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.


Mastering Skills video w/Paul Gartside discussing the design. Subscription required.

3 part series on building Sojourn in TSCA's Ash Breeze
Fall 2022 Winter 2022 Spring 2023

Other Builds:

Soar-8' Paul Gartside Tender

Thistle-Harry Bryan's Fin Boat

Payton-13' Peapod

Biddle-Wyman 12' Skiff

Susan's Paddle Board

Rivus-16' Melonseed

Vika- 19' Ohio Sharpie

Peace Canoe


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
Cockpit/Cabin Soles: Local Cedar
Cabin Hatch, Trim, Rub Rails: Black Locust

LOA: 20'6"
LWL: 19'
Beam: 8'
Draft: 18"
Displacement: 1800#
Sail area: 247sf
Main: 148sf
Jib: 74sf
Mizzen: 25sf

Click on the years below to check out the building history.
2018 2019 2020 2021

January 2022

January in Maine, a good time to stay in a heated workshop and make parts. Roughing out blocks (Black Locust,) brazed some bronze to make some eye bolts and a couple of drink holders. Now that gets me thinking of what's ahead.







After 4 years I got the CNC out of the basement and relearned how to use it. Had to buy a new control box.

February 2022

Freaky day in February, record breaking 60+ degrees. I got to open the shed, mostly, as the pavement grew this winter and one door couldn't open completely. It was nice to see that Sojourn is still there. It might a month or two before the doors get opened again.

In front is a mock up for the mizzen. Real estate is tight at that end of the boat and I'm working compromises for the shroud placement.

This warm break allowed me to get the cockpit sole attached and made this buttons to secure the removable boards. These proved to be too fragile so I upgraded to 1/4" machine screws with bronze threaded inserts.

March 2022

Someday, hoping too not far in the future, I'll need to raise the mast. This is my first time dealing with a tabernacle and a mast too big to muscle in. David Wyman was once again kind enough to send me this sketch of a gin pole.





So now that's made, waiting on warmer weather to see how it goes. I ordered a boat hook kit from the WoodenBoat Store on Sunday, Scot dropped it off on Monday. Now that's service! Considering my boating habit we picked a good place to live.





I had 2" piece of black walnut and carved it from that. When the ice melts we'll see how it floats.



It was looking pretty obvious that my first attempt at making a wood block with a becket would probably not fit well with the mizzen. So I worked up bronze ones that are much smaller. No one will mistake them for store bought, but they should prove functional.


It's official, Sojourn is the name. Another warmish day and got some work done in the boat shed. Name and port attached.

In the cabin trimmed some bolts and got the watertight(?) hatches in place.

Need it a bit warmer to finish painting and then install the cabin sole. Not planning on any interior furniture maybe a shelf and some hammocks for gear storage.

April 2022

There is a mizzen, thank you Susan! Next step will be to get it on the boat. First I need to get the shrouds to the correct length which will require more Brummel splices this time with those "inside out" knots.

Robands for the mizzen, and a lot of black locust parrel beadsto be used for the main. Beads are a product of brother Gary's newest pastime, turning.

After more than a few takes, this is now my fife rail. The black locust belaying pins were turned by Gary, and nicely done. I'm using 1/2" bronze rod through bolted through the cabin top and deck. A removable cross piece for rigidity that could be made into a rail if more pins are needed in the future. It needs to be removable because of the tabernacle.

Cabin sole installed using Bill and Bobbie's cedar. Susan notes that it is snug, but considering this was supposed to be an open daysailer with a center board, it's rather spacious in comparison.

May 2022

Sojourn sees the sun for the first time this year. I'm attempting to rig the mizzen, which is still on the ground so I've got more work to do.

It is obvious to me, now, looking at the photo above that my barn door rudder would be fine for sailing, however sitting on the mud, not so. So I trimmed it so that it will be level with the skeg and am adding an endplate, 2 2" pieces of black locust, through bolted, epoxied and will covered with Dynel.


Sail Ho! Mizzen is rigged, no major issues, happy to get one sail up. The next ones will be slightly larger and more of a challenge.

