Slow sailing again and few boats looking Beaton Fresh

After a few week haul out for bottom and topsides paint, Sjogin is back where she belongs.  A week or so of swelling has her as tight as she was before the haulout.   Which means that she always takes a bit of water as she’s just over sixty years old.

Here are two videos of a slow sail last week and a series of pics of recent launchings at Beaton’s, all looking ‘Beaton Fresh’.

So very grateful that I can do this and share with folks who enjoy seeing our very tiny adventures.  Hope this provides a brief distraction from these difficult times.

Even with a clean bottom and no other boat wakes there are times when even this slow sailor finds it necessary to break out the sculling oar.  The no see ums found me at this point so it was time to resort to my ash breeze to travel the last hundred yards or so.

Foamranger is an elderly Chris Craft skiff that’s been well cared for at Beatons for a long time.

Myth looking ready for another season of sailing like it was done in the 1890’s  She’s a replica of the original late 19th century catboat.

Here’s Suzanne, the Beaton family boat.  She was built in Maine to serve folks on an offshore island.

One of the Beaton yard workers Patrick’s dinghy, ready for another season of messing about.  This very able boat was built in fibreglass by Cape Cod Shipbuilding Company.  Details here.

This is Quest, a Watch Hill 15 built by Herreshoff in the 1920’s I believe.

Legend is one of Charles Hankins skiffs.  A very simple and handy boat for day cruising and such.

I expect we’ll have some videos soon of Sjogin sailing a bit faster then as shown above.  Stay safe all and hold fast.





Getting closer…

After a stretch of damp and cool weather, good painting conditions have finally arrived.  I have every expectation that Sjogin will be back where she belongs by this weekend and sailing next week.  It’s been four weeks since the last fire and a sizzle down below and even longer since the last sail.

More importantly, my local supplier of sausage bread has resumed production and I have a loaf just waiting  for a cool enough morning for a sizzle before the summer heat sets in.

Here’s Jeff wiping down the topsides prior to painting.


Topsides are sanded and ready for a coat of Kirby’s finest semi-gloss white paint.  The bottom’s been painted within a few inches of the waterline.  The final cutting in will be done after the topsides are done.

This session on the hard should keep her looking good till next spring.

No sailing this weekend!

And not for my usual desire for Goldilocks conditions of a light to very moderate breeze out of the SE to SW, cool enough for a fire and a bit of sun.

A few weeks ago, I asked Beaton’s to pull Sjogin when convenient to sand and paint the bottom and topsides.  With a Goldilocks forecast and plenty of water in the Bay I headed down Saturday to go for the first sail of our current crisis and found Sjogin as you can see below.  If we can finally have a few warm and sunny days she should be back in commission next week.

I was pleased to find her topsides paint in fine condition absent the usual rust stains on the stem from her iron sickness.  Even better was the lack of water seeping out of the garboard seams.  Just a tiny dribble which is very manageable.

Looks like she could pass a ten foot test of her topsides and bottom paint.

If you look close you can see the rust stains.  It’s a chronic condition that can only be solved by replacing the stem.  I’ll leave that for Sjogin’s next steward.

Usually there’s a broad area of weeping here.  Our current damp and cool weather will help keep the seam tight till she’s back in the water.

A bit more weeping here but far less than normal.  Both garboard seams were tended to last year by Paul Smith and that seems to have done the trick.

Next post should show some progress with the painting and getting ready for better weather.

Thanks again for following along.  It’s been almost fifteen years I’ve been sharing Sjogin’s story and it’s my hope that posting here and on her social media accounts will bring a smile and some comfort in these trying times.

Julia and I are so very grateful for our good fortune and good health to date.  We  wish you and yours all the best as we work through this pandemic.


Still here

Hello all.

Just linked back up with WordPress after a password kerfuffle.  As some of you may know that there is a public Sjogin Page on Facebook and an Instagram Page under the same name.  Both have regular (far more irregular here) updates, news from Beaton’s, our gardens and such.  Keeping up this blog has been indifferent over the last few years due to the ease of posting on social media.

