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,


Merry Christmas All

Greetings from Sjogin and Ourhouse on this cool and blustery Christmas Day. Little progress lately but the post Holiday period shows promise.

Enjoy slowly my friends.

Merry Christmas

I promise this will be the last time the swag is placed on the stem. Next Christmas it will be back on the mast, perhaps while hove to.

The weeping is down to 12 strokes a week. She’ll stay in the pit for the rest of the Winter. When the stove’s back in place she can be slid outside for a sizzle.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012, six weeks or so after Sandy. We’ve come a long way since then.

Post Sandy

Taken by David Turton just after Sandy. Sjogin’s laying on her port side in the foreground with with the jib cover flapping away up the forestay. It’s amazing she survived.

Thanks all for following along. Hope to have a report on a Sjogin III build soon.

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.


Some progress over the last few weeks

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.

Little Sjogin progress

these past few weeks but expect some activity over the next few weeks. I’ve been busy with work and recovering from a kidney stone and low back issues. On the mend now and will be removing the cockpit and cockpit soles along with the ceiling in the cabin. Once accesible, the below water butt blocks will be replaced and any split planks dealt with.

And then it’s on to the decks, coaming, bulkhead repair et al.

Here are some pics from the last few weeks, mostly of doings at Beaton’s.

Getting started
Taken yesterday after setting up the usual whatever’s at hand bench and assembling the implements of reconstruction. Absent being hove to off Swan Point, it’s my favorite spot at Beaton’s.

My finest ogee to date. Ghost work from 1993. The step scarf to join the coaming to the steam bent house was a challenge and still sound.

Fine knob
The knob on Ghost’s tiller. My handiwork again. I need to copy it to finish Sjogin’s tiller.

Here’s a Beaton Penguin and a Chesapeake gunning skiff of some type. One of the constantly changing exhibits at Beaton’s.

At Manto
Here’s the Silent Maid at Mantoloking Yacht Club last month celebrating the (almost fully restored) Vim. That’s her next to the Maid with the deck framing just done.

Boss Lady
Boss Lady entering Manasquan Inlet on her way home to Brooklin. We had our usual eight hour vist with Bob and Jet. Fun but too short. We’ll see him and BL in August.

First Poppy
First Poppy of the season. Most of the perennials survived Sandy but we lost a number of hollies, hydrangeas, viburnums and such. Strangely enough the common black-eyed susans were wiped out.

Sorry about the month wait between posts. There should be more frequent ones as my Sjogin work proceeds.

It begins

Sjogin is now in the new/old shop with room to spare. The process of removing the broken bits has begun. Once all the damaged planks are removed, the work can begin on getting out the new planks. When they’re ready to start inatalling, Beaton’s will move Sjogin in to the wood shop, quite near the steam box. With her quick and just so curves, all of the new planking will need to spend time in the steam box before hanging.

Oh that sheer...

On her way in to the shop. That sheer makes it all worthwhile.


A clean well lit space to work thanks to Tom and crew. The broken bits are coming off with the help of a shop made tool.

Just make it.

It’s just a terminal from the orphan bucket, teeth cut to fit over the barbed nails. It works for #12 Monel Anchorfast nails but not the #14s. I have a set of plug cutters on order to deal with the bigger ones.

Removal tools

Tools of destruction. Lucky with the 3″ roundhead #14 bronze screws; only had to drill out two of them to date. The rails will also be removed on the port side as well. And all the fiberglass on the deck. But that will all have to wait on the planking.


After couple of dozen years of saying “I’ll wood the mast next year, just have to figure out how to get the head gear off”, it finally happened. While waiting for Sjogin to be brought in I finally figured out how to pull off the mast head fittings and remove (after labeling) all the rigging.

At home for now

A few treasures at home for now. Very happy the wind vane survived.

More next week.

Still waiting for shop space

Beaton’s is getting busy with Sandy related work and Sjogin’s on the list somewhere. Hope to have her in the wood shop some time this Winter. I sure do miss my time by her stove and sausage bread sizzles.

If they can’t do the work soon I’m considering bring her to Maine. Maybe even keeping her at my brothers for a bit if done by mid-Summer. That’s always been a dream of mine; to heave to off WoodenBoat in Sjogin and watch the cream of mid-coast Maine sail by. I’m going up to Brooklin in a couple of weeks to help Bob (brother) with a bit of small boat work. If time permits, I’ll make some local inquiries to see if anyone’s interested in taking on her restoration.

Other than that things have been quiet here. I went down Route 35 through Mantoloking for the first time this week. The extent of the devastation has to be seen in person to be believed. I thought I had done grieving but it all came back. It’s so very, very sad.

Missing boat
This is the first Winter in 27 years that Sjogin hasn’t been in this photo. The scent of wood smoke and sizzling sausage bread is sadly absent. Though the absence of regular visits to chop ice out of the bilge has its charms.

New shop
Here’s Tom in the new shop. I had thought Sjogin would be the first one in but it was not to be.

And here’s Paul contemplating work on Myth. She’s in for fairing and refinishing. Maybe Sjogin will be next???

New shaper
Here’s the new shaper in the wood shop. There’s a new planer as well. Most of the motors have been replaced or rebuilt. Let’s hope there’s no flooding for a while.

More flooding
Speaking of flooding, here’s a pic from Suzanne Beaton during a another flood last December. Do we have a new normal? Let’s hope not.

Only snow so far
This is the extent of the snow so far this winter. The Northeaster forecast for tomorrow is expected to be a mostly rain event right along the coast here. Good luck to those in coastal New England.

Merry Christmas All

Julia and send our best wishes for (what’s left of) a very Merry Christmas and an especially calm 2013.


Sjogin awaits her repairs and is no doubt grateful she doesn’t have to face another Winter icebound. Still weighing options for a temporary shelter and keeping my fingers crossed for some shop time early next year

Sail slow my friends.

Living at Sea Level

The local height of the surge from Sandy was one inch over our first floor which is about ten feet above Mean Lower Low Water.  We’ve lived here on Stockton Lake for 25 years and sea level has never been closer.  Let’s hope this storm was a truly perfect one and its likes are not seen soon.  I fear this may be the new normal.

The only reason I can see why we suffered as little damage as we did was our elevation. Our house was built just after World War II on a bit of relative high ground left over from an old inlet.  For this reason there are other old homes in the neighborhood.  Two lots away is a 1905 gem and a late 19th Century house around the corner was just demolished for some shiny new thing.

A block away are home after home that have their lives out on the curb.  I haven’t been up to the beach yet as access is limited to homeowners and contractors.  Our good friends the Mountfords lost their 1880’s beachfront cottage and many treasures. It’s all so very very sad.

Here are a few pics from our house and the neighborhood:

Big timber
During the 1992 Northeaster we had water just up to the foundation.  Sandy was 32 inches higher.

A bit of beauty
This was the first pic I took post Sandy. The red is thousands of Holly berries. You’d think the squirrels would be happy as they like to eat them but no. They’re back in the Holly, munching away on the remaining ones.

New dock?
This ended up on my neighbor’s driveway knocking down a usually storm proof black cherry. That knocked down a red cedar that had been growing since it showed up as a volunteer twenty years ago. Oh well, the view’s been opened up and that pleases my brother.

Brother Bob
Speaking of which: Brother Bob to the rescue. He drove down from Maine the Friday after the storm with a generator, gas, fine food and his usual good cheer.

High water mark
The surge reached the fourth course of shingles. (About three months old.) We were very, very lucky.

It will be a while before we all return to our “carnival life by the shore”. In the meantime please give to your favorite charity; there’s an Atlantic of sadness here.