Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Bob Kelsey years:

As the Hillman Imp has now passed its 50th birthday its well worth remembering just how good these cars were and still are.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Bob Kelsey tries the Zulu Warrior Imp for size

When Terence Tracey held a garden party for Bob Kelsey a lot of Impers turned up to greet Bob, he was the man who took the circuits of South Africa in his 998cc Hillman Imp back in 1966.

Thanks for this Terence.

Yes that's Bob showing a Mini and a Renault the way to the winners flag.

Records are still being broken even in 2013, first the JoLon Imp drove 14,000 kms from JoBurg to Coventry, then an Australian guy named David Pilbeam, drove the 14,500 kms across Russia to Finland and then England, Ireland and on to Scotland, on his own!


Friday, 30 August 2013

Weight saving core materials

We are now well used to panels made with a lightweight core, balsa comes to mind, so does Nidacore, both are great products but the cost can be rather on the high side.

I told the story today of a customer who was finishing a Dean 44 catamaran, he was certain weight saving was worth the cost and asked me about what we could offer?

I suggested either Superform bending plywood or Deluxe Light ply and gave him the technical data so that he could do his own calculations.

Superform bending plywood is designed for bending but it also makes a fine flat panel when veneered.

He came back the next week with a spread sheet that made for interesting reading.

The Nidacore would save him all of 34 kilograms but at a cost then of R78,000 ( U$7800 ) he chose the Superform plywood and used that as the door and panel skins to his boats joinery.

How easy a choice was that!

We are now looking to re introduce the Deluxe Light Ply and possibly with mahogany face upgrades, with the demise of okoume marine plys due to a scarce supply of okoume veneers and its rising price, the Deluxe Light Ply should fill some of the gaps we now see in choice.



Thursday, 29 August 2013

Primus and Optimus stove spares in South Africa

Funny, I had some genuine burners from my dads camping days and gave them away to a cruising boat a few years back, now we have the Taylor 030L stove to service I need those spares!

As it turned out spares are available but from  places like the UK, with postal charges and a very poor exchange rate I baulked at placing the order.

The stove will be fitted with new burner parts as supplied by Chris who actually owns this rather nice Taylors 030L stove, the largest of their range and made to order and with a six week waiting period too. This one is only ten years old, I think the oven has never been lit, with about seven years of probable service so far, the stove is in fine condition.

Made in Portugal but the original thing, this is the so called 'Silent' burner.
The brand name is Patria but were supplied as genuine parts on many paraffin stoves.

 This burner is used and it looked quite different when it arrived!
Fitted with a new jet and needle for jet cleaning, once it was  bead blasted it looked new again.

We also now have some paraffin pressure lamp parts, suitable for a 350CP (candle power) lamp and as made by Petromax,  Britelyt, Hipolite, we have the #68 cleaning needle and Pump valve and washer.

Who wants them?


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How to make Kye, is it a traditional Liverpool drink?

This came in today and reminds me when I used to ask my mother for a Connie Onnie buttie, which is bread and butter and a condensed milk filling!


From: "margaret greer" <> 
Subject: [ENG-LIV] Connie- onnie sandwiches 
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 22:39:59 +0100

Or known in Liverpool as connie-onnie butties. Condensed milk, used during WW2. Fresh milk was scarce unless you owned a cow. Many people spread it on bread to make a sandwich, it tasted very nice and we kids used it as a substitute for sweets. My mother-in-law apparently ate it all the time whilst she was pregnant and my husband weighed 11lbs.

I also remember special margarine which was disgusting and dried eggs. Everything was rationed. My grandchildren don't believe me when I tell them what we DIDN'T have.

MargaretGet more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download :

Below is a recipe from Chris, a merchant seaman, it sort of fits in with the connie onnie buttie!
Instead of drinking beer how about brewing up some traditional 'kye' during cold winter days.

1. Break a small bar of plain dark chocolate into pieces ( or use Bournville powdered cocoa ).

2. Place pieces in a saucepan with one mug of hot water.

3. Heat up until the chocolate has melted.

4. Add one tin of condensed milk.

5. Bring to the boil and serve in mugs.

6. Add sugar to taste.

I came across kye when sailing with Safmarine. Our usual port of call was Southampton. However the dockers were full of crap so the line decided to discharge in Liverpool instead. I was a cadet and when the pilot came on board he wanted kye instead of tea or coffee. Fortunately the radio officer was a 'Scouser' so he knew the recipe.



(Durban, South Africa)

The North West passage is not melting

Blog readers, check this out!

Hi Roy,

You may be interested in this from Ian Allen, with some stuff from DD on the North West Passage and Ice, it seems to put paid to the global warming theory being caused by us?


Notty in Hout Bay about two years back instructing his grandson on the art of steering by compass. We had an ice free day too!
NW Passage not melting

I read this very interesting article sent to me by yacht designing mate Dudley Dix and then perused some of the gorgeously eccentric little boats busy trying to find a way round. I shall spend more time on that particular site tomorrow, since it is pretty extensive but full of interesting goodies. Scott Cowper is still at it I see. I met him in 1984 in the Caribbean and he seemed such a nice, quiet and unassuming bloke going around the world in a lifeboat with a Gardner diesel in it. This is all very different. We also had a Kiwi bloke stay with us who had sailed to the Arctic and previously also Antarctica on a steel British yacht and written a book about it called 'Poles apart in Northanger' - a wonderful title.

