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

Monday, 24 May 2010

more old photographs

Its good going through the hard drive and tidying up folders. I found a few more old photographs. Below is my ugly mug on what I think was my second outing on Arwen. I still hadn't tidied up ropes or cut them to size at that point. I hadn't quite worked out where things were going to be stored either!

What a rats nest of ropes waiting for cutting to length

The grating is made out of an old bathroom cabinet. hope I haven't shattered any illusions about my joinery skills! It was being thrown out at the local dump and so I asked for it and recycled it. It is've saved part of a tree somewhere!

I also found some old photographs of the construction of Arwen. I know I have a big folder of them somewhere along with movie clips - I kept a detailed record. I remember researching every single navigator built; I downloaded every single photo I could find on the Internet and printed them off. I stuck them in a huge scrapbook and then annotated all over them my ideas; the changes I wanted to make - that scrapbook was my bible.

Gluing up all those frames and arms

Bulkhead no.2 as I recall!

Gluing in the king plank
This was a major step...made more memorable by the fact
that my father-in-law helped me and we both signed  and dated it
He died a few years ago....a fantastic engineer and true gent...he taught me a lot and we all miss him

The footwell
Sadly this was the best it looked - afterwards i coated it with epoxy
and something went disastrously wrong. The epoxy didn't set and so it had to be scrapped off with a heat gun.........a horrendous mess and something I never want to go through again

Thank god the centre case went in OK!

and.....all the frames fitting together
My dad came down to help me plank it all up - another memorable occasion -
we signed the planks as well!

It was great having my dad help me - another meticulous engineer who started on the Great Western Railway in the Swindon works! Whenever I said 'that's good enough', there was a frown followed by 'what do the plans say Steve?' I'd say it was close enough and epoxy would fill the gap; there would be a one way discussion about whether the plans showed a gap...followed by 'My master craftsman always told me 1 thou of an inch gap was 1 thou of an inch too much if it weren't on the plans'. No wonder that the GWR was considered the best railway of the NEVER heard a GWR engine clanking! That's because all the engineers were precision engineers like dad, proud of the standards they attained. I think being GWR and working at THE Swindon railway works was quite a badge of honour in the railway world! I know dad has taught me a huge amount; he's still my biggest fan (along with my mum) and he never criticises ever......raises his eyebrows yes... ..frequently........but never criticises...........what a cool dad!

 l'll be out sailing next week at some stage so will blog my plans later in the week. I suspect I will be aiming to go up the tamar a little way


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