately the speed they have decided upon to make this all possible is 20 kilometres per hour. There are signs erected everywhere enforcing this regulation, and if you find this hard to believe I have attached photographic evidence which is irrefutable.

Try as I might, I am having great difficulty in adhering to this latest law, and even if I get anywhere near 20 kph I have to stop regularly, get off the pavement and stand in the middle of the road amidst all the motorised traffic, to get my breath back which all seems a bit counter productive.

Those of you who are particularly observant will have noticed that there are two attachments to this document, the second one is a photograph of yet another of Shirley’s sunsets, but when she downloaded it on to the computer it revealed a phenomenon of which a majority of the world’s population are unaware, or if like me upon initially being told of it’s existence by more experienced yachtsmen, regarded it as a rum educed event. This is the GREEN FLASH.

It only occurs at sunset, when the sea is flat calm, plus there has to be absolutely no haze, pollution, or cloud (or obviously land mass) of any description at the point of sunset, and then for one split second there is a refraction of the suns rays through the sea which produces the green flash depicted on this photograph. During our travels Shirley and I have seen maybe a dozen or more of these events, but due to the extremely short time duration they are visible, we have never managed to photograph one, until now.

So those of you who, like me, are born cynics, do not be tempted to wager against the existence of the Green Flash, you are bound to loose your money.

As I write this, Shirley, convinced as she always is that our next country of call will have no shops, no food, and nothing to drink, has gone off to town for the umpteenth time this week to stock up with more than the bank account or the yacht can accommodate. So I had better revise my e.t.a. for Kupang, as the yacht will be slower than ever due to the extra weight.

Before closing, we have just been informed that the membership list of the 2011 Australia to Indonesia Sailing Rally is officially closed, and with that closure comes the added news that of the 110 entered yachts from all over the world “The ROAD” is the one and only South African yacht. So, the parties at various venues will be forbidden to start until we have arrived. (My rule not the organisers, YET).

So until we write again, selamat tinggal, which I believe is Indonesian for goodbye.

Taff Shirley and Rubbish.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

An angel on my shoulder

I wish but for now our pigeon Henry will do just fine by me,he is back to his happy self and watched me as I worked on Andrews transaxle today.

We never know what our future will bring,some are blessings,I would like to think Henry is one of those.Having raised him as an abandoned chick whos nest fell on the ground,we now have our own pigeon!

Roy and Henry,picture by Jean who hand reared the little lad.

Fitting a Hillman Imps front radiator

Its probably an easy job really,I wish the factory had done it too,with the extra length of pipe,the water mass increases and the cooling just gets better.

In our case there is another spin off,we are fitting a marine grade Johnston electric in line water pump,its power requirements is just 2.2 amps at 12 volt dc,this is nothing given we have power to spare with a 40amp alternator thats planed.

Air comes in here,it exits via a hole cut in the bonnet but could be ducted out under the car.

In this case some 2mtrs of special grade Heater Hose was used,that and 18 stainless hose clamps,I think a more flexible hose and stainless hose spring coils may do the job too? there is a blog on those if you type in the search words.

Why bother to do all this you ask? well the in line Johnson water pump means we throw away the normal Hillman Imp water pump and its related nine blade fan,the pump and fan take at least five bhp to power at high revs,possibly as many as seven bhp on the motor we are about to install,thats a lot of free bhp.

The other issue is unseen,its balance,we are moving the weight from the rear of the car to the front,the entire radiator and fan assembly thats on the car normally is then unused and free weight and a large saving,the new radiator is plastic not copper by the way.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

C-Map plotting errors

How to trust the plotter and its GPS will always be a topic of much interest to navigators,I myself have seen some positions marked incorrectly myself,passing through the end of the Hout Bay Harbour wall is not uncommon with my Garmin 192C,the worse was with a Shipmate plotter,it took our return track clear through the Karbonkleberg mountain!

Left click the image to view full size.
The new June 2011 issue of the OCC magazine has just arrived,check the picture and remember this when sailing blind next time!  try for news on the OCC.


Sea Cock sizes,what size should we be using?

As a follow on to my posting on June 15th 2009 I was wondering about how to size a boats engine sea cock?

Here is a wide selection of solid bronze sea cocks,wonderfull items to have and hold,we trust them with our boats,so our lives,so please buy the best and service them on a regular basis.

I can not remember ever reading about sea cock sizing to a boats engine,in the past I have normally used a 38mm size but what size is needed,I asked Dudley Dix, at below is his reply..

I have always sized the seacock to the intake size of the cooling water pipe of the motor. I have the cooling water seacock from "Tai-Neam" on my desk and that is 20mm. That is the same as "Black Cat" but both motors were Yanmar 18-20hp. I would expect yours to be about 25mm but your owner's manual should tell you the pipe size. The Perkins drawings on data sheets are very sketchy, with minimal info. The Yanmar sheets show all pipe sizes. The 80hp 4JH range only has a 26mm inlet, so yours is unlikely to be more.


Thanks for this info,


Monday, 18 July 2011

Paul Coulter,motoring journalist

Paul was here with his wife on honeymoon a while back,they both threw a hand or two in to turn the competition Imp shell over.Paul later did a story on the car which has been published by the magazine he writes for.

