Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mark Bowdidge Marine Design for power boats

Mark phoned me from Australia yesterday,its a while since we actually spoke on the phone rather than contact by email,its amazing what how much info we can pass both ways over a phone call. Mark told me he has been very busy recently and mainly with power boats,far more than sail boats,so we will now feature some of his designs.

The Rip Tide XR457,s

Offering the features and functionality typically only found in much larger boats, the RipTide XR457's compact size means she can be easily trailered to where the action is. When you start looking for a boat, you look for one that has your purpose in mind, has the ability to serve that purpose with comfort and confidence as well as affordable. Fishing is supposed to be a pleasurable pastime - in many cases a passion. You and your family want to know that when you go out... you are going to come home, especially if they are with you.
he RipTide XR457 packs loads of storage lockers, fishing room and seating throughout, this means you can take along your friends and and family members, along with all their gear

Friday, 23 September 2011

Boat show special offer,The Stornaway by Paul Fisher

Well the Cape Town Boat Show 2011 opens today,so what about a special offer? how about a Stornaway cnc cut boat kit with the ply and epoxies with the 14% Vat thrown in for free! Plans are extra and from the designer.

This is Christiaans boat,thanks for the picture.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Tim Fry,the designer of the Hillman Imp

Coventry News site

The man who created a legend

 Tim Fry

May 27 2004
By Annette Morgan

Tributes have been paid to a Warwickshire designer, who helped create one of Britain's best-loved cars. Businessman Tim Fry, 68, of Southam Road, Dunchurch, died of cancer at St Cross hospital, Rugby, last Monday.

He came up with the idea for the Hillman Imp car with engineering partner Mike Parkes while working for the Rootes car company in Coventry in the 1950s. The affordable runabout became a firm favourite with families and later collectors. He was only 20 and fresh from an apprenticeship when he and Mr Parkes - who later went on to become a successful professional racing driver - persuaded company boss Sir William Rootes to allow them to make their dream car. The duo had a small family car in mind, which could comfortably fit two adults and two children, but could still do 60 mph economically. After working on the prototype for several years, the first Hillman Imp rolled off the production line at a factory in Scotland in 1963, driven by the Duke of Edinburgh. They were manufactured up until 1976.

Daughter Christa Pelton, 38, said there had been about 200 mourners at her father's funeral, which took place at Oakley Wood crematorium, near Warwick, on Monday. She said: 'It was overwhelming and amazing. My father was a lovely man and it was nice to see so many people agreed. He was a great father and always ready to listen.'

After his success with the Imp, Mr Fry went on to style the Hillman Avenger, before taking early retirement in 1971 to set up his own company, Smallfry, which was based in School Street, Wolston. Rather than concentrating on cars, Mr Fry designed all sorts of equipment, ranging from showers to telephones. In 1984 he took on a young Coventry designer, Steve May-Russell, as a freelance. Two years later, Mr May-Russell joined him as a business partner and helped build up a successful product design consultancy, which today counts Marks and Spencer, B&Q and Triton showers among their customers.

Mr May-Russell, of Abbey Park, Coventry, said of Mr Fry: 'He wasn't bothered about the business side of things - that was what I did. He always loved to design things and find solutions to engineering problems. He was very unpretentious and focused.'

Mr Fry also leaves his wife Karin, other daughter Trinity Loubser, 35, and grandchildren Orianna, three, and Josie, five months.

My thanks to The Coventry News for this item.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Handy Punt by Mike Storer

We have just sold a set of plans to a customer who wants a fishing platform,the so called Handy Punt fits the bill perfectly.

The plans are about R575 (subject to exchange rates) or U$80 by email and as a PDF, Mike does good plans with lots of details,we can also supply you a CNC cut kit,we may even consider building them for you too.

The outboard would be from a 5hp (slow) to a 10hp or even a 15hp (fast) but you need to check your local regions power boat rules on what is allowed in your area?


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

F1 race star John Love advises a Hillman Imp driver named Roy McBride

The place was Cape Towns Killarney Race Circuit,managed then and now by the WPMC,the year will have been 1972. For me the event was special in that my 998cc Hillman Imp entry in the Argus race series as car number 75F, was also one of  the saloon cars that were back up events to the South African  F1 series,one of the F1  drivers was John Love,a six times South African F1 Championship winner.

John Love

At the time I was in the pits that were at the rear of the main pit lane pits,I was about to pour some of Shells 100 octane fuel into the petrol tank from one of those large square 20 litre steel cans we were issued with. The neck of the can was at the bottom,just as I was about to pour what was left of the petrol into the Hillman Imps petrol tank,John Love stopped by and advised that I would do better if the containers neck was at the top.

I ask you,who today and being a six times champion would ever bother to comment like this to a young guy with his Hillman Imp!

John Love seen here in his Cooper and at Kyalami in the 1972 F1 world championship,at this time he was in first place,what happened? read story in the link below.

