Beaton’s pics as promised

Here are a few photos from Beaton’s over the past few months:

Here’s Shadow, a tired Blackjack being given a new lease on life.

Myth, looking Beaton Fresh.

S is for Sad
S if for Sad. One of Nat Herreshoff’s S Boats slowly fading away. She needs a savior.

Wedding prop
Here’s the Columbia model dinghy I helped Tom Beaton built all nice and clean after being used in a local wedding.

Paul Smith
Finally, here’s Paul Smith working on something other than Sjogin. This is a small table from the Orient that’s been in my family for several generations. More fine work from Mr. Smith.

Slow sailing
OK. At least one Sjogin pic. Heading out early one morning this Summer. She’ll be hauled next week for some bottom paint, cabin work and attending to a couple of nagging leaks. Then back in for the hot stove season.

Safe and sound

Just a quick note to let all know that all’s well so far.  Sjogin was moved around to a slip in the creek in case Joaquin took a Sandy like left turn.  We’re still dealing with a slow moving Northeaster that has  the water in the upper Bay pushed south.  When the wind lays down, the water will come sloshing back and sure to flood Beaton’s.


Back to normal… almost

What joy to be able to say “…going down to Sjogin for a quick visit/pump out/sail.” There have been a number of them since early July, most just sails of an hour or so, running the same old upper Bay circuit. What a lucky so and so.

Paul has installed the the new seats and they are just as I imagined. Next is the cabin sole, battery and bilge pump, limited furnishings and most importantly, the Sardine wood stove.

Here are a few pics from the last few weeks or so:

Have a seat!
Do sit down. The bespoke Paul Smith seats are very comfortable and sturdy, matching Sjogin’s robust proportions and just what I had in mind. The cedar slats and teak trim will turn silver with age.

What a treat to be able to step down on a solid surface rather than a loose milk crate with a teak lid. Sorry about all those bruises and such over the years.

Same as it ever was
The classic “last look before you leave the boat” image. Not so very different from the photo taken on October 28, 2012.

Fine view
At ease this morning during a quick visit and pump. In a perfect world Ed Lowe should be in the opposite slip in a similar comfortable position. He passed peacefully this year at age 98 after a full life, well sailed.

Ready to go. Or just back and ready to go again. It’s an embarrassment of riches to be able to lose track how many times I’ve gone sailing since Sjogin’s commissioning in early July.

Ghosting out of Beaton’s, Witch to leeward.

At ease again
Here we are hove to off Sloop Point for a change. Do you see a pattern here?

New coat!
Thanks to the lessons learned from Hervey Garrett Smith’s The Arts of the Sailor
we have a new mast coat. Please don’t look too closely at the cave man stitching.

Beaton’s and other pics to follow. (ed: We’ve all heard that before.)

Deck fittings

Running out of excuses not to go sailing.  Installed the new jib sheet fittings today along with the quarter cleats and the out haul cleat on the boom.

Tomorrow the sails get bent on and I’ll see if I remember how to heave to.


The new jib sheets will go through the fairlead at the forward corner on top of the house and then to cam cleats on the aft corner.  This way there will not be any blocks  or sheets on the deck.



Sandy survivor. This is the simple little block I use to keep the wire halyard off the mast.  It was right where I left it when Sjogin was recovered.


Paul Smith fashioning a Duckboat rudder.  Nice breeze blowing in the window.  Ahhh…..

As promised 

Sjogin’s mast was stepped yesterday after far too long.  I forgot the customary 1985 Bahamian quarter with a local sloop on one face.  A quarter was used yesterday with her traditional coin to be slipped under the mast today.  That should please Poseidon.

Looks like I managed to label the shrouds and stays correctly as everything seems to fit.  The rigging will settle down over time and especially after a few sails.  (Sailing, what a concept.)

Here are a few pics from yesterday:


Remember you can click on the photos for a larger image.

Thanks all for your patience over the years with my slow posting pace.  These new tools will hopefully shorten the publishing schedule.  We’ll see.

Ice free and a bit of progress

The long Winter and early Spring of our discontent has passed. The ice is gone from the Bay and sailing season beckons.

The mast is in the shop and almost ready to go. The sheave and a few bolts are among the missing but should not prove to be too big a problem. The cockpit sole work is coming along with some of the old cockpit sole teak reused. I had a recent consultation with Paul Smith about cockpit seat options. Looks like the seat slats will be made of Jersey cedar with oak framing, just like Sjogin’s hull.

If all goes according to plan, we should be sailing in May. (The operative word being should.)

Open water
Ice free and mares tails on a brisk spring day a few weeks ago. Sailing soon.

Spar work
The mast work is almost done. When I have the rest of the screws the mast track will be done. Then it’s on to the gooseneck and mast head fittings. Also a new topping lift is called for. And then the same process with the boom.

Sole cleats
Fitting supports for the end of the cockpit sole. The teak came from one of the original floor boards.

