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

Thursday 27 September 2018

Dinghy cruising: Fine tuning the standing lug rig - an update

Well, progress is being made. A video is on its way showing some of the subtle differences I have managed to achieve in rigging and sail shape. There is still a way to go but we are getting there, thanks to the help of John, Joel, my good friend Dave and many others out there in the FaceBook community. The Jedi side of FaceBook as I like to think of it.

A quick trip out in the sound last week and another quick trip to Salcombe yesterday tested out some of the rig adjustments.

The moving of the mainsail peak right to the top of the aft part of the yard has let to better upper sail shape although please don't as me to explain why - as I have not the foggiest idea.

The new arrangement of an S hook onto which I can attach the parrel bead loop at the tack of the sail is much better although I suspect I am going to have to move the main mast side cleat position.

standing lug sail configuration

tack downhaul on standing lug sail

The loop keeps getting caught on it as I haul up the main sail and so the sail is being prevented from reaching its highest point on the mast as it should. In the interim, I haul the main sail up and then move forward to attach the parrel loop but it is a pain and unnecessary, so the cleat will have to be moved.

attaching the top yard on standing lug sail

The moving of the tack downhaul has been a great success but has more work to do on it. The tack is now held against the base of the mast, much better! The tack downhaul is now a line which runs down through the deck from the tack S hook and attaches to the block and tackle which lies in front of the centrecase.  It is here that the problem exists. I still cant get sufficient tension on the luff to eliminate the throat to clew crease before the two blocks in the tackle end up meeting each other.  similarly, the line from tackle to tack is a little too short an so restricts the height I can pull the main sail up (by a few inches).

So, tomorrow I will alter the block and tackle positions allowing a greater distance between them and I will alter the length of the line. Next week I will get out again and quickly test them one more time. I am hoping these adjustments will be the final ones and the crease will disappear for good.

The new arrangement for holding the yard against the mast is much better and the steel loops on the yard with the mainsail halyard going through the top one, then around the port side of the mast to tie off on the lower one seem to be doing the trick. I think some further adjustment is needed but I haven't yet quite worked out what it is. I'll get there. I am what some might term a slow learner!

What is definite is that in light winds yesterday at Salcombe, Arwen sailed better than she has in the past. This may be down to the alterations. It may be down to my greater understanding of the rig, developed over this last year or so.

I am going to remove the reefing lines and set them up as I saw Tim do on Facebook. He kindly sent me some photographs of his arrangement, in which he has a line with a hook attached to the aft end of the sprit boom which he can clip onto the first or second reefing cringle in the leech of the main sail. I guess the line with clip is just held in place by a velcro loop when not in use. Similarly at the tack end, he has another short line with another hook that runs from the downhaul hook and this clips into either of the reefing cringles on the luff.  It looks much easier and neater than my current system and is worth a try.

And that is it. Over the winter I will paint the hull again as the trailer rollers have taken their toll. The rub rails need a good sanding and filling in places, there are signs of rot in one or two patches. I will put in new circular hatches on the front thwart seat tops and fill in the hatch openings on the thwart sides. that will make those locker spaces far more accessible.  Little locks have been installed on all hatch lids already so that if I am camp cruising and go off for a stroll it will potentially slow down or hopefully deter any pilfering light-fingered groats!

I enjoyed sailing in Salcombe yesterday. It was far less busy with plenty of space to tack and drift without being mown down by someone. Much better!  Now if only I can find a tide which will be suitable for a bit of camp cruising up the creeks to Frogmore, Southpool and Kingsbridge. 

Thursday 20 September 2018

The Tamar barge 'Lynher'

A lucky chance encounter with the Tamar barge 'Lynher' occurred last week.  A beautiful sight to behold. It cheered me up no end after the disastrous reefing debacle. very difficult to sail one handed whilst filming with the other on a moving object, so I haven't done her full justice and I owe her owners a huge apology.

If you are interested you can find out more accurate, not from memory, details about her at 

Tuesday 18 September 2018

occasional visitors

Sometimes, out in the garden, when they don't think you are looking, we get furry and feathered visitors. For the last few mornings..................breakfast has been enriched with these cute folk.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Dinghy cruising: reefing a standing lug sail and other things

I went out today in the sound; an outgoing 5m tide with high tide at 10.09. winds were 7 kts with occasional gusts around 14 kts. Skies were sunny with ominous rain clouds every so often. No rain materialised though.

