Friday, 16 August 2013

Hout Bays weather today

Not only today but the last week, this picture was taken yesterday and with lots of NW wind and rain in the air, it stops, it dries it rains and we all get wet once more.

Inside and looking out, we are looking towards the back of Table Mountain and Cape Town, click on the picture for better detail. The camera was the Canon G11 and set to auto.,or.r_qf.&fp=a2c9040fb7cb7e06&q=weather+cape+town

We are about to get three days with the posibility of rain and wind to 51kms per hour, about 32mph?


News flash, wind speeds are now expected to be higher!

Plus the rain was so heavy last night that the beach road in Camps Bay was flooded, some cars look to me a meter deep in water?

Top British engineering gets to the last 30 cars of CCOTY

This is a bit of an eye opener, now and after fifty years of the Hillman Imp, the car is chosen out of many others to be in the last thirty cars, a final five will now be chosen to make the entry at the NEC in Birmingham, England.

CCOTY stands for Classic Car of The Year

The link above shows us some of the cars in the 2013 line up.

The JoLon Imp and after a 14,000 km drive from Johannesburg to Coventry.

Left to right, Richard, Terence, Geoff, Graham (club chairman)

Signed and numbered pictures by artist David Shepherd were presented at the breakfast meeting on the last day of the Imp Club event in Coventry .

From Terence Tracey, the guy behind the JoLon Imp

Guess what Geoff, Roy, Roger, Geoff, Graham, Alan et al? We’ve done it!

The Imp has been selected as one of Britain’s Classic Car of the Year finalists for 2013!s

A huge thanks to Roy and Roger for helping Geoff and i to get the car to Coventry and a big thanks to Alan and Graham whose helped us to get the car into the competition in the first place.

Now let’s pull out all the stops to get selected as the NUMBER 1 classic of the year and show the World what a great little car the Imp actually is!

I can’t sleep tonight with the excitement!! So i better just go to the garage and build one of my other Imp engines!


Subject: Congratulations You have made the TOP 30 for Classic Car of the Year!

Dear Entrant,

I am pleased to be able to email you to let you know you have been chosen by our panel of experts to appear in the TOP 30 cars for the Classic Car of the Year competition.

What does this mean for you? Your car will be uploaded to on the 21st August on which day Voting opens so tell you friends, family, neighbours and clubs to visit the site and get voting for your car to appear in the TOP 5 at the NEC Birmingham on the 14-17th November 2013.

Our PR lady Andrea may contact you for some details about your car/story if you have any reservations about this please let me know by calling the number below.

Please can I take this opportunity to remind you of the competition rules:

It is a condition of entry that your car needs to be available to go on display at the NEC Classic Car show 15th -17th November 2013 at your own expense. Cars need to be on display before 5pm on 14th November and removed after 6.30pm on the 17th November. Each finalist will be provided with 2 tickets to the show, 15th, 16th & 17th November and overnight accommodation, on bed and breakfast basis, for 14th, 15th & 16th November 2013.
For full terms and conditions please visit

If you have any further questions or concerns please call me.

Finally congratulations on getting this far in the competition.

Kind Regards

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hillman Imp export car

In this case the Scottish built 1966 Singer Chamois Sport (Hillman Imp) was re exported and back to Scotland but after a lot of work had gone into the car to make it into a Hill Climb and Sprint car.

Arrival in Scotland and in the cars own 20ft container, shipping is handled here by our regular forwarders.

Out of the container and at the port in Scotland where the offloading took place.

Now in the owners garage.

The blue and white Imp was prepared here in the greater Cape Town area, then shipped by sea back to Scotland. We have one late model 1972/3 Hillman Imp shell we can either do the same to or turn into an near new road car.

We can build and badge it as a Hillman Imp, Singer Chamois or Sunbeam Sport, with an engine to suit either model.

The Singer Sport shell on its side was taken apart, painted and then rebuilt, mainly with new parts and in the case of the front brakes we fitted discs. The Singer is our own car which we have owned for around twenty years, with some forty nine years of knowing Imps the experience helps.

No its not cheap but how else can one rebuild a car to this standard when the hours are not put in. Even so local labour is still far less than some countries.

The jig to turn the car over on was made specially to take the Imp, the car was refitted in various stages and angles like this, what a pleasure!


Monday, 12 August 2013

PV Solar Panels for Africa

Yes and what an array!

This is one of a number of electrical solar panel farms being built in South Africa and Namibia, the deal is that a commercial offer is made to the local government, to buy in the power as its generated. I assume the cost is borne by the contractor?

This site is near Kimberly.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

I think this is a 50 megawatt installation, its the way to go and its a win win situation for all concerned.

News from a prospective boat kit client is below.

We are currently busy with 2 X 50.2 Mega Watt sites up here (1 square
kilometer)  2 X 10 Mega Watt sites along the West Coast plus 2 more near Uppington.

How nice is that.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

The compass deviation card, 24th June 1981

The subject came up on our local marina yesterday, a skipper preparing his yacht to go offshore asked what they looked like and how to make one?  The guy had an idea he could make one up while still on his marina berth, I suggested he could not and needed to be out in the bay so as to swing the compass and in a 360 turn.

I have this old card, dated back 32 years ago, done by Captain Robert (bob) Deacon and a past friend of mine, Bob would take you and your boat out early morning from the RCYC in Cape Town, even while going down the Duncan Dock, Bob  was taking bearings and making notes.

Click on the image for a larger view.

A quick trip into the bay, turn around and head back to moorings and it was all done. Of course Bob never told you what his marks were but for sure some tall buildings and spires must have been some of them. By the time we were tied up Bob had filled in the standard deviation card and for the charge of R65 as the service fee would hand you your card, thanks Bob!

I have suggested the skipper needs to make his own card, then take his boat into the bay, Hout Bay is a bit tight, so rather Chapmans Bay further outside, then as we now have GPS and using his handheld GPS he can swing his compass and make notes the the compass card against the GPS heading.

How easy is that!


Tilley Lamp glass cover wanted.

The famous paraffin burner the Tilley Lamp, you would be amazed at the candle power output they can give out.

I sourced this model type X.246. Tilley Lamp new and in its box in England, I was able to bring it in as inspected hand luggage as it had never had paraffin in it.

Check the cracks, the glass is a Pyrex type and still holds itself together but for how long?
The part number from Tilley is # 171 does anyone have one, two would be better!

I have used it in the winter to light up braai's and that kind of thing, those nights when Eskom switch the power off are turned into daylight with this lamp.

They are easy to work with and lighting them is quite straight forward, at some stage the delicate white mantle was holed, this allowed a flame to escape and fracture the glass cover.

So I need a new one!


Note, this has been unused for a while but even so the lamp lit at the first attempt. There was a low hand pump pressure, this was fixed by removal of the pump piston, apply a coat of clean paraffin to the leather washer, open the washer out some, then replace the piston.

The control knob just visible on the lower left of the picture started to leak paraffin, I used a pair of pliers and gave the knurled cover a small turn, the leak stopped right away.

I have a brand new Coleman paraffin lamp glass cover to swop?

Hout Bays yacht club summer for a day brings a pot luck fest!

I say summer, well that was yesterday and we now have five days with rain predicted, some places inland last night saw temperatures drop to minus seven degrees!

Anna did a cook up of some black mussels, if you walked past you were invited to try them.

As you can see, it was just like summer in Hout Bay yesterday but today we have the start of a week of rain and the clouds have filled in that nice blue sky of yesterday.