Sunday, 31 December 2017

Cape Henry 21 kit build

Found on the SA Yacht Blog.

The rig is a gaff with two headsails, both on roller-furlers, to be flown either/or - it is not actually a cutter rig - but offers great flexibility and offers a very traditional appearance.

How do they sail?

In nearly all conditions, astonishingly well. In light airs they fly like dinghies. In moderate winds they handle well, and in strong winds they manage much better than you'd expect.Lots of this is due to the very flexible sail plan, and the generous beam. 

While sailing a very large cat recently in Table bay, a CH21 crept up on us from a few miles behind. At first we couldn't see what it was, with many comments about how an old boat with a gaff rig could be moving that fast. Well in fact an old boat with a gaff rig simply can't go that fast - I then realised it must be a new boat and likely the new CH21 launched in Cape Town recently.  Well it was - I snapped a pic of it near Sunset Beach. This particular one was built by Peter Randle, and has bilge-keels. It was doing a steady 6 knots in about 10 knots of wind on the beam, and slowly it slipped past us!

My thanks to Justin Philips for the words and his picture.

You can read justins full story at the link above.

This Cape Cutter was built using one of our plywood kits.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Sails by North Sails in Cape Town

We have long had an agreement to sell North Sails with our boat kits, from a small dinghy to a large yacht.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

This is an Optimist sail, one that we shipped with an Optimist kit to Zurich in Switzerland.

The buyer has the option to buy the North Sail with the boat kit order, or at a later stage when the boat has been built if that suits better.


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Packing and shipping our kit orders

We have shipped World wide, it is to some thirty four countries now.

The orders are processed then either packed between two sheets of packing plywood and steel band strapped for full security or we make a crate and pack the order in that, still with the steel band straps of course.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

This is a multi kit order and to Zurich in Switzerland, in the order was an Argie 15 and two Optimists.

With these kits we also supplied the North Sails and Harken deck equipment plus selected meranti wood cut and machined to size.

Okoume marine plywood CNC shaped to size, the kit is for one of the Optimists.

An Optimist panel before loading.

 Each Optimist kit we sell is sold with a fourteen page printed  A4 sized builders guide, with pictures, plus the class measurement forms.

Another Optimist being packed, check the solid sides to the crate we shipped in.


Friday, 8 December 2017

Kits in split orders?

From time to time we get asked can we cut and deliver our boat kits in split order parts, say a multihull design?

In many case we can do this but the buyer must be aware that our okoume marine ply suppliers could change to another brand and then you will have more than one make of plywood in your boat.

Click on the image to expand it.

Right now we can offer quality Joubert plywood from France.

This is a top brand and well worth buying in total to cover your needs.

Buyers choice of course.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Retro 29 building in South Africa

This is an unusual shot of an unusual classic styled yacht.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Mike is now going to fit the boats keel box.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

An Optimist dinghy kit packed for export

Export or national we pack our kits well.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Check the wedge shaped block on the lower left hand side, that is a laminated mast step, prepared down to the correct size and not the over sized dimentions in the plans.

This was being prepared to send to New York, USA. Once the lid has been screwed down we steel band strap the pack for full security.

Each shipment is fumigated, insurance can be included in your order.

We included the building stocks and with this order the machined meranti wood as well.

Other extras are Harken deck gear and a North Sail.

Each kit sold includes a 14 page builders manual which has lots of pictures in it, plus all the class measurments as well.


Monday, 4 December 2017

The DS 15 sport boat

This was a reply to my idea that a client may like the Dix Design DS15 boat.

This DS 15 was built using one of our kits.

A DS 15 that was built using a CNC kit.

Click the links to see the various options.


The Didi Sport 15 may do what John wants. We have info about it on our website at for computers and for smartphones. Both have links to build and sailing photos and there is a sailing video at .

This is a very fast hull shape.

All images are from the Dix Design website.

 If required, a study pack can be ordered from our pricelist at

 Roy, the white boat was built from a kit that you supplied, the blue one was built from a kit cut in USA. The current issue of Wooden Boat has a review of this design.


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

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Dix Design Didi 38 hull turning event

I was there to lend a hand that day.

Click on the image to enlarge it

The boat had been built upside down, using the scaffold tower we had ropes and man power to turn the hull the right way up.

This day was the spark that ignited my own desire to build by the same method, I later built a Dix 43 .
The boat was later named Black Cat and became a very well known ocean racer, the South Atlantic Ocean has been crossed four times now, plus she won her class in the race to St Helena and what is named The Governor's Cup race.

One correction, Black Cat has crossed the South Atlantic 6 times, in 1996, 2000 and 2017.
From Dudley Dix.

You are in some of the other pics in my big box of photos. 

This is the one that I have used over the years because it shows the boat best. 