The intention was to test out the new sail rigging; practise some reefing, sailing under main and mizzen and also eliminating the 'dreaded' sail crease that seems to permanently adorn my sail from throat to clew.

Well the rigging adjustments. In a previous post I outlined how I had moved the sail higher up its top yard and adjusted the down-haul so that it ran down through the deck. I  had also devised, on the advice of many, a way of running the mainsail halyard through a stainless steel loop around the mast so that the yard stayed closer to the mast when sailing.

Lets start with the good news, The newly positioned down-haul worked. The tack was held right close to mast base via the parrel beads and I was able to crank on the tension on the luff with no problem.

reefing a standing lug sail 1

standing lug sail tack downhaul arrangement

The raised sail up its top yard had the desired effect, raising the tack some 8" at the bottom so that it cleared the coaming with ease.

The upper yard stayed close to the mast and didn't flog or drift away as it has done in the past.

standing lug sail upper yard arrangement
the yard is held much closer but doesn't seem to be hauling all the way up to the mast sheave, so some adjustment needed somewhere

And now the bad news. The crease still remains. I did manage to almost get rid of it by cranking on the luff tension but there are traces of it still there and adjusting the snotter didn't seem to have any impact. Not all is lost though. Next outing I will adjust the tie on point on the top yard and also move the snotter attachment up and down the mand these adjustments may well have the desired effect.

The toll on the rigging from the Salcombe debacle a few weeks ago was made evident when all of a sudden the jib suddenly collapsed and fell to the deck. The block that it runs through at the top of the mast, suddenly split open. On closer inspection, I discovered some internal screws had snapped and the sheave actually had split longitudinally in half. Quite some force a few weeks ago!

Reefing was diabolical. A disaster......with all the vowel intonation afforded the word by Craig, one of the judges, off 'Strictly come Dancing'! I will post some video on my YouTube channel at a later date. Its really cringing stuff!

I got all the things done in the correct order but my reefing lines are too long. The S hooks I use don't transfer smoothly into the luff holes as they should.  Because I have led all lines aft to the cockpit, it was difficult to find the right line at the right time. It was, frankly shambolic.

I think I will get rid of the reefing lines. I have a snap hook that attaches the clew to the sprit boom. I can't see why I just don't un-clip it, pull the leech down and clip the boom into the first reefing point cringle on the leech. No need for reefing lines, just lower the whole lot into the boat, transfer the tack down-haul; transfer the clew and then raise the sail again and tidy up the loose sail afterwards.

Sailing just under main and mizzen went well. Tacking using only the mizzen and jib sheets was a partial success. I locked off the rudder, bought the mainsail to just off the transom port quarter and then used jib and mizzen sheet adjustments to tack about.  I managed it but it needs improving.

Heaving to and using the mizzen to go head to that buttoned down.  Sailing off a mooring has improved significantly as well although it can be hit and miss.

Sailing under jib and mizzen didn't go well when it came to tacking. Gybing, no problem. Tacking, a disaster!

Still, I did get to see the restored Tamar barge 'Lynher'. Oh my what a glorious sight she was. A real rare treat. it made up for some of the day's disasters!
It is difficult taking photos with one hand whilst sailing with the other! But I hope I caught a flavour of what a magnificent boat she is..................enjoy!

Wednesday 12 September 2018

YouTube stat reflections

YouTube send me a little update each month about how well my channel is performing. I can access the stat's via YouTube analytics.

Having always regarded the channel as a depository for my vlogs of sailing and travel adventures, a sort of visual diary for my future 80 yr old self, I was somewhat surprised to find that I have gained 156 new subscribers over the last 90 days or so.

In the last 28 days the videos have been viewed 7000 times with 150 likes and 30 comments. I just discovered an extraordinary amount of information in YouTube creator studio analytics, none of which I have any idea on what to do with or how to interpret. I don't even know whether I want to or not.

I do like, very much, the discussion that the comments generate; I definitely know that peoples' kind observations have helped me improve my sailing and dinghy cruising significantly in recent months and I am very grateful to them for their time and analysis. I have certainly made lots of new on-line friends across the UK and the rest of the world and I value the periodic contact with each and every one of them for all sorts of reasons.

Next year my channel, will be officially ten years old and this blog nine years.

A 'good' side to the internet and social media I guess.
Go figure!

caravan touring

Readers of old will know that her indoors and I purchased a caravan upon our retirement. Affectionately known as Florence, (Florrie for short) she is teemed with our car 'Zebedee'.

