Saturday, 26 January 2013

BMW marine gear box by ZF

This one does not exist, so said the ZF factory in 2005, November 10th, when I emailed to tell them I had a used gear box off the D50 BMW/Hatz marine diesel. Model number ZF BW7 Ratio 2.05:1 reversing transmission.

The reply was:

Dear Mr McBride.

I'm sorry to inform you that I don't have this unit listed in the ZF production, neither historically:
ZF never produced this. I can't help you since also my older collegue doesn't remember the brand that was building it.

Best regards.

(how odd?) 

Cleaned and before repainting.

I was trying to get the drawings or service manual, you can imagine my shock to get such a reply!

Ready for a coat of twin pack etch primer, then top coats.

Made in Spain? ZF obviously did make this marine gearbox!

Note the stainless pipe on the left hand side, another projects on the other side and is the sea water raw water cooling for the box. The pipe goes straight through, I think just the cooler water is enough to cool the output shaft bearing down?

This was rebuilt by the BMW agents Prokura here in Cape Town, new bearings right through, its done about 200 hours only since. 

Click on the file, it will enlarge, printed its also readable.

The sellers info is below, the ZF BW-7 reversing marine transmission is still for sale, one day left only and ex USA, from V12 Engineering.

ZF BW7 Ratio 2.05:1 reversing transmission
Shipping weight : 40 lbs. Dim: 17" X 14" X 11"

This transmission was fitted to the BMW D50-1 engine. BMW also used Hurth transmissions. A similiar model ZF BW7 was also fitted to the D50-2.

We understand that Westerbeke also sold some of their engines with this transmission.

In that, parts for these ZF transmissions are very difficult to find. It is best to have a spare.

We purchased this transmission very well. It is very rough on the outside because of poor storage over the years. The ratio on this unit is 2.05:1 in forward. The engine we purchased this transmission with was in similiar condition but also new and never having been installed in a boat

There are more drawings in the Ebay link.

Etch primed then silver gloss top coat.

So it seems the spare one I have in stock is real and ZF did make it!

A full PDF file of the workshop manual can be found here

Does anyone know what direction forward is with this box, does the gear control push forwards to engage forward, if so its in reverse right now?

29 / 01 / 2013 this has just come in from a vendor on Ebay USA.


Good to hear from you. Our young lady, Rhia Schaerig, got to surfing and we found your blog.

Interesting that ZF did not admit to making the transmission. Of course, I think it was made in Spain so that could be the reason.

Roy, are you in the buying mood?

Best regards,

Rich Langtry
V12 Engineering
Tel: + 807-543-3003
- v12engineering


Friday, 25 January 2013

Bonding your keel to the boat

This is one of those jobs you want to do once and do it right!

Picture taken with  Sony 3mp, Cybershot digital camera.

This was the keel manufacture and about 14 to 15 years back, Jeremy,Mike and Alfred are the men in the picture. Those top holes were so that internal welds could be done, Jeremy was the welder, later the 15mm thick steel plates removed for access were welded back in.

With the boat still upside down and with the keel stub fitted and completely flat, place a hardboard template on the keel stub and screw it in place. In this case the position of the 14 keel bolts given on the keel drawing from Dix Design  had already been set out, using white faced 3mm hardboard is a good plan.

Crane day, thats Doreen McBride standing there, all pictures except the first one are by Rob McBride.

The keel bolt holes can now be drilled, use a smaller drill bit as the pilot hole, you will need to have the shank of suitble drill bits extended, if its a twist bit your using lay the drill bit and the extention steel part in a steel channel, welding in the V ensures the two parts will be straight.

The keel, six tons of it, an application of 816 epoxy and graded teak flour is the sealant.

Dix Design will probably give you two options for fastening the steel keel to a wood/epoxy hull construction, do you want the keel to be removable, or fixed. The method in the pictures chose the fixed option. With that option you drill the keel bolt holes 3mm larger than the keel bolt studs that will be welded into position by the keel box manufacturer, he will require that template you made, just double check its laid on the keel box plate the right way up!

Ian was standing by to assist if required, the following day he helped me back fill the 14 x 20mm threaded rod 316 keel bolts, plus the 4 stainless steel acess pipes to the diesel tank space above the lead that had been hot poured into the keel.

The idea with the fixed keel is that when the boat has been loaded onto the steel keel box, the extra holes around the threaded 316 steel studs is then back filled with liquid epoxy. In this case the top of the steel keel was further bonded with a 5ltr mix of 816 epoxy and graded teak wood flour, that was to bond the top surface to the boats keel stub.

