Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bokke & Blomme in Bay Harbour Market

I was down there this morning to check the scene out, now past a first birthday the venue prooves to be really popular and is always busy.

Janet with her stall and signs for sale, if you want a special design ask her!


Marine grade teak deck caulking with 813 Dow-Corning black silicone sealant

As one of the major importers and retailers of genuine quality teak wood for decks on yachts, it soon became a cutting and planing service to size to the customers requirements. Special deep cut and thin tungsten tipped saw blades were used, they are just 2mm wide on the cut, this in effect saved the buyer a meter of 12mm x 50mm on every six or seven cuts, we made less sawdust too!

The fee for that service was based on a standard 15% of the cost to the teak, this in effect was offset by the use of our very fine cutting saw blades, many rip teak to size with a 4mm blade, the cost in sawdust needs to be seen after a few hours ripping a teak decks slats. It was not long before teak deck slat buyers were asking what black inlay caulk to use, we became stockists of Dow-Cornings 797 and sold 1000s of tubes over the years.

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

This is a teak framed hatch, which has been left to weather, it was made around fifteen years back and has never been redressed as I can remember? The lighter inlay is not teak its a wood polymer named Trex and made in the USA by Mobil, a petrochemicals company. They process equal parts of waste plastic and pine sawdust, heat it up and then extrude it in standard timber sizes, it cuts and planes just like real wood, they offer a lifetime warranty on domestic use.

The black caulk is Dow-Corning 797, this I have used myself for decades and never had a bad tube, its weather and UV proof, will take heat to plus 150c and cold to minus 50c, its stable and needs no primer.

We can also do colours such as stone, white, grey etc, due to the fact that it has a 12month shelf life we will only buy in to your order and on a minimum of 12 x 310mm tubes, which is one carton, It is highly cost effective and works. We can also recomend it for sticking in glass or Lexan type windows on cabin side, no primers or fastners will be required .

Note, Dow-Corning now brand the 797 grade as 813, tests have been done at the factory for a local superyacht builder where a white deck caulk was required, the tests prooved that the product is suitable for this use.


Friday, 20 July 2012

The Yaesu FRG 7700 audio pot arrrives

Seen here this tiny audio pot that Captain Dion is holding looks so small but its arrival was far from easy.

I had been advised that Yaesu parts are hard to find in South Africa, so I tried in the UK and was pleased to find they had what I required.

Sam Ruddy of Yaesu UK was happy to pack and post, I paid them and the package was posted to Cape Town, months later I still had no deleivery and the tracking number posted arrival in Johannesburg. Later Sam emailed me to say the parcel had now been returned, marked Not Collected, I have to blame the Post Office on our side, as no collection slip arrived with me.

Now in stock as a spare, you can get them yourself from Yaesu Uk.

Yaesu UK asked should they re post it back to Cape Town? I had a better idea as I knew Dion was due in Simons Town in a week or so, I had Sam post to Dions parents home in the British Midlands, Dion would then collect and bring it over for me. Yaesu UK posted as 1st class Royal Mail, the only bother was the envelope was empty when it arrived, they had failed to put the pot in the package!

This pot controls two functions, the audio AF Gain and also the Tone.

Sam re posted and  it arrived in time for Dion to bring it across for me, I then did a 50kms round trip to collect it, no problem, just check the view in False Bay and Dion made me some nice Rooibos tea!

All in all I feel that I have had very good service from Yaesu UK.


A message from Sam at Yaesu UK.

Hi Roy

Many thanks for the photo.

We got there in the end.
No problem with the help.
It is a shame we cannot claim air miles for this pot ha!

Best regards


Sam Ruddy
Service Manager
Yaesu UK Ltd/Standard Horizon

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Institute of Carpenters

My association with the IOC dates back to around 1967/8 when I was invited to sit a technical exam for entry to the institute. I had just finished the final year of The London City of Guilds for Carpentry and Joinery, my pass mark was high enough for me to be considered as an IOC candidate.

Edward Borastero, a full time student at the Building Crafts College, achieved the highest marks and the candidate achieving the second highest marks was Adam Jones, an apprentice with Denne Joinery and a student at Canterbury College.

The news letter is now sent by email, I was contacted by Mel only yesterday to see if others in South Africa would like to become members?

A clock made by a member.

We are looking for qualified individuals or training colleges who may which to join and help their students become members.


Mast navigation signals

Seen in Hout Bay Harbour and on a local fishing boat, I have not quite worked out what the signal means, it may be a distress signal?

Is he crew, is he in danger?


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Frans Loots remembers his Barlow Wadley XCR-30 radio

Frans is a yachtsman who knows some history about the yachts I have done blogs on, he discovered the blog last easter and looked right through them all, thats about 2000 blogs.

The Barlow Wadley radio.

That brought back memories!

As I said above, I sailed in the 1985 race to Uruguay and afterwards skippered Wings back for her owner.

I also competed in the 1982 race as skipper of a Petersen 33 with the romantic name of "Checkers Hyper". After that event I sailed the boat back solo to South Africa. On all these trips my Barlow Wadley went with. I can still clearly remember that on my solo passage, when still over 3 000 miles away from South Africa I could receive Radio South Africa's Afrikaans and English services on Short Wave. And as I got closer to home the reception got better and better.

In 1982 I navigated by sextant (a Zeiss Freiberger) and on my final approach to the Cape I went for 5 days without a sunsight. Eventually I used the Barlow Wadley, tuned in to Radio Good Hope, and swung it around to get some kind of a rough bearing on Cape Town. Later that night I passed a large fishing trawler and he gave me a position. My dead reconing position was "only" out by about 17 nautical miles. That was considered to be excellent in the pre-electronics days!

