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

Wednesday 12 May 2010

I've been thinking about what I carry in Arwen. Am I carrying too much? What do people think? I guess it adds to the ballast; it's all stored out of the way in lockers under thwarts at centre case and rear stern thwart. Some of it is stored under the side decks. In Arwen, there are backrests between side decks and side thwarts...with easy access cut outs. Nothing rolls around and I can move about safely. Recently I took up the offer by the RNLI of a free boat safety check. the gent who did it seemed very experienced as a sailor. Arwen sailed through (excuse the pun) the checks with no problem....Mr RNLI thought she was a very well equipped boat.......which is great and pleasing to hear........but still that nagging I carrying too much unnecessary gear?

When day sailing Arwen has:
  • two anchors (main and smaller spare)
  • two spare lifejackets
  • binoculars, handheld VHF, spare batteries, mobile phone
  • tough charts and passage plan and tide tables and handheld gps
  • handheld compass and spare silva hiking compass
  • bailer pump and hand bailer
  • oars
  • torch and spare batteries
  • waterproofs and spare clothing bag (spare clothing change of; sallopettes, windproof fleece jacket; warm hat and warm sailing gloves, spare towels etc etc etc
  • drogue and warp
  • spare outboard fuel in 5lt container
  • spare outboard fuel in 1 lt container (for when I'm hanging off the transom!!)
  • fire extinguisher
  • my personal PFD with personal miniflares, whistle and safety knife in pocket
  • sunblock, shades, sunhat, sailing gloves
  • emergency kit in grab bag (flares, fog horn, hypothermia kit; first aid kit. spare water bottle, high energy snacks, thermal space blankets; glow sticks, swiss army knife
  • radio licence
  • camera and spare batteries
  • money and credit cards
  • mooring warps x 4
  • rowlocks
  • sail battens
  • sponges and collapsible bucket and rigid 5gall bucket
  • fenders x4 small
  • fender x 1 massive(great for coming alongside pontoon at QAB
  • outboard 3.5 tohatsu
  • fuel funnel
  • radar reflector collapsible
  • mooring hook/pole
  • some spare ropes different lengths and sizes
  • piece of tarpaulin folded and roped ready to act as large patch if I hole the boat (is paranoia creeping in here?)
  • a toolkit comprising spare shackles, split pins, bolts and nuts,WD40, spare kill cord,hand drill.assorted screw sizes,duct tape,whipping twine, sealant,screw drivers,small hacksaw,wrench,pliers,marlin spike,centreboard bolt and spare o rings, grease tin, spare spark plug, spare prop pins,spare blocks and cleats various sizes, marine epoxy quick setting tube of, bungs various sizes, ply patches various sizes,needle and sewing thread for sails
...and what get's added when I eventually start to go camp cruising? Well..............
  • kettle and pan set
  • cutlery and bowl/mug set
  • stove and spare canisters
  • lantern
  • gortex bivvy bag, sleeping mat and sleeping bag
  • spare clothing bag
  • tin opener, sharp cutting knife and cutting board, paper towel rolls
  • spare plastic bags for rubbish etc
  • food containers
  • water containers
  • toiletries and loo roll
  • windproof matches
  • some good books to read
  • portable wind up radio
  • Ipod
  • headtorch
and depending where I go........the new stickleback canoe tender.....which is still in build and will be named Angharad......when the poor thing eventually gets launched!

Yeah - I think it's fair to say I need a spring clear out don't I!  But where to start? short of dumping everything - anyone got any ideas?  Wow........have I actually missed anything off the lists which is vital.......seriously....this is going to keep me awake all night!

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