The people in it, from left, are Dick de Kroon, my Moms cousin, Brian Alcock and Sean Collins. You can see my head just above Sean at the transom.

This whole series of designs has proven very successful and just keeps going. I now have pressure from various people for Didi monohull designs from 50-65ft and a cat of 65ft.

Navigator bulkheads done by CNC

Anyone  having seen what the plans look like you will understand the time saved in using this kit?

This is one of the okoume marine plywood panels we include in our Navigator kit set, there are five ply sheets in all.

The plans show the frames made from lots of sections of wood battens that you have to join up to make the required shapes.

I have to say " how easy is this now "


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Navigator small boat details

Wilhelm built his John Welsford Navigator design from a kit we made specially for him, he in turn created a wonderful yacht with a fine finish.

Wilhelms attention to detail has made for a super smart looking yacht.

The teak transom was veneered with some solid teak slats we had, we still have some I think?

This is pre decking, check how well the inside of the boat was painted, best to do it this way as you can see what you are doing.

The boat was originally fitted with an electric drive motor.

Since then the yacht has sold and we serviced a British Seagull outboard for the new owner.

The Seagull outboard will look correct when used on the Navigator, we have some in stock and for sale.


J Welsford Navigator kits

Below is the first sail in a Navigator we cut as a kit set.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Included are the frames, transom, lower hull panel, stem, dagger board case, seats risers, the only part we do not cut are the hull skin panels.

We have the plans in stock,

Hi Roy

Herewith some pictures of my Navigator, Jacqui.

I recently went for my first sail and launched her at Gordons Bay. We had a
lovely day with light winds at first, but increasing to just over 20 knots.
The boat proved very seaworthy. She handles the wind, choppy seas with white
horses and a two meter swell with ease. Our maximum boat speed was 8,03
knots and we covered 31,3 km in the 4 hours 52 minutes at sea. We sailed 4,2
nautical miles into the bay.



Friday, 24 November 2017

The C44 by Concept Trailers


C44 ( camper for four)

The C44 Mini Camper is part of a whole concept in trailer design, whereby it can be detached from its chassis so that a load box or flatbed can be attached thus making it a versatile, multi-use chassis. (Subject to local legislation and trailer regulations.)

The C44 Mini Camper itself is unique in the fact that having the footprint the size of a double bed, it has permanent sleeping capacity for up to four adults in two double bunks. As well as this there are separate lockers for a stove and fridge of the owner’s choice with washing up facility. There is also a full length hanging locker and chest of drawers and ample storage for tent and camping gear.

A separate self bailing locker is incorporated in the nose cone for safe gas storage.

The possibility also exists whereby the camper could be attached to a more robust chassis for off road use.

Accommodation – Overnight or Short stay

The C44 Mini Camper is quickly and easily setup for overnight stops or short stays.

Simply lift the top from the rear of the camper and deploy the side and rear flaps to allow access to the fully enclosed and ventilated top double bunk.

The lower double bunk is accessed by dropping the rear tailgate into position and deploying the awning and flaps for another fully enclosed and ventilated sleeping area.

Accommodation – Long stays

For longer stays the C44 Mini Camper is deployed in the same way as for overnight or short stays, but with the side and rear surround tent being erected. This would allow for additional camping beds to be set up if required, as well as retaining the two double bunks.

The tent covers an area of 5.05 x 3.48 metres or 17.5 sq metres.

This allows ample room for a sleeping area on the one side with a galley and living area on the other.


Other options available are separate Composting toilet and shower enclosures

 Please contact me for further information on this exciting new camper trailer that you can assemble yourself.


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Micro trailer camper by Concept Trailers in South Africa

The new Concept Trailer design offers a lot more than the normal teardrop camper, as in two full sized double beds for a start.

Click on the sketch to enlarge it.

We now have the trial plan set, various options are possible, a small car can tow this with some ease as the special Deluxe Light plywood we will CNC cut the design from is half the weight of marine plywood.

CKD Boats cc will supply the plywood shell kit, plans are from Concept Trailers and can be sold as part of the kit purchase process.

Built up trailer campers can be supplied.

How easy is that!


Friday, 17 November 2017

Teardrop camper trailers

We have looked at this idea before, a new design may be available soon.

To date we have a design, its local so for RSA residents there will be no need to buy plan in an overseas currency.

The kit will include all of the CNC cut body panels, we can further offer the epoxy required to bond the shell together with.

Delivery country or World wide should not be a problem,

Please check in now and again to see what we can offer.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Retro 29 boat building in Hout Bay,South Africa

Progress on the Retro 29 kit we supplied is taking place here in the village where I live.

Hi Dudley and Roy,

Just a few pics of recent work. I found a great way of lining up bulkheads by using a straightedge across the building stocks to position the uprights accurately before adding the bulkhead.

 I get it centred with the correct distance off first bulkhead and then adjust to get it perpendicular by measuring diagonally from a distant centrepoint to each end of the straight edge. 

