Sjogin has a Sister Ship!

It’s true. This past Tuesday I checked my personal email after lunch and found a note from Mike R. who lives in the Kansas City area. I believe it was sent the day he launched his very own Sjogin named Gramercy, faithfully building to Paul Gartside’s Plan #176. This is the gaff sloop version that Paul drew. Mike used traditional construction, with steam bent oak frames and cedar planking. And she has a topsail! And to top it all off, this is the first boat he has built.

That I’m shocked is to put it mildly. I know of several smaller versions under way and perhaps, as Mike has done, the full size version is being built somewhere, but this is Sjogin’s first sistership to my knowledge. Mike started in 2011, shortly after the plans were available. He said he built Gramercy “referencing 8 books, the internet, and the kindness of strangers”. He also mentioned auditing the WoodenBoat Forum and Hove to off Swan Point.

So here is Gramercy, Sjogin’s first sistership. I think Mr. Gullberg would be happy. I certainly am.

He she is on what is probably her maiden sail with the proud builder at the helm. This happy Skipper sure is. She has traditional canvas decks and the same toe rails as her very older sister.

Nice stern.
That stern looks familiar. I find it hard to believe that the lines taken off Sjogin and faired by Paul Gartside have resulted in this little gem.

Topsail too!
Here she is in a driveway, setting up the rig. Note the topsail! Just think of the strings to pull. The sails are by Carol Hasse, the bronze work by Port Townsend Foundry and R&W Rope helped with the rope work.

I’ll have some more photos soon, all of which were provided by Mike.

After a decade of of asking the world if anyone knows of Sjogin’s origins, I’m no closer to an answer but now know she’s well worth at least one copy.

One added benefit of building a copy of Sjogin is that it entitles you to an afternoon hove to off Swan Point in the original.

Thanks again Mike, you certainly made my day.

OK, one more:

Look out!
I’m sure there’s a good story here.

A Cats and a video

I see that once again I’ve managed to allow another month to go by without a Post. But then again here I am with another month’s sailing and having watches below at the dock under my belt. And a straining belt due to said watches below with sausage bread.

Anyway, here are a few recent A-Cat pics as the first races are but four quick weeks away.

And a video to close of a very quiet sail last Saturday, May 14. Surprisingly few boats out.

Raven and Lightning ready for another Season and looking Beaton Fresh. First race is on June 25th. Hope to be back in the water by then after a fresh coat of bottom paint and such.

Myth and Vapor
Myth sporting her Summer Cabin and a very yellow Vapor.

Vapor's next
Vapor’s mast getting ready for raising.

Two Pauls
Another fine varnish job by Paul Smith. Beaton Fresh indeed.

Your very happy Skipper out on a beautiful Saturday morning in the middle of a too cool May.

This and that

Here are some pics from the last few months, especially Beaton’s pics.

A sure sign of Spring: the Garvey afloat and ready for another season.

Homage to Jay Fleming. A very quiet morning last month.

Circa 1991
A quarter Century ago. Fitting the step scarf on Ghost’s coaming/cabin joint. Note my initials on the cork sanding block. Valuable item.

Photo courtesy of W. F.

Model painting
Even the half hull models get a fresh paint job.

Good draw!
Healthy draw from the stove on the Starboard tack. This is a big plus. Extending the bulkhead to the keel helps keep a positive flow.

More to come but I just realized it’s been a month since my last Post. Not much new, just the everyday joys of being able to go “check on the boat” and maybe squeeze in a quick sail or a watch below. Happy Spring all.

Rudder success

You may have noticed in past pics Sjogin’s rudder is always canted over one way or the other.  That was due to a combination of buoyancy in the immersed plywood blade and the weight of the rudder cheeks forward of the pivot line.  The solution added about ten pounds of lead the the aft edge of the rudder to allow the rudder to sit upright.  Paul drilled five two inch holes in the plywood and filled them with epoxy and lead buck shot.  In one of the photos below they look like caviar.

Worked just as guesstimated.  It could use a few pounds more as the tiller weight still holds it over at extreme angles.  Works fine enough for now.  I expect to pull Sjogin for a quick refit soon. She’s not been out of the water since re-launching in September, 2104 except before her star turn last August.

Floppy rudder
You can see how the rudder wants to float on its side. Now fixed.

Looks like fresh Beluga. Maybe one more hole filled with lead when she’s hauled.

Ready to go
All painted up and ready to go. Jeff Reid helped with the installation. Before hanging it we let the rudder go slack on the line we attached and found it still floats. Good to know.

Hanging damn near vertically. A bit more lead should do it.

Sailing pics and video next.