Still, I’ve been writing here for almost fifteen years.  It’s been a fine journey, meeting lots of interesting folks both analog and digital.  Ten years ago Sjogin’s lines were recorded and Paul Gartside drew several versions in different lengths.  To date I’ve heard of or seen a half dozen new Sjogins built or under construction around the world.  Five years ago Sjogin and my search for her origins were featured in WoodenBoat Magazine.  A high honor indeed.

I’ve signed up a friend to help manage this page and the prospect of posting here regularly and having it show up in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds.  We’ll see; you’ve heard such good intentions here before.

Here’s a photo from 2017 showing her still varnished rub rails and Malachy Green house trim.  Both are now Bronze Green; Kirby Paints of course.

Hold Fast all as we struggle through these grim times.


All the way to Reedy Creek

Managed to get out for a sail last week and made it Reedy Creek, all of a mile or so from Beaton’s. Once reached I hove too for an hour for lunch and more Tilman adventures near K2.

Here are a few pics and videos from the sail:

As far as I can tell, this is the only Osprey next on their preferred foundation. It’s just north of Reedy Creek.

Sailing past the Oyster Farm. The floats are attached to cages which are full of happy Oysters.

Here the cars are upside down and empty of Oysters. The farmers do this to dry and remove the usual growth of grasses and such.

The Sloop Point platform has a pair of young Osprey almost ready to fly.

Beating out of Jones Tide Pond with Juniors to weather.

The nest across Stockton Lake from us has three little ones with the largest itching to fly.

Beaton bits and a sailing video.

Here are a few pics of goings on at Beaton’s over the past few months.  Spring has long sprung with the usual bustle at Beaton’s.  The docks are getting full and the average water levels have reached ideal Sjogin conditions.

Serena, the Joel White Flatfish and the A-Cat Lightning looking Beaton Fresh.  Serena was built at Beaton’s a while ago.  She’s a sistership to Charlotte, built by them in 2003.  The building mold is in the yard and ready to go.  They’re great daysailers with shallow draft.  Give Tom a call.

The rebuilt foot of a very large catboat mast.  This one will live again thanks to the attention of Paul Smith.

At the other end of the mast work at Beaton’s scale is Speedwell’s new mast foot.  I had Paul remake the foot to match the existing Duckboat mast step.  With the limited bury it will make the rig more secure.   It had a round foot that would allow the mast to rotate as spritsail did.  This may give me a chance to setting up the sail as a lug.  We’ll see.

New decking in front of the South Shed whose East wall still bears the sctatches and dings from Sandy.  Our community will have them for a long time.

Once again WoodenBoat has seen fit to have me write an article for them.  It’s in the May/June 2018 issue of WoodenBoat Magazine and tells the story of a boat that once again graces the waters of upper Barnegat Bay.  There’s also a sidebar celebrating 54 years of Paul’s work at Beaton’s.

And here’s a video taken a few weeks ago just as the marsh was starting to green up.  If you keep you focus narrow it’s easy to imagine what it was like a few hundred years ago.  Hove to of course.

Happy New Year!

A chilly start to the year. After a fairly mild December, Winter has set up camp for the duration. Here are three pics from my first visit of the year. Delighted to find little to pump. Good so far with a nasty Northeaster on the way.




Best wishes for a Happier New Year to all. Thanks for following along for another year.

Looks like it may be a while for that first sail of 2018.


Recent Sjogin pics

And the first sail of this year and the bright, new Spring we are supposed to be having.  Too dry and cold so far and little water in the Bay.

Sjogin has been taking up nicely with just a slow weep.  She hasn’t been out in brisk winds yet but she seems as tight as ever.  (Touch wood.)

Enjoy the pics.

Last snow of the year on deck.  It makes the warmth from the stove just that much better.

