Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Dix design Cape class yachts

It started with the very succesfull Cape Cutter 19,that became the Cape Henry 21 and of course on Dudleys drawing board is the Cape Charles 32,the plans are still to be completed.

 Seen here at a cove named Boulders,False Bay,South Africa,the very first Cape Cutter 19 doing what she does best. Picture taken by Nick?

The Cape Henry 21

The lapstrake plywood Cape Henry 21 developed naturally out of the Cape Cutter 19, a GRP trailer sailer that has become very popular in a short time and has sold 70 boats in its first 2 years in the UK market. The 19 proved to be a boat that is full of character, able and seaworthy, with a surprising turn of speed.

The appeal and success of that little boat brought a steady stream of requests for similar boats in larger sizes, to 30ft LOA and beyond. The concept of the 19 will work in slightly larger sizes but becomes less practical as size increases. I chose to rework the concept at 21ft to produce about 1/3 more boat in terms of volume and displacement, with resulting benefits in space, stability and performance. Above this size, many prospective owners expect standing headroom, which requires considerable change in the concept.

The Cape Cutter 19 was named after the Cape of Good Hope, where I have lived all my life at the tip of Africa. The Cape Henry 21 is named after the Southern promontory at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in USA, my home from January 2004.

 This is the  Gary Wallis built plywood/epoxy boat in the UK.

Above is the Cape Henry 21

Below is the accomodation layout that Dudley has drawn for a customer who asked about a larger version of his other Cape boats,its a very large volume 32 ft boat that will take you most places.

Please note,the design is incomplete,it is a concept only,Dudley would need a firm order to take the drawings to the point where we could offer a Cape Charles 32ft kit.


I note that fuel prices and also epoxy and polyester resin prices are again on the increase,the epoxy factor to a wood/epoxy built boat is about 15% only,so in many ways wood construction is staying on the low side price wise.

With a Cape Henry 21 plywood CNC cut pack costing just R39,339 (U$4917) plus plans,its really does start to make sense to build your own. We can also offer part and fully built up kits ex Cape Town.

Superform bending ply put to the test.

Quinton was not going to use the Superform bending ply we import to form Venture 2s rebuilt upper steering position,then I told him it is fully waterproof,that solved his problem of what to use on the corners he was trying to shape up.

Quinton on the left and his son Nathan to the right,the boat is an ex navy patrol boat,circa 1954?
Available from a number of retail outlets,Quinton chose to use the 8mm thickness but also had the choice of 3mm and 5mm thicknesses as well.Grain direction can be supplied either long or short grain.


Friday, 30 September 2011

Where the heck are we?

Times not too long ago the Sextant was the main tool of a ships navigation person,they had a Longstaff before that but that only gave Latitude,sort of?

If you want a good read on the ways of  a true genius who made Longitude posible by designing the most accurate time piece ever made,read Longitude by Dava Sobel.

I was fortunate to be invited (by myself) to view some really classic items on the HBYC marina,the basic discussion seemed to be to preserve not only the instrument but also how to use them,I say Bravo to that!

One of just 500 made,the owner has two sons,they also own one,how fantastic is that.

For sure a collectors item.

Boxed checked and ready to use,dated 1958 I think?

The box is an important part of the instrument.

A work of art,now I want own too.

How hard can this be?

Dava Sobel,picture by Libi Pedder,check out the Dava Sobel web site here

The 1714 notice of a twenty thousand Pounds prize for anyone who could perfect an accurate clock,it was some twenty years before its committee was to meet for the first time.

The sextant can only perform when we have a perfect time piece,so enters a Carpenter named John Harrision,read below for a primer.

This book is one of those popular non-fictions that made a huge impact on the public consciousness. We English people like our underdogs, even when the over-dogs are those dastardly English as well, and Longitude provides dogged behaviour in spadefuls, (or should it be pooper-scoop- fulls?)
Longitude is the story of John Harrison, a carpenter turned clockmaker in the eighteenth century. At this point in history, sailors were able to tell their latitude (northly-southly) but not their longitude (easty-westy). This caused many deaths, not least when the English fleet grounded off the Scilly isles, and led the government to propose a prize to the man or men who could come up with a practical and usable method of finding Longitude.
John Harrison, basically designed and built a series of clocks to try to win the prize, he spent most of his adult life on this huge endeavour. Unfortunately he was up against the Board of Longitude whose members were, to say the least, biased.
This is a fabulous story, not because it is true, and it is, but because you would be hard pushed to come up with a better thriller if you were setting out to write one from scratch. It is beautifully written, and depending on which copy you get, you may have the illustrations that allow you to see and appreciate the endeavours of Mr Harrison. Nigel and I have copies of both in our collection, and I would recommend you to hold out for the illustrated version if you have a choice, but the other is excellent, too.
I will warn you however, reading either version of the book will make you go and see the real things in the museum at Greenwich Observatory - they are truly breathtaking objects.
Chrissi (1st November 2001)

