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Small bits of progress

The cold continues with a few breaks here and there when it’s warm enough for gloveless work. Last week provided such a day and allowed for some real progress.

Before all the sanding and painting on deck and the cabin can take place, the cockpit sole needs to have the beams installed and at least a temporary sole in place. The cockpit beams have been installed and I’m now figuring out how the sole will be laid out. Tried using the old ones but they don’t work out. Decided to go for the gold and gave Paul an initial cut list for teak planks.

Along with the cockpit work I continued with a bit of mast scraping and rounding over the toe rails. Once the rails are faired and smooth, the sealer, primer and paint can be applied….once it warms up. Even when it’s in the 60′s inland in can be in the 50′s along the coast if the wind has any East in it.

One good thing about the continuing cold and damp is the way it helps Sjogin re-hydrate. When the frost danger is over I’ll start wetting the garboards and such to get her ready for an eventual launch. When you say? Probably later than I want, but soon enough.

Here are the beams in place. They were fastened with 3/8″ galvanized bolts. By the time they rust out like the originals, it will be the next stewards problem.

Progress 2
Looking aft you can see the length of wood resting on the aft frame. This will be the approximate height of the aft deck. It will be the same height as the seats forward. Should make for a comfortable lounging area.

Rail work
Pleasant work with a block plane. After scribing lines about 3/16″ from the corners the plane takes it down so there’s a flat at 45 degrees. The those corners are removed and then rounded with 80 grit sandpaper. Can’t wait to start painting. (After a lot more sanding!)

Speaking of painting, since the rub rails will be varnished the only green will be the moldings around the cabin. I think I’ll just paint them with the deck color. Any comments?

I’ll have some Beaton’s pics for my next Post. Soon, I promise.

Happy Spring all.

Terrapin Tales

This post highlights a very fine Blog from the Pacific Northwest as well as makes up for a long unanswered email.

I heard from Bruce last April via email praising Sjogin and Hove to off Swan Point. He also told me a bit about himself and supplied a link to his blog. I promptly filed it in the Good Intention folder and started on a response. And there it sat. I came across it again to day and thought the best thing I could do was share his delightful Blog with my readers.

Happy Skipper and crew

Here’s the link to Terrapin Tales. Another member of the Water Tribe. Enjoy.

Thanks Bruce.

Tools are being marshalled, lists are being made and actual construction has resumed with the fitting of the cockpit sole beams. Also the last demolition took place when the old sole beam aft was removed cave man style.

As mentioned previously, the new sole will be about three inches lower than its predecessor. This will allow more comfortable seating forward. I want the seat height low to allow sufficient support from the coaming and new angled bulkhead trim piece. Comfort in all things.

The sole will end at the frame where the thwart used to be. In it’s place will be a raised sole/seat about a foot higher than the old sole. This should provide a nice seat when leaning against the aft end of the coaming. I guess you could drive from there too. In any event it will make sitting on the deck while steering more comfortable. (There’s that word again.)

It may turn out that the aft sole may be the same height as the seats. That leads to thoughts of some sort of cockpit berth arrangement. Perhaps a boom tent and a mosquito net for Summer evening lounging? Hmmmm…..

We’ll see.

Cave man style
Here an old beater chisel is used to free the old sole beam. No idea why it was so massive. I know it’s Sjogin we’re talking about, but still.

Just about ready to come out. The new sole will be about three inches lower.

The old bolts will be ground off. The other iron bolts will remain in place for another fifty years hopefully.

That’s it for now. Another pending cold snap will keep us close to the hearth. But it’s just a bit more winter and then we will see painting weather. (And far more sanding weather.)

Very minor progress

Beaton’s moved the mast into the shed next to Sjogin and I actually put tool to wood. A few feet of very old varnish was scraped off before your frozen fingered friend was sent running to the wood stove. The varnish is very old; it seems to leap off the mast when touched by a reasonably sharp scraper. Very satisfying work. After scraping, a bit of planning will be done to try and fair up the lumps. Then it’s through the grits with a final 120 grit sanding. Then as many coats of varnish as I can manage. Same for the boom. Scraping lessons freely given.

Slow and steady and it’s down to bare wood. It will take time for the deep color return but well worth it. No signs of rot or punkiness yet. (Types with fingers crossed.)