Not sure if I’m explaining myself well but anyway it works for me! The laser level has made things a lot easier too.

I’ve got three more bulkheads to go and am loving the whole building process so far.



Thanks to John Maarschalk for the use of his image.

This is Hout Bay

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The next British Seagull restoration

That one is stripped already and will be on my bench on Monday, the customer is based in England, UK, his yacht is here in Hout Bay.

Parts are in the post from our British Seagull suppliers in Kent, South East England.

Progress pictures as I proceed.

The picture posted now is of a much larger 102  series Seagull outboard of about 5hp? next to it is a 2hp motor but not the one I will assemble next week.

We have a 102 series motor for sale, also the 2hp unit.

Friday, 10 November 2017

British Seagull, serviced, just add fuel and marine grade two stroke oil

The day went well, this 1961 Seagull engine has now had a decent service and up grade.

Those hex headed nuts that were removable I fitted re chromed ones for my stocks. They are a special hex size and also the thread.

Note neither imperial or metric spanners will fit the Seagull motor.

Click on any i.mage to enlarge it.

The original fuel tank is in need of a total rebuild, at least one end will have to be cut off and hammered out then refitted.

I have used a tank of a spare motor for now.

This motor is not for sale, I do have various other that may suit you?

The motor is now on the bench and the gear box oil is draining out, I will next half fill ( do it with the unit standing up ) again with the Castrol 140 grade gear box oil we stock.

Next there is the question of a boat to fit this on and try it out again.

How hard can that be?


British Seagull, this one is for me

The Seagull outboard that was gifted to me some years back and  is now having a small restoration.

It is a Century 100 model and uses a 10:1 fuel mix, a 25:1 mix may be possible?

I have been informed by the company that has taken over Villiers, that it is possible to alter the fuel mix from 10:1 without changing the No 3 Needle. They suggest it is possible to reduce the mix as far as 20:1, with a little trial and error. The method is simple. The securing screw for the needle may be lowered up to 3 turns, no more, from level with the top of the slide. It is possible that this will not work on all motors and indeed the best you may achieve is 16:1, but even that is better than 10:1! I can imagine it will take a little while to find a 'happy' mix for engines, but at least there is an alternative

This is a circa 1961/62 made motor, rated to  4hp it will push along a fair sized boat, it has a four propellor.

There is nothing mechanically wrong with the motor, it just needs bit of bling to make it look nicer.

There is an issue with the brass petrol  tank, the one side is badly creased and the end needs cutting right off and reworking, this will not be done  just now.

The spare tank we have has the petrol tap outlet on the wrong side, so unless a longer supply to the carb is used is of no use.

For now the main change was to remove the thinner down tube and replace it with one with nicer chrome plate on. The chrome band clamp to the top of the large down tube  has also been replaced.
We also re chromed the large dome nut on the top of the flywheel, plus other nuts and bolts were required.

The motor looks good for its fifty six years !

The points are set to 0.020" or 0.50mm, the same with the spark plug. Its worth having both correct as this is in effect the timing of the motor.

The Villiers coil can be seen opposite the points, the coil is brown.

Next is to strip and clean the carb and repaint it, check the points, change the gear box oil for some Castrol 140 grade and start the motor.

Have you ever wondered what parts are inside a British Seagull Villiers carburetor?
Tested with a spark plug and a pull on the starter rope and we see a big fat spark!

I wonder does my friend want his motor back?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Retro 29 leveling

Hi Roy,

Got most bulkheads cut and assembled and four set up on the stocks. Would love to pick your brain about the levelling procedure if you’ve got some time. Latest pic attached...


My reply is below.


Mike could not open the link and asked me as below:

I’ve actually just (yesterday) got a laser level which is brilliant. So much easier than the water level. But I must say I’m struggling with the adjustment of bulkheads a bit. Level and plumb is fine but ensuring all bulkheads are parallel / perpendicular to centreline is a bit trickier. I’m thinking of working out what the distance along the stingers between bulkhead notches should be using trigonometry, then checking that way. Am I over complicating things?

I then replied as follows:

Have you marked the center line and the water line on each bulkhead, both sides is best?

When you have the center line drawn you set up an over head nylon center  line with a dropper from that, the dropper then shows you where the center is.

Leave that overhead line there for reference, also mark the water line on the building walls, you can then get back to the center or water line at any later date.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

British Seagull outboard restored and for sale

This motor has had lots of care and attention given to it,  check the new chrome and paint works.

Click on the picture to view in a larger size.

The owner has taken it back now but we do have a second one and it will soon be  for sale.

The motor is a 5 hp and long shaft, so suitable for a work boat or possibly a small yacht.

British Seagull motors in stock and for sale are 2hp, 3hp and a 5hp with the longer shaft.
These motors require work and parts to your requirements.

