Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Doing the housekeeping...........

We've had a bit of a sunny weekend which enabled me to catch up with housekeeping on Arwen. First of all I cleared everything out.....until she was almost completely empty......... which point I could get on with sanding and painting the odd dings and scratches. The gratings were re-oiled. I raised the jib sheet cleat onto a block on the rear of the centreboard casing will help me secure the jib sheet more easily when single handing.  The mast got another coat of sealer as well. Then it was the turn of the hull - wow some scratches there.....took quite a bit of sanding and sorting....but we got there. There was some added pressure - I think my wife threatened she'd cut off bits of my anatomy  if I got any paint drops on the new driving paving bricks!!!!!  White kinda shows up on reddish brown brickwork!

Finally some areas of wood with the dragons on got a touch up varnish!

One of Arwen's decorative dragons

On every boat I have built thus far......I have always burned lightly some drawings/designs to add a little sense of individuality and takes ages but I think the effect is worth it.  Arwen has dragons either side on the back rest and on the curved coaming she has a burned in sketch of a welsh princess. Often my designs are an amalgamation of what I have found on the internet. I burn them into the wood with an old soldering iron which has a metal tip that I filed and shaped into a pencil point. I also bought an old pyrography set at a car boot sale and that has made a great difference to the quality of what I can produce.

I won't be sailing for the next couple of weekends due to various birthday party and wedding commitments...however at half term I have two outings planned - one up the Tamar and the Lynher; the other around the Salcombe estuary...if all goes well. I'll outline the details of the trips more fully mid week. Until then, I leave you with a picture from my mobile phone...on Arwen's maiden voyage.......a common porpoise came alongside Arwen and spent 20 minutes playing at her bow and underneath her.......I was single handed and just about coping so only managed to snatch the one photo.  I still think it was a really good omen.....I still look out for had so many scars on its back that it would be easily recognisable but I haven't seen it since - shame!

Have a good start to the week everyone.


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