Something new
Who says things never change at Beaton’s. New flag pole repurposed from an old mast. Nice SW breeze.

Shadow , a classic Blackjack,almost ready for her close-up.

Myth, looking Beaton fresh.

That’s it for now. Perhaps a bit of more frequent posting now that heaving to off Swan Point gets closer.

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.

It’s been a month

with precious little to show for progress on Sjogin absent a perfectly varnished mast and boom courtesy of Paul Smith.

The mast is now stored in the spar shed, accessible when it’s time to rig. Jeff’s working on the rigging, serving the eyes with nylon seine twine. They may get a coat of varnish or “boat soup” before using.

Little progress down below but for the fitting of the bulkhead extension down into the bilge. One of my perennial problems with Sjogin’s stove was the puff backs on starboard tack in a good breeze. The original bulkhead was open at the bottom allowing the free passage of air. It also allowed air to leave the cabin, thus sucking smoke and occasionally flame out the stove vent. Quite exciting. By closing this off (mostly, there are still limber holes), the stove should draw better.

Sjogin’s still in the pit in the South Shed. Stop by and say hi to her.

Here are a few pics from the last month.

Resting comfortably
Looks like she’ll be here for the Winter. I expect the basin will freeze soon due to the cold November we’ve had. The rig’s still being worked on and will not be ready for a while. We’ve waited this long to go sailing so a bit more won’t hurt.

The bulkhead extension is fitted. The gap below the original one allowed air to get sucked out of the cabin encouraging puffbacks, sometimes with spectacular results. Fitting this extension should keep the excitement to a minimum.

Fifth coat
Here are the spars with their fifth coat of varnish. Paul Smith has put on the final (for now) coat. Very shiny. The mast and boom are now in storage awaiting rigging.

Sjogin’s fame continues to grow. This is from Paul Gartside’s just published book Plans and Dreams, available here. The plans are from a series of how-to-build articles for Water Craft, a british publications. The design shown is of Sjogin III, a 19′ version of the plans made by Mr. Gartside a few years ago. You can build these boats from the plans in the book. Very generous.

Better days
Paul included this photo taken by my son Jeff during Christmas years ago.

Small boat work
Here’s Paul Smith doing a bit of very small boat work. That’s a model of the Emma C. Berry with her later Schooner rig. The models getting a little TLC before she’s returned to the Bay Head Yacht Club.

The menagerie
Some of Jeff Reid’s handiwork. He’s becoming quite the carver. We have a Bufflehead in flight he carved for us last year. The cabinet is the one I made when working at Beaton’s those many years ago.


Slow but steady progress

Sjogin’s resting comfortably in the slip in the south shed. The keel still weeps in spot, with one persistent leak around an old keel bolt. It’ll take a while for the timbers to return to normal. For now it’s about ten pleasant hand pump strokes per day.

There’s been real progress on the spars. While your writer was comfortably ensconced in the hills of Tuscany in early October, Beaton’s again stepped into the breach and stripped and faired the spars. When we got back I finished the sanding and as of today, there are two sealer coats applied. First coat of varnish this weekend.

The cockpit sole is moving along at my usual pace. The oak sole beams have been fitted and the initial sole pieces have been milled by Paul. With any luck the stove may be in by Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, we gave our own thanks last week for recovering from Sandy two years ago on October 29, 2012. Thankfully no hurricanes this year (so far) but old Mister Northeaster may have a few lessons to give us this Winter.

All sanded and ready for the first coat of Interlux sealer. No serious defects found after many years of varnish. The wood is close grained clear fir. Tough stuff.

After the first coat. It will get darker after another coat of sealer and a half dozen coats of Epifanes varnish. And endless sanding….

Resting comfortably
Slowly rehydrating. Nice to be able to deal with her weeping by hand pump. There’s a sump pump on board if needed.

Trimming plugs
All of the old rivet holes have been plugged and sanded. The ceiling will cover most of them.

Getting greener all the time. The rub rail and letters ageing nicely.

And now, something completely different:

Villa Iris
Our bit of Tuscan paradise. We stayed here with seven others, exploring Florence and San Gimignano which was a mile or so away. Terrific views of vineyards and distant hills. Bliss for a week.

San Gimignano
That’s San Gimignano on the next hill. Classic Etruscan hill town with lot’s of places for a glass of Vernaccia or dinner. We had fine dinner at a restaurant on the edge of the town walls with sweeping views of the countryside and full moon.

Some of the Gang
Here’s five of us wandering the streets of San Gimignano. The others were waylaid by shops and such.

Vineyard tour
Touring a local vineyard for a tasting and later consumption of their Vernaccia. Yes, that’s San G in the background.

Ste. Chappele
We spent two days in Paris at each end of the trip. (You have to change planes somewhere.) This was at a string concert of the Four Seasons at Saint Chapelle on the Isle de Cite.

Small boat heaven
Finally, a bit of Beaton’s activity. Paul Smith giving an old fiberglass dinghy a new life. The two new Duckboats are getting freshened up before storage.