Friday, 17 August 2012

Dragon class yacht restoration

This is not really a great time of the year to do such work, unless the contractor is organised and protects himself and the project against the winter weather.

Older Dragons are made from wood, three laminated layers of mahogany on oak in this case.

This is hard work, either inside or outside the boat will have you climbing and twisting position all day long!

The decks have been re caulked with Dow Corning 813 black silicone. The inside of the hull and frames have been cleaned an treated to a coating of AR600 thin epoxy and 3M microballoons.

The outside of the hull, including fairing in the one ton lead keel is being treated with ABE 201 twin pack epoxy paste, suitable for both above and below the water. All products have been supplied
 by CKD Boats cc.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

McLaren M6 at Killarney Race Circuit

Seen here was one of the many classic race cars which now return to South Africa for the replica of the Springbok Series each spring.

This McLaren is listed as an M6, Marcus Mussa was the entry and driver, he hails from the Netherlands, no date was given for the age of the car. (1967?)

From the web:

The M6 ​​was a car with a monocoque frame made of aluminum that had both innovative for its time and an unusual attention to detail. The engine used the M6 ​​was the small-block Chevrolet engine built by George Boltoff and proved extremely reliable. That year was Dennis Hulme McLaren racing side by side.

The mixture of racing hardware in one space on this weekend is just an amazing sight to have seen!

Time warp cars and to be found in Cape Town once a year!
Masten Gregory, a legend indeed!

Michael Cox from Kansas City, Missouri, writes about his
hometown hero and a legendary racer: Masten Gregory
Sports car legend Carroll Shelby called him "the fastest American to ever go over and race a Grand Prix car;" He scored a podium finish in his very first Formula One World Championship Grand Prix start (a first by an American) and was also a winner of the world famous Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race; Formula One legend and two-time World Champion Jim Clark considered him to be his hero

The origianl badge, what do the F1 McLarens carry today I wonder?

Running any engine at a Cape Town meeting without an air filter is not to be advised.

V8 power in such a small car must be fun.

Two of the many race cars not only on display but racing out on the track over the two day program.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The i 550 in South Africa

We looked at this rather fast boat some years back, now after a client asking us to look at cutting a kit for him, then approving his order, we are setting up to start his boat on his order.
Will is the customers name, we have bought his marine plys for him already.

Message taken of Wills own blog page on
Well the time has come to put my social life and money where my mouth is because I have decided to build an i550. Over the course of last week I contacted Watershed boats in the USA and asked Tim Reiter to get in contact with CKD boats in Cape Town to negotiate a deal to put i550's into CKD's kit portfolio. This they seem to have done and pending some final wheeling and dealing the i550 should be available in kit form in South Africa!
More than this, I have placed a deposit with CKD and bought plans from Tim at Watershed and I am now licensed to build Hull # 471. Hopefully the first i550 to be built in South Africa! Exciting times...

Watch this space for the progress!


Dunlop R7 Racing Tyres on a 1961 Lotus 21

Since my first interest in motor sport there has always been the racing tyre made by Dunlop, they named it the  R7, it has a very distinctive tread pattern.

I see that Dunlop now re make the same tyre and with various compounds to suit the track and weather.

Dunlops R7 race tyre pattern, its so distinctive.

A formula car ready to go out and parcitice.

The car is a 1961 Lotus 21 the driver being Alex Morton from the UK.

Lotus F1 are back near the top once more, status quo at last!

This car is now fifty one years old, heritage being kept and raced, all so accessable at the Killarney Track if you pay for the full ticket, recomended!

This is inside the new pits complex, its such a fantastic idea to have an area under cover and where cars,drivers and crews can cool off between races.

Killarney Race Track, February 2012, the revival of The Springbok Series, what a place to be !


Monday, 13 August 2012

Solvesta, the book by Colin Davies

Possibly this is a cruising guide after all, having just read the last few chapters and before that sailed up the East coast of Austrailia, where day after day, Collin was making some on the spot decisions to stay or go, could he make the Torres Straight at exactly the right stage of the tide? Would he make it through The Hole In the Wall cut at Gugari Rip in the islands West of the Arafura Sea, Pacific Ocean and above Australias Northern Territory?

 I find it to be a great read and a for sure this book, while in effect being Collins personal diary of his trip, surely is a must have volume for anyone considering the same voyage.

