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".

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A self steering Arwen

Someone was searching on the blog about self steering and it serves as a nice reminder as the sailing season comes around. Basically the main points are 

1. In 10+ knots I should try to trim the sails, starting with jib, then main and finally Mizzen until such time as the luff is just lifting a little. Then.......
2.  Bring Arwen up towards the wind and let go of the tiller
3. If she goes to windward and puffs then ease the mizzen and/or main
4. If she goes to leeward and bears away then tighten mizzen and/or main

All of this is best done between a close reach to beam reach. 

Alternatively, I could use the centreboard. If Arwen heads windward bring the board up slightly and conversely, if she bears away, lower the board slightly.

Excessive weather helm can be tackled by either
A) pushing the mast forward as far as possible when setting her up on the ramp and then allowing the main halyard to dangle. Set up correctly the gap between Hayward and mast should be around 17cm. 
B) whilst out on the water, tightening the forestry and loosening the shrouds should help

On all occasions securing the tiller amidships using some elastic cord will help as will minimal movement around the boat. In the past I have found Arwen to be very sensitive to my weight distribution!!! Going forward sends her rapidly windward, hanging off the stern allows her to bear away rapidly as well. 

So much to remember........!!!

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