Saturday, 1 March 2014

Names of the SABC radio broardcasters in 1985?

This is the advert in the  1985 World Radio TV Handbook, you will find it on page nine (9)

Click on the picture to make it larger.

Who can put names to those faces?

They will have been active of South African radio services in 1984/85?


Hard spray dodger Mk2 kit parts set.

Have you ever wondered what we may supply with the Hard Spray Dodger kit we supply?
This one is ready for collection by the customer today.

Click on the picture for a large image.

In this case its an extended roof version, the standard hard dodger roof will extend and cover the boats entire cockpit and steering wheel position. The rolled up sheet of 8mm Superform plywood becomes the roofs center core and between a top and bottom skin of 4mm okoume marine ply to BS 1088, laminated with epoxy it becomes very durable.

The rebates to take the toughened 6mm thick glass are machined as well. The two triangles fit to the front of the pair of panels right of the plywood sheet.

The epoxy, glass tapes, fumed silica , micro balloons and Dow Corning glazing sealant, plus teak grab rails are all supplied with the kit.

There are another eight sheets of plys that are not in the picture, the 6mm tempered glass will be supplied later, the templates to the glass are those brown MDF panels.

We also supply a detailed builders guide with each kit and in the case of this kit have recommended a local boat builder to do the assembly, as the boats owner does not have the time to do the work himself.


 A typical Mk 1 hard dodger made from the same CNC cut files and on a 43ft yacht., check the protection and volume it offers! The Mk2 version has a larger rear side window shape.

Shipping world wide should not be a problem as we have sent these kits to New Zealand and the USA so far.

A 1985 World Radio TV Handbook

These were part of the purchase pack when you bought a Barlow Wadley, I know this as its
listed in the user manual I have that came with my own set.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

I have a copy, dated 1985, it would be nice to find a 1975 copy which will be more the date of the Barlow Wadley?

The SABC advert in the 1985 issue.

Sold here in Cape Town and by Technical Books (r.i.p) the cover price was R37.50 which was quite a lot back then. This copy was a year old when Dick of Hamrad gave me his old copy in 1986, thanks Dick!


Friday, 28 February 2014

The Barlow Wadley radio with FM arrives

This took some five years since I posted a request to find and buy such a set, check it out, what a find!

As it arrived and before I cleaned the set up, note the original station cards and user manual. The set was also sold with various pin plugs and a world wide radio station guide.

Cleaned up and listening to the BBC World Service on 15,450
Now in use and listening to FM radio, note the glass pane is now fitted back where the tuning indicators are.

Well it took five years to find one but it was well worth the wait, seems I am the second owner family.



Thursday, 27 February 2014

Frans remembers his arrival to the coast of South Africa

This is nothing to do with our CNC cut boat kits but does have a great deal to do with South African sailing and our nasty weather systems, plus the use of a Barlow Wadley radio as an RDF, please read on about a true real life yachting story that happened thirty two (32) years ago.


That actual Barlow Wadley and its still working today!

Morning Roy,

The BW radio which I have is a XCR30. It also has FM.

Regarding the question about using it as a direction finder.

It was April 1982 and I was on a solo passage from Punta Del Este in Uruguay, heading for Port Elizabeth, our home port.

At the time I was some 40 miles South of Cape Point. I had been about 4 days without a sextant sight because of low cloud and was lying a-hull for the best part of a day in a South Easterly gale. My plan was to stay far south and head straight up the coast to Port Elizabeth.

I was unsure about my position relative to Cape Point and was getting concerned about being blown onto a lee shore. Earlier I had thrown toilet paper into the water to determine the direction and speed of my drift. The toilet paper was rather appropriate as at one stage a massive whale had breeched right next to the boat.

I was receiving Radio Good Hope very faintly, so I simply took the radio off its bracket and turned the pull-out aerial until I got the best reception. And that relative bearing was taken to the ship's compass. Over such a great distance the bearing was very useful. (if you have no bearing, even a vague bearing is good). Later that night the wind dropped and I resumed sailing. At one stage I came up on deck to find a vessel approaching from the South. It was a trawler the Southern Maid. By the time I got to the radio the master was already calling me for a chat. My first question was "can you give me a fix please?". He gave me Lat and Long which put Cape Point 39 miles North West of me. My dead reckoning was out by 17 miles! Not bad for pre-satnav or gps?

Late the following evening just when I had Cape Agulhas off the bows, the South Easter returned. When it peaked at 50kts I threw in the towel and ran for the protection of False Bay and secured in Gordon's Bay harbour.
The boat I sailed was a Petersen 33 called Checkers Hyper. Four of us had earlier raced it to 3rd in Class Three in the 1982 South Atlantic Race to Punta del Este. The others had to get straight home so I used the opportunity to do a solo passage across the Atlantic.

To this day the adventure brings back great memories.


Note, Frans took his Barlow Wadley on a second South Atlantic race and on the boat Wings, proving that they really are tough sets and fit for purpose!



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Why its cheaper to build a boat kit yourself

Building our boat kits by others.