It's a start
It’s a start. Taken in early January, before the current bout of freezing weather. There’s something to be said for having one’s boat ashore and in a shed in Winters like this one.

Cockpit work!
This is a bit more recent. I figured out the length of the cockpit sole beams and had Paul mill some from his private stock. A needed step in the right direction.

Here are a few more pics to fill out this Post. When the weather turns there’ll be more about Sjogin’s finishing touches and eventual Launch Party.

E-Scow half hulls
Beaton’s made a half dozen new E-Scow half hulls and backboards for club trophies.

Winter fresh marsh
Fresh snow on the marsh behind Beaton’s. There needs to be a bench of some kind at this spot.

Spartina patens
Speaking of marshes, here’s a pic from our own tiny bit of salt water heaven. It’s Spartina patens, common marsh hay, taken in late fall when it turns color a bit.

It's a Nor'estr
This was taken from our beach when one of the recent Northeasters was brewing.

Merry Christmas

Sitting by the fire on this bright Christmas Day and dreaming of our first heave to off Swan Point next year. Sjogin waits patiently in the shed for Spring and such work as I can do in the cold weather. Little else to report other than making sketches for the new cockpit and cabin arrangements.

I long for next Christmas when I can hang the wreath on the mast where it belongs and go below for a sizzle.

Julia and I send you and yours the Merriest of Christmas wishes and hopes for a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thanks all for coming along on this wonderful adventure. And a special thanks to Paul Smith, Jeff Reid and the many other folks at Beaton’s who helped bring Sjogin back from her watery grave.


Winter quarters for Sjogin

Paul’s work is done for now and the pace will slacken as production is transferred to yours truly. She’s in the middle shed next to the old lift. Dry, covered storage with a sand floor and nearby access to a bucket of bay water now and then will start the rehydration process. I plan to work on the new cockpit, seats and such when weather permits. When Spring returns, the painting (and sanding) will begin.

Winter Quarters
Safely tucked away in the Middle Shed at Beaton’s. As I was ready to leave, the sun came out and it looked like the section lines were traced on the hull. Click on the photo for a larger size.

The classic iPhone photo contrast problem works great here. Consider it a homage to Benjamin Mendlowitz, whose calendar photos have delighted us through the years.

Now that the weather has turned, work will turn to making cockpit, seat and cabin bits. When warm enough a bit of sanding will take place. (Though probably on the sunny side.)

W? Logo
Another classic shot. Remind anyone of a certain magazine logo? The reason for all the room is the still un-repaired Sandy damages to the north wall of this shed. The 1940′s cedar pilings gave way so thus the need for access to the wall. Usually the shed is packed solid with boats. It’ll be good for Sjogin when the wall’s open and the damp northeasters blow in.

New “jewelry”. Paul Smith kindly dug these gems out of his stash. Perfect size for Sjogin.

Caoming done
Here the coaming’s been installed and awaits a final fairing. After living a while with the two coats of sealer on the rub rails, it was decided by all asked that they will be varnished for now and when they get ratty they can always be painted. The coaming’s not set up for varnishing so it will be primed and painted after sealing.

New bulkhead in place with a hole for a Wiley window. That’s an angled frame that allows the glass to lean back and allow airflow without water (rain and spray, not solid water Neptune forbid) getting below. It will also allow a lot of light below into what was otherwise a dark place. It’ll be nice to lay below in the new bunk with the window providing light and ventilation.

Coaming bent
The Boatwright’s skill at its highest. Half inch (plus) white oak, probably local, soaked in the Bay for a month and steamed till just pliable enough. A high art indeed.

Deck done
Apart from shaping the top of the toe rail, most of the remaining work will be painting and sanding. Lots of sanding.

I hope to get to a Beaton’s only Post soon. There may be some interesting items from the past few months.

Hope to speak to you all before the end of the year, but if not, do enjoy Christmas and such.


There has been terrific progress on Sjogin’s restoration over the last few weeks. Paul has been hard at work with deck repairs, installing the ply deck cover, applying the Xynole and epoxy fabric, laminating and fitting three new floors, extending the upper frames past the nasty bits, setting up the old and installing new rivets below the waterline, steaming and installing the rubrail and more. The mind boggles.