A special day, this is about 38 months into the project, the boat was finished internally at the then new HBYC boat yard in Hout Bay harbour. This very moment was probably more exciting than the boats launch the following day, check the small face on the otherside of the boat, would all those studs and pipes fit was on the mind right then.

What a great moment!

The next day was antifouls, the return of the crane and the lift to the road trailer for a short move to the harbour wall a few hundred meters away.

The lines of the boat at last make sense, she sails as she looks, fast and comfortable, the first Dix 43 in wood/epoxy ever built.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Epoxy rules, Ok?

A mail came in today from a past customer:

Hi Roy,

A couple or 3 years ago, I purchased from you whilst still in Paarden Eiland, two part epoxy (Resolution 816 with 205 curing agent). This afternoon, I
used it again as a penetrating epoxy covering for my new plywood washboards.

I measured out (with scales) 100g of epoxy and 65g of curing agent as per the attached instructions, into a glass container. After about 10mins or so,

I noticed that the glass bottle was getting warm - I considered this to be part of the curing process. But, after about 15 - 18mins, smoke started to
drift out of the glass bottle and the glass was too hot to touch directly with bare hands. After a few more minutes, the whole contents of the glass
bottle was virtually cured. The mixed epoxy that I applied to one washboard is still quite wet after about 30/40mins or so - I noted that the normal
curing time as stated on the instructions was about 3 hours.
So, has the epoxy reached a "sell-by" date that I am not aware of, or,
is this high heat produced in the mixing bottle after such a relatively short time part of the normal process for a mix? - as I'm sure that this has
not happened when I used it previously.

Your prompt response shall be appreciated,


Hello Alan,.

That is good news, it means nothings gone off!

Today I also got caught short a little, the same issue and I was in the
garage but at 30c we see things go faster, as the mix first warms up
it then heats itself and accelerates. When the air temprature is over about 27c use small mixes and
spread it out in a painters tray, out of the sun and it will be ok.

I have new stocks if you require?



Alans reply:

Thanks Roy,

Will using slightly less curing agent assist in a bit of longevity due to the heat (also in my garage with doors open)?

I emailed back right away and told Alan that epoxy does not work like a polyester resin and the mix ratios must remain as writen on the lable as a full cure depends on this.


Warning, it would be quite possible to cause a fire with too much epoxy mixed and left
to pre heat, always use it in a contolled manner and always be there when you do, once applied thinly it will be quite safe .

More info on the use of 816 epoxy can be found in the link.

Note the use of recycled milk containers! We also pack in new one and two litre packs when we are shipping, this all saves costs and the lower price is passed on to our customers.

We sell our own brands,its an issue of us buying bulk and using what we know about ourselves,it was Dudley Dix,when building his Didi 38 design for himself,that introduced me to an epoxy brand he had tested prior to building his boat.


Shell Chemicals made an epoxy called Epikure 816,this is the base for many re branded systems you will find world wide,we have left it just as Epoxy 816 for simplicity and when Shell Chemicals sold out to Resolution,we renamed it as Resolution 816 epoxy.The epoxy is no use without a hardener,we supply and use 205 cure agent, mixed in a ratio of 100 grams of epoxy to 65 grams of cure agent.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How to repair a 316 stainless steel engine wet exhaust trap

This has been a project waiting for a start, the custom made 316 exhaust trap had a weld problem from the day it was first used, a small pin hole leak which was welded closed.

That was on the lower plate and that circular plate has weeped a little ever since.

Recently I have noticed clean sea water in a boats bilge after its Perkins 4108 diesel engine has been run, this was probably from the water trap, removal and an inspection followed by an epoxy repair was the only way to fix this.

Note, a carbon monoxide alarm is just above the exhaust box, it has never even chirped, then again I note no smell of exhaust fumes at all, tested the alarm indicates its working.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Some serious degrade of so called stainless steel has taken place here. The cost to have a new one made will be large, watch how its repaired using our epoxies.

After cleaning the parts were bead blasted clean, the damage soon became a lot clearer then.

check the loss of metal!

Nice and clean but see that small hole on the right.

I used JB Weld epoxy to fill most holes but 816 epoxy and micro balloons would also work.

Nice and clean, I used the bottom of a plastic container to hold an epoxy mix with some biaxial glass gloss around the bottom, when the epoxy was cured the pink plastic was cut away.

The stainless tube was glassed with biaxial and epoxy 3/4s of the way up the tube, we now have a composite exhaust box, the insides of the elbows were also given a clean coat of epoxy to save the metal for another decade or more.