Now readers of 'a certain age' will know where this one is heading! Both her indoors and I were heavily influenced by the laid back Bohemia that was 'The Magic roundabout'. Dylan, the rabbit had a significant influence on one of us at least! It was a sixties thing!

Anyway, having slightly digressed away from the topic for today's post, let's return to it. Not wishing to bore anyone with our diaries and photos from recent tours around the Malverns and North Devon, I did want to just share two little gems we thoroughly enjoyed. I am not into promoting any business on my blog, but we did enjoy both of these.

Firstly, I apologise, for I am no Giles Coren food critic but I did enjoy a pasty, coleslaw and salad at 'John's of Instow. Pasties are like a religion here in Devon and Cornwall and one can be fobbed off with some frankly quite appalling ones. This one, however,was simply stunning; a masterclass in pasty perfection.

Firstly lets set the ambience. Imagine if you will a grocery come deli come cafe shop set in the seaside village of Instow. Outside are nice green sunshade canopies drawn down over the pavement with the shops name across them. Rather lovely.

Inside, wooden floors, bare wood scrubbed table tops, white wooden chairs framed by white walls,  discrete lighting and lovely sage green shelving and dressers. Cheerful, smiley, welcoming staff!

A window counter top with bar stools that afford simply stunning views out across the estuary muds and beaches towards the Babcock Appledore ship yard. Bare brick walls adorned with local artists work. A deli counter stocking local cheeses that frankly were sublime. And lets not get started on the neighbouring cake counter. One coffee cake was an 8" deep, yes 8" deep, melt in your mouth perfection! Soft music and shelves of local Devon produce ranging from wines to moonshine, from pickled vegetables to piccalilli, jams, preserves, curds,  and a most impressive selection of local meats, sausages and pies in a chiller unit back in the grocery section.

As for the pasty?

I genuinely don't know where to start or how to do justice to this locally produced culinary perfection. The light brown flaky pastry melted in one's mouth. It crumbled to perfection. Pasty contents were well cooked, flavoursome with a wide selection of vegetable and tender meat; none of the tough gristle you normally find in what purport to be pasties in some parts of the south west. It was of a decent size and wasn't that horrible sort of triangular crimped hummock shape so beloved of some mass produced pastie makers.
As for the coleslaw. It crunched perfectly; genuinely freshly made with a thick creamy, possibly even yoghurty based sauce. It was heaven, just not enough of it!!

Normally having scoffed a pasty my poor stomach will protest much later at its ill-treatment; but not on this occasion. With local spring water and a fresh green salad, this simple meal was well worth the £6.00 paid.
Well done John's of Instow. You managed to tempt us back on three separate occasions during our stay in North Devon and it wasn't just because you are conveniently on the 'Tarka cycle trail'. Your lattes and cappuccinos were worth two return visits!

And now I'd like to point out I have no connection or affiliation with John's of Instow; neither did I receive any form of payment for this recommendation! This is merely a public service announcement, if you are in the vicinity of Bideford, pop across to Instow. You can even catch the little ferry across the estuary which practically drops you outside the shop front door!

And so to our second little find. In the words of Monty Python 'And now for something entirely different'

The Lynton and Lynmouth cliff railway. Awesome fun! Amazingly simple technology and a great ride with stunning views. Just go do it!

Fill up the 700 gallon water tank at the top and as it descends it pulls up the bottom carriage which of course has emptied itself at the bottom. Those ingenious Victorians eh? 

A little taster to whet the appetite, courtesy of my humble mobile phone 

Dinghy cruising: sailing the lower river Lynher at Saltash

"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind”
Webb Chiles

Such words of wisdom casually encroach on Skipper’s thoughts as he surveys his pilotage notes and assesses the weather around him.

From the comfort of his 14’ open boat ‘Arwen’, securely tied on to his favourite yellow mooring buoy at the southerly end of the Saltash Bridge trots; and now substantially fortified by hot tea and cheese and marmite sandwiches, it has not escaped skipper’s notice that the wind forecasts in his notebook fail to correspond with the ‘real’ breezes eddying around him.

welsford navigator

Yet again he has forgotten that whilst winds may well be from the SSW in Plymouth Sound and up the Hamoaze, they too often have an irksome habit of blowing directly westwards down the Lynher channel when he decides to venture up it. Or perhaps, he muses, it could just be the influence of topography around him.

Today’s cruising goal, one of his favourite ‘backwater treasures’, is a traditional boat yard.  Hidden away in a 20-acre former quarry where the upper Lynher narrows and winds its way through steep sided, oak wooded valley, Treluggan is in Skipper’s humble opinion, a ‘proper’ boatyard; a place where highly skilled craftsmen combine traditional woodworking skills with modern methodologies and materials.

