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

My friend's new boat

Contrary to popular belief - I do have one friend. He got me into boat building - he gave me his three-quarter finished Selway Fisher highlander 12 and the benefit of his wisdom. It's what started me off on a completely new hobby and interest - a  swap from mountaineering and camping to sailing! He's a really good amateur boat builder - skilled, well read, knowledgeable and meticulous. He's also an extremely experienced sailor who makes it look so easy; he has huge amounts of patience and a wonderful way of helping you learn. Coupled with a warm sense of humour and easy going manner - sailing with him is great fun.
Anyway, he's just got a new boat after a gap of several years without one. It's a character post boat about 14' 6" long - the same length as Arwen. There are some differences - it's a gaff rig and a hell of a weight compared to Arwen as I discovered when I tried to help him launch it - oh boy! I went to push it off the trailer with one arm and nothing happened - it was like running into a wall! Don't get me wrong it comes off the trailer easily - its a wonderful set up - but Arwen is a real lightweight in comparison!

We had a good day out - reaching and running between the breakwater and back of Drakes island. I've uploaded a short film I made of the day with cheesy music  Its a great boat, sails really well and looks fantastic. It was a gusty day winds around F4 gusting F5 and my friend took it carefully but his experience shone through constantly. He was able to point closer to the wind than I can  - he seems to sense wind shifts before they even happen. Anyway - it was a fun 4 hrs or so and its great to know that Arwen will now quite often be sailing on company!


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