  But this just shows you that the most assertive and gloomy recent predictions by guys like Paul Beckwith of The Sierra Club in Canada couldn't possibly have been more wrong. Our efforts to get nature sussed often seem so futile and she does what she does whilst flashing us the finger at times.




Ian and Paula Allen
The Gables
Web Site
Tel / Fax 64 3 5736772


Hi Ian,

You may have seen this already, it is last week's news. A story to confuse the scientists once again. The NW Passage is not thawing the way that it has been forecast to do, so boats may be trapped in the NW Passage this year. Look at the crazy list of boats that are attempting the passage or intended to but have cancelled. Includes two rowing boats and a double kayak. And my surfer pals think that I am crazy to sail across the Atlantic? Slowest ice melt on record (looks like 34 years of records).


The weather gurus forecast this hurricane to be worse than average. Thus far it is way below normal, with no hurricanes and only 6 tropical storms. Our summer has been pretty cool, with only a few days above average and most below average. This morning our lake was steaming, which doesn't normally happen until into autumn.




Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Cape to Rio race boat

I am pleased to advise that after a recommendation  to the owner who may want to buy this fine boat, he has agreed and the boat is now sold!


Well it can be if you buy it! (too late)

Built from one of our boat kits, this Didi 34 is known for her performance and moves well, she would be happy in a tactical down wind race like the Cape to Rio.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

This boat is 34 feet long and weighs under four tons, with an empty weight she has a fifty percent ballast ratio, that makes for a comfortable ride.

Contact me for the boats inventory and price.


Monday, 26 August 2013

How to remove a dip stick tube from a Jaguar 3.8 XK engine

This is a subject I could not find anywhere on the web, I suppose its not often that an owner of a circa 1966 Jaguar, maybe the 3.4ltr or 3.8ltr, even the 4.2ltr engine finds that the dip stick will not come out of its tube into the lower side of the block?

Click on any picture for a larger image, which shows a Jaguar dip stick in one piece and also in two pieces and with the tube that fits to the side of the engine block. The cross bar it a pipe flaring tube.

In the case of the engine I was working on, the dip stick broke off about four years back when it became stuck, how to remove the tube it fits into was the question. Since then I just changed the oil every so often, the engine uses very little oil, so this was not an issue.

With the rear exhaust manifold in the way there is virtually no space to work in and while vice grips may do the job, they will be too large to fit in the space where the tube fits. I instead used a copper pipe flaring tool, the thought that I may squash the tube came to mind but its very thick walled and that was not an issue. I found I could move the tube from side to side, then as I did that and pulled on the tool, the pipe finally came out and with it the lower end of the dip stick!

The tube is made from two parts, the top cone being brazed onto the actual tube.

Why the dip stick tube was bent is a question for another day, the thing was could I remove it?

The tube is hand made and has been machined down to fit the block.

When straightened in a vice I found the spare dip stick would still not quite slide through the tube, using a 7mm drill bit and electric power drill sorted that problem out.

How hard was that!



Sunday, 25 August 2013

Looking for David (dave) Hassell

I did eventually find Dave, alive and well living in the Chester UK area, he was on Facebook.

Dave was a great friend of mine, some years after I emigrated to South Africa he followed me.
At that time Dave lived with his parents and brother at Speke, Liverpool and not that far from the Ford car plant where they used to make the Ford Anglia.

We both went to the Liverpool College of  Building and managed to pass the exam for Carpentry and Joinery with a distinction in the last year, that will have been around 1967?

Dave liked motor bikes as much as cars,he had a Yamaha 250 before the Triumph 500, then moved on to the Triumph 650 Bonniville, what a performer!

Click on the picture for a larger view.

Photo taken in Maghull, Merseyside by Robert Henry McBride.

The letter B on the registration plate tells me this was a 1964 bike, Dave bought his bikes new, he will have been about 18 back then. The whisky bottle was a bit of an odd one, Dave never drank the stuff as I can remember?

Dave later bought an MG 1100, based on the Morris or Austin version but with twin carburetors and better trim.  Dave later bought a brand new metalic gold Sunbeam Stiletto 875cc, the company named Kirbys in Maghull sold him the car, that was around the same period I bought one myself in metalic blue. All this was at the time we both worked as apprentice Joiners for Tysons Contractors of 5 Dryden street, Liverpool.

Dave was not as used to cars with rear wheel drive as myself and one dark damp evening managed to leave a high and banked road on the way back from the Pheasant Inn, near Crosby, the car then rolled and Dave was then famous for rolling the very first Sunbeam Stiletto! this was early in 1968.

Dave was a member of the Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland, as CCY (camping club youth) members we traveled far and wide, did Dave re join the club I wonder? The last I heard was he was working a maintainance manager for a company near Liverpool.

Where is Dave now, while in Cape Town he married Sue and English girl with red hair, at that time Dave worked in Cape Town for Murray and Stewart building contractors and as a manager. Sue and Dave lived in a flat above Proctors Garage in Bantry Bay, they had one child at that time.

Later they moved to Liverpool where Sue and Dave produced another child, we lost touch with them after that. I have checked Facebook and found neither of them.

David will be about sixty six now?