Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Mini Transat 2011

Mini-Transat sailor Radek Kowalczyk

After hitting a whale,the boat went to port for a check up and was found to be fine.Radek and his Didi Mini Transat are now on their way to Salavador,Bahia,in Brasil.
Plans and kits to this same design are available from CKD Boats.

We can also have kits pre built and supply North Sails and Harken deck packs,plus the keel and lead ballst,etc.

Read the full story and more about Radek on  Dudelys blog @

R Mc B

Friday, 14 October 2011

Development sailing at the HBYC

The club applied for and was granted a fair sum of money from the Lotto,the main use of the funds was to establish a decent sailing platform facility on the development side.

The main club house has no spare space for such training,the back yard did but was a mess,just a dirt and grass surface,that was not going to work.

The entire area was graded and laid with nice cement interlocking bricks,then at one side a back store,center boat storage rack area and training office has been errected.The roof is (was)  being fitted this week. Thanks to the HBYC and Lotto for working together on this great Hout Bay Yacht Club program,its just what the club and the valley need.

Note,the three offshore then local lows, have brought rain to the cape,so all site work has stopped,I would expect the major site works to be finished for the Opening Cruise next Saturday the 22nd,Sail Past of the HBYC fleet is for 1600 hours (4pm) then a welcome gathering at the club house.Why not check out the new boat park while your there?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Petrus and his Eureka canoe build

Petrus chose the plans for the Eureka Canoe,we supplied them as a PDF and by email.

This is the bare hull when assembled,we recomend the use of ockume marine plys to save weight.

Eureka 155 - Pretty, Lightweight, Plywood, Touring Canoe - simple to build.
Stitch and Glue Boat plan

Eurekapic1.jpg Length - 15'6" (4.73m)
Beam - 34" (0.86m)
Weight - 44lbs (20kg) - Gaboon (Okoume) Ply
Can be built down to weights of 34lbs (15.5kg)

Simple to Build
Great Paddling Boats
Wooden canoes half the weight of most fibreglass Canoes
Comprehensive Plan Pack with step by step instructions and many illustrations
PDF Plans by email - $75
About R600 right now for the 39 A4 pages of plans as a PDF.

A fine home build by Petrus,in this case we supplied just the plans,he did the rest but we can also supply the correct plys CNC cut,with the epoxy,glass tapes,microballoons and silicas to make your own pastes with.

How hard can this be.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Global Warming,winter of 2010 NW England

So folks,the sun has started its swing,Stonehenge probably knows this already and while we in the southern hemisphere can look forwards to months of sunshine and trade winds so we can go sailing,those in the north will not be so lucky.

Les and Traceys home,Maghull,England.
Picture supplied by Les French.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Stonehenge in better days,circa 1966

We went south that year,Liverpool to Bournmouth,the route took us close to Stonehenge,on Salisbury Plain,of course we parked our cars and had a look. Entry was free,I think a guide was there to advise what we were supposed to be looking for.I later attened a course at Warwick University on the mystery of Stonehenge and its hidden outer rings,I have known a lot more since then.

Rob and Doreen McBride,picture by Roy?

In some ways the past was better,I am informed the public can not get near the place now?


Stonehenge is probably the most important prehistoric monument in the
whole of Britain and has attracted visitors from earliest times. It stands as a timeless monument to the people who built it.
The stonehenge that we see today is the final stage that was completed about 3500 years ago, but first let us look back 5000 years.
The first Stonehenge was a large earthwork or Henge, comprising a ditch, bank, and the Aubrey holes, all probably built around 3100 BC. The Aubrey holes are round pits in the chalk, about one metre wide and deep, with steep sides and flat bottoms. They form a circle about 284 feet in diameter. Excavations have revealed cremated human bones in some of the chalk filling, but the holes themselves were probably made, not for the purpose of graves, but as part of the religious ceremony. Shortly after this stage Stonehenge was abandoned, left untouched for over 1000 years.

