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, 17 October 2011

things can only get better

the words of that song have been rattling around in my head for the last few days.............

We have had a disaster with 'Stacey', my son's much loved motovespa 125 super 1971 scooter. It is catastrophic and we are both reeling somewhat. We are at a loss on how we missed it having spent hundreds of hours poring over every small frame photograph we could find......but there we are. We've read every book, trawled every photograph on the internet; checked in weekly with progress reports to the forum; asked for their advice frequently and acted up on it.......but nowhere did we see this one coming..............

The bad news is in the photograph below, missed by everyone on forums, until one eagle eyed person asked the question......................

'What is that arch shaped hole in the front legshield and why on earth did you put it in?'

Number one son and I bought the scooter with that already there hidden behind the front wheel and mudguard. We assumed it was just as it should be......but clearly not. A request for photographs of the underneath by forum members then led to a catalogue of troubles..........the rear brake plate is not an original - it is homemade and would appear to be inadequate for the job it has to do.  The floor plate seems to have too many welds in it and therefore there may be structural integrity issues. The missing arch section is definitely a structural issue!!  What it should look like is like this..........

Net result........we need to sandblast her back to bare metal; weld in a new front section level with the rest of the legshield to strengthen and hid the missing arch bit; we need to weld in a new one piece floor panel. We then need to refill the holes drilled for the brake plate we had and buy a new rear brake pedal and fit that. 

After that we need to re-epoxy prime her; respray her etc etc.

My son is gutted. I can barely look at him because I've let him down so badly although he doesn't blame me one bit. I missed the 'bleedin obvious' as they say around here......I'm still at a loss how I did was literally staring me in the face! Over £1000 about to go down the drain; and then another £1000 to redo it all again.   I'm at a loss for words......other than "how could I have been so stupid as to miss something so bleedin obvious"?
Well we need to call in some experts on scooters and get them to come and check her out.....but I'm not very hopeful.  I think we may have to bite the bullet and put back our plans for a finishing date so that we can start a savings plan again over the next year or two. In the meantime, two very kind gents from the smallframe scooter forum have offered to come down from Bristol and take a look as long as we pay petrol, provide a cuppa and then take them out on a trip on Arwen........who would have thought it....two scooterists who like the sea AND  small boats......they are indeed truly blessed gentlemen.

A very chastened Steve

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