A blog about sailing a John Welsford
'Navigator' yawl around Plymouth Sound
in South-west England
Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England. Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".
....................is on it's way. This has been an extraordinary labour of love by a very talented man. I'm really excited at getting my hands on a copy. Robert tells the story more at his excellent blog which can be found here http://middlething.blogspot.com/
Robert's book - doesn't it look fantastic (copyright Robert Ditterich)
Dave has posted an excellent short video for the Akaroa wooden boat festival 2010. I love this film - it is well shot, full of atmosphere and shows how much fun sailing with others can be. A classic - well done Dave and thanks - its brightened up a very nasty, snow and down right freezing winter night here in the UK. You can see some lovely boats and a number of navigators.....and then there is that stunning scenery as well
Angharad got her launch. This afternoon she was put onto the car rack and driven over to Oreston slip - a tiny little launch ramp on the side of the Plym. It's a lovely little place overlooking the old docks. Angharad slipped into the water for her first test float. Given I have no paddles yet I didn't get to canoe....but it was enough to see she floated level......and didn't sink. Here are the photographs.
Angharad strapped to the roof of old faithful
getting the painter ready
And she's launched - Angharad takes to the water for the first time
Here is a video of Kevin with the last sail of his season on board his navigator Slip Jig. He's sailing on the Chesapeake bay in Maryland and wow doesn't it look great. I have always liked the videos of Slip Jig - interesting camera angles - well thought out.
He woke up with frost on the windshield and a forecast that was clear skies high of 60 degrees F, small craft advisories, wind NE 15 knots with gusts to 20. What really happened was 10-12 from the SE and the wind shifted to the S in early afternoon to less than 5, temp on the water was mid 50's in the afternoon.
enjoy the video which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McBMPcfXhvs
I'm still waiting for my last sail of the season - like Kevin - I'm waiting for the right forecast!!!!!
We did promise not to mix scooters and sailing but hey, here is a quick update. The weather has been miserable - we can't get out in Arwen; we haven't been able to do a maiden launch of Angharad. We have made progress on the 1965 motovespa scooter though and secretly we are rather please with ourselves because neither Sam or I know anything about engineering (although he's just started a GCSE in it - so I'm playing catchup........again!). So with apologies to all my boat purists...here are some shots of the stripped down scooter.
the top of the steering column with the handle bars and the front steering fork removed
The circular metal bit at the top of the column is a very stubborn bottom half of a ball bearing cage
which refuses to shift.......I bet for some of you wooden boat purists this is striking fear in your hearts.........or down right revulsion......I still feel that swapping to scooters from wooden boats is something naughty to be done privately behind closed doors!
This is a small frame chassis for the uninitiated. Everything has been taken off it and we now need to find a grit blaster who is sensitive enough to gently blast off the paint back to bare steel. We'll then etch prime it and two tone pack paint it
some rust areas to sort out especially where the floor panel joins the central raised area
this is the front wheel hub assembly known as the fork. you are looking at the back plate of the brake drum and the grey bit is the lower end of the front shock absorber. sadly we are having some problems with this - some idiot tried to force the back plate off with a screwdriver and the nut on the other side has jammed!
the offending castellated nut - i think it will a blow torch job to heat the nut slightly so that it expands....at least I think that is the theory!
This is the carburettor and my mad son wants to take it apart - I applaud curiosity...but this feels one step too far!
before we took the front steering assembly apart
original light, horn, badge - 45 years old and it still worked having been stored in a barn for 30 years unloved - amazing!
The very highly sought after rear tyre holder - very rare and difficult to get hold of apparently
and we are hoping to take it from this...................
to something similar to this.....well that's the plan
The reality might be a tad different!
(apologies because we are unsure where we got this lovely scooter photo from and so cannot acknowledge the excellent restoration workmanship)
Anyway we just thought we'd let yoou know how we were getting on - hopefully the next post will be boat based!
A welshman displaced to wonderful Plymouth in SW England; a novice sailor and boat builder with a passion for all things to do with the sea. My learning curve is vertical....but hey that's what makes life interesting isn't it! So follow my journey as I learn to sail Arwen,grappling with charts, tide tables and passage planning so that I can become 'a dinghy cruiser'
And by the way, just occasionally, little snippets about 'Stacey' our beloved 1968 motovespa super 125 scooter may feature along with odd insights into our family travels< but these will be kept to a minimum, I promise!
The 'Navigator' is a 14' 9" yawl with a beam of 5' 10". she weighs in at 309 lbs and has a sail area of 136 sqft. She has a standing lug sail. She has side, centre and front thwarts and space for six although she is an ideal single hander. there are a huge number of potential locker spaces. For more details about the design of navigators go to www.jwboatdesigns.co.nz/plans/navigator/index.htm