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 16 November 2013

out in the autumn sunshine


Rik said...

Hoi Steve,
Very nice vid. Thanks for posting it. Nice music also. Glad to see you did not put her away for the winter yet.
Good to see your boat from close up. I have some questions about it. May I email you about them?
Regards, Rik

steve said...

Hi Rik
Glad you enjoyed it - no will try to keep going through winter this year if I can although how she fairs outside under a tarpaulin on the driver will be the determiner of that

by all means email me or if easier post your questions as a comment here and I will reply to them and then others who visit the blog can get the answers too

does that help?


Rik said...

In my waters our winters mean a softer tradewind :)

The questions I have a technical ones so I can learn from your experience:
Your stays are connected to the hull by blocks. Any particular reason for doing thatinstead of semi fixed stays connectors?

Is your mast solid?

The job-stay seems loose. Is that a camera lens induced illusion? If not, how come you leave it loose?

The main sail is attached inside the boat and quite some distance from the mast causing inefficient sail area. I am sure you are working on this but curious why it is setup this way.

Why have you not opted for the inboard engine setup?

Thanks for your information.

steve said...

Hollow mast
Blocks on stays no reason than I like them and when the kids were younger they liked to pull them tight. Don't like stay connectors.
Didn't want inboard outboard well, smoky and noisy, also takes up room and would interfere with tiller movement a little.
Sail is inefficient. When I had it running through deck the sprit boom was very, very low. We think the mast is 30 cm shorter than it should be, an accident ...not sure whether mine or mast builder so I'll go with my fault......hence we have to have it inside the boat. This is something we re looking at. Also front foaming is slightly higher than on the plans which also interferes a little with original sail plan

Very observant rik
Are you building a pathfinder?

steve said...

Oh jib stay is pretty tight ..optical illusion. I can put some down pull on the bowprit to tension it further if need be

Rik said...

Read somewhere that JW also recommended the blocks on stays, or at least a lashing to tighten the stays. I like them.

Yes. Here is my attempt:

If you have a hollow mast, is should be relatively easy to add a 30 cm solid plug in the bottom to push it up. You have beautiful sails for it. Seems that the boat is sufficiently stable to handle the heightened center of sail.

Post and be observed... ;)


steve said...

Nice pathfinder build Rik

Joel Bergen said...

Great vids Steve. Thanks for sharing them. I wish I was tough enough to go out sailing this time of year :)
Question: I noticed that you've got your main sail on the outside of your boom. ie the boom is between the main sail and the mast. I thought on a sprit-boom rig the sail goes on the other side of the boom so the boom doesn't spoil the sail shape as much. Just wondering if you'd found an advantage rigging it your way and what it was? Hope you're feeling better.

steve said...

Hello stranger
How you doing?
I miss blue men tunes!

I confess.....laziness and poor packing away the sail last trip out. The mainsail should be the other side and normally is.......I just couldn't be bothered to faff around altering it
I really am a poor excuse for a sailor.
So how re you Joel. What you up to?
Family all well?


Joel Bergen said...

Aha, I see. I was hoping I was missing out on some revolutionary secret sprit-boom rigging technique! Family is all well. In fact, that's why I've been too busy to make any new BMG vids in a while. Oldest daughter got married (the weekend of the Port Townsend festival of all days!), my other daughter gave us our first grandson, so we've been busy enjoying him, my son got his college degree so we've been busy trying to find him a job, and so on and so forth. That's why I've been enjoying your vids so much. Thanks again Steve!

steve said...

Congratulations....what an amazing time for the family. My eldest daughter in job hunting mode. Difficult here in UK.....feeling very sorry for young difficult to come by but she is getting out there and that's critical. Son is in final year of a levels...tough exams ahead. Me, I'm waiting to be told I will have to retrain as a maths or English schools battle with falling rolls, stupid government decisions and lack of investment in a world class education system
Congrats on grandson.....enjoy these early years, they grow up fast