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, 30 July 2019

building wooden oars for a sailing dinghy 11 - Leathering oars recipe

Take two pieces of leather and punch holes at 1 cm intervals around 0.5 mm back from the cut edge. Soak in warm water to soften, stretch and allow to dry in the sun.

Cut two pieces of softer leather into 12 mm wide strips, place in warm water to soften and dry off in the sun.

Do some maths - width between rowlock centres is 60 inches. Divide by 2 = 30 inches - add 2 inches to each length = 32 inches. This is the centre point for positioning the leather on each loom.

Mark position on looms and slightly abrade with fine sandpaper.

Now position the piece of leather correctly. Apply glue to both inside of leather and the loom and allow to go tacky. Whilst waiting, cut waxed twine to appropriate lengths and thread two needles.

Then insert needles into one hole either side - knot the ends together and then start stitching, tightening the stitches every so often - pulling the leather tight together. At end, tie off the two pieces of twine with a series of reef knots.

Take wooden mallet and gently tap the stitching down in to the leather so it doesn't stand so proud.

Now glue strips and loom and tack one strip alongside top end of the loom leather piece. Wind tightly and then add more glue, allow to go tacky and add next strip. Every so often add a small tack pin to hold in place. Six strips later, tack the last end in place and rub away any excess glue that has escaped from the sides.

And leave to dry thoroughly before use.

In the meantime, use any off-cuts to leather the rowlocks

No comments: