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".

Saturday, 31 March 2012

the first sail of 2012 and working lazy jacks

At long last, Arwen and I have managed to get out on the water. Our shakedown cruise last 2 hrs and included a circumnavigation of Plymouth Sound. I have waited so long for this and so has Arwen. She was covered in leaves which had blown in under the tarp; the wheel rims have rusted badly so they will need pressure washing to get the rust off and then painting with Hammerite.

All ready to go

Everything went like clockwork including reversing Arwen back onto the drive at the end (amazingly I managed it first go with no pulling forward or repositioning).

well not quite ready - some tidying up needed

We had to use the northern slipway because so much work is being done at QAB. The southern slip was closed as new drains were being laid across the top of it.

got to sort out the furling of the mizzen though
And the lazy jacks! Oh my, those lazy jacks. Do they work or do they work! The main halyard was slacked off and the whole sail just dropped straight down into neat furls and flakes. No watching the aft end of the upper yard plunging into the sea. No knock on the head; no hanging onto the sail as I’m flung outboard. It happened so quickly I couldn’t believe it. I blinked and it was done. Not only that but it actually works as a topping lift as well.

shameful isn't it

I was conscious that Arwen looked a bit ‘shabby’. She does need some TLC, paint touch ups, filling of holes on the boom and a really good clean. So, sometime this week, she’s coming back off the drive and the pressure washer is coming out with a little soft scrubbing brush and some soap. After that some polish. And, if the warm weather returns, the sealing of the mast.

a new advantage of the lazy jack system is that it seems to keep
the top yard much closer to the main mast

the waterproof rucksac that Mum and Dad gave me for Christmas in action
Thanks Mum and Dad

I really enjoyed today. Although the weather was on the turn and we've dropped from the heady heights of 23C down to 13C (23C in March - how exceptionally weird is that?), the day was good and the winds merely fickle. I look forward to going out again later in the week.



Bursledon Blogger said...

We drove over the Tamar on our way back from Fowey last weekend, you really have a great cruising area

steve said...

I know - sometimes I have to pinch myself. i hope you had a good time down in Fowey