Thanks a stack Paul,to date there have been three enquiries already,one from the USA,UK and also Ireland.


Fit a hard dodger to your boat

The canvas dodger that North Sails sewed up lasted about 7 years,the cost to a new cover was about six grand,(R6000) so I made this hard dodger,which works great but I am still coming to terms with it,we sent one as a kit to a customer in New Zealand.

Look at the space! left click for more details.

Note,6mm toughend glass with an SABS stamp on them for the two dodgers only cost  about R1150 for all ten panes,this is really good value against plastics,such as Lexan or Perspex,both of which tend to degrade or scratch within a very short time of fitting.Our kit incudes the correct Dow Corning 813 glazing sealant too.

Some feed back from Dean.

Hi Roy

I have been reading your blog for sometime and viewed your post on the hard spray dodger with interest, as I was recently quoted R12K for a stainless steel/canvas dodger. Would it be possible to install your hard dodger kit on a steel boat? It is a van de Stadt 30’. If it is, what would the cost be?


Hi Roy

Thanks for the quick response. It certainly is more reasonable than a canvas one!



A book on self maintainace,servicing the Harken furler gear and the rest of your boat

This is not the first time a book of my interests has been suggested,Chuck of said the same thing,he knew a publisher in Hong Kong but nothing else was heard. There are many new issues on servicing our boats,an old book remains just that,old and locked into the older type equipments and materials,just check on an old  yachting magazine and you will see what I mean.

So how about 'Small boat maintainace and other short stories'? the cost of the book will be saved on day one I guess.We now need a publisher..............

Servicing the Harken furler gear

Sounds like a big job and it is if dropping the genoa is a hard job to do,all thats required is a wash with fresh water it says in the handbook.

Doing this task twice a year ensures the bolt rope track stays free and cleans any dirt or salt out of the bearings,do it soon! Note the bearing at the head of the sail,that needs washing clean as well as the lower one on the rope drum.

A comment from a regular blog reader,do we have any willing publishers out there?

Hi Roy,

Not many people like you mate, it's your attention to maintenance detail that in the end has saved you thousands or pounds and kept all your possessions worth more than they would have been without that effort.

You should actually write a small book on the importance of maintenance and maybe even I would start doing what should be done. I don't think people realize how much their time is worth when its spent on themselves, they are quite prepared to spend loads of time talking crap on Twitter or Face book to people the hardly know but neglect their own stuff to their loss in the end.

It could make a very entertaining book by showing how a small effort could and has save pounds and maybe lives?


Sailing with family

We took the calm weather as a chance to get out into the bay and run the engine,clean the hulls self polishing antifoul and generally have a nice time,we did all of that,had tea and snacks,saw the sea life and not a single other yacht,was it the whale?

Leone came for the ride,she picked a great day too.

Our sea dog Druma came too.

The return leg saw us wrap up a bit,the hard spray dodger was now really worth its effort,thats a kit set if anyone needs one?

Hout Bay in winter

This is just one of those places that offer the best of everything,sailing is just outside the harbour,the views are fantastic,the sea life is very active and in the time we were out in the bay we saw dolpins and a rather large whale.

We reached out in warm a NW breeze under genoa only,only to be met by a cold SW with fog in the distance,which you can see coming the nek from the Llandudno side.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Around the world with our boat plans and kits

The idea was to sell locally,which was the case,number one kit was a Didi 26,that went to Joburg,then came a request to supply a kit and build it,this was the Didi Mini Transat,then while that was being discussed a second order,then just as the dust was settling in our new premises,an export order to the next Didi 26 came in,that was later changed to a build as well.We were now boat builders as well it seemed.

This was about nine years back,my how the time flies and we have supplied materials or kits to some thirty two countries now (32) it seems like we may add a few more flags to our list soon,last week enquiries came from,New Zealand,Mayote,USA,Finland,France,Chille,England and Canada,there were others too but they never said where they were.

So whats this all about? well the first word must be service,without which we can not connect and without our long list of suppliers and forwarders we can not supply or ship.To me a fast response to an incoming mail often brings a favourable comment on the speed of reply,do some companies not do this?

So here we are,soon to be into a decade of selling and shipping boat kits and materials,I have lost count of the numbers long ago but a check of our plans files suggest we have at least thirty five boat designs on our books.Which start with the Optimist dinghy right up to a DH55 cruising catamaran,with anything else in between.It may be time to add your countries flag to our growing list?

The return of Henry,part two

Tuesday morning,about 10.30am Henry flew off,Jean had been in the garden with him,she came inside,when she returned he was gone.Last time he went awol it was an unissued 24 hour pass,which he extended some but was back within a day or so.

This second away from home trip was different,very different and after three and a half days we accepted that he had gone to find a mate of his own kind?

Then yesterday around 5pm I opened the front door and there he was,he more or less staggered in,back from the Namib Desert perhaps,for sure he had been in the wars,just look at his poor head.
Henry then ate seed for a whole half hour,then as is his norm,jumped down onto the floor and walked down the passage way to his room,then went to bed on his perch.

Welcome home Henry!