Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mark 2 Didi Mini Transat plywood kit costs now.

Rand values have declined,so the import cost rise to marine plywoods has seen the local prices increase,still its still the best value for money when building boats is concerned.

This Didi Mini Transat was built at CKD Boats cc,the first of two followed by a Didi 26 all in the same year.

Todays Didi Mini Transat ply prices are as below:
The base plywood kit is as follows,it includes the interior of the boat,being the bunks and the ballast water tanks,all CNC cut and ready to fit.
 Plywood,BS 1088 Ockume marine grade.
 Hull and decks

 7 x 4mm
16 x 6mm
15x 9mm
  2x 12mm

  2 x 6mm
  2x 9mm

CNC work on 37 sheets,plus the cost to the 44 sheets of plys............................................R39,404
Epoxy x 40 kgs.....................................................................................................................7,400
 Divide by R8.05 to get a U$ value
The plans cost U$600,which when purchased with one of our kits,we will pass a discount of 15% on the plans.
 Pack and shipping not included.

Sport Hillman Imp cylinder head,shim to camshaft carrier fitting

We found the top of the Sport Wills Ringed cylinder head was not as flat as we thought,Corely Conversions in the UK supplied a suitable 1mm thick stainless shim,we could then clean off the top of the head to make it flat.

Look under the carrier,you will see the thin stainless plate,it was CNC profiled to fit.We now have new valves,seats,guides,followers,camshaft carrier and R20 camshaft.This just about makes this top end of the motor brand new.

Not bad for a circa 1967 Sport cylinder head,type 7010180.

How hard can this be,try it and see!


Friday, 9 December 2011

Watchmate AIS,the perfect Christmas gift

Thats for your boat of course,even boats need gifts,especially when we are any place near a shipping route,such as all of the South African coast.

The antenna splitter can be used with an existing VHF antenna,which makes an AIS installation very easy to do,if you have space to install a second VHF antenna you can go that route also. This splitter is also waterproof to IP x 7 standard and has a FM/AM - BNC plug,so your mast head antenna pulls in all the broadcast stations far better also.

For those who have an AIS receiver or transciever you will need the Watchmate 670 display,its water proof so you can have it mounted in the cockpit where its needed.

If you need an all in one package and do not have an AIS receiver,the Watchmate 850 gives you the works in a single package,send and receive (send can be switched off) a GPS all in a waterproof unit,all it needs is a power source and a VHF antenna connection.

Check out the web site at for full details, CKD Boats cc can supply your order ex works by courier direct to your boats address.

021 790-3839 phone and fax line
Cape Town
South Africa.

Its Christmas,why not treat yourself

Go on,you already have the boat,now buy the car.

Nice if you can,we have some teak,thats a start!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

B and G cover lables

With a few decades of weather and sunshine taking its toll,I thought to restore these B and G instrument covers,it could be other brands of course.

A selection of rather used spare covers,they are a hard plastic and should take DK type auto grade twin pack paints,or will they just melt?

Two coats of twin pack white applied with a high volume low pressure spray gun worked out fine.The lables are close copies and fit the space the original screen print used to be.

The older Hornet 4 repeaters,Network and I think that even the newer ones still use the popular 4" size covers,looking after them is a well worth investment. Lables cost R15 each plus P&P,a full spray job restoration of your own covers,with the lables applied can be supplied on request.

Or you can do it yourself, how hard can this be?


Coventry Climax stickers now available again.

We have had the Coventry Climax logo stickers remade,at only R17 (about one pound thirty four new pence) each plus P&P they are inexpensive and just right for a Christmas gift for you or a friend with either a Cooper F1 with a Coventry Climax engine or any one of the Hillman Imp range of cars.

A 1966? Super Imp badge on the back of a 1963 Mark 1 Hillman Imp engine lid,they are a push on fitting with two pins holding the location and secured inside with a central thread and nut.

Coventry Climax logo,stick them on yourself,how hard can this be,go on try it.


Flight 19 missing,still unexplained

December 5th 2011,it is some sixty years ago since the five American air planes went missing off the coast of Florida,an idea came in that may just be plausable.

 a reconstruction picture of what flight 19 would have looked like.

