Neuse River Sailors
Sailing Southeastern Waters

Sailing Trips...

Salty Turtle Log

It was decided, or the way many times these things are decided for us, that if Vic and Gigi wanted to continue their live aboard and cruising lifestyle, that they were going to have to move from a sailboat to a power boat. The physical demands of dealing with sails and the relatively cramped living space was getting to be just too much for the two of them. This was not an easy decision...more.

Story by Mike Doster.

Ocrafolk 2016

Ocracoke. To some the name produces images of pirates, long stretches of undisturbed beaches and “high tiders”. To me it is the Ocrafolk Festival. I first learned of the festival shortly after acquiring the Annie Belle and decided to check it out. Dan from the Marian Claire and I were both fairly new to this boating thing, and he agreed to crew with me the first couple of trips over. We are both fans of live music and it seemed like a natural fit. Now, several years later it has become a yearly ritual...more.

Story by Mike Doster.

Out of the Neighborhood

Any sailor will tell you, if sailing interferes with work, give up work, and that's what I have done. At 57 years of age, I figure I have another 12 or at most 15 years of being able to handle the lines, and then I will follow the example of a man I greatly esteem, Vic Copelan, and go to power. That might buy me a few years until the time comes to find a rocking chair at some modern-day equivalent of Sailors' Snug Harbor...more.

Story by Paul Clayton.

More Sailing Trips...


Matthews Point Marina

With all the good marinas lining both banks of the Neuse River, sailors can afford to be discriminating about where they keep their boats. Personally, I'd rather be in a sailboat marina for the quiet and low-wake character. I like a place with good sailing territory right out of the slip, and I like a high level of security so I can leave the boat for weeks at a time and know it is safe. In the ten years I have been on the Neuse, I have kept my boat at Matthews Point Marina because it provides all these things...


Review by Paul Clayton.

The Whortonsville Yacht and Tractor Club

On Brown Creek, a tributary of Lower Broad, you will find friendly little Ensign Marina. The owner, Nick Santoro, has written a book, which, while ostensibly a novel, reads like a lightly-fictionalized memoir of his time in Oriental. It tells the story of a man who leaves a big northern city for a simpler lifestyle, makes it through the culture shock of settling in Oriental, and goes on to integrate into the somewhat raffish Pamlico County society. Along the way he starts a successful business and marries a local girl...


Review by Paul Clayton.

Following the Dragon

Doug Sanderson is not out to achieve his personal best or cross something off his bucket list. He's just out for a fun sail in the Bahamas and up the East Coast. His book is more like a long, extended conversation with a good friend over a bottle of something, as he looks back through his log books and relates the story of a trip on a boat. This is a comparatively recent book, the voyaging taking place in the early 2000s, so it is probably a good description of cruising in the Bahamas and up the East Coast to Newfoundland today. The story starts in Seattle, aboard Doug's Westsail 28 home, with a desire to take a long voyage, somewhere, anywhere...more.

Review by Paul Clayton.

More Reviews...


Georgetown Wooden Boat Show 2016

Hurricane Matthew skirted the coast early October 2016 and briefly made landfall at McClellansville, but there was never any doubt that the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, scheduled for October 15th and 16th, would go on....more.

Article by Paul Clayton.

Making a Canvas Bucket

I have made a few of these and the best design I have found is Larry and Lin Pardey's from their "Cost Conscious Cruiser" book. This has been published in article form in numerous magazines and online publications. My version is a little different - rather than sewing in a double bottom, I use a second boltrope around the bottom and then pound in a round wooden piece to serve as a bottom....more.

Article by Paul Clayton.

Georgetown Wooden Boat Show 2015

Each year, on the third Saturday in October, the little town of Georgetown in the low country of South Carolina puts on the biggest and best wooden boat show in the southeast. Dozens of exhibitors bring their creations, restorations, or well-preserved classics to show off, either in the water along the Harborwalk or on Front Street, the main thoroughfare of downtown....more.

Article by Paul Clayton.

More Articles...

Know Your Boats...

Tartan 34

For the time, this boat was considered a high-performance cruiser, with a short fin keel, rudder on a skeg and big centerboard, and even now is capable of fast passages. With a fairly high freeboard, there is plenty of headroom in the narrow cabin, and the nine-foot cockpit can hold a party. The mainsail is high aspect, and most examples sheeted to a traveler in the cockpit...more.

Entry by Paul Clayton.