View from the spar shed.  Nice spot protected from the northeast.  There’s a greater chance of icing over in here but the protection’s worth it.  (and little persistent ice this past Winter.

Calm day waiting for water and a breeze.  Please excuse the temporary blue tape mast boot.  Better system on its way.

New tiller from Paul Smith.  It’ll weather for a bit and then be finished bright.

Another breathless day at Beaton’s.  It never gets old.

Ready to go for the first sail of the New Year and Spring.  It’s always a thrill to go for that first one after a lay-up.  Thanks to Paul and the folks at Beaton’s Sjogin’s ready for another season on Barnegat Bay.

Hove to off Swan Point once more.  Sjogin hasn’t forgotten how.

Your Happy Skipper under way.  The new tiller allows sitting on the seats when driving.  Most comfortable.

Back at the dock after two missed attempts; one too fast and one to slow. The last one was just right.  Need practice.

Back in her Summer position.  A bit early but hope springs eternal…

A fine draw with the raised smoke head with far fewer puff backs.

Sjogin’s nod to the Modern Age.  New Solar panel keeps the battery topped up.  When on board it slips under the seat with no visible wires.  Then its back to the 19th Century.

Recent read down below about sailing a 22′ Catboat sans engine in one of the finest but challenging cruising grounds anywhere.  Mr. Cheney (not that one) and I have a similar sailing philosophy.  He too sails slow.

Bosun’s work: making a strop to be used as the jib tack.  Note the new bronze snap from the extensive legacy of a local legend.  RIP Bad Bob.

New sounding lead salvaged by Paul.  It works far better than a two inch square nut.

Well, here we are after another pause.  The above pics had their captions removed and order changed with a dumb click on my part so you may find new details and a changed pic.

Trust some still enjoy this format.  I seem to treat it as a monthly than as a more frequently updated Blog.

Under sail videos soon.

Do write.

Mostly Beaton’s pics

Busy Winter in the wood shop.  After Sjogin’s recent refit, the Hankins’ skiff Legend was brought in for the same treatment.  There’s also the elegant rowing skiff awaitng return of the principals to salt water to continue her re-construction.

If you have a project, I’m sure Beaton’s could fit you in.

Here you go:

New tiller for Sjogin by Paul Smith.  Bespoke indeed. 

 And a proper sounding lead for Sjogin from the collection of a local legend.  Thanks Bob.

 Here’s Paul tending to last seasons wear and tear on Myth bits.

 Here’s Paul with Sjogin’s new/old boat hook.  The natural Swamp Maple crook was carved by Phil Clarke in the 1970s.  Long enough to sound my way around Barnegat Bay.  No bottom, no problem. 

 Steaming cedar planks for the new rowing skiff.

The seemingly eternal search for fair enough. 

 Look familiar?   It’s the job made form used to set the curve in Sjogin’s coaming.

 Dave explaining the virtues of the new, larger bilge pump.  

The new skiff .  Plenty of twist forward.

Pleasant sheer.
So this was fairly easy.  Sjogin stuff soon.


New photos

If, for some reason you come here just for a glimpse of a beautiful boat and reasonably taken snaps of our particular place of Earth, then I’ll not disappoint.  I’ve been at this now for more than a decade, reaching folks all over our watery world and now ask for your indulgence if one of the pics below makes reference to current events.

First up is one of Sjogin through a Prisma algorithm.

Given the right photo, the painterly effect works well.

A very shiny Lighting.  Nice off season work.

Here’s another Prisma example.  Some of the algorithms work better than others.  I think this one is called Dallas.

Finally, here is one taken at noon on Election Day.  After the tumult of the past year or so, a quiet sail before voting seemed necessary.

Will we need to find a term to describe the time before that day and the time after?  I hope not.  Patience, good will and manners will see us through to remembering this past Election Day as just another one, a bit of a Black Swan, but none the less one of many more to come.

Your considered comments are welcome.

Sail slow America.