Monday, 20 October 2014

Winter in South Africa

Not really but a large hail storm 1000 miles north east of Cape Town.

Time to start the day. Picture is of kids in hail which they pretended was snow other day!
 While they played with the hail we had 28c down here and a strong south easter trade wind!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Toylander party fun

This sort of proves just how much fun a Toylander toy car can be! This was the demonstrator car, one I cut out from the CNC kit set panels and had glued up in one day, it makes for ease of understanding when you dry assemble to see the panel fit sequences.

Kit sets to the body, bonnet and front wing curves are available from and plans from Real Life Toys in the UK.

This was a great party and it was not even a childrens party.

Its also good exercise for dad.


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 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!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Boat building materials, supply and shipping world wide

Over the years we have received orders from some very far away places, one was Johnston Atoll, which is not too far from Honolulu where we sent the order to, from there the US base handled the transport to Johnston Atoll.

This is as far away as its possible to be from Cape Town, South Africa, yet we shipped to there and with success.

We have also shipped to the Marshall Islands, Mauritius and a whole host of countries including Australia and New Zealand, the USA West Coast can be supplied ex Cape Town at a lower shipping rate than road freight across the States and our materials  are probably lower priced as well.

So if its materials and equipment you need why not ask if we can supply? right now the Rand currency we have is at a near all time low , so exchange wise you will score.

Some thirty five countries have done this so far, or was it thirty six?

How far is it to Honolulu? 18,554 kms Distance from Cape Town to Honolulu.

Then again to Johnston Atoll its a little closer if we go the other direction?
  1. 17,933 Distance from Cape Town to Johnston Atoll Airport.

The 1967 Hillman Imp Lucas 12W wiper motor

Refurbished and mounted back where it came from, Rootes Car Co, also fitted the Lucas model DR3A wiper motor and Lucas 14W wiper motor to the Hillman Imp

While the car is still outside the work space, decent wind free weather saw me re fitting a number of serviced items.

One was the Lucas drive motor to the windscreen wipers, to access those four x 1/4" hex bolts I found that as long as the large hex nut at the end of the motor was free, you can withdraw the motor back far enough to reach the small hex bolts.

And so the work continues, all spare time work and when I get a chance to work on the car.


Friday, 10 October 2014

Smiths auto instruments repairs in South Africa

This Hillman Imp Mk1 speedo required a service and new parts, our courier delivered and then collected it and did a 3200 kilometer round trip while the car it belongs to went no place at all!

Click on the image for a larger view, the camera is a Canon G1X digital.

This of course where some of the expense comes in when restoring a classic car but part of the issue is just knowing who to sent the Smiths speedo marked in kilometers to in the first place.


Restoring a 1967 Hillman Imp Californian coupe in South Africa

With a large selection of Hillman Imp spare parts available to me I can normally select whats needed as I go along, that or have one of a number of service shops remake parts such as brakes and clutch plates.

Some Items have to be IMPorted, vent light windows were needed and a pair sourced in Northern Ireland, UPS delivered them yesterday, this with purchase,UPS and Vat left very little change from R3000, even then one turned out to be the wrong type, its off the Hillman Imp saloon!

So we now have an Imps passenger side window vent in stock and the search for one to fit the Imp Californian will it goes.

Part of the work had to be done outside, with the 1971 Imp Deluxe in the workshop, space was tight.

Parts are taken apart and reduced to the bare bones, we then have them re plated or re painted prior to re assembly and fitting back in the car.

The black hose is the air box pipe that brings clean air from the cars air box and Lucas 12v electrice fan at the front of the car to the heater box in the drivers cabin.

The new wheel cylinders were ex stock, we still have more, the front linings were over from another Imp project when we later fitted new front disc brakes.

With the front hubs being fitted with new SKF bearings and rear lip seals, this assembly will last decades longer now.

The entire front suspension assembly was taken apart and bead blasted free of any dirt or rust, then the clean metal was spray painted with DTM gloss black paints.

The Hillman Californian as I had it some years back and before selling it, then recently buying the car back.