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

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Getting Arwen organised

One or two of you have kindly commented on the comprehensive list in my last post.....thanks. I sort of compiled it from a mixture of sources - the list at Dinghy Cruising Association; a list from Margaret Dye's book on dinghy cruising (lovely inspiring read); the shared experiences of the helpful man at the RNLI and also from my own past experiences as as a leader of expeditions here and abroad.  I missed off the throw line which is always secured under the side deck - sorry!

I also have a sketch which reminds me where things get stored on Arwen. It was an idea i pinched from somewhere - I think it was from Steve on his blog 'Log of Spartina' (thanks Steve - hope you don't mind me stealing idea). I've added the image below.  I haven't drawn on the oars - they get stored along the side decks - the blades are about half way along each side deck and the end of the oar shafts close to bowsprit where it is attached to deck. they are held in place by homemade wooden eye pads and sail bungie cords. They lay flat and are completely out of the way. Originally they rested in rowlocks along the coaming but it was such a pain climbing over them! In terms of balance and trim - I've haven't spotted any issues yet - I think the weight is reasonably balanced....still time and experience will tell.

The other photos below show some favourite kit - the GPS - simple to use, limited in terms of what it can do - but I've found it really useful as a speed indicator - it has helped me learn how to set sails better so that I get 'in the groove!' I can actually see how altering sail trim leads to genuine increases in speed - amazing! I've just learned how to link it to google earth as well so that I can download the track of Arwen's voyage and save it in google earth; next voyage I will do that and upload the save file to the blog.

The xacti waterproof camera is fantastic - 12mp - takes video and photos - and is waterproof! All the videos on this blog are shot on this camera. The gorillapod stand is new - an amazing piece of kit which will virtually grip anything - bought recently - so that I can set it up in boat and keep two hands on tiller, mainsheet and other bits of boat!

Finally - I've come across Admiralty tough charts - wonderful and perfect for open boats - waterproof! Easy to read; easy to mark with chinagraph pencil - convenient A3 size. Highly recommended if you do most of your day sailing in one area like I do around Plymouth Sound and associated rivers.

Anyway, if you like the blog, let me know - if you have suggestions on how I might improve it - constructive advice always welcome


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