The Second Stage

The Arrival of the Bluestones

The second and most dramatic stage of Stonehenge started around 2150 BC. Some 82 bluestones from the Preseli mountains, in south-west Wales were transported to the site. It is thought these stones, some weighing 4 tonnes each were dragged on rollers and sledges to the headwaters on Milford Haven and then loaded onto rafts. They were carried by water along the south coast of Wales and up the rivers Avon and Frome, before being dragged overland again to near Warminster in Wiltshire. The final stage of the journey was mainly by water, down the river Wylye to Salisbury, then the Salisbury Avon to west Amesbury.

This astonishing journey covers nearly 240 miles. Once at the site, these stones were set up in the centre to form an incomplete double circle. ( During the same period the original entrance of the circular earthwork was widened and a pair of Heel Stones were erected. Also the nearer part of the Avenue was built, aligned with the midsummer sunrise.)

For lively debate and alternative views on this please see: -

Shea French,the leader of the band

The place was Ripon in Englands north,the year was 1967 and in September.The event was the Camping Clubs N.F.O.L (national feast of lanterns) by now the club had been running for some sixty six years.

Picture taken by RH McBride.

The guy to the right,with the round cap and beard may well be Shea's husband,John?
The picture also shows Les French,thats him in the third row with a long cape and a drum,Les went on to become the clubs chairman,he has carried the office twice I think,once for two years and once for a year?
To the left is Tracey in the candy stripe costume,she married Les,they had three children,I am godfather to one of them


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Lets go camping

As a family we needed to get away now and again,like many others the cost to B&B and Hotels was just never going to be on the menue,we went to a rented cottage near Loggerheads,North West Wales for a few years,that worked out well.

The club changed as time went by and then became renamed to the Camping  and Caravan Club.

Then came the camping years,we started with an old ex army ridge tent,it was fine for a number of years,when at some time we joined The Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland,of which his Royal Highness Prince Philip is the patron.

This was the first tent,circa 1960,the place is down on Englands south coast and at Talland Bay.The white tent is ours,the double green one was the Jennings (uncle,aunt and cousins) I suspect this picture has been reversed?

The  Camping Club ,now in its 90th year,when we joined it was already about 34 years old.Started with the very basics in camping,it grew and grew and we became a part of the Liverpool and North West group.It became a major part of our lives,camping each weekend was then the norm in the summer months.

left click for a larger view.

 From little acorns do the oak trees grow,just check the amount of campers on this field,the place is Wynyard Park,the date is 1966 and the event was the Camping Clubs N.F.O.L which is short for the National Feast of Lanterns.

Each year one of the area centers gets to host their own F.O.L and the national event if your lucky,well I think your lucky,it takes a year to organise?

 The same 1962 event,the tent with the group around it was my parents,I can identify Alex and Betty Boyle,my mother (doreen) is sitting down to the right of the lady with the red jersey and my aunt,Gret Jennings is standing next to my mother.

This is a long time ago,all pictures have been taken into storage and I am told some will be recorded in the clubs archives.

All pictures were taken by my father Robert Henry McBride.


The Northwest Region Tent Camping Group magazine

Founded in 1970 my parents were Editors of the magazine for some years.

My mother sitting in the McBride family tent camped here in  July1972 and at Hulme End,which sounds like Yorkshire to me?

Not the 5ltr can of Duckhams oil!

It was formed withing the main Camping Club,founded in 1901 but some members
took exception to a breakaway group,why is beyound me,live and let live.

How hard can this be?


Lets go camping two

Not all weekends were so good,a bit of rain now and again was sort of normal,to take a dry tent home was a sign of a good weekend,otherwise we had to dry it when back home due to mildew attack.

My parents became club committee members and as time went by found that some really good sites with difficult access for those with a caravan,were being left of the calender.The Tenting group was then formed,caravans were not excluded but the main part was in tents.

Not one to let a little rain dampen his spirit,my dad sits between my aunt Gret and my mother to the right. My uncle Vic probably took the picture.Which is from a Kodak slide film and dated September 1969.

A Perkins 4108 original sales brochure

Also found in the  Figaro V archives,an original Perkins 4108 sales sheet,I have never seen one before.
This type of engine was removed from Figaro V after she came back to Cape Town from Durban.

Not exactly in good condition but its readable.

Perkins listed various BHP outputs for the same engine,from 46 to 50 bhp,it depended on what use the engine was put into.