So we rocked up at Gosport on Friday, had some practice rolled into Saturday with DF65 that seemed to be off the pace, having thought I was well on it. Turns out that I’d stuck some rig bits in the wrong place, the wind wasn’t where I thought it was plus other racing driver excuses. Not the best day at the office. Sunday was a better day with the purple “Wonkaboat” doing it’s thing and a second spot finish out of the 52 skippers was pretty pleasing for the first proper outing for the new outfit.
Wonkaboat in action. – Photo Sue Brown….thanks Sue!
Back at base I took a look at the 65 rig and worked out where the issue was, built some new booms up and hey presto I think we have the issue sorted. I also decided that purple is pretty fast but there are no purple 65 hulls until July so I have added my own purple to what is now called “Wonkaboat Jnr” The fleet matches…result!
Wonkaboat & Wonkaboat Jnr
We also collected our new RG65 from Alex Cory (he builds lovely boats by the way) and we are now trying hard to get it ready for the next round of the RG65 TT series which is in 7 days time at Bournville, lets see if we can get that sorted!
So a super short production week this week, Monday and Tuesday were busy busy, clearing all our orders, Wednesday saw us on a roadtrip to Birkenhead to get some IOM sails measured (yes they did by the way!) before getting a bit of DF65 training in at the Birkenhead club by joining in their Wednesday morning series with some really light and shifty Birkenhead conditions. Much fun and a second spot finish was hard earned. I needed to get my new DF65 on the water and tuned, having built it quickly at the back end of last season for the last TT event it just wasn’t quite right….it’s better now….
Today sees our last production day until Monday, we’ve plenty to do so any orders placed today will not get looked at until Monday I’m afraid.
Tomorrow sees us roadtripping 300 miles South to Gosport from the next couple of rounds of the DF Racing UK TT Series. A whole heap of entries for both days will see a great weekend of racing take place. I might even be collecting my new RG65…maybe!
Last Sunday saw us up at West Lancs YC for the final event in the winter series there. It was a great day of racing even with the low turnout due to the forecast being pretty grim. We had the new DF95 on the water and equipped with C rig it went well all day and myself and John Brierley spent most of the day tuning and match racing around the course, he won some, I won some and at the end of the day we finished on the same points with the same number of firsts and seconds and it was a big countback to declare me as the winner by no margin at all. This also gave me the series which was a surprise but a pleasing result, I counted a first and two second spots.
Shiny new DF95….before decoration!!
Anyhow I must get on, early start in the morning. The shop is open to take your order as ever, it’ll get looked at on Monday.
Well that was a reasonably productive day. We are now almost up to date with our sail orders. 13.5 suits produced today and the theme seems to be pairs. Lots of DF95 A&B suit combos today along with some DF65 stuff too, a couple of sticker sets and some deck patches fell into the post as well.
Photos of today’s work below.
Well, as experiences go that rates as one of the best of all time. A trip to China to visit the Joysway Factory followed by a couple of nights in Hong Kong. I’ve had my mind well and truly blown, met some crazy people, been looked after like a king and stayed in possibly one of the best hotels in Dongguan City and possibly one of the worst in Hong Kong. Both were interesting for totally different reasons!
View from the 11th floor in Dongguan, this is basically what the whole of Shenzen looks like.
The Joysway element of the trip was really very cool and was the main reason for the trip. Seeing where and how the DF Racing products are manufactured was a real eye opener with a mix of 21st century technology blended seamlessly with 1950’s hand assembly lines. What was great to see was just how much that the company does in house, for instance they produce all their own moulds for both injection moulding and blow moulding in the dedicated toolmaking shop. They outsource the production of the ballast weights and fins but they are produced in Joysway made moulds.
Joysway produced moulds for blow moulding of boat hulls.
There was a whole heap of other stuff going on too all of which we were openly shown around, from moulding shop to warehouse, taking in production, design, R&D and loads of other stuff too.
Hong Kong was the total opposite to the private dining rooms of China, the best way to describe Kowloon is simply awesome but really tiring all at the same time. We stayed pretty much bang in the centre of Kowloon in the Chungking Mansions, look it up on the interweb its about as diverse a place as you’ll ever wander in to. It rained a bit and it was mainly misty until Sunday when it brightened up a bit and we made it up to the top of HK Island on the tram……..another experience!
View from the top of Hong Kong Island.
All too quickly it was time to return home and an early start from Heathrow on Monday morning saw us back at base in North Wales by mid afternoon. Tuesday was taken up by a chunk of catch up admin and we finally got to our orders this morning. We’ve nailed most of the non sail orders and should be through the backlog by mid next week, just before we trot down to Gosport for rounds 3 & 4 of the DF Racing TT Series.
Orders away today.