Treluggan boat yard
Looking along the old wooden pontoons at Treluggan

aerial photo of Treluggn boat yard on river lynher
Aerial drone shot of Treluggan Boat yard

Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, fabulous wildlife and fascinating industrial archaeology, there is a deep tranquillity to be had from tying up alongside its crumbling, wooden planked, mooring pontoon. Here, in the narrow mud bank lined channel, natures privileges abound; the diving acrobatics of majestic blue and russet orange kingfishers, the ‘snuffling’ antics of small salmon splashing in the shallows, shovelling up the unsuspecting small fry and long legged, motionless white egrets, a stark contrast against the chocolatey brown thick mud.  It is he muses, such a shame that many boats never get to see such wonders, so quick are they to drop their hooks in the popular deep water Dandy Hole anchorage further downriver.

Putting reveries aside, it slowly dawns on the small boat adventurer that extensive ‘wind artistry’ will be required today. Lengthy periods of up-river tacking, finesse in sail trimming and plenty of agility, will be required if he is to reach this picturesque journey’s end.

Returning to his pilotage and passage planning thoughts and wishing to arrive at Treluggan at the top of the 4.9m high tide around 1700, Skipper knows it is pointless entering the Lynher much before 1330pm. Although he only draws 10” with centreboard raised and can easily take the soft mud ground, the helpful passage planning notes downloaded from the boatyard site a few nights before recommend small boats should enter the final mile of channel from 1.5 hrs before high water. So, quick mental calculus suggests it will be 1530 at the earliest before skipper can turn to starboard at the confluence of the Tiddy and Lynher rivers to begin the winding passage up to Treluggan, past thriving salt marshes and beneath wonderous Victorian engineered railway viaducts.

With no need to rush, and a wary eye on the wind, the fledgling dinghy cruiser usefully fills the hour before departure with ‘boat-keeping’ tasks. One or two frayed halyards where whippings have ‘mysteriously’ undone need re-seizing and so he reaches for his little toolkit ditty bag stored in the port forward thwart locker to find needles, thread and bosun’s palm. 
Afterwards, bottom boards are sponged clean; the annoying small pieces of gravel that find their way onto his boat and gouge his newly done paintwork, thrown back overboard. Dry bags are shuffled around and bungeed down along boat sides to give better trim and a few pleasant minutes are passed admiring the foot stirring antics of a long-legged grey heron as it flushes out and rapidly harpoons unwary flounders and eels at water’s edge.

The French use a lovely phrase, ‘Trouvaille’ to describe that ‘chance encounter with something wonderful’. Skipper’s few minutes of ‘trouvaille’ end as the lanky heron, spooked by a rattling train crossing Brunel’s ancient lenticular trussed bridge, soars aloft in lazy circles, its slow beating wings carrying it onto a tree top perch a few hundred metres further upriver.  Feeling a momentary sense of loss, the sailor quickly checks the winds once more and mentally notes his scrawled passage plan notes.
“Leg 1 – Beggar Island red port can on 256M at 0.4NM against westerly tidal flow of 0.4kts”.

His first checkpoint up river yet he knows in reality that this bearing and distance will become meaningless as he starts his rapid tacking upwind to reach the waypoint.
Mizzen raised, the little boat drifts round to point into the stiffing breeze. Aft of the centre-case, comes a sudden flurry of activity as skipper hauls on halyards and sheets. The standing lug sail top yard shoots upwards to its near vertical alignment against the mast; luff tension is applied and snotter adjusted to gain decent lower sail shape. Ropes are tidied into thwart mounted halyard bags before rudder is lowered, centreboard set and painter released in one fluid set of movements.  Dismissing the need for a potential reef in mainsail earlier on, he has already visualised his departure course away from the buoy. 

Away on a southerly reach back down the upper Hamoaze between the two moored lighters west of Carew point, before tacking around and heading back up’.

standing lug sail

Jib unfurls with rattling sheets, the red furling line snaking away through the cockpit coaming fairlead. The white hulled dinghy with its burgundy sheer plank makes a steady 3.5kts on the return reach to the Lynher red port can marker before a series of short tacks bring boat and skipper upriver, past Wearde Quay.