It looks more and more likely that we’ll have a Spring launch. I hope it will still be cool enough for fire down below and the scent of sizzling Joe Leone Bread.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Sandy passed through. Every time I drive down Route 35 to go to the Beaton’s, the evidence of the storms destruction is all too evident. There are and will be for a while, acres of nothing but hastily pushed up dunes where there used to be dozens of homes. The scary thing is that it could happen again. All we need is a nasty, slow moving Northeaster during a full or new moon.

We’re back to normal. The floors that were wet from the surge eventually laid back down and seem fine. We were so very lucky. Here’s a link to my post Sandy Post.

Post Sandy
This was recently sent to me by Suzanne Beaton. It’s from a aerial photo taken the day after Sandy. Sjogin’s visible on the left, laying on her starboard side and awash. The piling on her Port side is the one that pierced her planking. You can see the Starboard dock line was still attached. I can only assume that after the Port dock lines failed she laid against the piling for a while until the surge lifted her high enough to allow the piling to break the plank. I think she was full of water when it happened for she was a leaker in the calmest conditions and banging against the piling and tossing about would have opened up her already iffy seams. The more I think about it it was the remaining dock line that kept her from going into the debris pile and turned into kindling. Lucky boat.

Photo by Andrew Mills of the Star Ledger

Here the plywood has been glued and fastened to the existing deck and the screw holes filled. Should be almost bullet proof.

Rails backed out
The rub rails were set up in a jig and run across the table saw at an angle. The groove created will be filled with bedding compound and will lie evenly on the sheer strake. The dark coloring is two coats of sealer. I hope to never see this side again.

Toe rails
Paul set up what look like shelf supports to bend the ends of the toe rails. They’re Mahogany for ease of milling and for cutting the spaces as in the original rails.

Hot steam
Paul bending White Oak strips fresh out of the steam box. When cool and dry the will be glued together and then fashioned to replace the old floor.

New Floors
And here’s the almost finished set of new floors. The upper frame ends will have the ends cut back to good wood and have laminated extensions added.

Rails On!
New rub rails. After I did some preliminary shaping, Paul and Jeff installed the rails. Now that they’re on, I’ll finish the fairing. When done I’ll prime and paint them the usual Malachy Green. When done, 3/4 inch Bronze half oval will be installed.

Rail work
Paul and Jeff fastening the new rub rail. Very solid.

Once again, sorry for the delay between posts.

It’s time for another burst of productivity. Paul’s completed the cockpit carlin repairs and now that the deck plywood is here he has started to figure out the deck job. I managed to get the bulkhead out, again dealing with nails. The bottom was punky as expected and had to come off to make repairs to the main beam. All of the old, below waterline butt blocks have been replaced and some of the adjoining rivets have been tightened up. I think a lot more of the rivets will need to be set up again. Blistering progress.

In addition to all of the above, Paul found a prime 13′ by 4/4+ white oak board and made the new rub rails. The old ones had two joints. These will have just one.

Next round
Back in the wood shop, looking much like she did last winter. At least she’s ready for the next round.

Instant progress
Within two days of being back in the shop, Paul had cleaned out the punky bits and fit this yellow pine piece. I sat in the boat the day before trying to figure out how to make the repair. Experience wins.

More removal
The rotten end of the carlin and the main beam have been removed and are ready for new bits.

New bits epoxied in place.

All faired and ready for new deck wood. Note the rivets backing up the epoxied joint. There’s also a bolt that runs from the inside of the beam into the carlin. There’s a pocket cut into the bottom of the carlin that allows a nut to be placed on the bolt. Classic yacht construction.

Deck replaced
New white cedar tongue and groove deck planks.

All of the old nail holes, new planks and old deck have been faired and sanded. You can see the first piece of plywood being fitted forward.

Okume for Sjogin
Prime Okume plywood will yield a bullet proof deck. Here it’s in place to layout the cuts needed to fit to the mooring bit, stem and house.

New butt blocks!
Missing bulkhead! Note the new butt blocks on the garboard strake.

Here’s a close up of Sjogin’s new garboard butt blocks. With all of this renewal the prospects of leaks has gone down. What a treat that would be.

