Friday, 30 October 2015

About the Hout Bay Yacht Club

Check out the blog, it is updated quite a lot but also has many sections and information links.

Druma sailing in Hout Bay

A Dix 43 in wood / epoxy sailing towards Hout Bay 

The same boat on the Hout Bay Yacht Club marina.


Our wood / epoxy Optimist sailing dinghy

This started with a five boat kit order, then became an eight kit order as we progressed with the building of the first one.

Price wise we were way out in front against the very costly imported GRP boats and its said ours when fully rigged and with a North Sail as well cost half the amount other boats were costing ?


Out and about with a Hillman Imp Californian

The car is still a way off being finished but it is safe to drive on public roads and carries the correct licence disc.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

The car was built in 1967.

This is a local spot that is busy with locals and tourists daily.

The cars engine is still the original one, an export model and still on the same pistons and crank bearings the Rootes Scotland fitted the engine with, I did fit new piston rings some years back.

Hout Bay !


Thursday, 29 October 2015

A transocean peddle boat, the one that got away

This one we were asked to supply the 9mm okoume marine plys and also cut the panels with a CNC machine to the design by Dudley Dix.

For some reason it never happened and the boat was built from plans instead?

I am not that sure this will find many buyers for the intended purpose but I think the design may be used to turn it into some other use, shallow water sailing comes to mind?

We are open to suggestions.



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Signal flare disposal in South Africa ?

This comes around every few years?

What do we do with our date expired boat flares?

I took a plastic shopping bag full to the Hout Bay fire department, they advised to take them to SAPs, (south african police service) which I did and they took them off my hands.

I wonder what they now do with them?

Even my older flares still look as they were when purchased new.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Wooden what? seen here in Hout Bay, South Africa

This came in a few days back, I thought it was another converted and German Mine sweeper, maybe it is?

We had some conversions going on here a few years back, German boats sold to Japan I think, then bought and converted in the Simonstown naval dockyard for service work in Nigeria.

Any ideas?

Here is a well qualified comment from a master marine engineer,


I can only assume as you did that she is an ex-minesweeper if constructed of timber. The low open deck aft is another signature feature of a minesweeper.

It’s possible that she is one of a large number of ex-naval and other craft that have been pressed into commercial service for security / anti-pirate patrols and escort duties in east and west Africa – Nigeria as you mentioned. She looks to be in good condition.

The fact that she’s in Hout Bay means that she must have already been cleared-in at Table Bay or some other SA port.

Any identification markings, flags, etc, on her? Is she shut-down and on shore-power or is she running her generators?


It was only by the next day did I find out the ship was part of a filming production ( i know the name ) and was by then flying a French national flag.

The ships markings had been DTC 8799, they had been removed for the filming , a house flag was also flying.

The ship has a really nice bronze anchor.

By 5pm a Table Bay service tug had taken the ship out into the bay and back to where ever the ship is normally berthed?

Out in the bay and on its way.

Another exciting event in the Hout Bay harbour was over.


Where is Devils Isle?

This was a question I was asked by an American cruising sailor once.

I told him that its easy to find and that you cannot miss it.

He replied I can if I dont know where it is?

I will post a map later.

The picture came to me from my good friend Notty who went there on a Fortuna 37 with his wife and son, 

Dated 1994 click on the images to enlarge them.

Devils Isle is almost not in this picture as its the spec of land to the left, part of the planes wing gear can be seen also.

The large island is Royale with St Joseph at the back, we anchored there for around a week.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Story writing or blogging?

This week I got to meet John  and was then talking to a regular blog reader who I had no idea existed .

We do have a common connection as it turns out as I knew his late dad very well and I am pleased to say I know his brother very well too.

The writing really started about ten years back and before the blog writing began, then as the blog expanded I slowed down on the actual story writing and then expanded the blog on a near daily basis.

The link needs to be copied and pasted into Google, you will then have to sign in as a non member to access the forum pages.

This blog slowed some around 2013 when I was asked to rebuild a 1971 Hillman Imp, that took me to an Imp Club forum, then I started the thread on the Imp and of course had less time for my own blog.

The underside of the car was stripped and refinished first.

The pictures should enlarge when you click on them.

The cars original block was bored out from the standard 875cc and then fitted with 998cc liners and pistons.

The Imps all have drum brakes all round, in the case of the 1971 Hillman Imp the owner chose to have me fit the disc brake conversion kit.

While the rebuild was happening and  it took over a year, I was able to buy back my own 1967 Hillman Imp Californian coupe, a rare car these days. This saw me working on both cars as time allowed, I then opened an Imp Club Forum page on the red Imp Californian, that is now at some sixty eight (68) pages and covers the cars rebuild in some detail.

The blue Imp is now finished and with its owner,  the red Imp coupe  can be my daily driver should I want to use it? It is fully roadworthy and is licenced and insured.

The cars interior has been re done, the carpets and head liner have still to be fitted.

There is also a set of front disc brakes ready to fit, the suspension will also be lowered 1" (25mm) by fitting the Monte Carlo competition road springs.

So with all this going on the writing stopped for places like Duckworths Magazine but I guess folk still read the stories from time to time?

Same again, if the link does not open for you please copy and paste it into Google.

There are ten stories there, one is in two parts, so lots to read if you have the time?


Superform trade imports

We bring in regular container loads of Superform bending plywoods. In both grain directions and in 3mm, 5mm and 8mm thickneses.

The product is the best made and is also waterproof.

Please contact me for pack lot prices.