Had Skipper and Arwen been sailing past this point in the late 1800’s they would have passed HMS Defiance at anchor off this quayside. The last wooden three decker ship launched for the Royal Navy, she may never have seen service as a line of battle ship, but her history is still an interesting one. In After becoming the permanently moored training school for torpedoes and mines in 1884, her commanding officer, Captain Henry Jackson, made a series of pioneering radio transmissions in 1896, so becoming the first Briton to use radio for practical communication from the deck of a ship. During WW1, Defiance was an army training camp and later in 1918 was converted to a Queen Alexandra convalescence centre for battle casualties. Sadly, in 1931, she met her end, dismantled and sold for scrap.

Captain Jackson 

HMS Defiance at wearde quay

 With no wreck to view and only a row of renovated cottages to mark the quayside, Skipper is content, that based on old photos he found on the internet, HMS Defiance must have been a remarkable sight. So important and busy was she in her heyday that the Great Western Railway even built a station halt behind her on the main Paddington – Penzance line. ‘Defiance Halt’, long since closed.

Between Beggar Island and Sand Acre Point, skipper tacks upriver with care, keeping a wary eye on the water colour beneath him as he approaches the northern shore. Shallow water above oozing mudflats will catch the centreboard of the unwary sailor and whilst grounding oneself on a rising tide is a mild and somewhat irritating inconvenience, it is not something skipper is keen to do under the full gaze of the ‘Jupiter Point’ naval trainees, who are out in force practising their MOB procedures in small ribs.  

Courtesy of Navy Times

He is especially very keen NOT to become the day’s ‘teaching point’ for accompanying Chief Petty officers and so he further shortens his tack runs.  

Courtesy of Navy Times 

Whilst it is fun for short periods of time to ‘guess’ the depths and repetitively duck back and forth beneath swinging boom and mainsail, skipper is of an age now where back and legs tire quickly and the ‘novelty’ soon wears off. He is not, never was and never will be a dinghy racing type!

 Today the fates take pity, rewarding him with a sudden albeit brief wind shift to a more south westerly direction which enables him to complete a ‘longer’ tack out past the training school, the mine sweeper HMS Brecon moored midstream, and over to the northerly ‘Anthony’ green starboard channel can. It is a move that particularly delights skipper as it affords him a closer ‘inside’ view of Forder lake and the hamlet of Anthony Passage.

HMS Brecon 

In this stretch of water, it is not hard to see how the shift from Hamoaze to Lynher is like cutting ties with civilization and entering a past historical time. The change of pace and scenery, from dockyards, incinerators, lumbering chain ferries and stark urban landscapes to sceneries not out of place in the early 1800’s or even medieval times, is most welcome.
Forgotten creeks, old wooden wreck hulks, crumbing Victorian quaysides, the ‘Capability Brown’ designed gardens of old country house estates and glimpses of ancient medieval Motte and Bailey Norman castles high on farmed hillsides always excite this skipper.

Forder lake
Looking over Forder Lake towards the river Lynher

To the sounds of rattling blocks, flapping sails and knocking centreboard, Arwen’s gracefully curved forefoot stem slows its slicing through the wavelets as skipper eases mainsheet, tightens mizzen and brings bow into wind. Gently drifting backwards, he now has time to admire the industrial archaeology of Forder Lake. From early medieval times right up to the twentieth century, the history of flour milling, fulling, market gardening, lime burning, roadstone quarrying and concrete block making have left their indelible mark on this pretty conservation area and area of outstanding natural beauty (ANOB).

Seduced by splendid agricultural scenery on rolling hills, it is too easy to sail by and miss this inlet with its old mill house and pond where the thirteenth century tenants of Trematon Manor bought their grain to be milled; where seventeenth century waterwheels enabled fullers to clean, shrink and thicken woven cloth; and where nineteenth century boats bought Devonport Dockyard dung and street sweepings upriver to be dumped on the quayside for local farmers to carry away in carts. Natural fertiliser for the local market garden farms!  Some twenty miles long, rising 280m high on Bodmin Moor and with 75% of its catchment given over to dairy farming today, Skipper likes to think of the river Lynher as a ‘hard working’ waterway rich in a history that he never tires of discovering.

As winds shift back to WNW, he completes a longer tack south across the channel. Over the transom he gains fleeting glimpses of Trematon castle above Forder Lake. Privately owned, he sadly has yet to reach a station in life where he would be granted a personal invitation to visit such a worthy historical site. Built on a former ancient roman fort, after the Norman conquest, the motte and bailey castle’s 30’ high, 10’ thick walls were once home to Drakes treasures from his circumnavigation. Spanish plunder, safely kept there, whilst the ‘pirate’ awaited aboard his own ship for news that he was still in his fair Queen’s good books!

