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".

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Rowing a welsford navigator?

We have been discussing how to row a navigator on the JW forum. The photographs below have been supplied (and are copyrighted) by Joel Bergen who owns a lovely navigator ‘Ellie’. These photographs are actually of Barrett’s boat ‘Yuko’. She was such an inspiration when I was building Arwen. She posted her progress photographs constantly and I learned so much from her postings. I have always wanted to meet her in person just to say ‘thank you’ for the inspiration; the instruction and goodness knows what else.

This isn't 'Yuko' and I can't remember whose navigator this is but I hope the owner/builder doesn't mind me using it to illustrate the rowing position. Lovely Navigator isn't it

David and Joel were discussing the merits of doubling up either side of centreboard – two rowers etc. Then we reflected on how it could be done single handed! Where do you sit; how long do the oars have to be; what do you do with the tiller whilst rowing? And then along came Robin!

A similar seating position and the rudder is up with tiller amidships

Robin, as always, had a different slant which immediately makes you start thinking in a different direction.....he constantly does that to me....prompts my thinking of alternatives, as does Joel and John. So he suggested that maybe rowing standing up and facing forward might be a better option for a navigator. Richard supported this viewpoint but suggested we’d need tall rowlocks and installing them as close to the gunwale as possible.

Finally Joel estimated oars may have to be 9 – 10’ in length.

So, to add to my list of things to sort, if it ever stops raining in the UK, are

  • New oars (or a cleanup and re-sealing of the existing ones)
  • Finding some taller rowlocks or a way of securing the oars in them for a standing position
Add to this some unfinished business from last year i.e. cockpit tent and well we might just be ready for the summer, should it ever arrive in the UK



momist said...

Steve, If you want to stand up and face forward to row, have a look at how the Venetians do it. There were some at the Pageant, and they also went to Beale.

Joel Bergen said...

Hi Steve,
The blue and white navigator is 'Surfbird' built by Steve Hales from Ketchikan, Alaska launched in July 2008. I'm not sure who the rower is aboard 'Yuko', but it could be Barret's father, who was piloting one of the schooners during the schooner race at Port Townsend that year (2009). Wish I knew more but the photos aren't mine.

steve said...

thanks guys - thought they were yours Joel - sorry but thanks for setting me straight - I'll do some detective work at weekend and try and find out whose permission I need and who to credit

I'm trying to find picture of the venetians at Beale - a good tip momist thanks steve