Sojourn, a Sjogin IIIa

2018 2019 2020

Sjogin III, a Paul Gartside design, is 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, 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 planked it with Vendia Marine Planks a product that while favorably reviewed in WoodenBoat Magazine had 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 and Europe 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 shallow draft and firm 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 mizzenmast as 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 stops in to see what I'm up to when he teaches at WoodenBoat School) and David Wyman, a naval architect and good friend, has run the hydrostatics and continues to advise while the build is in progress.

Materials: Building a boat is material intensive, and since boat building is a pastime for me, I've tried to keep my ecological footprint in check. Another nice aspect of working with Paul Gartside is his philosophy of using locally sourced and sustainable products when possible.

Keel: Laminated VG Douglas Fir
Bilge Keels: Steel, lead filled, 180# ea, sandblasted, epoxy coated
Inner and outer stems: Laminated Black Locust
Planking: Vendia, engineered marine planks from Finland. Milled from sustainable pine (1st time in the US)
Floors: Sawn Black Locust
Deck Beams: Douglas Fir
Bulkheads/Cabin Sides: US made marine ply (Doug Fir) epoxy with 6oz fiberglass
Decks: 1/2" US made marine ply (Doug Fir) epoxy and Dynel
Epoxies: Gougeon Brothers West System and their bio based Entropy Resin
Spars: Doug Fir
Cockpit Seats: Yellow Birch
Cabin Hatch, Trim, Rub Rails: Black Locust


Click on the years below to check out the building history. New format on this page, most recent month on top.

2018 2019 2020

July 2021

Floating dock! This should get us on the water more. It will be sitting on mud for a few hours a day, but having boats right there will be great.

Same day as the dock, Sojourn's trailer arrived. Local companies couldn't get parts because of Covid so I oredered from Triad Trailers in NC. It appears very well built and much larger than what I've owned befoer. While I'm anxious to see how the boat fits I will wait a bit before getting the boat on it as it will raise the boat almost 18" making getting in and out more of challenge.

June 2021

In place! Not perfect but no too bad either considering the degree of difficulty. Between dealing with the quirks of BL, shooting for 10 degree angle, curves, conical shape...lots of clamps and even more blue language..



May 2021

Bowsprit, sampson post and tabernacle in place




Took a break from stripping and re-varnishing Rivus and Dynel-ed the foredeck. Now on to cockpit coaming and more challenging wood working.

I knew the curved coaming would be a challenge since first viewing the plans. I milled a 1/2" x 6" plank of BL and since it didn't fit in my steam box I resorted to hot towels. With persuasion, it took the bend. In the back I'm training the other plank with wet towels and lead. Next up, real fun, getting the tight curvature at the aft end in place and match the planks.

Fun, not so. Took several attempts to get usable veneers (3/16") Tried hot towels, soaking, steaming, finally put them in a small pond and with a caul they took the bend.

April 2021

Dry fitting cabin parts giving Sojourn some personality. I didn't like my attempt to make gudgeons so I've asked Port Townsend Foundry to make them. without them installed there's only so much I can do at that end of the boat.

This mizzen step is a unique feature the Paul drew for Sjogin II. He calls for 1" pipe, I went for laminated Black Locust. My mentor, David Wyman, is concerned about the tiller angle. Until I get the rudder hung (waiting on gudgeons) I won't know for sure what angle I can get with this set up. Paul drew 30 degrees, David says 35 is optimal. Above that the rudder stalls.

March 2021

Continuing with spars, the gaff jaws required laminating, the others sawn, all BL. Then some varnish and leathering. I'm holding off leathering the gaff jaws until I see how they fit on the mast, might be tight. Of course I need to build the mast before I know.

February 2021

Not a lot of boat work done this winter. Made some parts in the new heated workshop. I'm still using Le Tonkinois for varnish. I discovered the hard way that they changed their formula and it now requires sanding between coats. Which explained the mottled finish I got w/o sanding.


Reworking the spars that I made the previous winter. If I go with the mizzen, these need to be cut down to fit. This is the main boom and gaff. Suppose I should make a mast sometime.






2018 2019 2020