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, 5 June 2016

cheap halyard bags

I have tried halyard bags in Arwen before. They were either too small, too big, dragged on the bottom boards, didn't hang properly. The list of minor irritations with them was growing.
I had some spare acrylic canvas left over from some project long ago. So long ago, I can't actually recall the project or maybe it wasn't that long ago but my memory is fading faster than it was. Anyway, I decided to custom measure and custom make some. Well I did the measuring (which I got right in the sense of correct dimensions but wrong in terms of template to cut out!) and the cutting out. The 'Boss' did the sewing and putting them together, bless her.


So Arwen now proudly posses two sets of new halyard bags which are a custom fit to the aft cockpit dimensions and that have custom measured pockets of various widths to accommodate various halyards. On the front halyard bag these would be the centreboard downhaul, the mainsail downhaul, the topping lift and the mainsail halyard. And there will still be room for a flask, water bottle and sandwiches. On the rear bag it is storage space for a ditty bag and the mizzen sheet.


They are held in place using small bungees through deck eyes and are easily removable for washing. I found press stud attachments became horribly corroded or salt caked so that they were really difficult to remove. Luckily, the material I had left over also matched the faded covers of the cushions...wonderful!

A long time ago 'her indoors' was a talented amateur dressmaker. I had forgotten that. Watching her deftly work out how to correct my template cutting errors, double stitch seams and constantly fold inside out and visa versa the various bag components to get the best finish was a joy. Rot proof polyester thread flew off the various bobbins at high speed and within 2 hours two sets of made to measure halyard bags had appeared.

Like the idiot I am, I forgot to negotiate a suitable and fair remuneration for these services. This is, I am assured,  really, really going to cost me!!

On a different note, someone asked me the other day about what pilotage notes I make when I am sailing around estuaries. I have no idea what is the correct way of doing them but here is my version for what it is worth.


They tend to be sketches marking positions of buoyage, bearings and transits; tidal information and useful phone numbers. They are a quick to glance at aide memoir in addition to the charts that I have laid on the starboard thwart under bungee elastic. I have found them to be quite useful in tandem with binoculars and a hand held compass!

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