Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Commodore chats to my folks

The event was again the Easter TBA meeting at the V&A Waterfront, by now the tide had risen and I had moved Ocean Cloud across from Quay Four. The boats in front are Kalahari Sands, a ferro Peter Strong design ( i think) with Brat of Dunkirk moored next to her. Brat is said to now be on the hard in Port Elizabeth?

Thats Pat Fraser on the left having a Castle beer and a chat with my dad and mother, note they all have TBA tee shirts on.

Pat Fraser was a founder member of the Traditional Boat Association, it was he and Robbin off Pinta who thrashed out the final wording of our constitution, Pat also came up with the burgee design for the TBA.

The boat on the left is Tara, now named Squire as one owner said Tara was an Indian name?
Its a Hollman & Pye design I think.


Friday, 25 May 2012

Poor service from ABSA, a South African bank

Its Friday the 25th May today, so months end for many workers, for a weekly paid worker its pay day at last.

Today I went to the ABSA Hout Bay branch to service an account, it was just after 9am am and I was able to get to one of the two tellers right away. Next to me was a guy who knew the tellers names, so is a regular ABSA customer?

This bank is now part of the Barclays Bank group.

He had his cheque book open and informed the teller he needs the weeks wages, he was asking for just over R7000, sounds like a lot but its only Sterling 535? He was then informed that between them neither teller would be unable to find that sum of money?

Friday, weeks pay day, a bank with no cash, whats this all about?

You tell me.



We have just had a market stall holder visit, she went to our local Standard Bank, they had no ten Rand notes, so how can she give change out at the market stall this evening.

Banks with no money,this is three out of three, seems the growing trend?

Poor service from FNB bank in South Africa

I may mean in Hout Bay, South Africa but the resident bank manager informed me that all First National Banks have the same low teller to customer level.

The logo says ' How can we help you?'

We went to our local FNB branch in Hout Bay about a week back, we needed some personal assistance and also to do some overseas transactions, it was around 10am on a monday morning. Jean and I  could get in one queue each and do one of the two things we needed to do, I went to do the banking side while Jean was going to do the overseas side.

When we went into the bank we found a large queue waiting to use the ATM machines, there was a large queue because we were told there was no money in the machines! One lady was creating a lot of noise at a card service teller because of this, we later started to understand why.

At the two desks with assistants, one left as we arrived and did not return in the long period we were there, I was about five or six down the line waiting for the one and only remaining  assistant, I waited some twenty minutes just to move along the queue one place, by the time I had been attended to, there were seventeen waiting in line for the one assistant.

I asked the bank manager why there was so little staff in her branch, I received what I think is a standard reply, 'Sir, all FNB branches work with the same staff to customer ratio'  it took me some while to make her understand that while that may be the case, it was wrong and I may be forced to find another bank with a better staff ratio.

Its clear to see that all SA petro chemical  companies selling petrol on the forecourt realised this a very long time ago, no service? well find another petrol station, banks will go the same way? We need to vote with our feet, who needs bad service.

So how was Jean doing with her overseas transactions? well the girl who does that, had been told to load money into the ATM machines, so her post was empty and we could not process our requirements untill she had done that task.

While we waited, customers wanting ATM cash sevices were saying that none of the FNB ATM machines in Hout Bay had any money that morning.

I ask you, why should we work with such a poor service bank?


One of my blog viewers comments on a similar problem, this is at the same FNB bank branch and the in the same time period.

I saw your comments on FNB – don’t even start me on them – last week I queued (correction – I sat with the teller) for 75 mins to get a bank cheque drawn at Hout bay – I walked into managers office and complained – she said she’d check the cameras as if she didn’t believe me. This week I had a major saga dealing with COMPLETE IDIOTS – its too involved to explain – I would move banks but they all seem the same . . .

Easter TBA regatta at the V&A Waterfront

This was the saturday morning, I had taken the boat around from HBYC waters, to Quay 4 the previous afternoon, we stayed on that dock untill the next morning. I well remember the local bars jazz band was great. We had a visit from Pippa and Miles, he  worked part time at the V&A as The Jazz Gorrilla, Miles was also one of the TBA members, stood in that night with his saxaphone on some spots. Miles and Pippa were last known to be crusing with their boat 'Stella by Starlight' in Spain.

Around 1999? picture by R McBride using a Canon FT film camera.

