A sail on Aïda

On Fishers Island Sound that is. The skies were certainly operatic. 

But first, a NYC miracle.  Our virtual and actual friend Paul Plessner flew in Monday from Hell before we headed to Mystic for our Aïda adventure.  He lives in Hell, Michigan 48619.  

He asked if we could stop in New York for a slice of real pizza on the way to Mystic.  I checked with my street food expert son (on the left) and managed to park right in front of his building in Soho.  The proper use of the word literally is appropriate here. 

Our magic carpet Aïda, a Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff shallow draft yawl.  She was built at Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1926 and lovingly restored by Doug Hyland in 2008.

WoodenBoat Forum member Mike and the Morgan on the way down the Mystic River  Note her position.  

Here she is when we returned.  The Morgan will be hauled out for a bit of bottom work.  That’s the Sabino on the right. 

It was a bit breezy on the Sound.  A solid fifteen with gusts to “whoa”.  Decidedly not my usual sailing conditions.

A cool and lumpy day waiting for a Northeaster to arrive.  We covered a good bit of ground though sailing with just the jib and mizzen.  Certainly a jib and jigger kind of day.  

A smiling Steven Bauer driving while the watch below keeps warm.  Without a wood stove I might add.

Paul driving Aïda to windward.  Skipper Bryan Hammond tends the mizzen.  He’s a very good photographer as well as an accomplished sailor so we may have some better pics soon.

Added treat: Brillant returning home after another trip.  One of Olin Stephens finest designs.

Great trip with fine friends. Next year with sunshine and Sjogin breezes please.

Speedwell work

After years of doodling, I finally came up with a scheme to allow sculling and steering on Speedwell.  The standard Duckboat rudder extends about a foot below the skeg and bottom.  It’s useful to be able to sail in thinner water.  Which certainly applies to Stockton Lake where she may sail soon.  I also screwed down the mast step to take any wobbles out of going downwind. 

We’ll see.

In the steering position more or less.  The line will go through the row lock to set the amount aft and prevent loss by fumble fingered sailors.  (Ask me how I know.)

Cedar off-cuts serve here as a proof of concept.  (We hope.). The finished version will be in teak and wide enough for horns on both sides.  The piece of the left will be fastened to the transom as well as a piece next to the stern post.  Both will have a double taper to hold the row lock by tapping it in place.  And perhaps a bit of leather for protection.  

The deck is fastened to the transom directly. Any standard row lock socket would use some end grain. The wood row lock may be more in keeping with the work boat background. I thought of a folding one, like the ones on the old hunting boats but it would always be there. This way, when it’s out, I can’t see it from where I sit.

Sculling position in deep water.  Useful for working in narrow ditches and such.  Recognize the dinghy in the background?  It’s the Columbia Model that I helped Tom Beaton build many years ago.  

Stay tuned.  News from deep into the Beaton Marshes soon.

A few quick Sjogin pics

Sitting here waiting for a few minutes of my Dentist’s time to look at the piece of me in my pocket.

Here we go:

This is the ad in the new WoodenBoat Store catalogue. 

This is a screenshot of the Sjogin plans for sale.  What a treat.

This is the marconi version similar to Sjogin’s current rig.

Ready for Hermine who had the grace to take her bluster elsewhere. 

That was easy. 

Hermine passed without damage.

The vagaries of Hermine spared us this time.  Had she started her meanderings a bit further west we could have had some serious flooding.  It’s especially worrisome on the back bays where repeated tide cycles back up and up.  The docks at Beaton’s barely got wet this time.

Here’s Sjogin after the storm and back in operation. 

Checking out the Osprey nest on Sloop Point.  Nice sail.

Video link soon.

Sjogin news soon

First some garden photos from early this season.  This is too easy: Prolixity awaits.

First daffs.  They’ve been giving us pleasure for almost thirty years.

New peony like tulips add to the show.  Lucky bits of Spanish Bluebells showing.  They’re everywhere.

Survival of the aggressive.  Poor little painted fern doesn’t stand a chance.

Glorious.  The mad abandon of Spring.

Beach Plum getting used to the neighborhood.

Looks semi-orderly.  Wait for the chaos of August.  And the bullying of the rosa rugosa.

Mid Spring and too cool for tomatoes.

Pernicious Cowbird at work.  It didn’t end well for the Goldfinch hatchlings.

To be continued.
Don’t be too alarmed at the frequency of Posts.  I’m certain I’ll revert to mean soon.

Thanks for coming along,


New Record

for ignoring you all though I expect true Sjogin fans know where to go for current photos and updates.

The Sjogin page on FaceBook is public along with the Instagram page.  Wish I could post more often here but here we are.

The Duckboat Worlds are this Friday; hope to get a big Post up next week.

Thanks for sticking around,


Ps: Just tried to post a pic from the WordPress App and they’re now sized to fit automatically.  Expect a lot of iPad posts!

PPs: Just looked at the site on my laptop and see the the photo is very, very large. Huuuuuge one coud say. I’ll try to fix this.


Here’s another try at posting a photo uploaded directly to WordPress
The A-Cat Fleet

Don’t be alarmed if the look of the page changes. Upgrade on it’s way. Be patient Jake.