Friday, 25 October 2013

1972/73 Hillman Imp on the move and for sale

This is a rare car and is near Cape Town, South Africa.

This Imp? well its a grade 'A' Mk3 series shell and rather rare too, as it was built at Rootes/Chrysler plant named Ryton, which is near Coventry, rather than Linwood up in Scotland, the Imp spares guy has told me its an unusual car, I suppose not many got made in the Ryton plant? 

Bobs mail reads:

I can check out the details of the R3.413 car. Very unusual. We could
then prepare a full Heritage Certificate for you.

The UK registration papers I hold tell me the car was first licenced in England on January 01 1973, so in effect it is a 1972 car. News later came in to say that the car was produced in 1971 and as all Imps were made in Linwood, Scotland, the car cannot have been made at Ryton as first thought?

This can be seen here on the Triplex motor glass, they used to mark the year with an asterix, check just above the second letter and 'R' all you needed to know really was the cars decade of construction and the placement of the asterix would tell you the rest, so in this case 1972.

Yes, this car has the round dial dash and an indicated 90,458 miles on the odometer.

The instrumentation on the later Imps was a lot more modern than those of the early ones.

Four on the floor, plus reverse of course.

The car comes with a transaxle (gear box and differential) but no engine, thats an ex stock item so no bothers on that side.

The car is in a wonderful mess but mainly complete, its mainly rust free and the body is straight, I think this car has never been in an accident?

This is what the interior and dash panel should look like.

While the cars papers show the car to be a Hillman, the car has been badged as a Sunbeam,those cars were exported to the USA, Holland and Australia, was this just badge engineering?

Records show me that the paint is named Loch Blue, code #78.

The underside of the car will also be treated to a full MCU (moisture cure urethane) primer coating as this Singer Sport race car had in 2012.

Work on a rebuild will start as soon as its at the workshop!

The resulting restored car may well look like this. 

 Click on the picture for a better sized view.

Those look to be the American specification bumper over riders and lower bars?
The optional sun roof is still available.

And so is our  front disc brake kit set up! assembled with the help of a producer in England, they
do update the car to a higher standard.

I have these on my 1967 Singer Chamois now, braking is totally different, no fade, no sideways movement
just pure control and the confidence it gives.

The cars rolling shell will arrive next Saturday, after a strip down it will then be inverted on the turning jig so that cleaning and paint work can be done properly on the underside. At the same time the steering rack, brakes, gear shift and hand brake will all be removed for inspection and service.

Saturday 2nd November 2013, the car arrives here this morning, work will start next week, strip the shell, turn it over on our purpose made jig and prepare the underside of the car first.

Will this shell become a road car, we could even make it into another race or sprint car?
We have an engine that would suit competition work,with a brand new set of Hepolite Powermax plus 0.060" pistons fitted to a genuine Singer Chamois Sport engine and the Rootes R17 rally camshaft installed, we could make this car into rally car easily enough too.

The 2015 Africa Safari Rally run by ERA comes to mind, with the 2014 rally entries closed, what about taking an Imp on the next one, the JoLon Imp proved these cars are more than capable for such work.

Now there's a thought!


Its here right now:

For sure one of the very best Hillman Imp body shells to be found anywhere in the world, it is straight and virtually rust free.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Taylors 030 stove for sale

January 30th 2015, its now sold!

I say stove but this is really a Taylors 030 shell and has been cut down to make it lower for a smaller sized yacht.

The removed sections still seem to be with the stove and given the type of construction of these stoves
I think it can be re assembled to its original size. There are no burners with the stove, so ideal for retro fitting with gas burners>

The oven was converted to gas, it worked too but now it has had the burner removed.

Offered as spares or rebuilt and with new burners and pipes, there is no paraffin tank or pressure pump.
The oven burner may be for sale also?

The cost is R2000 and as is, we have spare burners, with the control extension and knob at R750 each, brand new burners and controls are in stock and at R1500 each, plus Vat 14% if your local?

A bargain!and we can send it to you world wide by post, this was prooven yesterday when we posted the larger Taylors 030L and to Ben in Australia, it took a bit of working out but when split to three parcels we could fit inside the weight allowance and all it cost was R1340, thats only U$134!


What is weighted cement?

These questions come in from time to time.

Hello Roy,

Would you be able to tell me what weighted cement is? There is a semi complete Fortuna 37 with “weighted cement” in the keel. The current owner proudly announced this to me, but couldn’t tell me what that means ( and neither can Google).

Any experience/ideas?

Kind regards

The reply and answer follows:

Yes, my first Endurance 37 had the same filling, Caterpiller track pins laid in the keel box and cemented over with a mix of cement thin enough to settle around the pins.  I installed this myself, Barlows gave me the pins for free!
Its not standard cement by the way!
They would normally glass over the top?
The ballast CG rises by about 100% of the lead fill?
They should remove the weights and cemant and fit lead.

