Sojourn, a Sjogin IIIa

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

November 2021






22' 3". Even with 12 staves there is lot of hand-planing and sanding. 3 coats of epoxy and 6 varnish, so far.
















On the right is Rivus's 16' mast. It was my first birdsmouth and it's not very pretty, but it is overbuilt and held up for 7 years, so far.




Cockpit sole made of cedar milled by my old Navy roommate's brother. He has a large farm about an hour north in Exeter and set up a sawmill to do something with all the trees on his property. They also brought down a truckload of butternut, not a boat building wood, but will find some use for it.

The seats are yellow birch, coaming black locust, quite a mix of woods.



Time to get my head around the rigging. I'll be using 1/4" Endura 12 Dyneema for the standing rigging. I plan on using soft eyes for main shrouds and hard eyes (thimbles) for the mizzen.

I've decided to go with bronze turnbuckles instead of lashings as there are 8 stays and this way seemed best.

The shiny bits are tangs and mizzen chainplates.

October 2021



Splash day! Not the "official" launch, this was the long awaited leak and see how she floats test.







Sojourn passed on all counts. There was a drop, maybe two, of water on one keel boat, not enough to qualify as a real leak. The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus powered her to 5+ without making more than a whisper.

































David, doing what he does, crunched stability numbers and while underway, calculated the HP and efficiency of the ePorpulsion. He was pleased with both results.



It is a relief to see that Sojourn does have the family resemblance of the original Sjogin even though she is half the displacement and built by an amateur.

Whose idea was it to make a 12 stave birdsmouth mast? NM, I know who. After checking with local lumber yards and sawmills I couldn't find 22' lengths of DF so I used available VG DF staggered the scarfs to 23+'. They were then ripped to 1.11 widths from the Duckworks calculator.



After cutting the birdsmouths on the router table with a 60/30 bit, all 12 need to be tapered. The top 10' goes from 4.25" to 2" following a parabolic curve with only 3/16" reduction in the first 30"...not much too take off over 12 staves. I made a jig and started the taper with the power plane then finished with a hand plane.








Dry fitted on the building jig, tweaking the tapers to get to the final dimensions. The "bottom" of the mast will be the aft side and will be straight. This will be a sloppy challenge dealing with a lot of thickened epoxy.











Gluing up 3 at a time, keeping the amount of epoxy manageable, also easier to do solo. Core for the base is done, gluing up the blocking for fittings higher in the mast.


September 2021

Gudgeons, at last! I was going to make them last year but the casting class at WoodenBoat School was cancelled because of Covid. After a couple of months of nice conversations with the Port Townsend Foundry, they said they could do them in a few weeks, I gave up. Pat Fanelli came to the rescue, made the patterns, and Chris Gamage, Rockland, Me, made these. They came out real nice, and after taking Erica Moody's metalworking class, I felt comfortable drilling them.

A concern with the mizzen arch design was would it allow enough tiller angle to be effective. With the rudder in place it shows a minimum of 30 degrees. I'll take it.

Getting the rudder hung I finally get to see the angle that the arch will allow

So now I get to work on the rudder, laminate and carve the tiller and the entire aft end, mounting the arch and finish the decking.

Not exciting, but essential, epoxy fillets around the coaming and cabin, also making transitions between the seams of Dynel.

Practicing with the metal bender, learning how to get the bends where I want them. Good news I figured it out, however after successfully bending 1/2" bronze rod I realized it was oversized for the mizzen arch and will downsize to 3/8". I'll find a use for the 1/2" somewhere.

The tiller was laminated with ash and walnut and is designed to fit between the relatively small space under that arch and clear the coaming.

What a day! Not only did this ePropulsion arrive and fit on the mounting bracket and under the cockpit seat (just as I has planned...or hoped for) but I got the hull ID # today. All I had to do was ask at the town office and I got the number. It was considerably more involved when we lived in NJ.
Not very fancy but it should work. I'll find out soon enough. Had to get the tiller (ash and black walnut) to clear under the arch and stay above the coaming.
Sojourn sees the sun for the first time. Next week it gets wet and hoping that water stays on the outside.

August 2021

Sojourn sees the light of day, actually rain. David Wyman demonstrated his engineering skills as we managed to get the boat on the trailer.

Still lots to be done before there will be any sailing but it is mobile now.

One of the reasons we moved to Blue Hill was the proximity of WoodenBoat School where I took Erica Moody's metal working class, again. She helped me make this bowsprit fitting. 4 years ago she helped with a traveler for the melonseed.

Paul Gartside was also teaching a class that week and they both stopped by for boat talk and mussels.

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 ordered from Triad Trailers in NC. It appears very well built and much larger than what I've owned before. 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