Refitted, the engine was then run until it was nice and warm, then when switched off, the stainless hose clams were re tightened just to be sure there are no leaks.

This is a simple repair, its really low cost but does take time while the epoxy cures, the coatings have now been painted with International Paints Intergard epoxy primer and Interthane 990 top coat paints.


A new discovery, the lost HBYC club house is found

We drive past the old HBYC premises site and never give it a second thought?
There were those who wanted to stay there too, would the move to the inside of the harbour be the right thing to do was the question?

Hout Bay, South Africa.

All pictures by R McBride, click on them to enlarge and see more detail.

I am standing about seven meters up in the air for this shot, having climbed a massive sand dune that now stands center on the beach access car park and outside the old HBYC club house.

 Eleven years  later and the answer is there for us all to see, excepting from some places you may be viewing from there is nothing to see anymore.

The clubs race control and view room, named the crows nest is now the only part of the old HBYC building visible from the sea these days, looks more like a WW2 gun emplacement, this whole area was once wide open space and room to park campers, trailers and beach catamarans.

Gone is the view from the clubs ground floor restaurant, we used to take a window table and look out past the clubs low boundary wall. The other side of which was a hard surface parking area, then the beach and down to the sea, now you can see nothing but sand.

The beach used to be clear and free of sand dunes 20 years back.

Our 1967 Singer Chamois and parked in front of the sand dune in the once large and attractive car park, there is a double story building on the other side!

The dunes are now as high or higher than the old club house.

Val and Annes ground floor office is full of sand, so is that view deck on the slab above where we raised the new South African flag. The stairs to the bar on the first floor are filled in with sand and the area on the first floor where the bar used to be has sand nearly to the roof! thats three meters high?

Sand invasion, those windows low down were for the main office.

Val and Annes front office.

What was the center point of the club and a long bar lies under this mound of sand.

The stairs from the ground floor to the first floor have vanished, so have all fittings and glazing.

The main lounge area, bucket and spade anyone?

Our sea view was through these spaces, the whole upstairs front of the club was glazed and we had the best sea views in the village.

The front entrance to the old HBYC club house.

Hout Bays view that never was, check my small Singer Chamois to the right, that gives scale to the sand dunes size.

Spot the old HBYC club house? no I can not see it either,  click on the picture for a larger view.

What a good move we made to the new club house in the harbour, what bad planing by those who wanted to re instate the sand dunes, we were advised they would only grow a meter high?


Monday, 21 January 2013

Teak cockpit table set

This was a regular item of production, seems we do not eat out in the cockpit any longer as we have made none for a while now.

Then a mail comes in from George, I have no idea where he is?

Hello Roy, I was admiring the cockpit table on your site. Do you construct these for customers? If so, I am curious to know what you would charge to make one for me. I have an Ericson 38 sailboat so, a 28 x 28 inch table would be in order. Thanks, George

That size is none standard, normaly we size them around 610mm x 610mm, so that makes the table 610mm long x 305mm when folded.

Price wise we are at R3500 per set right now, the support frame and hinge set to the pedestal is not included.

News on the JoLon Imp progress

Thats work in progress making the Hillman Imp fit and ready to attempt the drive across Africa to Great Britain.

Terence Tracey is on the left, it is he who is leading this idea.

Jolon read the full story here

JoLon Imp 2013 is within spitting distance of commencing its arduous 12, 000 kilometre rhino saving and blindness banishing journey.
Yep it’s official. On Sunday 17th of March 2013 Terence Tracey and his new travel partner Geoff Biermann will lead a convoy of various classic cars and bikes past Pretoria on their way to their first night destination, Francistown in Botswana. The convoy is an informal arrangement where supporters of this voyage JoLon Imp 2013 are invited to tag along for the first 50 or so kilos to give Terence and Geoff a jolly good send off.

The Imp is presently being wired for success by my friend and fellow historic racer Frank Copping of MOBILECTRIC. So in a few days i expect we will be able to fire up the engine and start giving the little Imp its first real road tests.

What still remains to be completed is the installation of the alu skid plates fore and aft to help us cope with the inevitable rough terrain of Africa, especially in Northern Kenya where the advice from Kenya is to attempt the road past Moyale into Ethiopia only if you have the very best off road 4×4 that money can buy! Well ours is not quite a 4×4 so may the Gods be good to us!

Geoff Biermann recently joined the expedition since my original co-pilot was not able to commit. Geoff will be a welcome travel companion having lived if a few African states throughout his life and is the owner of a car service & maintenance operation.

