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, 28 May 2015

Yesterday's sailing

I was very lucky to get an invitation to sail on a friend's post boat yesterday.

It is a very nice boat. Precisely the same length and beam as Arwen and with a bowsprit as well.....the difference? Well this is a gaff rigged boat and there is no centreboard. The side decks are vastly reduced and in short it makes the boat far bigger inside with a long central walkway area where you could easily stretch out fully and lie on the bilge boards......which would make it a rather good dinghy camping boat!

waiting for high tide and entry into the River Plym

Under the helmanship of my very skilful and experienced friend, the boat sailed comfortably in winds around force three to four. She has a huge amount of lead in a small keel and so weighs much more than Arwen, consequently punching through waves and chop that would have had poor Arwen gyrating.

A Hawk 20 from out playing in the sunshine

On the other hand, with no centreboard, she did make some leeway. Still a very respectable average of around 3.5 knots was kept up throughout the day. I like the fact that the outboard is in a hole inside the boat! In addition, the sheer amount of locker space is amazing and it is so easily accessible.  The build quality was good...a very nice craft and so easy to sail with just the tiniest hint of weather helm on the tiller. 

out she peeks from behind Drakes island......

getting bigger........

....there she is......HMS Ocean after her refit......

taking the turn through the shipping lane into Jennycliffe Bay

she went off to anchor at anchorage 14 in Cawsand Bay
It was a grand day out, a welcome relief from the stress of new car buying. We had the sound to ourselves in lovely sunshine. The wind wasn't cold and the bonus was that HMS Ocean came out to play as well. Throw in some very excitable marines whizzing around in six large rigid inflatable craft at high speed, some tugs, three Police boats, a departing small ship impatient to get the pilot off Ocean and onto his boat so he could depart on the high tide, a good sailing friend and all in all it was rather an entertaining day. Very nice. Very nice indeed.

returning back to HM Drake/Devonport after a busy day

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