Hi Roy,

I wonder if they encountered a methane cloud? This can happen when there is an abnormal rise in sea temp. and allows huge bubbles of methane previously held at the bottom of the ocean by the cold water there. If the (continues below the text below)

Flight 19

US Navy TBF Grumman Avenger flight, similar to Flight 19. This photo had been used by various Triangle authors to illustrate Flight 19 itself.
Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5, 1945, while over the Atlantic. The squadron's flight path was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base, but they never returned.
A search and rescue Mariner aircraft with a 13-man crew was dispatched to aid the missing squadron, but the Mariner itself was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion[40] at about the time the Mariner would have been on patrol.
While the basic facts of this version of the story are essentially accurate, some important details are missing. The weather was becoming stormy by the end of the incident, and naval reports and written recordings of the conversations between Taylor and the other pilots of Flight 19 do not indicate magnetic problems.[41]

Hi Roy,  cold water should rise above a certain point these huge gas bubbles can rise and ships have been lost completely due to sailing in to one of these holes in the sea. There is also suspicion that such bubbles can rise in the air and should any aircraft fly into one it would explode? The theory was once tested using a small vessel in a test tank, air bubbles were release below the hull and eventually the vessel became submerged as the water could no longer support it due to the air bubbles!


Check out the sea water as it courses into the Volcano,it later becomes many gases,one of which is CH4 or as we know it Methane,backing up the idea that such a thing could exist but where is the Volcano?
Hello Proffesor Notty,
Thats not a bad idea if you know whats in the area  has a maximum depth of 7,686 metres (25,217 ft).
The Cayman Trough, (also known as the Cayman Trench, Bartlett Deep and Bartlett Trough) is a complex transform fault zone pull apart basin which contains a small spreading ridge on the floor of the western Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.[1] It is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea and forms part of the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. It extends from the Windward Passage, going south of the Sierra Maestra of Cuba toward Guatemala. The transform continues onshore as the Motagua Fault, which cuts across Guatemala and extends offshore under the Pacific Ocean, where it intersects the Middle America Trench subduction zone.

Hi Roy,

The theory was developed as a result of the number of unexplained marine and aircraft losses in the Bermuda Triangle. The idea was that in this region there was a tendency for large areas of vegetation to collect and eventually sink to the ocean floor where bacteria would feed on it thereby releasing all sorts of gasses such as Hydrogen Sulphide and Methane. So I just assumed that it could be the same there but never knew that there were those sea vents in that area supporting life forms that could also produce these gasses as a result of their feeding, this would add to whatever methane could be produced by the vents. The idea that all this gas is held in place below the ocean only due to a critical temperature and should that change then the gasses would surface.

Methane hydratesMain article: Methane clathrate

Worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996.

Source: USGSAn explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of large fields of methane hydrates (a form of natural gas) on the continental shelves.[28] Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water;[29] any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream. It has been hypothesized that periodic methane eruptions (sometimes called "mud volcanoes") may produce regions of frothy water that are no longer capable of providing adequate buoyancy for ships. If this were the case, such an area forming around a ship could cause it to sink very rapidly and without warning.

Publications by the USGS describe large stores of undersea hydrates worldwide, including the Blake Ridge area, off the southeastern United States coast.[30] However, according to another of their papers, no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.[15]

How hard can this be? makes sense to me.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Puddle Duck Racer progress

The so called PD racer has created quite a following world wide,South and West Africa is no different it seems. A mail came in to day on one being built in the JoBurg area,its quite detailed,read it if you have the time.

A PDR sistership

A mail from Chris,we supplied the epoxies he is using.

I collected the resin with the new hardener at the post office on Monday.
The hull was coated with two coats of resin on the inside. A blend of resin and wood dust was used to make the internal fillets and as crack/gap filler. The resin really brings out the beauty of the wood and it is almost shameful to put paint over the lot.

 I have assembled and installed the dagger board case in the hull after giving it a double coating of resin. This weekend I will start taping the chines and glassing the bottom. The resin that you have sent with the second order will be used for glassing the hull bottom and a final coat on the outside.

An approximate breakdown of costs of the project up to this point.
 4 sheets of wpc marine ply                                          R2200
14 lengths of 3mX20mm meranti                              R420
6 lengths of 2.4mX18X44 meranti cleats                 R360
4 lengths of 1.8m X32X32 meranti                             R200
4 lengths of 2.8mX32X32 pine                                     R240
4 lengths of 2.4m X44X22 meranti                             R360
6 X 300ml alcolin waterproof glue                             R520
6 liters resin and hardener                                           R1200
2 liters two-K automotive paint and hardener     R440
Rags, brushes, rollers, cups, etc                                 R500
Clamps – other than those I already owned         R600
Screws, bolts etc.                                                             R240
Aluminium mast from 14ft hobie                              R1000
Fibreglass mast and sails                                               R0.00

A Epoxy resin supplier like CKD boats                      Priceless!

To a total of R8280 give or take a couple of rands which is still a bargain for a new boat and the experience of learning a new skill.