Didi 950, a new design from Dudley Dix is released

Didi 950
Radius Chine Plywood Class 950


Didi Class 950
Build yourself a performance boat
~ Economy of plywood

~ Modern radius chine hull with topside chine

~ Stitch & glue cabintop & topside chine

~ Developed from Didi Mini Mk3 concept

~ Strong steel keel with lead ballast bulb

~Twin transom-hung rudders

~ Round bilge from sheet material

~ Amateur or pro builders

~ Very comprehensively detailed drawings

~ High performance racing in a boat that you can build at home

~ Kit suppliers North America & elsewhere

~ New design. Ready for builds to start but some drawings still to complete and will be supplied when ready

Kits are available from now.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

On the beach, a boat rescue in Hout Bay

No this has nothing to do with that Chris Rea mega hit song  On The Beach from about twenty five years back, this is today and just a short while ago.

Gareth, a senior crew and skipper boards Drumbeat 2 as we depart the harbour wall in Hout Bay, why? read on.

Barry the owner of the boat is at the helm, the mission is to pull a local yacht of the beach.

Make the pictures larger by clicking on them.

Here the HBYC club barge, manager, sailing manager and marina staff are trying to run a line down to the boat.

The Station 8 NSRI crew got involved and went ashore to may a line fast to the boat.

More on this drama and as a more detailed report in the morning.

All pictures by Roy McBride using a Canon G11 digital camera.

The owner and only person aboard the boat was fine, he walked back to the harbour, while the NSRI deployed their big boat and got a line to the boat and towed it back to harbour.

Well done to all concerned!


Back up Danforth anchors

There has been a very good feature in Yachting Monthly on anchors, page 74 issue 1286 and July 2013. Some discussion is about older anchors like the CQR and the Bruce but the modern patterns like Rocna seem to be the anchor of choice now?

I tried twice to lift just one of these monsters and gave up.

They also mention the Danforth and show a changed fluke pattern, so a copy?

Talking of copies the Bruce they show is said to be cast iron and not forged steed like the original Bruce.

They also mention a state of the art anchor test also done by Yachting Monthly and back in 2006 which was widely held to be one of the most realistic tests.

I note that tests were done with 11kg anchors while real cruisers will opt for a 25kg anchor? This really changes the game and having  read that a number of times and knowing that while cruising with a genuine Bruce main anchor, plus copy CQR anchor, I never did drag anchor ever.

Like the newer Rocna the Bruce will not lay on its back and sets quickly.

I suspect the design is just part of the plot, the weight is important but so is the back up chain!

These  anchors and chain are back up anchors by the way!

How nice is that.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wooden mast building glues, epoxy or phenolic?

Having made many wooden masts, plus supplied both the wood and glues to others doing the same, I have picked up a few tips along the way but one question comes back more than others.

Why should I not use epoxy to glue my mast together?

Well the decision is yours but first read some of the info in the links below:


This is what the well known wood/epoxy boat designer thinks on the subject.
With regard to which glue to use, many builders have moved over to epoxy because they think that it is the ultimate in glues. That is not the case, however. Epoxy works well most of the time but there are applications that phenolic or resorcinol glues are a better choice. I have a few words about glue selection on my website at . Additional to that info, epoxy can lose its grip on wood that is saturated with water. In contrast, the bond of resorcinol increases if the wood becomes wet. Resorcinol is my choice whenever practical for bonding important items and I prefer to keep epoxy for coatings and items that are not unlikely to become wet.


Dudley Dix
Dudley Dix Yacht Design
1340-1272 N Great Neck Rd #343
Virginia Beach, VA 23454, USA
Tel (757)962-9273  Fax (888)505-6820

We can supply both epoxy and phenolic glues of course.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Why we live in Hout Bay near Cape Town

Simple really, the place is just magical and has scenic views we normally only see in post cards?

This is the view from the Noordhoek, Kommetjie side and towards Hout Bay, thats the back of Cape Towns Table Mountain on the right of the picture.

Click on it and see if they enlarge?

The view towards  Hout Bay and from Noordhoek Beach.

Further South is Cape Point and thats just as nice.

See also this link


New International Paint deck paints for old.

Would the re painting be as good as the original was the question?

After months of waiting for weather windows, I was able to finish the decks and the small area forward of the mooring cleats. Knowing that I would have to wait days, even weeks between starting and finishing, I used masking tape tape made especially for such work.

Its blue and not so cheap at R34 a roll, about U$3.50? made by 3M or Sellotape, its sold locally in 25mm (one inch) wide rolls only. I found I could remove it after many weeks and in the sun and rain.

The white is Internationals standard twin pack 990 Interthane white gloss, the grey is a mix I made myself using white and a very small amount of black, there is a similar  mix in Internationals colour chart, they name it Dawn Grey. You will only find it in 5ltr packs but given the nature of the work Its well worth buying, the base coat will last for a long time, my black is now sixteen years old!

The original paints went down some sixteen years back, with two years in a boat park fitting out, then fourteen years in the sun and weather this paint has worked well. Interthane top coats are known for ease of re application but its important to de grease and wash down prior to application with Teepol Orange (clear) liquid soap before re painting.