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".






Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Arwen gets a new paint job

All the deck loops and fittings have been removed
The sander is ready

The hoover has been emptied and stands waiting

The detail sander is pressed into action

Not everyone is going to like the new look..........cockpit floor and sides will be International 'Interdeck' grey............thwart tops in aft cockpit will remain Toplac brilliant white. The aft cockpit sides and floor will be the same as the front........grey.

Even the cockpit interior coaming will get a re-varnish............and then we start on the fore deck, side decks and exterior coamings 

The Mahogany planks and centreboard casing tops can wait until the end of the season - they will be winter work!

And depending on the weather and sailing opportunities I may, or may not paint the exterior hull. Best not to rush everything at once I always say!!



Monday, 16 April 2018

You can take the geographer out of a classroom.....but you can't take the geography out of a 'retired' geography teacher

A short bus man's holiday. For years I have taught about the Isle of Purbeck, both at GCSE and A Level. But, alas, it has been many, many years since I have been there. This weekend with her indoor's and my in laws, we put that right!
First port of call was Charmouth Beach and its thick mudstone beds

.......and the wave cut platforms

...although there are odd metallic 'fossils' of unidentifiable origin.......



From Charmouth we headed east to Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole

......a discordant coastline, if anyone is interested......



.......sea mists were thick and constantly rolling in.............

.....and Lulworth Cove was hidden in the murk........


mass movements in action............

geologists were out and about..........


visitors arrived and anchored...........


.....managed a bit of rock turning and crab hunting...........

lots of shelly rock to examine........

......the gloom lifted.........revealing stunning colours.........


by midday the car park was full as the sun bought the visitors

want to guess what these are?
(psst........fossilised tree trunks....)

.......the adventure centre sent its budding canoeists around to stair hole


and then we went over to Durdle Door........


....before heading off to the Kimmeridge Ledges for more fossil hunting....


Saturday, 14 April 2018

RYA Day Skipper Theory

I have finally signed up for a week long day skipper theory course. Thought it was time to develop some basic navigation skills
Ho hum should be interesting

Thursday, 12 April 2018

re-boarding a dinghy 2

I took a leaf out of Joel Bergen's approach on his navigator and installed boarding loops; I also installed righting lines as well.


The approach was simple enough. The green webbing is a 20 inch loop which is attached to two stainless steel eye bolts under the side deck behind the coaming. The eye bolts were attached to two neighbouring bulkhead ribs. I drilled through the rib and added extra 10mm ply blocks either side to strengthen the rib. The eye bolt went through rib and both blocks and was secured with nuts. The webbing was whipped at each end and then secured to the eyes with bowlines. Each loop is stored in the plastic wallet on the coaming. 


After righting from a capsize, the theory is that I can reach over and pull the loop out. It will go over the coaming and side deck and hang just below the hull bottom. I put a foot in the loop and there should be enough leverage to get me up and over the side, back into the boat. 

The rope is 12mm diameter braid. With big knots every 8 - 10 inches - for cold hands! It is about 14 feet long and each one (port and starboard sides) is attached by a bowline to another stainless steel eye through a bulkhead rib with strengthening blocks.  They store behind the coaming under the side deck. The idea is when Arwen lies on her side after a capsize, I can reach into the submerged cockpit, find the rope, throw it up over the higher side, swim around and use it to pull myself up onto the centreboard whilst at same time start to pull the boat back upright.

Well that's the theory. As always, theory and practice don't always match up. 

Hating IT

Microsoft edge has crashed again, this time causing my laptop to go into a permanent locked out reboot cycle, which thus far Microsoft help techies haven't been able to solve.
To those people who made comments on the blog, I will answer asap. Borrowing a friend's iPad at mo.
Normal service will resume sometime today or tomorrow. If you have been trying to Skype me, apologies. Bear with me.

IT sooooo frustrating at times 😢😱

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

spring launch time approaches

so...here are some winter reflections.....of a sort.............lots got done, if not done well!


from this CAD

to this..........

and the finished thing......a galley box for Arwen




The rudder got some TLC






as did the mast and the mast fixings



Frayed ropes and halyards got rewhipped


A new sleeping platform was made, Danish oiled and varnished




Life jackets and PFD's were checked and cleaned




Square spars were rounded



varnished, painted and had leather bindings put on 

and halyard rings were lashed in place



The outboard bracket was repaired and refurbished. Let's ignore the fact that I put it on back to front!!



All that remains is the attaching of eyes and setting up of re-boarding loops; and the installation of two knotted righting lines under each side deck

and some extra strengthening blocks in construction to reinforce where these eye bolts will go 

and of course, that ever nagging issue,
the painting of interior and exterior hull!!

Phew. Nearly there!