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

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Neil moomey's pulley anchor system

Can be found here

His website can be found at

A novel, simple system, which at this very moment I am putting together in the kitchen as it is way to blowy to go sailing. Pity, such a sunny day too.


Sunday 29 March 2015

Dinghy cruising: The pulley anchoring system

Has been bugging me. Mine didn't work quite right and I want a good set up for the summer. Anyway I bought two copies of small craft advisor magazine because I am stuck in a hotel up north (short version story...we moved my daughter and her friend into a rented apartment this weekend so they could start their internment jobs on Monday. They arrived and immediately switched on the boiler. Which caused several pipes to burst flooding walls and electrics......say nothing!!!!!!!)

Anyway in the one magazine was a lovely simple diagram set showing the set up using some pic pipe with two bends one either end, 200' of floating rope, some fishing net floats and a few carabiners. I can set it up ready prepared and then just attach it to my anchors. Hey presto, system long last. Now all I need is some nice sailing weather.

I'm aiming for Wednesday or Thursday. Tides are building to springs and high tide early evening ish. My good friend is semi ready awaiting the where and when (it's weather dependent my friend......but Tuesday is definitely out! So Wednesday or Thursday if you don't mind wearing foulies!!)

I suspect it's a shake down cruise, first of the season, so pottering around the sound, maybe poking a nose up the Tamar into mill rook creek and St. John's lake.

We'll see what the week brings. 

Saturday 21 March 2015

Arwen finally slid off the drive this morning for a wash and scrub out in the lovely spring sunshine.

 Everything was emptied out and her decks, floors and thwarts washed down to remove the black spore mould that seems to proliferate on her during the winter months.

The grating broke so that needs repairing
So much comes out of the lockers!
The oars need sorting as well. they were borrowed and are only 7' long so are way to short for Arwen. I need to get some 9' 6" ones
Arwen needs a refit. There are one or two areas where delamination is happening. Some of the fibreglass has delaminated on the stringers on the floor as well.

This is where water collects when Arwen is on the sloping drive. Just below the blue bungies on the left hand side is where there is some serious delamination

Dents, dings, down to the aluminium undercoat...lots to do. The question is of course whether to do it over Easter or do some sailing and then towards the end of August repaint and repair her before putting her away for the winter.

So many dents and dings need sorting

The mast is looking somewhat forlorn and worst for wear as well. Maintenance after winter......I think sailing at Easter is likely to be delayed!

I am thinking of burgess hydro-sealing the mast - it does needs a spruce up
Pizza and lemonade snack - so healthy!!!!!!!
'Stuff' going back in slowly

Saturday 14 March 2015


Well, sadly it has come to an end, my love affair with a cafe on the Barbican. The owners have done some remodelling thus ruining its ambiance but I am sure they will feel it is worth it as it will pull the punters in during the winter months. I guess  I can understand it.

However charging £4.95 for three minuscule pancakes, a drizzle of maple syrup and two small rashers of bacon along with £2.00 for a cup of tea...a cup mind you not a blatant profiteering and ridiculous overcharging. The rest of Barbican cafes don't charge that much and thus they will get my custom.

I really can't abide greed. Making a fair profit yes.....blatant greed no. There are plenty of other cafes across the Barbican who will charge £1 for a pot of tea or thereabouts and certainly not a fiver for pancakes! They can have my custom instead.

The end of a five year love affair, Saturday or Sunday mornings will just have to be in another venue from now on.

Am I becoming a grumpy old man in my early fifties? Hope not.