This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ellie's got wheels

I bought Ellie a new trailer this weekend. A local boat shop had several left over trailers from a recent boat show that were on sale for $100 off.

The trailer came in handy as I needed move Ellie out to the driveway so I could make the King Plank and test fit the main mast.  The main mast has to go through a mast partner in the King plank, through a hole in the seat and down into the mast step. Locating the mast step and the mast partner in the King Plank are no problem - getting the hole in the seat to line up with them is the tricky part. I had done some careful calculations earlier and it paid off as everything aligned perfectly (whew!).

I have named my Navigator "Ellie" after the young, brave, assertive, energetic tomboy in the Pixar animated movie "Up".

"Up" is one of my favorite movies.  In it, young Ellie dreams of being a great explorer. She wants to travel to South America (it's like America, but SOUTH!),  live at Paradise Falls and chronicle her adventures in her Adventure Book.  Click here to watch a video clip of Ellie.  Adventure is out there!  I love it!

This weekend I also installed the anchor well floor and the cockpit stringers

I couldn't resist hanging the rudder and tiller on, just to see how they look.  My stand is too low to get the rudder all the way down, but I like the way the transom, rudder head and rudder turned out.  I made the rudder and tiller about a year ago, long before the hull was assembled. At that time I had to guess as to the shape of the tiller, and unfortulately I was way off. I put way too much curve into it and the tiller handle is way too high. It's destined for the scrap bin and I'll have to make a new one.

All in all, a very productive weekend!


  1. Looking good! I think your trailer is slightly shorter than the one I just acquired, but otherwise very similar.

    I like your choice of names. Up is indeed a wonderful movie.

    God bless!

  2. Yes, I noticed that too, but it seems to fit just fine in all the right places except maybe roller under the forefoot should be a bit higher. I'll need to get an adjustable bracket. The rollers are made of soft rubber that leaves black marks on my glossy white hull so they may need to be replaced as well.
    Thanks, Wayne. Cheers!

  3. Bummer!! I really like that tiller. I thought it was classy looking.

    And, of course, I love the name Elle! :) The "it's like America, but SOUTH!" made me giggle.