Saturday, 22 December 2012

Teak and Holly flooring

Not the usual thin veneer on ply thats mainly sanded away, nor is it printed paper on a plastic backer, this is real wood veneer on a phenolic backer you can use just like Formica.

The quality is tops a well known european yacht builder has just ordered 100 sheets, our stocks will come in early in 2013, please contact me for details.



The Governors Cup Race starts today!

The race has been one of the SA ocean races success stories. A 1750 dash across the South Atlantic race and to St Helena Island.

First thought of a  single handed race named the Southstar and named the late Ian Cochrane, a good friend of mine. The race was run a number of times but then grew into the larger event it is today.

The Endurance 37 Ocean Cloud will be one of the nineteen starters, I have a very special interest in this boat!

Sent today to one of my own crew on our trip to St Helena Island:

Captain Notty,

Is it 22 years back that we headed off to St Helena on this same boat?

She is in the Governors Cup Race and it starts today!

Pity we have a North, still two years back they had a very hard SE and some boats

pulled into Saldahna, Zeeslang was one such boat and with a broken boom.

The skipper told me later it was pitch black and they were doing 15 knots, they should

have shortened sail sooner he told me. The same boat sails today again.

You can find it on the FBYC web site.

Ocean Cloud0.860Burger, MicahMicah BurgerFBYC

The start will be at precisely 12:00 BRAVO

Morning Programme:

09h00 – Welcome Speeches

09h15 – Introduction of Each Crew & handing over of plaques

10h15 – Blessing of the Fleet

10h30 – Closing & Thanks

10h45 – Crews retire to their boats for final preparations for departure.


i550 kit packing in South Africa

This is a first for South Africa, boat # 471 has been cut, packed and shipped to Will near Johannesburg, thats a 1000 miles away from Cape Town.

The list of materials asked for 19 sheets of 6mm ockume marine plys but with clever setting out and nesting we used just 16 sheets, thats a large saving on both materials and CNC charges.

This is quite a large boat kit, the shape looks ultra fast and easy to build.

The hull skins and decks are also cut, saving time over setting out and cutting by hand.

We shipped this by local courier, the packing ply on the top is waste from another project, its not a part of the i550 sail boat! Note the steel straps, we secure orders this way for maximum security.

Click on any picture to enlarge.

In this case Will asked us to source and buy in the 85kgs of lead needed for the ballast keel, we found that locally and its packed in the small crate under his i550 sail boat kit.

Wills order has arrived with him as of yesterday, thats a three day turn around over the 1000 miles trip, rather good service!


Friday, 21 December 2012

How to restore a Hillman Imp timing chain tensioner

An update, two years on and we have a visual test on the original repair as below. The parts looked good and having been test run in an engine for many hours we thought the job was done but after inspection find that the glue line bond could be broken.

Please do not use the products we show below.

With the Imps last first production being in 1963 and an end of production in 1974 original parts are now becoming hard to source. This idea may well be a first and it uses South African invented and made products, they should be available world wide, if not you can get them from me?

The tensioner has a plastic rub strip glued on to it, what the plastic is and the glue was we have no idea but two South African products will make good replacements.

The tensioner blade on the spare top one is a new Rootes made product, I was told early this year it was one of the last in stock. Bought from a specialist in the UK, landed it cost me a whopping R910 (U$95)  thats only the blade, not the whole assembly.

I have spoken to the technical department at Pratley, they agree that their Wondafix is highly oil resistant and given that it is flexible, should work well. It will take heat to 100c so will be fine in an engine running around 80c?

Vesconite supplied me with a promotional rule some time back, its perfect to try as a rub strip on the Rootes tensioner blade.

This is the  Vesconite when cut down to size, we need 210mm long x 18mm wide and 3mm thick.

A test glue up was done the day before, Wondafix bonds well to the Vesconite but not to a strip of nylon, which was the other part tested. Here the Vesconite has been machine belt sanded to add grip to the glue, the spring steel blade has been bead blasted and washed clean with tap water.

This clamping method allows the Vesconite to be held in place, the weight of the right hand clamp pulls the blade and Vesconite strip down and into place.

Will it work?

I say yes!

There are a number of options should you want to do this repair.

We send you the materials ready to fit, or you send your timing chain tensioner here and we do the restoration here, we will always need to do this on an exchange basis.

Wondafix will take a full 24 hours to cure but after just a few hours the Pratley glue had set enough to un clamp it and fit in the engine.

Without the chain tensioner this 49 year old Hillman Imp engine could not be fully re assembled, Wondafix and Vesconite saved the day.

The Vesconite rub strip looks just like the real thing! Vesconite will never wear out like the plastic used by Rootes.