Dead Floor
Here’s the first of the floors to come out. It’s astonishing how Sjogin has held together all these years with such dodgy bits. I think the fact that her planks are riveted has allowed her to live so long. Had she been carvel planked she’d be compost by now.

New rub rails
Here are the new rub rails soaking in the Bay. They’ll need to be steamed to make the curves at each end.

Sorry again for the delay between posts but busy with work and such. It seems my key strokes at work are just barely keeping up with Paul Smiths labors. (I hope.)

Also getting ready for the Duckboat Worlds next Friday. The deck will get a quick scrapping and paint job but that’s about it.

After the coaming came out it was clear that some slab carpentry needs to be done all the way aft and on either side of the forward ends. This was all expected as I’ve been patching those spots for years. All in all nothing too major.

The deck’s been fully scraped and the picking out the loose rust from the iron nails has started. When clean the deck will be roughly planed and faired. The holes will be then filled with epoxy filler to get ready for the next step.

I spoke with Newport Nautical Timbers this week and it seems they may have floor timber stock. Julia and I are heading to Maine in late September and will stop by in Bristol at their timber yard to make a selection.

To make up for the lack of Sjogin pics, there’s some items from Beaton’s and our gardens.

Port side end of the cockpit carlin where it meets the main deck beam. The carlin will be cut back at an angle and a new piece scarfed in place. The deck beam will need to have a piece glued in and a new notch cut to receive the end of the carlin. Some of the deck will need to come off as well.

Other side
Here’s the starboard side. Same problem.

Aft issue
Not too bad here. About a half inch will need to be cut out and a filler piece fit and glued in place. Then I’ll need to recreate the curved bits at the corners.

Clean deck
The deck has been fully scraped and ready for the next stage.

Ghost Busted
Ghost Busted! Sad end to a fine spar. I think they can use one of their older ones to get through the rest of the season.

Duckboat Frenzy!
Duckboat Frenzy! The Worlds are at Mantoloking next Friday the 23rd. Here’s Paul Smith fitting a new splash board. The rest of the yard is busy on Duckboats as well. Some of them needed Sandy repairs.

Fitted the same way it was done a half century ago.

Hibiscus season
Bright morning sun with the Hibiscus in all their glory.

Quiet marsh
A quiet day on Stockton Lake. More Speedwell adventures after the Worlds.

Still removing old bits

A coamingectomy pretty well describes the progress over the last few weeks as the coaming has been removed. This will make the new deck covering job easier (for Paul).

Still haven’t heard back from Newport Nautical Timbers. I hope they’re out sailing. If anyone can suggest a source for swept white oak timbers, please let me know. Thanks.

Coaming heights
Before removing the coaming I recorded the heights every six inches. A pattern will be made so that sweet shape is retained.

It starts
Starting to pull the coaming. It had to come out in pieces due to the barbed nail fastenings. You can see the holes made with the shop made drill to cut around the nail heads. The saw cut was at the original joint. When I became her caretaker the joint had warped, thus evidence of the dutchman used to bring the pieces back in line. Let’s hear it for epoxy.

Half done
After a cut was made on the centerline, another had to be made about a foot away. after a bit of chisel and crow bar work the coaming pieces came free. There’s a bit of punkiness right aft that will need excavation and repair.

When I pulled the forward ends of the coamings off there are some spots in the carlin and main beam joint that will need to be addressed. All was expected as I’ve been filling the rot with dutchmen and epoxy for years.

This was a dreaded job but surprised at how easy it came out. The weather was hot these last few weeks; more New Orleans than the Jersey Shore but there was usually a breeze in the shed.

Absent the removal of the jib eye bolts, the deck’s ready for scraping, fairing and sanding. All in preperation for her move back into the wood shop and her new deck covering.

In between Sjogin work, work work and bringing our gardens to a semblance of pre-Sandy bounty, I managed to sneak in a couple of Speedwell sails.

Hove to off the marsh across Stockton Lake. The building is the abandoned Little League field house. It would make a great spot for a community boating center. Perhaps having lots of oar, paddle and sail boats on the Lake would squeeze out the jet skis.

Other news: As some of you know I post on Facebook as well as here. I just created a Facebook page for Sjogin. Here’s the link. I hope to configure this WordPress Blog so the Posts appear on FB as well.

And maybe the frequency of my Posts will increase.


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