Aerial view of Trematon castle and beyond is Forder Lake 
with its GWR viaduct, mill pond and old mill houses

Ahead of skipper, the wooded gardens of Antony house, owned by the National Trust and still lived in by the Carew Poles, a family who can trace their lineage back to the 1400’s and Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire. 

antony House National trust cornwall
Antony House 

Although a geographer by heart, skipper does occasionally admit to being lured by the dark side of the force and the attractions of being a historian. Thus, the Lynher with its stimulating histography is one of skipper’s favourite cruising haunts. Why, it was here in 981AD that the Saxons crossed the river, forcing ancient British Celts back deeper into Cornwall (so unwittingly, skipper feels, starting the Cornish struggle for ‘independence’ from the domineering, hugely omnipresent Anglo Saxon and later Norman, English and London centric governments.  A unique Celtic seafaring, mining and farming history, with a culture and language more in common with Wales, Ireland and Brittany, skipper, as a Welshman, has some sympathy with this longing that is so entwined in the DNA of many Cornish people).

A cormorant, in the path of the rapidly approaching little boat prudently its flap wings and sprints its webbed feet furiously across the water surface to gain momentum and lift, thus intruding on Skippers musings about cultural politics. Breaking away a few metres ahead of looming bow, the cormorant in a welter of spray, whooshes its way southwards to find another less disturbed fishing ground.
Meanwhile, skipper pauses briefly to plot his position on chart and to search out his next waypoint mark with binoculars. Building forward momentum once more, he unhurriedly turns tiller to leeward and ducks beneath swinging boom and fluttering mainsail. Jib is backed, bringing bow through the wind more quickly and he checks his steering compass.

‘291M, 0.9NM to ‘Ince’ green starboard buoy’.

Course details successfully scrawled in passage logbook, he momentarily relaxes as his little boat surges towards deeper channel waters. Sails trimmed and tiller tamer set, he pours a tea from his trusty flask and savours the last of his cheese and marmite sandwiches.
Life is good. Or, to paraphrase the great Joshua Slocum,

          ‘the days pass happily with me wherever my [little boat] sails’

Thursday 6 September 2018

Dinghy cruising: the standing lug sail rig - some refinements today

Well today I managed to get out and work on Arwen whilst she is parked on the driveway.
Following on from all the advice offered over the last couple of weeks I made the following rigging changes.

1. I moved the peak of the mainsail further up the top yard to the very aft end. For some obscure unfathomable reason, I had it around 9 inches lower down the yard. I am hoping that this will now raise the tack several inches off the deck and coaming area

2. I bought new, smaller blocks for the down-haul tackle and re-rigged it. Now a line with an S hook attached can clip into the sail tack eyelet. This line runs vertically down through the deck, around 55mm back from the mast rear face, around a turning block attached to the reinforced thwart seat top below and attaches to the block and tackle of the down-haul. I re-positioned the attachment points for the block and tackle - moving it further back towards the front of the centre case. I should now be able to tighten up the luff and pull it further down and closer in to the mast where it goes through the deck

3. I have altered the parrel bead set up so that it is much closer around the mast. again a simple S hook attached to it will now attach to the tack eyelet. This arrangement should bring the sail tack far closer to the mast and in conjunction with the above changes mean that the sail tack doesn't brush against the coaming when fully tensioned.

4. In order to move back the down-haul block and tackle towards the centre-case front, I had to also move back and re-position the up-haul for the centreboard

5. i also added another stainless steel ring on the top yard for the mainsail halyard to run through. I now have rings positioned at the 30% and 40% marks along the yard. The main halyard runs through one of these rings, around the port side of the mast and gets tied off on another ring at its very forward end. This arrangement works well, holding the yard near vertically and very tightly against the mast. The yard doesn't drift or flog away from the mast and it has significantly improved sail shape already.

The two articles below summarise where I was with my understanding of sail trimming and rigging on Arwen, prior to all the helpful comments given me over the last two weeks.

Next week, after returning from a short break, I intending getting Arwen out on the water in a stiff breeze. Plymouth Sound should give me plenty of space to practise reefing, heaving to, sailing under main and mizzen, main alone and jib and mizzen.  After my Salcombe scare, it is time to 'get back on the horse'!!

Sunday 2 September 2018

Dinghy cruising: departing Calstock and starting back down the river Tamar

A bonus for the cruising the rivers Tamar and Lynher series......leaving Calstock.