Nothing more complicated than that, we are off to the Dinghy Show in London to give our friends at RC Yachts a hand to run the radio sailing pool at the show. Then on Monday we are travelling to China to see our friends at the Joysway factory for a week or so.
As such we’ll be wrapping up our current orders tomorrow, Thursday, and then we will be away until Tuesday 12th March when we’ll be back in the workshop and on catchup duty.
We’ve also built ourselves a new race boat for 2019, we had a little incident with our previous S&S DF95 which has rendered it… well…broken having dropped it out of the back of the car. We have built the new boat based on a replacement hull in purple and we’ve so far built three rigs for it to match. It had it’s first outing at West Lancs YC where it won the first race and another 5 throughout the day to finish a creditable second, just 3 points off the top spot. Not bad for its first outing.
The shop will be open to take your orders as usual but please be aware of the delay in shipping your order.
We aren’t ones for running competitions, however we’ve accidentally got one on the go via our socials so we thought we should post it up here also. It’s super simple, there is a photo below which shows a completed order from this week. All we need you to do is to tell us how many suits of sails there are in the photo.
There is no trickery, it really is that simple. There will be a prize, we’ve no idea what it is right now but it’ll be something fun. Competition closes next Wednesday, 27th Feb 2019 at midday UK time. One guess per person, just drop us an email or send your answer on a postcard to Tim Boatyard, Abersoch, LL53 7AR.
So we’re getting through our big orders in a slightly different way and as well as producing more than 50 suits of sails for these orders we have also fulfilled 35 of our 36 retail orders that we have taken this month. Not too shabby we think.
Anyhow we are having a day out tomorrow, early start for a 05.44 train to Manchester and then off to the Chinese visa place to get me a visa for a trip to China next month to visit the Joysway factory with Mike Weston & John Tushingham…..exciting times indeed.
Earlier last month we took a 7 hour round trip to do some IOM racing up on the moors at Weecher, it was forecast to be breezy and indeed it was, a healthy field turned out for a chilly day of superb racing. After a blistering start to the day I clearly had too much lunch and could have done with a snooze which led to a mediocre afternoon so I was pleased to finish in second spot, only missing top spot by two points. Tushy was PRO for the day and when he wasn’t getting in the way on the startline he took a couple of really nice shots of my boat, sporting a very nice, and quite quick, number three suit by our own Soch Sails.
We also had couple of good days at West Lancs at the beginning of February and after a day of being Race Officer on Saturday I was stoked to place third in Sunday’s DF95 racing. Bad news however as there was an accident with my great Stars & Stripes boat which took a tumble out of the back of the car in a bid for freedom and has sustained some damage. Being as that is my original DF95 from waay back when I have treated myself to a new hull which I’ll be building up over the next couple of weeks along with a set of new rigs, having given all my old ones away in Dallas. As per usual it’ll be difficult to get away with a cheeky early startline, but I think it’ll look….well…..different!
So, the shop is open as usual for all your sail and accessory needs, we’ll have more rig bags online soon, production is in full swing and we’re back to blue bags which is cool, we like blue! We’ll also be launching a couple of new items in the shop over the next few weeks, mainly accessories for your DF yachts to keep them a shiny and bright.
Please see below for a small selection of the last weeks work.
So we’ve had a really busy January and we have cracked 100 orders for the month this morning, all of which will be sent out by the end of today. We’ll then be having a bit of a shutdown for the rest of this week and probably most of next week too.
We aren’t having any time off but we do have two large orders that we need to get out. The two orders total more than 70 suits of sails so we’ll need a couple of days but I hope that we’ll be manufacturing retail orders again by late next week.
As usual the shop will be open to take your orders but there will be a delay of up to a week in getting manufactured orders out of the door.
Here is a little selection of this months work.
Well it’s Christmas Eve and we’ve had a couple of days off with the family and have spent lots of quality time together, which is lovely.
It’s this time of year when we reflect on what’s we’ve achieved over the last 12 months and start to look forward to the next 12.
We still really enjoy making sails, producing sticker sets and all the other cool stuff that we do, however none of this would make any sense without you guys and gals out there who send us your orders for what we love to do.
Thank you, it means a lot that you’d choose Soch Sails to power your DF Racing yacht, or one of our sticker sets to pimp your boat.
We are looking forward to bringing you some more cool and useful products in 2019.
Enjoy your festive season with family and friends. Us, well we’re cranking up the bbq early tomorrow and will be smoking a brisket for a Texas bbq Christmas!
See you all in 2019.
Well the Post Office have spoken, we’ve done our last post run pre Christmas. we’ve only a couple of orders that didn’t make it but unfortunately we’ve run out of time.
We’ll continue manufacturing over the festive period but it is unlikely anything will be posted out until January.
I’ll have a more detailed update tomorrow whilst I’m nursing a hangover and eating stodge!