The tide was well out and I needed to wait for a rising tide to move over to the right of the picture for the weekends sailing events and lots of fun. The boat is the Endurance 37 named Ocean Cloud, as a family we had cruised with her to Brasil and Venezuela, she was in Simonstown last I saw her.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Cape Henry 21 steel drop keel shipped to you for free

Sounds almost to good to be true, some of it is though, as the actual keel you will pay for but as long as we are supplying you with a kit to the Cape Henry 21 yacht, we can ship the steel drop keel part for free.

This is a CNC cut 25mm thick steel plate, its been milled on the edges, then grit blasted to remove the machine marks and millscale on the plate. This must be done, as millscale will prevent any paint or hot dip galvanising sticking to the plate.

This keel is heavy, myself and the guy who did the work can not lift it at all!

The keel will pack with the plys pack quite easily, its only a couple of 12mm plys thick, so the crate size will be hardly any higher, the cost to ship then will be zero.

Cost wise we came in better than prices on the west coast of the USA, so its a win win situation.


Classic yacht Coral racing in Antigua 2012

This is a boat I know quite well, built to last nat as long as she did, I guess the removal of her lead keel for the war effort may have helped her survive.

 Photgrapher unknown.

Seen here racing just weeks back in the Antigua Classic Yacht Fleet Race, she certainally looks great. Coral will be about 110 years old now?

Restored here in Cape Town,by Stremple Marine in Woodstock, I was tasked with the supply of the deck plys, teak to the decks and cap rails, also the oregon pine to her spars.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

HBYC Marina boat handling

The team running the marina in Hout Bay Harbour can often be seen moving boats, its a slick piece of work and good practice.

Calm weather is required, the clubs twin outboard engined tender is tied along side the yacht in the center of the picture.

The yacht is from Saldahna, wonder what class of yacht she is?

Alan, the HBYC club manager is in the tender, while Roy the marina forman is on the yachts helm.

The boat now has to swing to starboard, a bow line has been thrown to one of the men on the dock, Roy has the yachts helm hard to port.

Alan and the tender must now be released and the dock lines taken in.

Alan watches on as the dock guys take control.

The tender has now backed out and the dock lines are being sorted out.

All pictures by R McBride.

A job well done and another day in the life of the Hout Bay Marina. The team have handled some much larger yachts in this manner, one was a steel yacht about 45feet long.


Monday, 21 May 2012

The Cape Henry 21 steel plate drop keel

Made here in Cape Town for a Cape Henry 21 kit for a customer in Seattle, USA.
We will also supply the 316 stainless steel deck and mast fittings package.

Ready to do final clean ups.

The engineer has done the bevels on a milling machine, that will now be further cleaned up with a power grinder. The keel then gets grit blasted to remove the mill scale from the steel plate. The customer will then have it hot dipped galvanised in the town he lives in.

The same Dix Design Cape Henry 21 steel drop keel after it has been grit blasted.
This is required for both twin pack etch primer and also hot dip galvanising. In this case the keel will ship with the boats flat pack of plys and the shipping fee will cost nothing.

Another service from CKD Boats cc.


Bad drivers beware

Seen on a small Opal LDV today in Cape Town City.

So your boss thinks your a puppet?


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Huco petrol pump replaced

This is a good service report!

The sales service department of Huco have just sent a follow up email about what they have found.

I have sent an e-mail to Germany asking them about the diaphragm, and have also sent your pictures to them… following is their reply:

The material the diaphragm is made of, is named “Hytrel 6356”.
it’s resistant to regular gas, premium gas, methanol, ethanol and diesel.

Only bio diesel is not permitted for the pump.
A problem, like the one shown on the picture is not known to us, if the pump is used
with the above mentioned fuels.

I can’t help but wonder if there was not some kind of additive in the South African fuel which might have caused the deteriation of the diaphram.

Kind regards


My reply to Dirk mentioned the fact that the LRP petrol in the Jaguar S type can go off and cause a smell because of lack of use of the car, did the fuel degrade and form some other chemical?

You may want to read what this was all about first?

I sort of got the replacement Huco fuel pump replaced myself, Carl of Smiths Auto Spares tried himself but the Huco agents refused to recognise my claim.  I felt I had a valid case,as even though my Huco pump was well past its normal one year warranty, the fact that the car it was fitted to had only clocked 1150 road miles and that the 1966 Jaguar 3.8ltr S type it was fitted to, has two tanks means the pump had only lifted a max of 150 litres in its life.