For a change I am doing a book revue myself, this means I have to read the entire volume of course, at 149 pages its quite a read! From my side I do at least have first hand information on the route as far as Venezuela, so my ability to judge and pass comment on Colins story can be based as far as the mainland after Margerita Island.

Thats Colin behind the TBA history and John who is Colins printer behind the Solvesta book.
Both are quality productions and well worth the price. In fact a situation on Solvesta when she left FBYC will be worth the cost of the book, the wrong spinnaker poles ends failed so early on that they bent the pole and wrecked the ends.

From Colins first page introduction:

Many people have found themselves, like me set adrift in middle age. My wife Carol had died and my two sons, Andy and Nick, Emigrated, so I found myself in Cape Town, faced with the dismal prospect of working alone for the foreseeable future just to pay for a house, car, TV fact, just to exist!


I am still reading and passed Panama and Galapagos just yesterday!

How good can this be.


Late monday, having sailed the Pacific, a visit to New Zealand , I am now in Australia.

Is this book a good read? well Its sure writen as it happens, mistakes and all, Colin keeps saying he was happy doing a little as possible but to me he did so much! The book is not in any way intended to be  a cruising guide, it is full of chartlets and pictures, more for a general guidence to the reader than anything else.

You may be very hard pressed to find a better and more up to date sort travel book the circles the globe, Cape Town to Cape Town. For myself I found it was just asking me to get out the BA charts of the areas that Solvesta went to, only then will you see where he went and why.

The trip back to South Africa comes next!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Cape Towns Killarney Race Circuit, a day at the races.

This was February of this year and Eric wanted to leave Hout Bay by 7.30am, I was ok with this but thought it an early start non the less. It soon became clear to me that this was a correct decision, we had all the time in the world to see the cars and to meet some of the drivers.

All pictures by R McBride

Over the noise of Ford racing engines, Eric talks to Sarel Van Der Merwe, one of the top South African rally and race drivers with expriance overseas, Le Mans,France and Watkins Glen,USA, come to mind?

As you can see, some conversation was reduced to hand signals.

Sarel van der Merwe
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Sarel van der Merwe
Nationality South Africa
Born(1946-12-05) December 5, 1946 (age 65)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Championship titles
1975, 1977-1985, 1988

1994, 2001
South African Rally Drivers Championship
South African Saloon Car Championship
South African Modified Saloon Car Championship
Springbok Colours
South African National Colours
MSA Lifetime Achievement Award
Sarel Daniel van der Merwe (born December 5, 1946) is a South African former rally driver, who was a multiple South African Rally Drivers Champion. He is sometimes referred to as "Supervan".[1]
Van der Merwe won the South African Rally Drivers Championship a record eleven times in 1975, from 1977 to 1985 and in 1988. Van Der Merwe also drove one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen for Hendrick Motorsports #17 Tide Chevrolet Lumina team in 1990 while the team's regular driver, Darrell Waltrip, was recuperating from a severe leg injury a month earlier, where he finished 24th.[2] He also held the SA Saloon Car Championship (1994), SA modified Saloon Car Championship (1994 & 2001), and won the 1996 Castrol International Rally in Swaziland. He received his Springbok Colours in 1976 and his South African National Colours in 1997. In 2002, van der Merwe was awarded the Motorsport South African (MSA) Lifetime Achievement award.[3]
Van der Merwe began his racing career in 1967 racing saloon cars. His international career took off in 1983 in the IMSA series in the USA, with his most notable win in the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona race driving for Kreepy Krauly Racing, an all-South African team in a March 83G-Porsche. He shared the win with Graham Duxbury and Tony Martin. Van der Merwe did exceptionally well in the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans where he finished 3rd on debut. In the 1986 Le Mans race, Sarel pulled in a lap early and Jo Gartner took over. A lap later the suspension broke and the car veered off the Mulsanne Straight in the middle of the night and Gartner was killed.
He retired from competitive motor racing on November 23, 2002 after Round 12 of the Vodacom Power Tour at Kyalami.[4]  my thanks to Wikipedia for publishing this information.

Sarels drive for the weekends event, I think the car is 46 years  years old!

Note, it is in fact a 1966 Ford Galaxy Coupe, entered and owned by Lindenburg Racing/Lazerus Ford, one of the faster cars on the day for sure.

Sarels Ford V8 waits to be unleashed onto the tarmac at Killarney.