Read more about this amazing SA driver here

 John Love continued to be one of the leading racers in southern Africa despite nearing 50 years of age, and he kept competing in the World Championship South African GP right up to 1972, although he never emulated the success of January 2, 1967. In one of the more dramatic races in the story of Formula One, although one surprisingly almost forgotten, it was the day when perhaps the biggest upset in Grand Prix history came within seven laps of being realised. It was a triumph of the unpredictable, which sadly modern F1 has done its best to avoid.

Thanks John.


My own Hillman Imp with a 998cc engine based on a Mk1 block,with a very worked on cylinder head and a works R20 camshaft,the car went very well.It used 12"x6"J steel rims with Dunlop slick tyres,which suitably lowered the gear ratios.My thanks to Eric Wells who took the picture,I assume this was in 1972 when I was racing in the Argus Championship that year.

More on John Love from Wikipedia (many thanks)

John Love (racing driver)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Love Born 7 December 1924(1924-12-07)

Died 25 April 2005(2005-04-25) (aged 80)

Formula One World Championship career

Nationality Rhodesian

Active years 1962-1965, 1967-1972

Teams Cooper, privateer (Cooper, Brabham, Lotus, March, Surtees)

Races 10 (9 starts)

Championships 0

Wins 0

Podiums 1

Career points 6

Pole positions 0

Fastest laps 0

First race 1962 South African Grand Prix

Last race 1972 South African Grand Prix

John Maxwell Lineham Love (December 7, 1924 - April 25, 2005) was a racing driver from Rhodesia. He participated in 10 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on December 29, 1962. He achieved 1 podium, and scored a total of 6 championship points.

Love was born in Bulawayo. Six times South African F1 Champion in the 1960s, he had originally shone in the European Formula Junior firmament back in 1961-62 at the wheel of a Cooper-Austin from Ken Tyrrell's team. An unfortunate accident at Albi resulted in a very badly broken arm and effectively thwarted his chances of moving into full-time F1, but he came close when he was nominated as Phil Hill's replacement in the works Cooper team for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Nevertheless, he became a regular contestant in the South African Grand Prix and was leading the 1967 event at Kyalami in his 2.7 L Climax-engined Cooper when a misfire prompted him to make a precautionary stop for extra fuel and he dropped back to finish second behind the works Cooper-Maserati of Pedro Rodríguez.
Love owned the Jaguar dealership in Bulawayo and had his own stock car racing team in the 1980s.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Who designed your car?

How many of us can lay claim to knowing the designers of a car,not me for one but in days gone by car designers were seemingly part of a cars selling point,names like Colin Chapman of Lotus,Lofty England of Jaguar and of course Alex Issigonis of the Mini fame,must rank very high on anyones list.

The Rootes Car Co, (scotland) Hillman Imp.designed by Tim Fry and Mike Parkes,who was the chief engineer.

Tim was only 24 when he designed the Imp,Mike was 26 and already a well known Ferrari F1 driver.

I have known about the Imps designers for very many years but never knew how close I was to being able to meet Tim Fry,read below.

Tim Fry has a South African connection too,after his work was finished at the Rootes Car Co,he went on his own and started his own design company named Small Fry,it was quite sucessfull.

Tim and his wife Karin, moved to the Cape Town suberb of Mowbray,he designed his own home on an Autocad program which his wife told me he self taught himself to use.I only found out they had a home here after Tims death,his wife contacted me and drove through to Hout Bay with her daughter and some of Tims works for me to see.

That is as close as I ever got to meeting a famous car designer,well done Tim. Mike Parkes was sadly killed in a road car accident some years back.


Smallfry was founded in 1971 by Anthony Smallhorn and Tim Fry (hence our name). Tim designed the Hillman Imp motor car (which challenged the Mini) whilst in his early twenties. He went on to head the Advanced Engineering and Advanced Styling teams at the Chrysler Rootes Group before setting up his own design consultancy

Tims Hillman Imp,I wonder where it is now?

R Mc B

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Lavranos 10.5 power cat

This is a really nice package,we have costed it and can do a ply epoxy kit to order,locally it can also be professionaly built.The boat is good for our local Cape waters and has a top speed of some 22 knots.


This Wright & Lavranos 11 powercat design is developed as a "cut file" kitset, so that the hull is CNC cut and delivered to the builder precut & labelled. She was built for a Motueka based client who uses her for a taxi service in the Marlborough Sounds, carrying twenty passengers as well as for charter fishing, with 8 passengers.
The boat has a top speed of 22 knots fully laden, and comfortably cruises at 20, with a pair of Volvo TAMD41P engines (147 KW each @ 3800 RPM), driving 560mm x 4 blade Henley’s Tiger props through a ZF 2.56 reduction gearboxes. She is an outstanding sea boat, soft-riding and with excellent wing deck clearance, and with good spray damping she is very dry.
The very large self draining cockpit provides excellent access to the motors and is equipped with a bait tank, pot hauler, bait table, rod holders, fish box, and lots of storage and seating. The shower and toilet compartment is accessed from the forward end of the cockpit. The saloon and galley area is around the helm station, and there are a pair of double cabins with berths for 6 down below. The saloon settee and table is also convertible to a double.

Note the really good stern access for either diving or fishing.