R.O.E is R18.00 to the GBP and R10.90 to the U$.

We were asked for a building price for one of our dinghy kits recently.

This is fine but it will escalate the price on the end product and by some margin.

Lets say the dinghy kit cost R8800, a simple rule would be to say twice the cost of the kit
To cover a trades persons time, so another R17600, this is unpainted and unfinished.

So we now ask R26,400 plus Vat on the kit which will be R1232 extra, the cost is now R27,632 total, or in Pounds 1535.11 which sort of looks a whole lot better?

As it turns out, a local boat builder asked just R12,000, so a large saving over my estimate, he tells me he expected to take eight days which is some sixty four hours (64)
So he is asking just R187.50 per hour for his labour and no Vat, which is 14% locally.

As a local mechanic charges R350 an hour, the plumber and last years rate R480 an hour and last year a large VW service garage in the city was at R560 an hour, I think our local boat builder is far too cheap, what do you think?

The issue is and always will be, if we do the work ourselves the savings can be huge, just look at the numbers above and you can see the savings using your own labour is well worth the personal effort, plus of course you get that personal satisfaction of having built a boat yourself, that’s worth lots I guess?

This is just a thought but I do believe we should all be reasonably paid if not well paid for such a task as building a boat.


Herbert McWilliams, the designer of the Sprog

My thanks to Frans for sharing this with us, what a fascinating story!
Hallo Roy,

You might find this of interest.

It is a drawing done by Herbert McWilliams in 1945.

Herbert McWilliams was an architect in Port Elizabeth and also the designer of the Sprog and Extra dinghy (plus a few other dingies which never reached class status). Going by memory, the first Sprog was launched circa 1947 and first Extra circa 1962.

Anyway, McWilliams and his life partner lived a very upmarket life in a huge house in Amsterdamhoek, right at the mouth of the Zwartkops River. As a kid, I can remember the Rolls and Bentley standing in front of the house. The house was loaded with valuable art from Europe. Unfortunately everything was lost in a fire which destroyed the house sometime in the 70 or 80's.

After both McWilliams and his partner had passed away there was an auction of their substantial properties and remaining loose goods in PE, including the Rolls. My wife went to the auction and I asked her to buy me whatever  yachty item came up. The only yachty item was this drawing. She paid more for the drawing of this dinghy in 1995 than what my dad paid for my second hand Sprog in 1972.

So much for my bit of sailing history.





Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Barlow Wadley XCR30 radio and a ferrite rod antenna?

This is an unusual topic and one I have yet to proove that the Barlow Wadley does have such an antenna.
I have found a posting that shows how to make an external ferrite rod anttena  that connects via a cable and plug.

I do not own one of these radios but did post a thread on them in 2009, a picture of a set has just come to light and its clear to me that on the one side of the PCB I can see a ferrite rod, I assume its an antenna?

Click on the picture to see more detail.

Check the horizontal black rod on the lower right with the four copper coils around it, is it connected to the vertical rod on the other side of the PCB?  The vertical is a tube and I have found does have a short ferrite rod in that to adjust the antenna with, the control is with a cable, check the 16mm  control wheels top and bottom.

My thanks for GRC for the use of this picture.

This is backed up by a vertical tube with a sliding ferrite bar in it, this tunes the antenna and has two micro switches connected to it, the lower switch looks to be connected to the horizontal ferrite rod.

Is this part of the antenna system?

Well, who can say yes or no?


This far I have found no proof that there is a ferrite rod antenna inside this set, I have found sites saying there are not though, so what does that long black bar with the copper coils on it do?

Note, thanks to a contact found through this blog, I have now purchased a Barlow Wadley and the later type with the FM button and tuner dial on the top of the radio.

Wooden boat building

They do take time and thats why the mid 1950s saw the instant rise of the GRP boat both in the USA and the UK.

Click on the picture for more detail. The hull and deck are in epoxy/plywood, the design is by Dudley Dix.

Given the time, not to mention the materials and the skilled labour required, it must come as no surprise to find out that wooden boats when proffesionally built are expensive when compared to GRP or pop out plastic versions?

Having said this, if you want a boat and want it bad enough, its still quite low cost if you use a CNC cut plywood kit and build it yourself!


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Meet the McBride family

Some of them anyway with Barry in Hebburn on Tyne  kindly sorting out my family tree and thats bringing out some interesting facts and lost relatives, I have the oldest family picture re worked.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

The lady is my great grandmother on my dads side, the girl is his step sister Biddy and the boy is his step brother George. My great grandmother had the family name of Leech, the two children were my own grandmothers and also took the name Leach, Biddy died at the age of 16 but Uncle George went on to live to 81.

I have to assume they lived in the Tranmere / Birkenhead area on Merseyside?

The picture is dated 1918 so is now all of 96 years old!

My thanks to Norman for re working the picture for  me as it has many defects, well did do!
and my thanks to Barry who stayed up until 3am last night searching Ancestry and finding more of my past family back to 1800 ad,