July 2016

Oh my goodness how time flies when you are having fun. It’s hard to believe that I have been living on my ten foot boat now for two months. The main purpose was to come down to Bayshore Marina on the Vaaldam, to come and finish the boat as I could not work at my house anymore because the boat was getting to big for the garage. Little did I realize that the winter weather would play havoc with my plans. That which you could do at home in an enclosed garage would take four times longer out in the open under the trees.

Here the elements rule and you just tag along and work as and when the weather permits. Working out in the open is a slow tedious process that can get very frustrating and all you can do is keep on going and try your best. I really wanted to do this because there are two issues that I wanted to prove to myself. The first is have I got what it takes to actually live on a tiny ten foot boat. The second is can I handle the cold of the winter at its peak in July. Well I can answer those questions now easily, I have been living and working on the boat now for two months since the 10th of May and I love it! I have gone through the winter solstice and it was magic!

The boat with its well insulated structure is just fantastic. The double glazed windows are brilliant and the air extraction system that I installed works so incredibly well that I can recommend it for all yachts. I have no condensation in my boat AT ALL and please keep in mind that the nights are very long and I am in the boat for up to 14 hours at night with the hatches closed when the weather turns sour.

I have had a constant stream of visitors here coming from far and wide and they have been fantastic.  The locals here now call me the Nutty Professor, they love discussing all the technical issues and the complicated electronics and navigational systems. Often they don’t realize that my boat is a microcosm of renewable energy and the drive system is also electric. I will go into technical issues in future posts, it gets complicated.

So I am alive and well, my head is in a much better place and although my health has been good,  it has improved tenfold. It’s wonderful to wake up in the morning with a song in your heart and looking forward to a glorious day. I don’t have a problem with solitude and been cut off from civilization, I know I can handle it. However I must add that I am really looking forward to going to Mosselbay for a couple of months after this, to get my sea legs and then the plan is to start a small factory in Capetown next year where we will be operating from.

May 2016

May has been the real busy month and I will divide it into sections. In this part 1 it was all about the big day when the boat saw sunshine for the first time Friday May 6. Complicated to get the boat outside, because of the low height of the garage door but after four hours of pushing and shoving we finally got it out. It was only me and my helper Howard. I could not continue in the garage anymore because of the height problem. Now the boat had to get outside to continue. Here are nice photos of the historic day and the handrail going on the next day Saturday May 7.

April 2016

Well folks this update is a bit overdue. But when you look at the photos you will understand why. Building a boat like this is a serious amount of work. I am sitting now at 1200 hours of work and you can double that if you take running around for supplies and tools into consideration. Basically I have devoted the last 18 months to this boat, and that is practically 7 days a week.

The good news is that I will have her on the water around the 10th of May. First to Manten Marina on the Vaaldam where we will do the certification Category D and the floatation certificate. She will be registered as “Celebrator” with SA Sailing and carry a SAS number.

Then I am off to Mossel Bay. There in this beautiful little town with a lovely harbour I will do all the necessary fine tuning, tests and training. And if necessary modifications. The first part of this exercise is to get the body, mind and soul used to this new environment. I want to actually learn to live on the boat fulltime, so much so that the boat becomes like a second skin and fits like a glove. The success of this type of adventure is to adapt and change everything that you ever learned and thought you knew, to a totally different world, a new world where very few have ever been. I have been  for a multitude of medical tests and my health is 100% perfect, significant considering my age at 63 years old, and the fact that I have been a party animal and naughty boy all my life. And as the song goes “still crazy after all these years” Growing old is for the good folks next door, I will leave this world skidding sideways with a bucket list filled to the brim.

With this kind of adventure you will never really know where it is going to get you, but that does not mean that you should not try. I have built a seriously good “ten foot ship” and we spent a bucket load of money on her to kit her out with the latest high tech goodies. Once I am on the sea I will have the time to post regular Youtube videos, update the blog regularly and chat on Facebook. I am looking forward to that because the last 18 months in the garage has been a bit hectic at times.

Cape Town Yacht Clubs

Hello Hello Hello
calling all Cape Town Sailors

I need a bit of help and assistance here:

which yacht club would you recommend for the TEN in the Cape area
anywhere from Saldanha to Gordons Bay and in between
Lets please just keep the facts in mind
I built this boat to have a bit of fun and I have no desire to endanger anybody’s life
the plan is to get to know the boat well and to spend as much time as possible on the boat
the idea is to spend 2 weeks down there and then 2 weeks back in Pretoria every month from February onwards

I just felt that the best way is to join a yacht club
and do the ZA registration, COF and buoyancy certification under their guidance and supervision, this way we keep everybody happy
AND we play by the book of rules and regulations
I am not asking for any special favours or freebee’s

It would be nice to be on a walk on mooring when I’m down there and shower at the clubhouse, and when I go back to Pretoria the boat can go back on it’s trailer and be out of the way. I will arrange for safe parking off site.

I will appreciate any advice – guidance – and assistance that I can get.

Ventilation

You can have a lot of problems with skin conditions due to poor ventilation. Condensation inside a small boat can cause major problems with all your systems and everything inside is constantly damp. Mould will grow uncontrolled and it will become a living hell inside. The average person exhales between 300 and 500 ml of water vapour per night, which is much more than what people actually realise. Read Serge Testa’s book and you will see very good examples of what I am referring to. I prefer “forced” electric ventilation. That is why I installed two 12v extractor fans.You only run one at a time. It extracts the air out of the boat and fresh air enters the boat via the duct where the fan is not running. Should it brake, you simply switch the other on and replace the broken one easily. The outside entry to the air ducts are above the water line – both when the boat is upright OR UPSIDE DOWN. The air ducts run in-between the outer and inner hulls and are fitted with deflection plates that act as a labyrinth so that water is prevented from just splashing directly upwards. I have tested the system and it really works exceptionally well. Also keep in mind where I want to go it is cold and wet. Average temperatures 4 to 12 C and rain virtually every second or third day.

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October report

The roof and cabin interior of the boat ended up being a daunting task. It is much more work than what I anticipated and obviously it also took much longer than expected. The results speak for themselves and we are getting a lot of support and approval from many people all over the world. We are very grateful for the support and from the bottom of our hearts, Anthony and I thank everybody for the wonderful messages of support. Big Thank You.

These pics are where we are now and the path to get there. Please believe me when I say that if I had a magic wand, I would be on the water in Houtbay celebrating with a beer. The anticipation is killing me and I have to count to ten often everyday, just to calm down and get on with the job. This is a test of skill and unimaginable patience. Building a boat is ultimately about hanging in there day after day, relentlessly. You basically have to eat, sleep, drink the boat and the project. It gets very difficult for your family, because you are solely focussed on one goal – on and on and on – nothing else. But proudly we carry on with a song in the heart. Cape Town here we come!

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