Saturday, 4 August 2012

The band America is from the USA?

Well to my great surprise the answer is sort of yes and no, more no than yes I would think?  I have a CD compilation of theirs and while playing it the other evening I started to read the facts about the group named America.

One thing stood out about the credits, George Martin (now Sir) directed the band, this had me wondering why he would fly to the USA to manage them when he was so busy with bands like the Beatles in the UK?

History: America's Greatest Hits is the first compilation album by American folk rock trio America, released by Warner Bros. Records in 1975. It was a success in the United States, reaching number 3 on the Billboard album chart and being certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. It has also been certified 6 times platinum by ARIA for shipments of 420,000 copies in Australia.

This is the CD I have, buy it, you will be pleased you did.

America is an English-American folk rock band that originally consisted of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek. The three members were barely out of their teens when they became a musical sensation during 1972, scoring No. 1 hits and winning a Grammy for best new musical artist. Their recording success stretched throughout the 1970s; some of the band's best known songs are "A Horse with No Name", "Sister Golden Hair" (both of which reached No. 1), "Ventura Highway", "Tin Man", "Daisy Jane", and "Lonely People". George Martin produced seven of their albums.

What the truth was, is that the three members who became one of the worlds top bands, were really American Service personel children based in the UK and attending Amrican schools in the period they were there.

So this is really a British/American band!

How about that!


Hearts is the fifth original studio album by American folk rock trio America, released by Warner Bros. Records in 1975, (see 1975 in music). The album was produced by legendary Beatles producer George Martin.

This album was a big hit in the US, reaching number 4 on the Billboard album chart and being certified GOLD by the RIAA. It produced three hit singles: "Sister Golden Hair" went to number 1 on the Billboard singles chart and number 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart; and "Daisy Jane" which peaked at 20 on the Billboard singles chart and number 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart; and the funky "Woman Tonight" which reached 44 on the Billboard singles chart and 41 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Several other songs received radio airplay on FM stations playing album tracks including "Old Virginia", "Bell Tree" and "Midnight".

A fast DS15 from Dix Design

I have mentioned this boat recently, more pictures are on the blog that Dudley Dix has, so I have lifted them so you can see just how good a home build really can be.

Hunter Gall working on his DS 15, the design is quite new and has not yet been posted on the designers list of boats he offers.

It should be noted that this is Hunters first attempt at building a boat.

Another view of Hunter Gall and his DS15. This
is a small sportboat that is based on the
Didi Mini Mk3 radius chine plywood design.

This new design will be available from as plans and a kit as soon as the files are ready from Dix Design.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Taylors 30 L Paraffin Stove for sale

Who wants this classic Taylors stove?

Hi Roy - if you know of anyone who wants a Taylors 30L paraffin stove  this one is for sale. In excellent condition but needs new burners.

I can offer this as is and you service it yourself, or do the service and fitting of new parts for the cost of the labour and parts.

The stove is not new but looks to be in fine condition, I may buy it for myself!


Update, its now July 29th 2013, we are hoping to get the stove to Hout Bay near Cape Town so that I may service and check the stove out before selling it on behalf of the owner.

The V8 Moto Guzzi found on a yacht in Hout Bay

I have done a blog on this bike before but until yesterday I have never seen one.

Here it is, on the bulkhead of a visitors boat!

This in a motor bike!

To introduce the bike, and build publicity, Moto Guzzi's racing team manager, Fergus Anderson, released a letter to the international motorcycle press announcing Moto Guzzi's plans for the 1955 Grand Prix season -- attaching a drawing of the new Otto and challenging them to guess the configuration of Moto Guzzi's then very secret racing bike. Very few guessed correctly, and the Otto made a stunning public debut a few months later.

The engine and the bike were without precedent: a water-cooled, 500 cc (31 cu in) V-8 motorcycle -- with dual overhead cams and a separate carburetor for each of the eight cylinders. Weighing only 45 kg (99 lb) (overall bike weight 148 kg (330 lb)), its miniaturized components tightly packaged, the engine produced an unprecedented 78 hp (58 kW) at 12000 rpm. The motorcycle proved capable of achieving 172 mph (280 km/h) -- 20 years before the speed was reached again in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.



Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Cape Towns Traditional Boat Association 1991-2011

Colin Davies has produced a wonderfull volume on the successfull TBA here in Cape Town, it ran for some twenty years and the book really shows how to run such an association.

The front cover. The sailing ship is the Polish vessel Dar Pomorza, from the book by Christopher Chant and published by Roydon Publishing Co, Ltd. many thanks.

These are  just some of the members who made the TBA what it was.

How nice is that.


A friends historic gun collection

The first selection of old hand guns look quite new when compared to this new set.


No Name FLINTLOCK PISTOL .52 CAL 8-1/4" OCT BBL, English smooth bore a dueling pistol 1780 -1810

2ND B. & E.W. PISTOR FLINT LOCK PISTOL .50 CAL 6" HALF OCT DEEP GROOVE RIFLED BBL, GERMAN not a dueling pistol – it was considered unfair to have a rifled barrel

1780 -1810

3 to 6 1840 +

8" OCT BARREL, certainly a military pistol low ranking officer



Pattern 1842 Sea Service Customs PERCUSSION CAP LOCK .57 CAL 5-1/2" BBL, BORE "W SCOTT" STAMPED LEFT SIDE OF STOCK, owner"VR TOWER 1849"

7th On the Left The large sea service military boarding/anti boarding pistol probably the most interesting Belgium LEIGE PROOF MARKS UNUSAL HAS CARTOUCH MARK FROM Turkish script the gun was manufactured in Belgium for Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) supplied to the Turks…Or captured by the Turks who then remarked it.

ANT0064 (it is probably a similar mark as included one assumes a reference the Muslims’ belief.

And on the right “Bond” - James Bond the gun a Walther PPK 7.65 mm

Bang Bang!


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The history of the TBA has been published

The Traditional Boat Association story has been penned by Colin Davies, himself a member of many years. We missed him for some while while he took off in his Dix designed yacht named Solvesta. After sailing single handed around the world, Colin wrote a book on that trip also.

The front cover, the sailing ship is the Polish vessel Dar Pomorza, from the book by Christopher Chant and published by Roydon  Publishing Co, Ltd. many thanks.

This is a high quality publication and a credit to the printers, hard cover bound and with many pages containing colour prints or photos, all pages are printed on a gloss paper. The history of the TBA over its twenty year life is all here.

Just two of the selection of sketches and drawings the volume contains.

The TBA was founded by its members and its they who are remembered for the great events we had.
I have ten copies to sell at just R120 each, plus postage, all sales in full will be donated by Colin to the NSRI.

Note, I have already sold two ( now 6)  copies by word of mouth, so if you want your own copy please contact me soon.


Comment by a local yachtsman, Justin Phillips follows:

The Traditional Boat Association in Cape Town must surely rate as one of the most interesting societies I know of. What could be more engrossing that classic wooden boats, tales of seamanship, history and nautical tradition? Not to mention the old salts who made up the people, along with their boats . . . Sadly, The TBA (as it was known) was provisionally wound up after 20 years, a few months ago, as all good things need to take a break once in a while. Fortunately for all, Colin Davies, one of the original members, has documented the history of the TBA in a recent book, with all the events and happenings of this period, including all the excellent cartoons that were compiled over these years. It’s an absolute gem! It relates in a nice relaxed anecdotal style, with great humour, while recounting the many interesting events and individuals that make up the recent history of yachts and classic boats in Cape Town. These include sea captains, yacht designers, many well known yachtsmen and cruisers, and even the odd journo! It would seem the interest in things classic and nautical did not forget the important matters of splicing and mainbraces, and the cartoons contain ample evidence of this! David Biggs must have been in his element!

For anyone with an interest in the boating history of Cape Town, of the old boats themselves, or who knew these folk (I was surprised how many I knew, or knew of) – this book is a must. The R120 prices is a 100% donation to the NSRI, and we really have to thank Colin for this most generous piece of work (with help from others including Barry Woolf and Roy McBride). It’s a nice coffee-table format, printed on glossy paper. Copies from Roy McBride –

Justin Phillips
Cape Town

Teak deck caulking sanded smooth

This is always a nice part of what can be a long and quite messy process, a sanded teak deck finish.

