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".






Friday, 6 April 2018

reboarding after a capsize.

This year I intend doing another capsize test. I need to make sure that hatches are water tight.
The reason I have been thinking this is because I have just finished working on hatches. One of them has a lock, which over the years, due to salt corrosion, has now finally seized. Getting a replacement fit has been nigh on impossible and the hatch works perfectly well and so doesn't need replacing. It is the stern thwart locker and if I leave the boat I tend to store odd things in it when camp cruising - spare batteries, life jackets, etc. Cameras, radio, steering compass and binoculars go in my rucksack which I take with me. Anyway, cutting along story short, I epoxied and bolted on a small hasp set which I can padlock.


Having done that successfully I decided to add hasp locks to the wooden hatch to the under deck locker as well.

And whilst doing all this, I had my thoughts about a capsize test this year. The local weather forecaster said last night sea temps were 9C and lower than normal, so such a test may wait awhile!!

Having then thought about capsizing, my thoughts naturally turned to the 're-boarding' issue. I am no lightweight and previous experiences out snorkelling have shown me how difficult it can be re-boarding Arwen whilst she is at anchor!!

I have a brass step glued beneath the boomkin on the port transom and by stepping onto that and gripping boomkin and then mizzen mast I can haul myself in over the stern.  Last year I rigged a mooring warp from bow cleat to stern cleat so it fell about 50cm into the water beneath the boat and this worked very well. I could place both feet on it and ease myself up onto the side decks and over the gunnel and coaming.  It would be fiddly to tie whilst swimming alongside the boat during a capsize in open seas though.

So I have stolen another idea from Joel Bergen and I am about to install some 25mm wide webbing straps either side of Arwen. These will be tied off to very strong deck eyes which will be bolted through a pair of ribs either side. The resultant sling will be around 40cm below the water line and will be some 2m wide. It will fold up and be held snuggly by elastic bands under the side deck behind the coaming. All I will need to do is reach over the coaming and grab it. The bright green webbing arrived today and I will fit it sometime next week. I just need to make and stain some spacer blocks out of ply to reinforce behind the bulkhead where the bolts pass through the deck eye and bulkhead area.

I fitted a new red streamer made by my friend Dave to the aft end of the top yard and all that is left to do is lash on a stainless steel ring at the 35 - 40% mark on the yard. I've decided to go with the main halyard coming out of the sheave at the mast top, through the stainless steel ring on the yard and around the back of the mast before being tied onto the bow end of the yard. Hopefully this will secure the yard at the mast head during sailing and it will release quickly when allowing the sail to fall between the lazy jacks.  I also intend removing the bronze mast band I installed many years ago - it gets in the way!

And that will be it.

Apart from painting the interior cockpit area........and for that I need a spell of fine weather.......in the UK - ha! 

9 comments:

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Stupid question.... stainless hasp set, nuts and bolts???

steve said...

Hi Steve. Hope you are well.
Everything is stainless steel and in most cases this has worked. There are one or two fittings that were 'supposedly' stainless but clearly weren't and rusted badly staining the white paintwork - the outboard bracket; one of the deck eye pads for safety harness and one of the mast eye pads for snotter rig.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Hi t'other Steve - damp around the edges, but well - just waiting for a break in this endless weather to get the mast up.. tried three times now...

"Non-stainless stainless".. bane of my life hence I just thought I'd ask the stupid question....

steve said...

never such a thing as a stupid question. I know EXACTLY what you mean with stainless steel fixings!!

Unknown said...

A comment on stainless fittings.
.. are you sure you are using 316 grade stainless? Other grades can corrode when in wet, salty environment...John

john knights said...

Any chance of some pictures of boarding apparatus. Want to be prepared for single-handed capsizes in wayfarer...

steve said...

hi john - trying to find out whether they are 316 is very hard at chandlers as often they dont seem to know! But thanks for the reminder tip - appreciated

steve said...

Hi John, reboarding apparatus - see next post - hope it helps - when out on water - will make a video of it as well

Jude Miller said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Regards, @BushcraftCanoeist