I still have the Barlow Wadley radio and recently gave it to my young son as a thing to open up and mess with. After reading your blog I will now go and claim it back and put it on display in my office.

Barlow's Television Co., P.O.Box 23, New Germany, Natal, Rep. of South Africa

Barlow Wadley XCR - 30

varia / copyright

In 1974, a portable shortwave receiver with the dimensions of a conventional travel radio got very much attention among the shortwave listeners comunity. The first time, a circuit developed by Dr. T. L. Wadley for the British commercial receiver Racal RA - 17 was used in a travel radio. The circuit was developed by Dr. Wadley who had moved to South Africa after his retirement and the set has been built by the South African home electronics manufacturer Barlow's Television Co.

In it's time, the set had the early Grundig Satellit radios, the Zenith Transoceanic, the Panasonic RF - 2200 or the Earth Orbiter CRF 5080 / 6090 as concurrents on the market. None of these sets featured a linear frequency readout with a precision better then 5 kHz and SSB reception capabilities that allowed ECSS technique (listening to the separate sidebands of an AM signal using the internally added BFO carrier instead of the carrier of the station's signal).

Thanks to Frans for this great story about how good radio was and in some cases still can be.

View my earlier blog on the radio at the link above.
Does anyone have a Barlow-Wadley receiver for me? Please!!!


Note: Hamrad who were one street up from Bree Street, Cape Town, were selling these back in 1976, we bought the Yaesu FRG7 from them instead, Roy.

Why restoration of an old yacht is expensive

This may also be named ' Why building a new boat from a kit makes sense" check the pictures out, the boat is a by now classic and very dated Holman and Pye design, we know quite a lot about her.

Keith Fenn (r.i.p) aboard his classic yacht in Saldahana at the jetty SBYC, I think it was Keith who remaned the boat Moonchild? We met up with Keith and his lady at the Marina Gloria, Rio do Janerio, Brasil, they had just sailed out from Simonstown in South Africa. Keith told me he had just discovered a diesel fuel filter on the boats engine he never knew existed!

Notty and I  sailed back to Cape Town in an Endurance 37 in 32 days, Moonchild took about 56 days?

Morning Roy,

I only discovered your blog recently and then spent the best part of the Easter weekend evenings reading them backwards in date till I reached the very first one.

Although I live very far from the mainstream sailing activities which you write about, I do however have a few bits of random knowledge to share with you.
I made some cryptic notes as I read your blogs.

Frans Loots.

Here goes:

Moonchild. (Launched as Spindrift)

It was good to see you referring to Moonchild.

I knew Moonchild since birth.

I grew up in Port Elizabeth and started school in 1963. The build of Moonchild was started round the corner from our house the same year as I started school. 12 years later I matriculated and a few months after that Moonchild was launched in Port Elizabeth.

The boat is a Holman and Pye Rummer- Class yawl and she was built by the late Ray Langton. She was launched as "Spindrift" and the name change came after she was sold by Ray round-about 1980/1981.


My thanks to Frans for reading all of my blog and for filling in with so much detail on Moonchild (Spindrift) I first saw her in Hout Bay with a cruising family on board, they were from up the east coast, they did a lot of work on the boat including the spray dodger. They never got to cruise further as I think the parents split up.


When this selection of pictures was taken at the Elliot Basin,RCYC, Cape Town, the boat had been sold at least once and by now Peter, the TBA new Commodore, was doing some serious restorations.

This is a lot of work your looking at, in the time Peter took to strip the paints back and then sand,seal and repaint a new build in kit form would see a new hull ready to fit out and then do the decks.

This may be a real classic design but as the trip back from Rio prooved its a slow boat and really labour intensive, wet too I would think?

All pictures were taken by R McBride using a Canon FT film camera.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

How to make your own Spinnaker Pole.

More a series of pictures as to what a 5.5mtr large yacht spinnaker pole will look like.
This is a nice winter weather project you can do at home quite easiliy. We can supply the materials ready machined, tapered and with the CNC cut building jigs and phenolic glue. Finished poles and sprits on request.

The finish can be clear twin pack lacquer as this one is, or sprayed white or silver as required.

The clear oregon pine pole is hollow, its made from eight specially machined staves, the assembly is far faster and easier than you would think,check the link below for more details.

The ends need alloy or stainless sockets making, we can supply the Harken ends as well if required.

With a thin wall construction these poles weigh no more than a conventional alloy, in fact this one weighs less than a similar sized alloy pole.


Andy fairs his Didi Mini Transat hull

In reality, the hulls made from the Dix Design Radius Chine process, require no fairing at all if you have followed the build process correctly. All we need to do is fill some of the laminated radius and some spot fills on the hull sides where panels join, there is no fairing required on the hull skins at all, so much so that to apply a belt sander to the marine plys will damage the surface.

This is a great shot of the bottom of the Didi Mini Transat we sent as a kit to RD in California, check how the  hull bottom flats blend into the radius, there are no bumps, its just so easy to do, even for first timers.

This picture was labled Fairing but as we can see there is just light filler which was probably made with our epoxy and micro ballooon/fumed silica mix. This is easy to long board off, a belt sander may be too strong for such work.


This is the inside of the same boat, we can supply boats from small to large in the same build system, all bulkheads, hull and deck flats are CNC cut for you. In the case of the Didi Mini Transat Mk2 we even supply and cut the boats interior, thats the bunks and ballast water tanks. The Didi Mini Cruise can use the same interior, in the case of the cruise version the ballast water tanks can become storage lockers.