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 2024

The small traditional sailing boat Facebook group

 On the face book group Small Traditional Sailing Boats....march is navigator month.  There are some excellent posts throughout the month about John's design

Search for #STSBnavigator on the group's page to find all the posts. 

If you are into small traditional sailing boats, join the group. I promise you won't regret it. Brilliant group. 

It is amazing how much you can learn from looking at other boats similar to yours. For example, I have noticed a variety of little modifications and deviations from the plans that other navigator builders have done ..... which just make plain common sense

  • two front bulkhead access hatches to under foredeck locker either side of the main mast, instead of just one big one directly behind it
  • access hatches in the front thwart top instead of its vertical bulkhead - so much easier 
  • ditto round 8" access hatches in the side thwart tops instead of their vertical bulkheads
  • lower coamings
  • block and tackle tensioning bobstay arrangements to make it easier to adjust from deck or cockpit and for when putting bow up against trailer winch posts
  • doing away with the centre thwart lockers either side of the centreboat and just leaving open space under the centre thwarts
  • home made furlers
  • simple arrangements for reefing
  • ditto simple arrangements for boom tent erection 
  • detachable lazy jack systems
  • a sculling position on the rear transom deck
  • a novel bowsprit arrangement so that an anchor bow roller can be installed
  • slim line centreboards 
Wish I had that creative inventive engineering mind that so many fellow navigator builders seem to have! 😩