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

Saturday, 25 February 2012

getting last and fitting lazy jacks

The weather is better. It's been  a warm week with temps of 18C down here in the south west. No rain and that allowed me to get Arwen's sails onto the drive.

First job, sorting out the slab reefing system and tidying up ropes. There are some frayed edges and I will whip these next weekend. The 6 Nations rugby is on, England vs Wales and well.......I needed to get things done in a fixed amount of time. I mean you can't miss a potential Triple Crown match can you? Not that it's going that well. England, the underdog's are in the lead and it pains me to have to say they have played some really good 'fast break' rugby for 'underdogs'! The Twickenham curse is working again!

Some of those holes need urgent filling

After sorting the slab reefing stuff, it was on to lazy jacks. I've put two blocks either side of the mast just above the main halyard sheave. I've been torn between two different versions of lazy jacks so what I've done for now is to tie the lazy jack rope onto one block on the port side; down the port side of mainsail, through a fairlead under the sprit boom pretty far aft; then back up the starboard side of the mainsail and through the starboard mast top block.

I also took the opportunity to add two fairleads to the upper yard. One is where the main halyard sheet goes through and I the do a clove hitch to secure it. The other is for a small rope strop that I will tie around the mast to keep the yard close to the mast. the rope will have a snap link on it. It was a tip passed onto me by Wayne (cheers Wayne)

From here the rope runs down the side of the mast where I've placed a new small cleat on the mast side just above deck level. It should all being well act as a lazy jack AND a topping lift. In addition, I'm rather hoping that the rope running down the starboard mast side will act as a 'restrictor' helping hold the forward end of the top yard against the mast.

Talking of masts, it is time for the mast to have some TLC. There are some nasty dings, dents and scuffs. The burgess coating has faded and worn off in places. I think I will wait for the first available warm sunny day and then get the mast out, sanded and soaked in burgess hydrosol. Two or three coatings should do it as well.
There are also various holes to fill with wood filler where I have moved fairleads around.

This is the little sticker I mentioned a couple of posts ago

It's 12-6 to England. This is a disaster in the making. Everyone across the nation predicted a Welsh win.......underdogs........ha! And we have one in the sin bin too so we are down to 14 men! On the other hand we have kept possession and tied up England and just got a penalty kick. Not bad for 14 men!

Sorry, got sidetracked.  Another thing which needs sorting are the trailer hubs and wheel rims. It doesn't matter what I do, they get immersed and they start to rust even though I religiously hose them down after every dunking! Not sure what to do about these so will need to give some thought. If any readers have some tips, I'm keen to hear them.

The weather is improving. The temperatures are rising. The lighter evenings are beginning.  I think the first trip out for 2012 is fast approaching. It's been a long wait!!


PS  if anyone is looking for a new saw for boat building, I found one in a Vienna art gallery last week. It displays under the name of 'modern art'!

Postscript 2

I have suffered multiple heart attacks in the last 12 minutes - Dear Lord - what a game. 78 minutes to go and we are now 12 - 12; then a welsh player does a fantastic little kick through a gap, chases it 20 yards and touches down. 2 minutes to go and we are now  in the lead and then in the 80th minute with seconds to go England dive across the line. The ref has no clear view - it goes to a TV judge ref. Minutes pass by. Heart in mouth - if they give this try its a draw.........the whole of Wales is yelling at the TV.......and the judgement comes touch down, no try.....and so we get the triple crown at Tickenham AND our Grand Slam ambitions just carry rolling on........I'm exhausted!! Mentally frazzled! I need a lie down!


momist said...

I didn't even know there was an important match on. Sorry.

Regarding your wheels, I would take them off the tailer, quickly wire brush the loose rust off, and then treat them with some Hammerite paint. There is hammered and smooth available, in several colours, both metallic and not. Get the type marked "direct to rust" or something similar. Buy some Waxoyl at the same time, a small spray tin will be enough. Don't try and spray it on though - spray a small amount into a jam jar and use a small paint brush. Waxoyl round the inner rim against the rubber of the tire, to hold rust at bay where the paint won't. You can treat the inner rim if you ever have to change a tire. Waxoyl the hubs where the wheels fit before putting the wheels back on - it's OK to get it on the thread of the studs if you tighten them up as tight as you should. Hammerite brushes will not respond to ordinary brush cleaner. Use cellulose thinners, or cheap Chinese throw away brushes.


steve said...

Thanks Ian - really appreciated

Anonymous said...

Swap to alloy wheels!

Paul said...

Steve enjoying your excellent blog and about to fit lazy jacks to my Houdini "Hope".
Re your trailer wheels once you have the rust under control and the wheels painted.....make sure after every time you use the trailer that you hose trailer and wheels thorughly with fresh water.with your wheels being this bad I would also check your springs and the back of the trailer where it goes into the water for rust as well.
As Neil Young said "Rust never sleeps".......Cheers Paul