HISTORICAL INTEREST

COULD THAT BE MY BOAT BEHIND THE CITROEN ON THIS PIC FROM 1964 AT THE PARADE IN CAPE TOWN?

What a coincidence, Andre Beyers saw this photo on a Facebook group called Cape of DIAB which has the most unbelieveable old photos of the Cape.

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Cape Town 1964

THESENS OF KNYSNA

Thesen boatbuilders used yellowwood to construct the clinker fishing boats that used to work off our beaches, notably Plettenberg Bay. As for European oak, it too would be better for boat-building than South African grown.  Ours never get enough "sleep" during winter which, leads to a shorter lifespan.

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Thesens of Knysna advertisement

DAPHNE CLASS SUBMARINES; DAVIE JONES' LOCKER DENIED

The South African Navy bought 3 Daphne class submarines from France that were built by Dubigeon-Normandie shipyard in Nantes, in the early 1970s. These submarines were ‘sailed’ down the Seine river to St.Nazaire for first sea trials.

The first two SA Navy submarines: Maria van Riebeeck and Emily Hobhouse have been scrapped after 30 years’ service and the third submarine (renamed ASSEGAAI) is in a submarine museum in Simonstown. Lt Cdr Theo Honiball, long time resident in Knysna and well known raconteur, now lives in Cape Town and is currently compiling a book of stories of his time in the Navy which is bound to be well worth reading.

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Submarine crest Le Redoutable

KNYSNA PADDLEBOAT FLOODED

On 12 April 2019, we woke to the dramatic scene of the Knysna ‘paddle boat’ listing heavily to port while still on her mooring. A floating protective circle was soon in place for any oil spills and professional divers were dispatched from Port Elizabeth. Knysna Motor Strippers secured the boat from complete capsize with a line to their heaviest vehicle and Roger Clancy was on scene to offer his salvage experience and advice.

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SEAPLANE, SINGAPORE, ON THE LAGOON IN 1928

This amazing sight greeted Knysna residents on 28th March 1928 as Sir Alan Cobham landed the seaplane, on loan to him from the Air Ministry, in the main channel of the Knysna lagoon. He was on a 20,000 mile journey round Africa to explore the potential of air travel from the U.K.

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BOATS LOST IN THE GREAT FIRE OF JUNE, 2017

A large plaque was presented to the Fire Station in addition to our donation that year commemorating the boats lost and the tremendous work by the fire fighters of Knysna ( and the NSRI ) that saved countless other boats and their fortunate owners. Precious lives were lost, but many more were saved by the actions of these organizations.

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donations from classic Boatshow

MOTOR VESSEL MARGARET PARKES

This boat was one of three that came to South Africa from May 1963 to 1965 on board the President Class Destroyers of the South African Navy.

They were built in England and are an example of the early use of fibreglass in boats and have fairly thick skins.

Called 'three-in-ones" because they could be rowed (if your were crazy), sailed or motored under power by their Enfield horizontally opposed twin cylinder air cooled diesels. They were on the ships primarily as ship-to-shore transport when the mother ship was at anchor or on a swing mooring.

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Margaret Parkes classic boat

M.V. NIGHTHAWK

M.V.Nighthawk was built in 1984 on the Thesen Boatyard site for Mr Frans Fischer of Knysna as a competition fishing boat. At 11 meters in length, she was the largest powerboat on the lagoon with twin Cummings Diesel engines. She passed her sea trials and was used in the Knysna area for about two years before disaster struck at 10.45am on 4th March 1986 en route to a fishing tournament in Mosel Bay. The sea turned nasty and the skipper turned back. Approaching the Heads the sea bar was 'tricky' and the Nighthawk got into difficulty, sinking in 60ft
of water.
MV Nighthawk lost boat knysna

HENTIE VAN ROOYEN

Hentie van Rooyen is probably best remembered for building his ‘floating’ Botel on the Knysna lagoon that opened in 1958, but he was a fine boatbuilder too and cabinet maker. He was also the country’s first official waterski instructor, along with his wife, Rita, and trained Deirdre Barnard ( Dr Chris Barnard’s daughter and Springbok skier ) on a slalom ski of his own construction.

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Hentie craft design wooden boat

THESEN INDUSTRIES

As early as the 1870s the Thesen and Company sawmills were producing boats from their furniture business premises, but WWII would ramp up production to  over six hundred vessels. The most well known of these were the Fairmile Submarine Chasers. The Thesen engineer, Mr Cyril Noble was tasked with building the boat shed over the first keel of a motor launch. The first Fairmile was completed in June 1943, similar to the photo on the right.

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Wartime craft knysna