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

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Dinghy cruising, using the Speedy Stitcher to make galley box straps

Is a clever little tool. It was given as a present and has been used a few times now. I am in the 'still getting used to using it' rather than the 'mastered it' category. Stitching is still untidy. Thus far I have sewn up a tear in a halyard bag; attached some waxed thread grommets to another halyard bag and made a few webbing straps to secure anchor trays and galley boxes in Arwen.

Here is a link to one particular company who makes it with some useful guidance and tips on how to use it. I am not recommending them as I have never used them but the guidance is good. I got mine for around £25 off the internet - it came with waxed thread and spare needles.

Here are the latest straps for the second galley box which is nearing completion on the work bench downstairs in the garage.  Each strap cost me £1 - for tape and buckle. Not bad.

Of course, there are a few more small scars on the odd finger and thumb as well! 

The second galley box nears completion. I had run out of International Toplac, so International Brightsides will have to do instead. One coat on, two more to go.

All being well, a space has appeared on the family calendar - so hopefully a quick sail on Wednesday. I'm thinking I might pop over to one of the marinas at Millbrook and have a nosy, but only if tides are right.

There is a nice cafe there apparently as well. Then a quick sail around the Sound. I think the dolphins that were with us through much of January have departed offshore. But I will keep an eye out for them.

Friday 1 March 2019

dinghy cruising galley boxes

The two galley boxes alongside each other for the first time. Slightly different heights and widths for various reasons which I won't bore people with. Now all I need is some cruising weather and appropriate tides so that I an sail up to and overnight at Kingsbridge, Southpool Creek and Frogmore Creek.

alt="galley boxes for dinghy cruising"
Galley box on left with space for two days supplies of food.
Extra galley box on right with enough space to hold a week's worth of food

alt="Welsford navigator interior cockpit"
Ihe cook box is stored on the port side between anchor tray and thwart; 
the extra food box on the starboard side in similar location. 

alt="welsford navigator interior aft cockpit
Better view of the spaces into which the boxes will be strapped on extended voyages

alt="galley box for dinghy"
Galley cook box tray lid in action.

alt="dinghy galley box with trangia stove"
The galley cook box with my old faithful Trangia stove, now nearly 40 years old. 

alt="John Welsford navigator Arwen"
One from last year, overnighting on the little beach 
just north of St German's quayside on the River Tiddy

alt="The Cattedown at Plymouth"
Difficult to believe this is from today, March 1st.
A view out over the Cattedown in Plymouth. The city of Plymouth and Sutton harbour is to the right
behind the white fuel store. The little castle turret on the hill is the Mountbatten area. The island in the middle distance is Drakes Island and beyond it is Cornwall and the Mt. Edgecumbe Country Park. Plymouth Sound is to the left behind Mountbatten.