Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hanging about in the Hout Bay Harbour

This was about a week back, since then the yacht has been into the HBYC boat park, had its bottom paints renewed and is back in the water on its marina berth. The yacht was this years class winner so well done to all those involved as crew.

Click on the picture to enlarge it, the camera was a Canon G11 digital.

Tojan the boats owner had a nasty fall off a ladder I think, thats him with the floppy hat near that rear of the boat and holding the rope, he damaged both of his wrists and is on sick leave for the next six to eight weeks I am told, hope your better soon Tojan!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Anton Anrieth Groote Constantia pediment restoration at the old wine cellars.

We have been visiting the wine farm named Groote Constantia for decades, this art work has never looked better!

The most famous work is by Anton Anrieth, its remarkable, magnificent!

Circa 1791.

Anton signed up to the military and that got him out of his native Germany, shipping to the cape.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them, the camera used was a Canon G1X digital, this shot was
 on a 4 x tele shot, which is a disapointing maximum.

I can advise visting early rather than late when the place can become really busy with tourists.

The main house is to the left of the camera and really worth the visit when your in Cape Town.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ford Bantam 1600 XLi poor service quality.

An update:

Friday 17th of October and Craig the workshop service manager of Mekor Ford in Claremont phones me to discuss the problem, after discussion it was agreed I would take the car to him on the following monday, which I have just done.

We went for a drive and Craig told me the Ford Bantam 1600 XLi motors are all the same and that the fuel control system on my car is normal, so is the noise from the final drive of the transmission he added.

If what Craig tells me is true, its obvious to me that Ford of South Africa have produced a lemon with this design, was this the reason Ford stopped production in 2011?

Rather a lack of it.

This very low kilometer Ford Bantam was sold  by the Tygerberg Honda dealer and with a pre delivery check on 81 items, I know this as it was sold to myself.

The drive home soon had me wondering what was wrong with the car, inspection showed that the passenger side steering arm ball joint was badly worn. At home and grasping the nearside road  wheel, it was easy to move it side to side and be able to feel the loose ball joint,  yes they did 81 checks and missed that, so did the required roadworthy guys which of course I had to pay for.

The picture was taken on the Constantia Wine farm route and Groote Constantia, the Capes Oldest wine farm?

I also found that the fuel injected engine had a control unit problem, the engine revs just go up and down when you change gear, I saw 1800 rpm on idle once.

The Honda dealer is part of the Ford dealership and sent the car to Claremont where the Ford dealer is, the control unit was removed, cleaned and put back, who attended to the ball joint I do not know.

The car was then delivered back to me, the idle speed was no different so this time I took the car back to Ford in Claremont myself, they fitted a new control unit?

The problem is the fault is still there, I thought a modern car engine was plugged into a computer and checked that way?

Last night I decided to sell the car as its horrible to drive, today Mekor Ford service department phoned, spoke to jean  and asked was all well with the work they had done?

Jean told them the truth and then asked would you like to speak to my husband? the caller declined.

Seems to me both Tygerberg Honda and Mekor Ford in Claremont need to re think customer service.

Why bother with Ford service when its so poor?


A Hillman Imp for sale in South Africa?

I was asked for a price on this nearly forty eight year old classic Singer Chamois and looking at the values in the UK used those, then added in our ultra weak exchange rate and came up with a number.

The engine is close to a Sunbeam Sport standard and does go quite a lost faster than a normal Hillman Imp, the price reflects the sport additions of course.

I was asked this question today and the only car I may offer ( and may not) would be the 1967 Singer Chamois we have owned for over twenty years.

A price? I have no idea, would it be as it is and the engine is perfect, starts first time even after standing unused for two weeks. The car can and is used as a daily driver when we have decent weather.

Restored will stack the numbers up but these cars are worth the cost and effort these days.

The car as seen has a lowered an monte carlo stiffer road springs and 13" wide rims, also the front brakes are converted to Ford Fiesta disks, they would all be removed and the car converted back to standard and 12" rims and tyres with the normal drum brakes.

Spares are imported normally from the UK, a recent load was flown in and the air charge was rather massive, many parts are here though.

 Not a pair of opening Hillman  Californian coupe vent light windows, I have just had UP deliver two from Ireland, the total cost was GBP140 plus Vat, when the parcel was opened only one was correct as the other one was from the standard saloon!

So it goes, another one and from England was collected by TNT today, with one more being sent from Scotland we should end up with a matching pair soon, at least my Imp car parts contacts are many.

This is the way we need to ship now, with the SA Postal Service on its knees due to continued strike acctions, the only safe way to get your order is to use a courier service, a British Seagull part posted months back just never arrived.

Below is the route some Imp Californian windscreen rubbers are taking right now:

Via TNT, last week we used UPS.

