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".

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Dithering over a bilge pump

You can tell I'm back at school. I have suddenly lost the ability to make a decision. 'Overwhelmed headless chicken syndrome' is a better name for the condition and it affects most teachers. During the last few weeks I'd forgotten what mountains of paperwork looked like. Hey ho.

My initial thinking for the bilge pump was to drain out any rainwater collecting during winter and to clear the floors of seawater during sailing. Whilst the first issue is frequent, the second isn't so. I suddenly realised that with a foredeck and coaming, it is rare that spray actually gets into Arwen. The only water that tends to accumulate on the floor is from rain off the sail.

So can I make do? Do I really need a bilge pump? Up to now the portable hand pump has sorted the winter water collection problem, as long as I remember to check weekly! Can't use the pump when sailing unless I heave to......and that's easy enough to do I need to go drilling holes and installing one more thing to trip over?

I'm dithering again. Last week, prior to school starting, it seemed such a good idea. Now?
I'm dithering! I hate being a ditherer!

In the meantime, I may need some sanity respite and I am wondering about some winter projects.

  • Removing the large circular hatches on the front vertical face of the front thwart and sealing them up with ply patches. Putting new hatches in the front thwart seat. This would make that storage space far more accessible and drier as winter water collection wouldn't seep through the hatches as it does now!!
  • Wannigans.........I.e. portable storage boxes....have raised their head again in my mind. Could I construct a wannigan for the front part of the port side cockpit. It could extend my sleeping platform area and securely store food and cooking gear better than my crate. If I made two....the other one could secure store the spare kedge anchor and warp. The issue is to what extent it would affect boat trim and balance
  • Can I make a wooden raised mast collar that fits on the deck to stop water going down the deck mast hole and collecting in the mast step box?
  • I'd like to make a set of sleeping boards....Joel style.....they are so simple, effective and 'cool'
Having some small jobs which I can spend 30 minutes a night on over a few weeks at a time...will help restore sanity I suspect. I think this academic year is shaping up to another 60 - 70 hrs per week one; which is fine as long as I get a 'woodworking break' occasionally. The smell of planed or sawn wood restores the soul!

Wannigans, hatches, mast collars and sleeping platforms. Bilge pump, jury out this space.


Marius said...

Keep it as simple and uncluttered as possible is what I say. An electric pump is one more thing that WILL go wrong sooner or later.


Bursledon Blogger said...

Steve, A manual bilge pump that you can operate one handed while you sail sounds like a good idea generally, but modify the coaming or cover to keep rainwater out plus a sponge for getting the inevitable condensation seems like the best idea for winter