Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Building Basil's Optimist kit

The Optimist is being built in Zurich, Switzerland, we sent the kit there by air.

The progress is very good, just check on the finish on the Gunnels.

Hi Roy

Back from Spain and Skiing in the mountains I made progres and glued the gunnels.

Wish you and your family a good start in 2016 and all the best.


There was even time for a holiday!

We supplied the CNC plywood kit and also the selected and machined meranti hardwood for this order.


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Lokarta 7 RDF and a reminder of the way things used to be

RDF is short for Radio Direction Finder.

I bought this cheaply, the reason being that the beacons that used to send out a homing signal had been switched off some years before.

The seller thought it was then useless, I saw that it was in good condition and an up grade on the Lokata 5 RDFs I have had on my previous yachts.

It still has a perfect Sestral compass in it, also the battery case, so this works just fine day or night as a hand bearing compass.

 This may be an old bit of kit today but as a hand bearing compass is still required on a yacht, I am more than happy to have this one.

Only the receiving side does not function, so the ear phones can be left in the box while the hand bearing compass can be used still.

The Lokata 5 had an internal re chargeable battery, the mount base was the charger, I have had two of those from new.

The Lokata 7 has four penlight batteries, which in some ways is better?

The set still works, this is many years after the set was produced, the elastic band is due to the battery box retaining clip having broken off.

The owners user manual is dated 1986, so this is now thirty years old and it still works.

This to me is now a collectors item and I will add it to my collection of similar older marine instruments.

While it is not quite perfect, I do have the original packing, the head phones and the user manual, so its worth having.

I once met Christian, a Danish sailor, he had crossed the North Atlantic using only his RDF, he reasoned that once out in the Atlantic, RDF signals would be few and far between?

A really strong one was Ascension Island, so once locked onto that signal his DR was easy enough until he then picked up a second and a third beacon as he closed on the West Indies. Back then the Sat Nav was available but quite pricey, my  friend saved himself the cost of the satnav this way.

We had the Walker 412 and had had the Walker 402 before then.