16 Oct 2014 04:46:34 London Heathrow Hub Shipment Received At Tnt Location 
16 Oct 2014 03:37:28 London Heathrow Hub Pre-arrival Customs Clearance In Progress 
16 Oct 2014 01:56:53 Northampton Hub Shipment In Transit. 
16 Oct 2014 01:55:00 Northampton Hub Shipment Received At Transit Point. 
15 Oct 2014 21:17:00 Exeter Shipment In Transit. 
15 Oct 2014 18:17:41 Exeter Shipment In Transit. 
15 Oct 2014 18:17:36 Exeter Shipment Received At Origin Depot. 
15 Oct 2014 14:32:11 Exeter Shipment Collected From Customer 


Saving Eskom electricity tarrif cost by using a thermos flask?

Saving you money, saving you time, after a week of trying the air pot method I am sold on the idea just on the time it saves, never mind the money.

This was on my mind a few days back, we save gas on the boat with a thermos pump pot so why not do the same here at home? I have just checked a few web sites, some use a rate of R1.00 per kwh and another uses R1.50, so who is correct? Check Justins take on the subject below.

One issue thats not mentioned is the saving of time, time is money kind of thing and waiting for a kettle to boil cost both the electricty and your time!

Eskom is the South African power utility.

Thanks for those numbers Justin.


Roy it's a good idea - the Thermos is WAY more efficient than a kettle - mostly because one boils approx 2x too much water every time kettle is used.

So I would estimate the saving at about half of the current usage.

Electricity costs about R1.60 per kwh in Cape Town (one unit = 1 kwh). A kettle uses about 1.5 kw. So estimate how long it runs for every day - example if used say 8x per day, 2minutes each, that's 16 minutes. In a month that's 480 minutes, or 8 hours. At 1.5 kw you have 12 kwh. Total cost is 12 x R1.60 = R19.20. Thermos halves the cost approx, the saving is in the order of about R10 per month? I would have expected more..... see if these assumptions fit your case.....

Our kettle and half full, which is about what we boil each time took three mins, two secs, to boil! So the saving will be fifty percent larger?

There is one catch of course, we have the pump pot so the cost right now will be nothing, Jean says we paid R350 for it years back, so what do they cost today? you then need to build the cost of buying one into your sums.


The idea is proving to be a winner, excepting the reaching out for the kettle still continues when we want another cuppa! its far faster using the airpot and even some hours after filling with boiling water we still get a hot drink.

Just in today:

Hi Roy and Justin,

Well, I suppose any saving on mains electricity charges is a worthwhile venture but you would need quite a large and well insulated flask to store the amount of tea we get through every day as we brew a teapot each every time and get two cups each from these.

My largest flask is just one litre unless I count the Air Pot that is quite big but is not completely sealed so would lose heat and as you know the water must be at boiling point to get that proper cup of tea?
For instance in Joburg you never get the kettle to boil at 100 degrees C due to the altitude so you never get a decent cup of tea. Some people have been known to hold the lid on and block the spout to add a little pressure just to get the water to as close to 100 C as possible.

That saving would equate to about 60 Pence. It would be greater here as our power rates are higher at around 15 Pence a unit. They have just dropped our electricity bill from £85.00 to £65.00 a month as the price of oil falls and even fuel has come down a little, I'm buying diesel for £1.30 a litre now on special at the supermarkets, not too long ago it was £1.45 a litre.

Notty, UK

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Two wood construction boats to be seen in Hout Bay

We have many wooden boats in Hout Bay, fishing craft ex world war 2 craft and of course sailing boats, this is just two of them.

The Bingham design was strip planked, the dhow was planked and on a beach in Mombassa I was told.

Either construction is really time consuming and makes our boat kit offers even more sensible?


Monday, 13 October 2014

Building a DS 15 kit boat in South Africa

Didi 15 for your blog.

Going together nicely.   Jim

This is Jims boat, we sent him a DS 15 kit recently, building the Dix Design kit is really simple, I know that as I have built three from 21 feet to 26 feet myself and in the same year.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

Jim that level really is spot on!


New from old Lucas 7" diameter for a 1967 Hillman Imp classic car headlights

Well when we consider that these parts are nearly forty eight (48) years old now we may be forgiven for thinking that they are new?

The process takes a while, stripping and cleaning then bead blasting and in some cases re plating the pressed steel support cradle.

Trips to the store to source the right sized rivets are as much a part of the process as anything else?

Car restoration to this standard takes time, money also!

I have a selection of these Lucas head lights and can offer them refurbished on an exchange basis.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Pictures of a misty Hout Bay, Western Cape Province, South Africa.

We dont get mist here often but when we do it sure adds to a photograph.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Pictures taken by R McBride using a Canon G11 digital camera set on auto.
Note the Canon G11 and others have a common fault in that the automatic lens cover closes and scratches the glass lens.

This may be after some years, mine was first noted after about three years of use, the scratches are not an issue unless your looking towards the sun or a light source, then the camera is seriously faulted.

I would buy another though, any on offer out there?  G11 or G12 and a higher??

I have purchased an almost new Canon G1X, its a great camera but less compact than the G11 which is also better with macro pictures which I need for work quite often, 

By Sunday the 12th of October the SE trades were gusting over 25 knots, this monday morning its well past that speed and for sure the mist is just a memory!