On Monday Jan 14th a fundraising dinner & auction was organised at Scrooge Diner to generate some necessary funding for the trip. A generous outpouring of gifts resulted in Terence being presented with a massive array of varied items to sell off during the evening. Items such as professional racing goggles kit, pit shirts of various teams from South Africa to Europe including a Schumacher signed shirt, massive bottles of wine, limited edition bottles of whisky and various other items from very supportive friends. Not least was a wonderful painting by the famous artist Gary Seitz who created a painting depicting the journey from Johannesburg to London by this tiny British car.
Apart from the fact that the funds generated on the even will be enough to cover our fuel bill form Johannesburg to London the event was a particularly special occasion and with the car in centre stage in the actual restaurant adorned with the auction items it set the scene for a great kick start to our final preparations.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Remembering the HBYC

Looking for some old pictures of the original HBYC I found a gem of a picture!

This was a small and very safe spot right inside the harbour, it was a tidal beach and well used by the local community, plus the HBYC from time to time. The powers that be decided to dump rubble from a landslide on Chapmans Peak Drive right over the beach. its now a car park with a dirt top surface.

More bad planing?


The HBYC beach sailing club

Hout Bay was the perfect spot to sail a dinghy or beach catamaran off, access from the road was simple and parking was right there too.

From the HBYC blog, an only picture, I will post more.

History of the Hout Bay Yacht Club

The Hout Bay Yacht Club was founded in 1978 as a keelboat club. By most club standards we are still in an embryo stage. The battle to get started was not an easy one.
Primarily, Hout Bay is a fishing harbour and it was then a challenge to get sufficient permissions from the relevant authorities. In those days the only mooring facilities offered were 15 trot-moorings - off the beach - but when the wind howled down the Bay, yachts moored on the lee shore had a nasty habit of bumping into Mother Africa.

The beach-sailing section for cats and dinghies formed the core of the club and kept the club alive - until ultimately in 1984 HBYC were allowed to develop a splendid Marina with 114 walk-on moorings in the Hout Bay Harbour itself. This provided much needed sheltered mooring facilities for keelboats. The rest is history, and as a true yacht club - membership increased dramatically.

The Marina was extended in 1989/90 and can now accommodate yachts up to 15,5m (54 ft) in length. A small clubhouse was built in 1978 with extensions built in 1986 to accommodate the growing membership. To move closer to the harbour area & our marina had long been our goal and after 10 years protracted negotiations with the relevant authorities, we secured a long-term lease with permission to build a clubhouse on our boatyard site. With the opening of our new club house in Feb 2002, we bid a sad farewell to our old clubhouse which had seen so many changes throughout the past 23 years. From our new premises our members enjoy splendid views of the bay and of the marina which is only a short walk down the pier.

HBYC, finding our old yacht club building

Its not been that many years ( Feb 2002) since we sold and vactated the old HBYC club house on the beach in Hout Bay, the province bought it at a knock down valuation, which they did, there were two valuations, one was miles higher than the other, we were paid the lower amount of course.

I remember being one of the members on the upper and side stoep one early morning, Walter was there and so was Alan, who as the then commodore raised the new national flag for South Africa, how many years ago was that? nineteen years I think. Yes, I do have a picture of the event, where is it!

A 1967 Singer Chamois, we owned the car when the new flag was raised.

The beach front car park and looking at the HBYC club house front entrance!

The club house has today just vanished, disapeared, where the heck did it go? no, it was not demolished, the sand took it.

There will be pictorial evidence of the folly of listening to so called experts about the reintroduction of sand dunes on our beach line, when Google allows me to up load them that is.

Just to proove that the old HBYC club house still exists, here it is from the rear or road side.

This is,well was a very nice brick paved service road that ran behind the clubs car park and to the main car park outside the clubs fenced in grounds.

The property as it is today, wasted and inaccesable, why such waste of a valuable property? of course the same constant moving sand has wrecked the resale value of any home close by, we are talking about the width of the beach road, as private properties start on the other side of that road.

Later, I think the way to move the sand is to put it back where it came from, the sea, we need some tallented
possibly Dutch marine civil engineers, much as was done from Rietvlie to Cape Town Harbour some years back.

They need a pipe line into the sea, then with a sea water slurry pump, the sand is pumped out into the bay, this will take money but will do the job, the cost is worth the time and money, do we have an engineer out there? This could be a great use of Lotto money, the project could be permanent and provide labour in the area.