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

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Some of the posts from 2019.......

May I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Over the festive season, if you need a quick fix of dinghy cruising nautica, here are some of the posts from 2019.....

I managed to sail up two rivers without resorting to the outboard. I started to learn some canvas work skills, built a set of oars and reshaped the yard and boom. I added five new videos to my YouTube channel at

I saw plenty of wildlife, visited some lovely traditional boatyards and met wonderful new people.

Anyway, have a wonderful festive break - see you out on the water in 2020.

Finally in print

Sailing back from the river Yealm

Making a sailors ditty bag

Making new shrouds for Arwen

Note: these are the old shrouds - I made new ones out of dyneema

Building a new pair of oars - part 11

Sailing up South Pool creek

Charging a VHF using portable power banks

A day sail around Plymouth Sound

Getting great photographs of your boat out on the water

Safety considerations  - what do you carry in your PFD?

Making galley boxes - an update


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Happy Christmas, Steve - and fair winds for 2020..

Unknown said...

Tha ks steve and merry Christmas to you too

Unknown said...

Hello, hope that you had a Merry Christmas. I'd like to know a little more about the raised coming around Arwens cockpit. What are the pros and cons of such a setup?
Cheers from Beth in Canada

Unknown said...

hi beth from canada - hope yu had a lovely christmas - happy new year to you.
advantages: deflects water down side decks brilliantly; deflects spray well; gives greater back support when seated in arwen; good for attaching flexible plumbing pipe into deck eyes on coaming sides which supports boom tarp tent well and stretchesit out wider to give more headroom in cockpitgood for attaching camera clamps etc for gopros; great when camping as rainwater flows down tarp, drips onto side decks but coamings prevent most of it coming inside boat (wierdly). disadvantages - cant sit out on side deck without cushion over coaming as hurts thighs; have to adjust rowlocks to make blocks to sit alongside outside coaming and then need sliglty taller rowlocks so oars dont hit coamng or rub on upper gunwale; did affect downhaul tack for a while as couldnt apply sufficient luff tension - but rigged a new system below foredeck which sorted it. i think advantgaes of dry boat far outweigh minor disadvantages. hope that helps.