Interesting Comments

Recently there have been a few comments on the Ourhouse Page that could use a wider audience. With the implied consent of Jppe, Peter and Colin here are the recent comments; mostly concerning Sjogin’s name origin.

Here is Jppe’s Comment on Sjogin’s name. I was told by the widow of the second owner that the name came for a very loose anagram of his name, Joe Shinn. If you say the name to yourself you hear how easy to mash up the syllables. Though the suggestion that her name means sea-going has appeal. Even though she’s never been to sea as far as I know.

“Over the time I had seen this lovely boat in WoodenBoat. In last issue, you came up with the mysterious origin of Sjogin. My own thoughts in that direction is danish because of her stern. She is more danish than swedish. If swedish, it had to be the part of Sweden next to Denmark. The name is not so strange. After a short time, the word sjøgang came up. This means the way and how, but also in Danish and Swedish the sea walks in the wind. Sjø is danish for sea. Sjö is swedish for the same. Ø and ö is also the same letter. Gang is the same as going. In norwegian we use the word gange for the way you walk. I think that from scandinavian to english, the word sjøgang turned over to sjogin, that for me is closer to danish way of speaking. The letter ø is the same as the u in the english word turn. The sj is a way of wisling, as chalk without the first t when spoken. The a in gang is spoken like the a i part or barn. In scandinavian we put words together to a new one. Sjø and gang is two different words put together to a new one. The danish stern in Sjogin may be a relative to the wiking ships stern. I wish you a happy new sailing year with Sjogin. Me myself is sailing in the Oslofjord in Norway with short trips to near by Sweden and eventually longer to Denmark and the Norwegian south coast with my Maxi Fenix named Tootikki after Tove Jansons Moomin troll figure.”

Here’s the comment from Peter in Scotland.  Further evidence of Sjogin’s cousins.  Here’s the link to the Orkney Yole Association.  Seems the Yole’s have a finer stern with easy buttocks and a straight sternpost.  Sjogin has a fuller stern and curved sternpost.  Sure looks like she would be at home in the Orkneys.

“I’ve been reading your blog with interest for some time now. I would agree with Jppe’s comments about the origins of your fine boat. Here in northern Scotland we share the same boat origins. We have developed over time our own version of Sjogin. We call them ‘yoles’ or ‘yawls’ and they have been tailored to suit the seas around us. I would refer you to the website of the ‘Orkney Yole Association’. I’m sure you will spot the similarities.
Sail on,
Peter Sw.”

Finally, here’s a comment from Colin, also in the Orkneys.  Indeed, they are Viking designs all.  Though the only thing this Viking lays waste to is sausage bread.

“I have been reading about you in WoodenBoat. I own an Orkney Yole named Bee from the island of Stroma. She is almost identical to Sjogin. 25ftLOA 10ft beam.
The original boat was built in 1904 at Mey in Caithness in Scotland. I will send you pictures if you give me an email address.
This is a Viking design!

I sent Colin my contact details and look forward to posting pics of his boat.

Of course I can’t miss an opportunity for a pic or two.

Lightly frozen in a few weeks ago. Always cozy below.

More snow
Seems we’re having a bit of snow this winter. But it’s mid-February and Spring sailing beckons. (With the stove crackling below of course.)

A Paul Smith Original
Sjogin’s new bespoke Paul Smith chopping block. Simple with a Sandy backstory.

Sjoginmania spreads to the Antipodes

Here’s a snap from WoodenBoat Forum friend John B catching up on the latest news from Barnegat Bay. Photo taken during the family cruise up to the warmer bits of New Zealand. The joy continues.

An Antipodean
Looks quite comfortable as we gird our loins for a nasty Northeaster.

Here are a few more from the last few weeks. Not surprisingly, one involves hot and crispy sausage bread.

This morning with the first snow of the season. The photo taken next Monday should show quite a different scene. Thankfully no serious ice yet.

Smell it?
Once again, at the sizzle. Which the frequency of will need to decline lest I fail to fit through the hatch. But so good; especially on days like this. Hope to have some down below after the coming storm.

Current read
The current read on board. It’s been years since my last trip around with Brother Joshua. This is a 1900 second edition just scruffy enough to fit right in. It’s a long read, so this book should see me through to Spring.

Finally, one more last look shot. Never get tired of it.

Last sail of the year

Took advantage of a break in the weather today to get in one last sail this year. Overcast and about 50 or so with a light southeasterly. Cool enough for a fire and a sizzle. Had the Bay to myself so sitting below was no problem while actually hove to off Swan Point.

Here are a few pics from today and the last few weeks.

Manto to weather
Reaching along the Mantoloking Shore this morning. Hope they all enjoyed it.

Ready to go
Earlier this month waiting for crew. Best late fall/ early Winter sailing yet. Keep it coming.

