Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Monday, 19 March 2012

ever decreasing circles.................

So it is final preparations time again. Pumping up the trailer tyres because they have gone flatter over winter. I should re-grease the bearings and it will help if I use waterproof grease this time (doh!).
I'm not particularly promoting this brand but it is waterproof.......unlike the last lot I used.........Doh!

All the rollers need re-greasing as well. In an ideal world the trailer would be on blocks and the wheels taken off over the winter but hey this is one of the draw backs of having a driveway on a slope. Scrapping off the rust on the wheels and painting them with hammerite is another job shouting at me every time I pass Arwen.

Got to go through the yellow emergency grab sac making sure there is a hypothermia kit, some nutrition bars, space blankets, glow sticks, spare water and first aid kit. I need to cut some plywood patches. I have bungs but not patches. I need to get a spare pintle and gudgeon set, a quick setting epoxy repair kit, a new roll of duct tape and a new can of WD40 (because, hey here is a surprise, SOMEONE ELSE HAS USED ALL MINE UP ON SOME SCOOTER WHICH IS STILL IN MY GARAGE!!).

I’d quite like to get a hand held anemometer; and one of those Gaz camping grill plates (for when I camp aboard Arwen – would quite like one of them on the beach in the evening!)

Then mast needs sanding and deks oljie-ing so I need to get some Deks Oljie or maybe I’ll use burgess hydrosol wood sealer – can’t decide which but need to soon!

Shall I go for this............which I have used before and really like...............or

....or this....which I have also used and quite like
With either one - you need to apply two versions - the sealer and then a top coat gloss one if you want a shiny mast!

Still haven’t got around to fitting that spare wheel to the trailer – another winter project which seemed to slip by. Then there are some scraps and dings which need touching up – well sanding back and repainting basically. Um – need a small tin of international Toplac white!
I have fitted the new steering compass and put new sail repair tape in the emergency repairs kit; so I haven’t failed miserably yet. And, with fairness I did sort out the lazy jacks and reefing system a few weeks back ready for an Easter launch. The new water ballast containers arrived this morning – 4 10 Lt containers and I will work out some form of securing system for these next weekend. I have the straps and the metal eyes already. I want them immediately alongside the centre case so that they can be strapped in and I can still pass down the sides.
Spring is in the air. Two more weeks to go to the Easter Break. We’ve had some good fair weather....please let it last! I walked around the Hoe yesterday and the Cattedown moorings are empty – loads of space to practise those moves I never get right.... you know the ones.......

MOB drill

• Sailing up to and picking up a mooring buoy

• Leaving a mooring under sail

• Coming alongside a pontoon

Then I need to get out somewhere where there is a nice sandy beach with few rocks inshore and get to grips again with

Sailing up and dropping anchor

• Sailing off from anchor

• Sailing onto the shore and beaching Arwen

• Sailing off the shore having beached Arwen

• Breaking out of my lazy dependency on the outboard to get me out of trouble!

Anchoring bow and stern....i.e. dropping a stern anchor as I approach the shore and then setting a bow anchor as well

Oh yes and how could I forget......................

• Learning to sail by just using sail trim to turn the boat and not using the rudder at all

I think it is fair to say it should be an interesting Easter. If you want a serious laugh visit Plymouth in the next few weeks and look out for the little white hulled boat with the burgundy sheer plant and the lovely tan sails, sailed by a moron, around in ever decreasing, haphazard circles!



Bursledon Blogger said...

How do you get on with Hydrosol? I used to like it but found abrasion resistance poor?

Interesting comment by John Welsford in wooden boat this month - "What's the best type of varnish? - john "While Paint"

Anonymous said...

No Moron, they ride jet skis along swimming beaches! It's good to see someone elses preparations for the season, so I can compare how I'm doing. Thanks Steve, Phil Sykes.

steve said...

jet skiers - an interesting breed - I met two last summer who stopped when I was having engine outboard trouble to check I was OK and didn't need help - rather nice I thought; and then I met some with literacy difficulties who left the cattedown way over the 8 kts speed limit

burgess - um _ i know what you mean; so far mine gunwales have been fine and it seems to be holding - they've had a few knocks. I like it as it goes on wet on wet. I nsaying that I like the Deks as well - I guess it will depend - do I want to varnish the mast or not - it has done four seasons just being I'm tempted to sand it down, sort out the odd dings and then reseal it. Dilemmas - I'm hopeless on decisions during term time.

John's white paint - bless him! I think some bright woodwork around a boat gives it a nice finish but I'm not a great one for varnish to be truthful. Partly lazy and partly because I know it will get knocked and scuffed pretty quickly