Contact me for details and pricing.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

LignoLoc wooden nail system, now in South Africa

This wooden nail system is brand new, it was only released in September 2017 and already we have a gun and nails to do some tests with.

The wooden nails are Beech wood and from a renewable source, they are pressure treated and impregnated with a resin to harden the nails.

More info can be supplied by sending you a PDF brochure.


Sunday, 29 October 2017

British Seagull engine servicing in South Africa

We have done a good few British Seagull services and even full restorations.

Parts are sometimes in stock, otherwise our suppliers in the UK send them to us.

This one is a five HP one and dated August 1978, its quite new despite its years.

When it came in it was very much a none runner and needed an acid clean of the petrol tank, plus a stop cock service kit which was ex stock. Its ready to be collected now and can run a few decades more!

This is the two jet Amel carburetor which comes as standard to the 25:1 petrol oil mix, some Seagulls can be re jetted to use this mix but not all of them.

The engine was given some fuel, I allowed some to go free through the black pipe to make sure all was clean.
I then  reconnected the pipe, tickled the petrol cap button  on the fuel bowl , pulled on the starting rope and the motor fired up first time!


We have British Seagulls for sale, 5hp long shaft, 5hp short shaft and a 2 hp short shaft. They can be sold as runners and also as a fully restored motor, ask for details and prices.

Below is a quite old 5hp motor that had the full restoration works done to it, check the chrome!

Click on the image to enlarge it.
Many chromed and nickle plated parts are kept in stock.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Navigator by John Weslford

Yesterday I was brought a British Seagull for a strip down and service. That means an acid clean of the steel petrol tank, drain the gearbox and fill with the correct 140 grade of Castrol gear oil.
Check the plug and also the points in the flywheel. The carburetor was blocked solid from rust in the petrol tank, there is a drain plug and I will advise the owner to drain the tank on a regular basis.

Cape Towns Table Mountain as seen from the MAC sailing waters .

As it turned out the outboard will be used on a John Welsford Navigator that was made from a kit we supplied , we have the plans also.

Blustery conditions to which the Navigator is well suited.

This boat looks good from any angle.

Plans, kit and sails are available, we can ship World wide.

My thanks to Steve for the pictures.


Friday, 27 October 2017

An Optimist kit to the Med,

We have sent our Optimist kits to many countries.

When the order includes the meranti wood, North Sail and Harken deck package we crate as per the picture.

The crate is screwed and glued together, then with the lid on its steel band strapped for security.

Each Optimist is supplied with a fourteen page builders guide.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Hillman Imp piston rings by Repco

New boxed sets of Repco 0.030" sized piston rings for sale.

The piston is there just for scale.

We have crank bearings, thrust washers, crank bearings and also valves.

Postage World wide.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Ferodo VG95 racing brake shoes

Two sets sold this week, so four linings left and as one set.

We have about three sets of four shoes per set left.

Friday, 20th October 2017.

Correction, two sets were sold to New York in the USA today, with two more sets sold to Germany a while back there is just the one set left.

Who wants it?

The Rootes, Ford  and BMC competitions departments will all have used these shoes at one time?

They will fit either 7" or 8" brake drums.

This is the lining when clamped to the 8" diameter  Hillman Imp brake shoe and brake drum.

Only Pounds 11.00 per shoe each, plus postage World wide.

Suitable for the Hillman Imp and Sunbeam Stiletto, the width is 37mm and length 178mm (aprox)

When they are gone they will be gone!


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Jigsaw joints from Dix Design

Dudley Dix introduced the plywood jig saw joints some time back.

These joints are used to connect flat ply panels such and bulkheads, hull and decks skins plus the decks.

From Dudleys blog.

Joining Plywood - Jigsaw or Puzzle Joints

I apologise for my long gap between posts, life has been very full for awhile.

Jigsaw joints have become a popular method for joining 8ft plywood lengths into the long panels needed for building most boats. It is an easy process for those who are building from a kit but it is impractical for most people building from scratch. If building from plans or from patterns then you will have to make every cut by hand using a jigsaw and the accuracy necessary for a close-fitting jigsaw joint is just not possible to achieve.

For those who have not seen a jigsaw joint, the form is exactly the same as the interlocking curves of a jigsaw puzzle, except that the interlocking curves are laid out in a straight line rather than in a grid pattern. This forms a very accurate and secure junction between the two parts, unable to slide apart and needing no clamps, while the glue sets.

For amateurs building bigger boats it is just not practical to assemble the panels before installation. Panels 8ft long are very convenient for one person to handle, without having to call on the wife, kids and neighbours to help with the task. I built the structures and interior of my Didi 38 "Black Cat" entirely single-handed. There was not a single piece of timber in that boat that I was not able to carry and set up without any assistance. But I made scarph joints by hand and I glued them in position.