Reedy Creek
Beating up to Reedy Creek on a very warm December 10th.

Close encounters
Close enough. The Bay was up about a foot or so and fairly clear. Clear enough to get within inches of the marsh edge.

Here’s a new video of sailing along the all too near edge of the marsh on December 10th.

Foggy morning in early December. No wind and little water. A watch below was called for.

Happy Shipper
Your very happy and grateful Skipper.

Well this has certainly been an eventful year with the return of Sjogin sailing in her home waters and her face all over the cover of WoodenBoat.

Thanks all for following along and here’s our best wishes to you gentle reader for a fine New Year.

Back to our routine

The heart of Sjogin glows again. Her Sardine wood stove is back in place and providing the usual quick sizzles and cups of something nourishing. It was first installed in the Spring of 2003 (Thanks Bob!) and has been providing warmth and comfort ever since. (Sandy lay up time sadly excluded.)

Having the stove available has slowed down progress on refitting the admittedly meager cabin furniture. The berth flat still needs to be spilled to the profile of the new ceiling but is now shimmed enough to be useful as is the galley box. It’s just too tempting to eat, drink and stretch out to read.

Once the berth is secure, a platform for the galley box will be built. The forward end will serve as a seat to tend the stove. It’ll be about the same height as the berth flat/seat. Stay tuned.

Here are some pics from the last few weeks:

since the shape of the frames changed and with new ceiling pieces it was necessary to do some creative planing.

Battle scars
Showing the effects of a decade of hard use and a dunking by Sandy.

Stovepipe fitting
Fitting the stove pipe and bolting the stove in place. Almost ready.

Finally. Even at my glacial pace, it’s been too long. Of course with the first fire since Sandy we have the first sausage bread sizzle. When the third piece was just right, I cut it up and brought it to the woodshop crew. Very well received.

At the sizzle
A bit further along. Note the bright light forward. It’s all due to the round deck prism Paul installed when the deck work was done. Quite a difference.

Current read
First read of the hot stove season. Here Ms. Prim is being plied with something nourishing. Always a pleasure to re-read the The Compleat Cruiser by L. Francis Herreshoff.

More soon though it may just be more of the above.

Sister ships!

Both full and junior size Sjogin’s are underway.

There’s a nice Thread on the WoodenBoat Forum about a Sjogin 3 (the 19′ version) being built in southwest France. Here’s the link to the Thread and a few pics showing the builders fine work.

Station molds done. These are to be set up on a strongback and will define the shape of the hull.

Aft stem lamination
This is what you need to do when natural timbers can’t be found. It’s actually stronger.

Coming along nicely
Starting to look like a boat. Notice the kids doodles?

There’s also word of a full size Sjogin to be built in Blue Hill, Maine by my friend Steve Brookman. He’s a long time Sjogin fan as can be seen from this page from his Traditional Small Craft website. Steve originally planned to build the 19′ version but since he now has a larger building space, he’ll be building the full size version. I hope it’s the gaff yawl version.

Steve also built a full model of Sjogin 3. Here are a few pics of same. More fine work.

Framed up
This is the 19′ Sjogin 3 version all framed up.

Deck frames done
Working on a model like this helps the builder work out details prior to building full size.

Fine work
It was a thrill to see Sjogin’s little sister in the flesh. Nice work Steve.

And here’s a pic of your very happy Skipper with the WoodenBoat Sjogin issue. Available at your better magazine stores. Still can’t wipe that smile of my face.

Happy Skipper

Thanks all for following along on this journey.

Cover Girl!

After picking away at an article for WoodenBoat magazine for the last five years or so and delayed by the Sandy repairs, Sjogin has pride of place on the cover of the current issue to go along with her story.

Cover Girl

Amazing photo by the very talented Jay Fleming. Once again hove to off Swan Point.

Here are a few sample photos sent to me by Jay after the photo shoot in late August:


Reaching along the marsh by Sloop Point. Jay took most of these from his kayak.

Hove to again

Hove to again in just enough breeze. We had an early start, hoping to have early sunrise light but found a hazy light overcast morning. Probably just as well from the photographer’s standpoint.


Jay must have taken twenty minutes to get just the right shot hanging off the dock when we returned to Beaton’s. Note all the dings and dents from a well sailed life.

Happy Skipper

Finally a portrait of your extremely happy Skipper.

Hope you enjoy the article; WoodenBoat is available at most chain bookstores and larger newsstands. There were more things I wanted to cover in the article such as a brief history of Beaton’s and their place in local sailing history and more about the WoodenBoat Forum where this all started but editors edit and here we are. As I said to Matt Murphy at WB, I guess that’s what books are for.