The cylinder head can be fitted next.

The epoxy in this trial did not work past the few months the engine was bench tested, it did not actually fail but a stronger glue line is now in use.


Duram DTM paint

This is a once off for those who need to paint metal, new or old and some that may have rust on as well.
Note, read the lable, there is a lot of info to understand before you use this new product from Duram.

DTM stands for ' Direct to Metal ' its a new product and made here in South Africa as a replacement for another well known brand of metal paint from the UK, would it do the same I asked myself?

Click on the picture to enlarge. The engine is a 1963 Hillman Imp Mk1 block, now restored it will be a runner when I get the cylinder head fitted again.

I used the Smooth Black, this small tin did three Imp oil fiter canisters, the crank pully, an oil sump, a British Seagull Forty Plus petrol tank , also a wheel nut spider and half the can is still left!

I used a spray gun on a low pressure, the thinner required is Xylene which is what International Paints 220 thinner is made from so I had it ex stock.

The coverage and finish is better than the imported product, it drys faster , I was told by the salesman its half the price too!

Proudly made in South Africa!


More from the makers web site:

DTM (Direct-to-Metal)

Duram DTM (Direct To Metal) is a premium quality, all-in-1 metal paint that offers an elegant finish with excellent protection. This enamel paint can be applied on a variety of metal and galvanized surfaces and acts as a primer, undercoat, anti-rust coating and topcoat. DTM is available in an attractive hammered or smooth finish. Its quick drying formula makes application easy. DTM provides a long-lasting UV and weather resistant barrier for new or rusted metal.
  • Duram DTM can be applied directly to mild steel, wrought iron, galvanized iron, stainless steel and aluminium surfaces
  • Anti-rust coating for new or rusted metal
  • Protection and decoration of interior and exterior metal surfaces
  • Available in two attractive finishes: a fine metallic lustre with hammered appearance and a smooth, silky surface with high sheen finish

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dow-Corning 813 silicone back in stock!

We needed some for the order to send to the USA so have bought in a carton, it has a shelf life of just six months so buy it now if you need some.

Totally weather proof, UV will not touch this silicone, bond in your glass or Lexan windows and use no fastners or window trims.

We have seven tubes left and in black, its a hard to find product due to the specialist nature of its use.


Whats in our boat kits?

It can change from kit to kit but as a rule its based on whats in the box we have packed for a kit order in the USA.

We only supply quality brands, such as AR600 epoxy, Dow-Corning 813 silicone sealant, Kleberite PVA waterproof glue,3M micro balloons, fumed silca, woven glass tapes and always a copy of International Paint guide to using their paints.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A boats hard spray dodger as a mini kit

We will pack a full sized boat kit off to Miles in the USA tomorrow, his boat is an Erikson Mk2 35, the old canvas spray dodger has seen its last it seems.

This is CNC cut in 3mm thick MDF,each panel is about 150mm across only.

We have prepared a mini kit set to assemble and show Miles just how we put the parts together, more pictures to follow on this as it happens.

The kit comes with the mould to make the curved and laminated roof, plus all epoxies, glues, meranti wood, glass tapes, tempered glass, Dow-Corning 813 glass sealant etc. You can fit the hard dodger on a sail or power boat.

The full sized hard dodger was around 2250mm wide at the back, this one was down sized some 28% to fit the Erickson Mk2 35.


Wills i550 boat number 471 has been started.

We have packed the i550 kit number one today and it will be off to the Johannesburg area in the morning.

Will Goodlet is the customer and builder, he will get a class going next year we hope.

Hi Roy,

Some more progress pics for you - the first steps in making the bulb mould.

This is a 'beaver tail' bulb designed by Chad McNeely in the US and not the normal i550 profile. End weight should be just under 80kg.

It was surprisingly easy to complete the framework and I was quite pleased with the result.


With Wills help we will offer this as a kit set also.

Looks easy to assemble, CNC work here will really speed up the process.

All pictures by Will.

We also sourced and shipped the required 85kgs of lead required for this keel bulb. It is packed and boxed in a specialy made wooden box.

Will has his own blog set up and running here

We use sixteen sheets of a five ply ockume veneer 6mm thick marine ply on each kit we cut, we can ship country wide if you can not collect. I think the lead bulb mould sections can be a part of the standard kit and will cost you no more.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

An early British Seagull engine

I used to own one of these but swopped it for a rubber duck in Rio as we had the engine but no dinghy!

They were made from around 1956 to 1967 ? small in size and named the Forty giving out 2 to 3 hp.

This one has been really well restored and suits the boat its on.

The engine number says its about a 1960/61 model?
Named the Forty series and the Plus model.