Excluded is the painting job, waiting for a quote from a friend for the spray job.

I could have substituted the marine ply for normal ply at a fraction of the cost but suspect that it would have cost me much more in the longer run.

I will post pics via personal e-mail soon to support update.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Optimist boat kit

As delivery and shipping fees continue to rise we are trying to offer our products at a more competitive cost,offering less seems to be a way to do this.

The Optimist as a kit is well known,we have sent them world wide.To try and lower the delivery cost we are now offering the Optimist kit as a smaller package,this means the buyer will need to source the various timbers in his own area but this should be a simple enough job,as we will supply the cutting list.

We will still offer the epoxies,glass tapes, 3M micro balloons,fumed silicas for making the various fillers but the base kit will now start with the CNC cut parts only,the pricing will be lower of course.This will also be the same for all of our other kits from now on.

R Mc B

Vagrant seen on the HBYC Marina

This is what happens when you build a boat and do not use epoxy,you have been warned!

I suppose all it needs is a session with a decent bicycle pump?

How hard can that be (very)

R Mc B

Monday, 5 December 2011

Re fitting a Singer Chamois (hillman imp) side glass and rubber

Not a big job thought I, lets fit one of those new Imp side screen rubbers that Bob sent me a few weeks back from the stores of The Hillman Imp Club

That was a week last saturday,we are now at a week later and monday, (I had to repaint all of the car in the related area) however the rubber refit was a doddle using the length of string recomended in the Rootes Car Co (Scotland) Workshop Manual # 141,it says its a job for two but I made the job work fine on my own.

The way it is now

Seems to me we lost a very decent drying out space against this wall but the kids are happy any way.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

1967 Singer Chamois gets a new side window rubber

It starts out as a simple task,the old side rear window rubber has been cooked by 44 years of our sunshine,its actually bonded to the glass and the body,so required it's  removal with a sharp chisel and a Stanley board knife and a new blade.

It was fine seventeen years ago when I re fitted it,the other side of the car is near perfect but I had to buy a pair of new rubbers,as they are only sold as a set.

This rubber has long since become another product,we are really fortunate that The Imp Club sells them,they are made in Australia I believe.

With the original glass cleaned off with a razor blade and the new rubber fitted to it,we are ready to re fit the glass but first that paint job needs doing.

Check the quality,mind you with postage from the UK there was very little change left from R600 per side.

Of course when the new rubber is offered up,it does not cover the existing paint line,so a re spray is in order,one thing leads to another and before we know it,the entire rear wing is being prepared. After a bump received when the car was parked in Cape Town, It was never really finished well by a local Hout Bay spray shop,you can see all the high spots I have sanded down.

The picture shows what is in effect a weeks work,there were two rust holes in the rear opening window frame channel,plus another one in the drivers door cill,nothing much really but as an epoxy coating will solve the problem I went that route before any polyester body filler was used,this takes time but does make the repair last.

The base coat I am using is a matt finish,the clear gloss and top coat will follow next day after the base coat has dried properly.

This is nearly an acceptable job,thats just one coat of clear twin pack applied. The only issue is the mixed paint is a few shades darker than the rest of the car,I now need a new paint mix so the panels can be matched!

How hard can this be,why not try it!

R Mc B

KD860 catamaran loading

This was ready for collection once the glass,micro balloons and fused silica arrived,the trucking company were taking good care of loading,thats 31 items,plys,wood,epoxy,all the materials required to build one boat.This materials pack will go by road to the Johannesburg area,normally a three day period,we can ship world wide as well,plans are direct from the designer at

Drying out alongside,Hout Bay style

We once had a great and a quite free facility,we also had permision to use it from the then Nature Conservation Chief Director,himself a yachtsman and owner of a steel yacht in the RCYC Small Craft basin.

Yacht Water Witch having a bottom clean alongside by her two owners,that is the Howard Davis you can just see behind her.Water wise,there is quite a drop off just aft of  Water Witches stern.

Our nice clean drying beach,well it was back then,with high tide of around 1.8 to 1.9 meters,a bit of planing and we could do all sorts of jobs,check annodes,re pitch a Max Prop,fit a new skin fitting,even re antifoul when were really fast,one side per tide was quite easy.

The beach disapeared after the reconstruction of the end of the pier took place,some bright spark decided to fill in under the harbour wall at this point,before then it was open to the beach and the waves on the other side.This had two benefits,it kept the harbour a lot cleaner and it brought in the clean sand,now we have deeper water and a derelict hull lying there.

Progress? No.

R Mc B