A sanding belt of 40 grit can be used to remove the main skin of excess silicone, then move to a 60 grit to finish, you may find starting by going across the grain first the best plan, finish by sanding with the grain.

This is not a live a board boat! This is Wade who is Wills assistant, he  is sanding in between the frames, what a great job!

From what I have found searching the web, this boat came second in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, the skipper was Ole Bernsten.  Sweden came first, England was third. We have a fine boat with serious history here in HBYC, Hout Bay!


Monday, 30 July 2012

Yacht Stella, a new arrival at HBYC

Hout Bay Port Control, Hout Bay Port Control, this was a voice I heard calling on channel 16 a few evenings back. The caller said he was entering the harbour and was asking for any special instructions?

The voice was Ian on yacht Stella, he was returning from a cancelled trip down to the 40s and then Mauritius and out of Cape Town when his self steering vane paddle failed on him.

I  replied that we have no Harbour Master and that he should enter and find a spare berth on the marina, when I went on deck he was in sight, so I indicated a suitable spot for the night. Darren and Atholl came and helped Ian moor his boat.

I saw Ian yesterday, he is really enjoying his stop even if it was not in his plans.

He tells me that the boat is a Raffiki 35 and built in Taiwan, the design is
 by Stan Huntingford of Canada.


Note, anyone intending on a visit should also understand the the entry to the port is unlit, it sould be white to Port and Green the Starboard, thieves have stolen the copper wire and the people who maintain such items have failed to do repairs for some months now.

Hout Bay Marina today,

Same as the day before but in fact I took the picture a few days back, not such a bad winters morning for those living in the cape!

Taken from the North Pier.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Annies Fantail

I have made contact with Annie Hill, a well known writer and of course one of the editors of the Traditional Boat Association which was closed down recently after a run of some twenty years.

Words below by Annie, her boat is a Raven and a handy size at 26 feet long, I assume that junk rig sails better on a starboard tack than a port tack?

I've attached a recent photo of Fantail, but must remind you that she is not, sadly, a wooden boat.

I agree with you that there are still a number of classic designs around the Cape, but I suspect there are precious few traditional boats, either in build or design.  There weren't many carvel boats around even a dozen years ago.  Maybe that's why the membership faded.  Have you thought of creating a Classic BA?

My reply to Annie is below:

Whats about?

She was given a full strip down last year by Tommy Walker, the boat was moved to a dry factory in Retreat, the guy who owns Diel, the large alloy schooner Bernard Diebold, paid for the work after buying She from Brian Bradfield who passed away last year. I am not sure Brian ever saw the boat when restored? It was put on the market at the cost to buy and restore for R800,000.
 Tommy had also done the make over of Seaslang, the first RCOD for the same buyer, its for sale too.

The 30 square Maraquita, which Mike Daly spent so much money on with Eric Bongers came onto the market recently, that boat won more Lipton Cups at its time than any other.
Herb Philips Shortwave, a carvel built 35ft Hilyard  is in the HBYC boat park, it was sort of restored by a couple witrh two kids but they took the bulkheads out to make more space, its for sale at R60,000 but will be cut up next month I think, so its sort of free really?

There is also a Dogger (plywood) on the HBYC marina, the guy spent a year restoring it, then got sick, its his leg and he is a diver, his marina rental fell behind and a week back he gifted the boat to the marina section to fund arrears, so thats a steal for someone?

The yawl Squire is still around, it was named Tara when you were here I think, Astra the Tumlaren I restored about twelve years is still in safe hands and I have a job to build a new mast for it this year.
All in all some decent boats made from wood are still to be found, its the willing owner thats  missing?

Do you have a picture of your own Dogger, I need photos to expand the book done by Colin with TBA members boats.

Seems a lot of traditional style boats still exist, so who will form an association to keep them alive and afloat.