R Mc B

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Charles the auto electritian

I re wired the car,which in truth means I re installed the cars Singer Chamois Sport original wire loom which I had removed,serviced and re taped but I also ran a second and new loom to handle the oil and water gauges,plus the Smiths 10,000 rpm rev counter.

Charles makes a start.

I had also fitted an alternator,changed the original Lucas dynamos regulator box to handle the Bosch alternator,fitted an in line Johnston electric water pump,plus an electric petrol pump,plus electronics to the new race distributor,all of which I had cabled in but its Charles who will do the final connections.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Killarney Auto Service Garage

We have the hill climb 998cc Singer Chamois Sport at Clives garage for a full pre engine start check up,basically checking all my work for the cars owner.This includes a proffesional auto electritian who will fit the special internals to the new competition distributor.

Clive seen here ticking off an item on the check lists I have supplied him.

Clive is almost certainally the only local proffesional auto mechanic who has raced a Hillman Imp,he used to do service work on my own race Imp,then  later when it became his own,I did the pit work for Clive as he drove the car.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Taffy Bowen racing bulls in Bali

So this is cruising,once Taffy had a heart problem,seems thats long since past.

 left click to see what a great bit of action this is.Picture supplied by Taffy.

Taffy and Shirley,plus their African Grey parrot Rubbish are working their way west to an eventual circumnavigation back at the HBYC.

 Picture by R McBride,camera is a Canon G11 on an auto setting.

This is todays picture of where they started out from,its the bay in Hout Bay,what a place to leave!

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Bosuns Mate 23

Another one of Mark Bowdidge Designs good looking power craft,we can offer these as a CNC cut pack with the rest of the materials,including the epoxies and also International Paints if required.

Approached by Warren Jacobsen, we were asked if we could design a boat of similar nature, only lighter in construction, to the one he was building at that time, a heavy "traditional plank on frame" boat.
With rising fuel costs, could we design a workboat to suit his professional client's needs, i.e. a fisherman's workboat, that would not only suit that market, but would also appeal to the recreational fisherman and coastal explorer market. Overall, our main priority had to a simple open plan design, with the priority being the reduction in fuel consumption without, compromising the strength, durability and safety.

The Bosun's mate 23 evolved from the same seaworthy fishing boat designs used in third world countries, resulting is a strong, yet simple to build, easy driving and a great family day


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Henry meets Jaguar

Never one to show any fear,our Henry faces up to a local Jaguar.

So your big and fast but you can not fly.

Picture of me and friends

Well its really by default,the rear panel mirror also reflected my own image as I took the picture of people relaxing near the close of trading at Hout Bays new market venue near the harbour slipway entrance.

Stall holders pose for a picture

The new market venue is a great place to visit,full of really interesting stalls and food places,its busy from the time it opens to the time it closes and is a must vist destination when your in Hout Bay,many locals make it their breakfast or lunch stop.

Fluid Film works for me?

The test was to be on my own car,which has been under restoration ever since we bought it about 28 years back,with the space needed to build a competition Hillman Imp,the Jaguar had to be parked outside and on grass. The silver painted wire wheels could take damage over the winter period if not protected?

This is what the wheels looked like after a four month period,one spray can was used to apply the Fluid Film,it was just enough for all four,I did the outsides only.Would it work,only time would tell of course.

Judge for yourself (left click the pics to view in more detail) I used a water soluable cleaner and applied with a small paint brush (18mm) that took some time but after power wash the result was perfect.

How hard can this be!

The spinners were less of a concern being chrome plated

Nearly new,the wheels were fitted some years back but as the car is garaged normally,there is little wear.

A 1966 Jaguar 3.8 S type,the twin camshaft engine is said to deliver 220bhp,which is just as well,this is a lot of quality built car.Similar restorations can be undertaken of your own car.