The modified rudder with the end plate is on also.
With David Wyman's guidance and help from Susan we got it raised, all 24'. Thankfully no major issues. Tabernacle and gin pole need tweaking. Now the shrouds can be sized to the correct lengths. I enjoy doing that now that I've figured out how to splice this stuff.

Jib and jigger. Susan has 2 sails done, and very nicely at that. Now I can start placing the blocks and figuring out sheeting angles.

I'm going to rig an inner stay until I have confidence that the rig will stay up! Lots of first time stuff, braising, splicing, so err on the side of caution.

One more sail to go then it will be time to set a date to get wet.

June 2022

Susan saw a boat coat rack at the WoodenBoat store, so I flitched the idea and made her one, butternut and braised metal rods.

Susan upgraded to a Sailrite machine as these sails are a lot more robust than the ones she made for the sharpie and melonseed on her old Singer. After working out a few bugs she is really impressed with it. Once this sail is done and I get the rigging figured out it will be time to pick a launch date.
Lots of stuff going on at this end of the boat. It was a relief to see that that it should work, although tweaking will be needed. I'll see how my wooden blocks perform, might be a bit much friction. I have Tufnol's if needed.
Duh, I've had a CNC machine for over a decade and only recently got it back in my scan. It spent 5 yrs in the basement unused...old dog not wanting to relearn how to use it. Here it is making quick work of toggles for the mainsail.
Really getting close now. Susan just finished the main, and it fits! Still tweaking to be done but a launch can't be too far off.

July 2022


Splash! Launch date July 15, 2022. 4 years and one month, lofting to launch.

Susan christens Sojourn with a bottle of home brew.








Sojourn and I split the toast.











Launching went well on a beautiful day. Discovered a few rigging issues and that the sheeting needs tweaking, but it was a good start.







The first sail, David Wyman, Bill Fogler (USNA roomy) as crew. We made it to our dock! Now to learn how to sail her.



She now floats at our dock (depending on the tide.)


She sails! And so far, I'm pretty pleased. Very light helm, it took a bit to figure out how to tack without fouling the jib sheets, but we got that down.

Susan at the helm enjoying perfect summer weather tacking across Blue Hill Bay just outside the harbor.

Next is the rather large sail that she made. She did a great job as it sets about as well as a sail can. I need to tidy up the reef nettles that I added.

Then there is a happy captain. Granted it's only been a few times out in mostly light conditions, but it has been a nice sojourn so far.

August 2022

A slight interuption for the Maritime Heritage Festival that I organize. It went very well this year, the weather cooperated, lots of boats, exhibitors and musicians. Most important, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

The designer himself and Barb enjoying a sail on Sojourn on Blue Hill Bay. Of course I'm pretty pleased that he was pleased!

I was fortunate that the Festival was held the day before Paul was starting a class at WoodenBoat School. He and Barb came up a day early and he did a book signing during the Festival.

You couldn't plan this. Susan and I were enjoying a beautiful sail off Blue Hill when our neighbor, Meg Maiden, came by on her swordfisher with Ben Mendlowitz on board. He directed us for an hour and a half impromptu video/photo shoot! I had yet to get any photos of Sojourn under sail, should get some nice ones now!

September 2022

Susan putting the finishing touches on the boom tent that will help keep the rain out and protect her sail and the varnish.
Sail cover for the mizzen is next.
It sure is nice being married to someone that can and likes to sew!

Yes, she does sail!

October 2022

Hauled a bit earlier than planned as I had to fly to Florida to deal with hurricane Ian which flooded my mother's house with 8' of water.

It is nice having Sojourn back in her shed and having only relatively minor tweaks and preening to be done.

The biggest project will be to remove the toe rails, paint and rebed them. There were a few leaks coming from the deck and this time I'll use 4200 instead of Dolphinite.

Painting the rails white and the cockpit seating deck colored should ease future maintenance, there will still be plenty to varnish.

New look. Devarishing a bit, painted cockpit seats and toe rails, should help with maintenance.

April 2023

WoodenBoat Issue #292

Redid the fife rail, adding pins on the front piece to allow for the inner stay haylard.


2019 2020 2021