Very similar to my Forty Plus Mk2, just older. Mine has Wipac Mk2 electrics and was made in February 1974.

What nice engineering!

HP* 2-3
Model Forty Plus/55/60
Vessel Type/ Size The ideal engine for 10-14 foot dinghies, rowing boats and as stand by power for smaller sail boats. Can be seen on larger craft too, up to 18ft!
*HP represent the manufacturers HP model number. Since British Seagulls are rated in foot pounds the actual horse power rating may not be entirely accurate to the numbers listed. (33 foot pounds = 1 HP) Sealed box British Seagulls can be recognised by an extra screw in the gear box casing just above the top gearbox cap screw. This screw secures the bearing assembly. Note! The Hp ratings are very approximate! 

The OCC seasons greatings card

The Ocean Cruising Club has members world wide but no actual club house, why not join up and be a new member for 2013!


OCC Harbour Master for  the Hout Bay area.

A regular blog viewer has spotted something.

By the way, take a close look at that pic, specifically the set of the sails vs the burgee on top of the mast!!



A comment just in from a fellow cruiser and now back in the UK.

Hi Justin,

I had the twistle fitting mad up before we left CT but it was a while before we tried it out. When we at last met the trades we first had too much wind, 50-knots for almost a week and at times we were flying along a over 9-knots on a 37 ft boat with no sails at all up, I was never sure it the speed was due to going downhill on the huge swells or the wind but most likely both. Anyway when we did get a lighter wind we got it rigged with two working jibs. The nice thing is that the fitting is allowed to float free, held in place by and uphaul and downhaul and the sheet from each pole and it worked quite well with the main lowered or sheeted in while fully reefed to try to damp the rolling.

I would have used it more but Dion my son and fore-deck hand didn't like it at all so we probably only used it for a couple of hundred miles. The interesting thing was that it sort of looked after itself even when you wandered off course where you would normally be jibing.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Tara, a traditional boat on the Hout Bay Marina

Tara was for many years a regular attender of the TBA regattas, the first one she sailed over from Gordons Bay to do the V&A Waterfront Easter Regatta.

I think Tara may be a Hollman and Pye design, can anyone confirm?

Long and elegant, yawl  rigged an unusual boat for today. Certainally a very wet boat when the wind and waves get up!

Later sold to a dentist who changed the name to Squire, then resold and is now renamed Tara, which I think is a better name.

I am told that the owner would like to keep Tara at the HBYC marina, I hope he can.

Note the tiny British Seagull outboard, I need the engine number to check what model and date its from.


Bryana, a design by Dix Design

I first got to know Luke when he had taken delivery of his steel hull and deck from Piet Boer, Luke then needed plys and other boat building materials to finish his boat off with. We were regular suppliers to Piet back then, Luke was then an extension of that supply.

Luke Fisher on the HBYC marina yesteday, he and his family will start the Govenors Cup Race to St Helena Island on saturday next.

Notes from the race entry book.

Our dream has taken us many years, as Luke, Monica, Todd and Amy embark on our adventure of a lifetime. Luke started the whole dream – wanting to build a boat and go sailing. So in October 2003, Luke and Monica went to get plans from Dudley Dix, a boat designer in Hout Bay, Cape Town. The boat would be 38 foot, Pilot House, made of steel. In November 2003, the building of the hull and deck commenced, in Standerton, By a company called Piet Boer Construction. In March 2005, the boat arrived at our house in Constantia KLoof, where Luke and his helper worked on the interior and exterior of the boat. In January 2008, it left our house and was taken to the Vaal Dam, Manten Marina. We have sailed 850nm on the dam. Our Next part of the journey will be taking place on the 12/04/2012, when we take our boat to Simon’s Town, Cape Town, False Bay Yacht Club, where we will be doing our sea trials, further qualifications and basically getting ready to leave on the 22/12/2012 on a race called the Governor’s Cup to St Helena.

Bryana, a steel Dudley Dix design fitted out with materials supplied by CKD boats cc of Cape Town.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Cape Henry 21 miniture boat kit

This was a project started while we prepared Freds real sized Cape Henry 21 full sized kit.

Fred had purchased his plans from  and asked boat designer Dudley Dix for permission to build a miniture boat as a test bed for the full sized boat.

With permission granted Fred started his miniture build and gave himself some more time by also placing his order on the steel drop keel and 316 stainless steel package from us.

The result looks great and Fred is now ready to build the full sized boat and knows just how to assemble it now!

How clever was that!

Cape Henry 21 miniture kits will be available from mid January 2013 to special order, cut in 3mm light weight Superform plywood they will be a joy to build. All panels and bulkheads will be cut just like the real thing.