Sjogin IIIa

Sjogin III is a Paul Gartside design, a sturdy, seaworthy daysailer that evolved as a smaller, trailerable version of the 22ft double-ender Sjogin. Click here to read how the Sjogin plans came to be.

This build will be a challenge, not only is it about 10 time larger (by displacement) than my previous builds, Gartside plans, while beautifully drawn do not come with instructions. And to increase the degree of difficulty I am modifying the plans quite a bit, stretching the length, 10% to 20 1/2', removing the centerboard and experimenting with bilge keels, or twin keels (depending on the design or definition), and adding the small Sjogin cabin. And if that's not enough I plan to plank it with Vendia Marine Planks a product that while favorably reviewed in WoodenBoat Magazine has not been used in the US until now.

Design criteria, why? Why mess with the Gartside plan? First, our home in Blue Hill, Maine is situated at the north end of Blue Hill Bay where a couple of times a day the 10' tide retreats to reveal several hundred yards of mud flats. Many boats in Britain deal with the tides by having bilge keels allowing them to sit upright until the waters return. I had the plans already for Sjogin III and the slack bilges seemed suitable for adding bilge keels. The 8' beam on her original 19' length seemed more than adequate, so stretching her 10% seemed appropriate plus that would provide more room to add the small cabin. Since I have another 18" why not keep the original rig and add a mizzen...I always wanted a canoe yawl. (With an 8' beam it won't be very canoe-ish) I'm not doing this completely wily-nilly as I'm in contact with Paul (he even stopped in while he was teaching at WoodenBoat School) and David Wyman, a local naval architect and good friend, has run the hydrostatics and continues to advise while the build is in progress.


It all starts with a blank sheet of plywood, painted white. The lofting is taking place, appropriately, in the loft above the boat shed.
It's exciting and more than a tad confusing as line after line is drawn, corrected, eventually revealing the shape of the boat to be.
Jigs were made to bend the beautiful vertical grain Douglas Fir to form the stems. It was milled by America's Wood, 16 lams 1/8" thick laminated 8 at a time.
These are some serious chunks of wood, considerably larger than what I used in my other builds. The inner keel is 2" thick, flaring from 4" to 9".
8 molds of 1x12" pine. Nail heads transferred the shape of the body plans deducting 1/2" for the thickness of the planking.
The molds lined up and ready to go. This is going to be one fat boat!
One can start imaging the size and shape now. The stems are positioned, next up is to get the inner keel scarfed to the stems.
Planing the 10' inner keel, 4 lams of 1/2" vertical grain Douglas Fir. Making a nibbed, or stepped, scarf that will be reinforced with pegs of black locust.
Stems are scarfed to the keel, planking bevel is roughed in and now the plank lining process begins.
Vendia Marine Planks make it to Blue Hill, finally. First time in the US! Now I just have to figure out how to get 12mm (1/2") planks to bend around 2 pointy ends.
Beveling the stems, lots of wood to be removed. A slick is your friend! Some power and block planing to finish.
Planking pattern, adjustable so you can spile all the planks with it. Not easy maneuvering its 23' length.
1st plank cut, smells like the pine it is. So far very pleased with quality, cuts and planes like real wood. It was scary making the 1st cut as I can't go a local store to get more. Here the garboard is being convinced that it wants to go where it needs to.

Garboards on! The Vendia took the bends with only a bit of fussing and was a pleasure to plane. Ready to spile plank #1. Only 7 more planks to go.

1st half of #1 plank on. The Vendia took the bend on the stern stem well. The garboard has a layer of Dynel and a start of fairing with thickened epoxy.

First screwup (that I'm aware of) as I tried to get the plank out of a prescarfed board. Even though I got the wider garboard out, the 8" #1 plank wasn't even close. So now I know that I'll have to scarf in place. Once I figure out how to do that, it will be rinse, lather, repeat for the others. Hope I have enough Vendia.

1st angled scarf in place. I'll have to do a lot of these. The remaining planks will need 2 each.
Vendia does bend nicely. It needed some persuasion to take the bend at the stern. A cup of hot water and a towel did the trick.
The bend at the bow is much easier, taking much less persuasion. Slow going as it takes 3 sections to get one finished plank. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm November temps (it won't last) to get some epoxying done.

Working on the 4th plank, and since there are 8, I'm getting close to half way. But now it's winter and without heat it will be a few more months before there is anymore planking.

Here I've finally got around to making a jig for clamping. If you look at the photos above you can see the crazy combo of clamps needed to coerce the planks around the stem. Once lathered with epoxy it was a slippery and frustrating mess, fighting any attempt to get the plank clamped back into position.

The small workshop out back has a wood stove and is sort of insulated. So if I can get the fire going in the AM by noon it can be quite comfortable.

While this may look like spar making it is really an expensive and labor intensive way to make kindling. Not to mention trashing out the workshop.

On the horses will hopefully be the main boom, gaff and mizzen mast. The main mast will be 20' and birdsmouth. I will have to figure how to fit that in a shop that isn't much bigger than that.