I had returned the faulty pump back to Smiths Motor Spares where I had bought it about five years before. Smiths asked to Huco agents to inspect it and would they exchange it for a new one?

This took some months and having handed it in around November 2011, it was returned to me early in 2012, Huco refused to replace the pump. I then left the matter alone for a few months and later decided to try and get results myself?

This is Riaan, Carls brother, he is reading a print out of an email from  Gower & Lee,a UK parts supplier, they have revealed what modern fuels are doing to the spare parts market world wide. The blue box has my new Huco fuel pump in it.

The new pump with the required filter.

I started a few weeks back and for once used the blog for my own use, can I make the Huco company take notice? I found Huco in South Africa but no direct way to make contact by email. This was not the case with Huco in Germany, the parent company.

Make sure you have the correct pump for the application, this 443020 suits a car with the pump near the tank, its suitable for engines to a 3ltr size.

An email to the export guy in Germany just brought an ' out of the offfice ' message and I never did get a reply from him. This was not the case with another email and this time to the company CEO, I had a reply from Christian within the hour!

Thats impressive and with the sending of few more mails, the problem was discussed and I was promised a new pump. I was next contacted on phone by the sales manager in Boksburg (?) South Africa. He informed me that a replacement pump would be sent down to the Cape Town office in the next few days. I had a second phone call the next day to tell me they had the pump and would deliver it to me the next day.

The Cape Town rep is named Yunus, he duly arrived at my door the following day with a brand new pump. We found the pump was the suction type while I need a push type pump, this was replaced by one being supplied the next day, by sending one at my request to Smiths Motor Spares in Paarden Eiland.

A general view inside Smiths Auto Spares, I have been buying my car spares here for many years now,Thats Hassan center of the long counter.

A mail to The Imp Club on the new petrol issue.
Hi Grahame (editor Impressions)

Thought you’d be interested to hear about the solution to leaking O-rings for the Stromberg carbs that a lot of us use…… It appears that many people in the UK and elsewhere are running into problems with rubber in the fuel systems perishing with our governments using ethanol in our petrol. Roy McBride mentioned this to me a couple of days ago and asked whether I knew what the kits I had bought used.

I have bought a couple of carb kits from Gower & Lee in Watford (Ph 01923-247300) and the chap who did the work commented that he’d never seen such good kits – comprehensive and good quality although pricey at £55.72 for a kit for both carbs. Anyhow, I e-mailed them and asked what they use for the o-rings (described on their website as –'O' ring for float chamber plug – item #27) and they came back to me very promptly telling me that they ditched all their old stock of o-rings and diaphrams, etc. and replaced them with stock made from VITON which they say is suitable for fuels that contain 5% to 15% ethanol.

Thought it worth giving them a plug as they have proved their worth to me over the last few years…

Best Regards,


...the Beancounter

Contact Hassan or Carl for good service, I think Riaan was just standing in for Carl his brother the day I was there?

Phone:021 511 5313
Fax:021 511 3562
Physical Address:
46 A Paarden Eiland Rd, Cape Town, 7405
Postal Address:
PO Box 78, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town, 7420
Why did my pump fail? It was the diaphragm that failed.

What I learned from the various parties I discussed the issue with at Huco, was that my pump was South African assembled with parts supplied from Germany, the pump was marked as being made in 2005. Those pumps were pre unleaded petrol, we had that unleaded and LRP (lead replacement petrol) petrol intoduced around 2005/6, I had been sold an old stock item, which was suitable for the old petrol only?

This took some while to sort out but the end result was what I wanted.


July 2013.

I later received an email from Roddy who has his late dads V 12 Jaguar , Roddy had the same problem as I did but in duplicate.

I gave Roddy the contact details and this was todays report ( 18/09/13)

Hi Dirk

I have had a very busy last few months and am only going through my papers now

I am not sure if I ever thanked you but, many thanks for the replacement fuel pumps for the units that were leaking

Best Regards


So what have we  discovered?

The company Huco is one to be trusted and I would buy from them again and would like to think you will also.


Hout Bay from the air

Lifes a beach and the cape sure has some of the best!

 The main area of sand is named Long Beach.

That is Hout Bay in the distance, the large flat topped mountain is the back of Table Mountain, with Cape Town city on the other side of it.

How nice is this place!