Niagara 35

Traditional appearance above the water line, long fin and spade rudder below. The boat has wide side decks and a big open foredeck to make sail handling safe and easy...more.

Entry by Paul Clayton.

Westsail 28

With only 78 built, you are much less likely to see one of these than big sister Westsail 32s, but they share many spotting characteristics - long bowsprit, cutaway bulwarks at the bow, external chainplates and transom-hung rudder, to name a few. The hull form is different, with more cutaway in the forward sections, and the rig is higher in aspect...more.

Entry by Paul Clayton.

More Know Your Boats...


Many photographs of boats and places from Maryland to Florida, but mostly from the Neuse. If you sail the waters of coastal North Carolina, you are sure to see places you've been, and maybe a picture of your boat...more.


Links to sailing websites, marinas and boatyards, museums, local restaurants, owners associations, and other sites of interest to sailors...more.

Terry Ann Refit...

Posts about refitting my Alberg 35...more.


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Copyright © 2016 Paul M. Clayton

News and Announcements

How Bad Was Matthew? -- This story at the News and Observer suggests that many small towns in southeastern North Carolina will never recover. The town of Fair Bluff, population 526, lost 109 homes and saw it's citizen scattered to the winds. To this day, power has not been restored to parts of downtown. Windsor, Seven Springs and Kinston were also hard hit. Certainly Kinston will recover - Seven Springs, maybe not.

Ocrafolk Festival June 2-4, 2017 -- See the website here.

Ocrafolk-bound Sailors Should Keep a Weather Eye on Bigfoot Slough -- The NC Ferry Division reports 4/21/17 critically low water levels in Bigfoot Slough, especially at low tide. The cross-sound ferry schedules have been curtailed as one of the boats, Sea Level, draws too much to negotiate the slough. Emergency dredging is to begin 4/24/17. Sailors planning to head for Ocracoke should monitor the situation.

Oriental Gets a Second Chance -- After foolishly allowing corporate America to come in and destroy their local grocery store, the people of Oriental are getting another chance with the new Piggly Wiggly, a.k.a. "the Piglet", a small but well-stocked, full service store within walking distance of the Whittaker Creek yards and marinas. It's a bit of a hike from the town dock and old harbor, though.

Can't walk to the Silos any more. -- It's nice to be home at Matthews Point, but I miss having the Silos just corner, which was the case when I had the boat at Sailcraft Service. Tuesday night meant a free cheese pizza with every pizza ordered, Wednesday was open mike night, and Thursday was dollar beers. See why the Silos is Oriental's favorite joint.

One of the Last of the Harkers Island Wooden Boat Builders -- is close to completing 21 foot workboat Florence Mae. Heber Guthrie is building the boat for the NC Coastal Heritage Association. For more information, click here.

2017 Oriental In-Water Boat Show -- will be held the weekend of April 21-23 at Oriental Harbor Marina. See the flyer here.

12 Degrees North -- Dale and Cori are in Grenada, the far southeastern corner of the Caribbean, just 12 degrees north of the equator. For those who like to sail, we salute you.

Gojo Goes Upscale -- Gojo Hand Cleaner is now made with fine Italian pumice. The boatyard features this distinctive product in its washroom. It's part of a general upgrading that features yard workers in fine Italian leather boat shoes and silken cravats. The old Bunn-O-Matic in the break room has been replaced with an espresso machine. I have taken to wearing a blue blazer as I labor on the Terry Ann refit.

43rd Annual Wooden Boat Show -- The Beaufort NC show will be held on May 6th, 2017 at the Maritime Museum. Click here for details.

Time is Running Out -- The 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists jointly hosted at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland and the Academy Art Museum in Easton, will close March 31st, 2017.

Do Your Love Jet Noise? -- If you do, check out the Wings Over Wayne Airshow the weekend of May 20-21, 2017, at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro. I'm looking forward to taking my grandson to this show in a few years, when he is a little older.

Spam and Yams? -- No, Dan, it's the 2017 Smithfield Ham and Yam Festival in, if you can call it that, "downtown" Smithfield NC. May 6th, 2017.

It will soon be that time of year -- Yes, festival season in eastern North Carolina will soon be upon us. For 35 years, Kinston has made an early move on the tourist wallet, and this year is no different. The 36th Annual BBQ Festival on the Neuse will be held the weekend of May 5-6, 2017. Personally, I stop at King's on the east side of town whenever I get a chance because to my taste, they make some of the best eastern-style bbq around.

Greensboro Wooden Boat Restorer -- Lowell Boats specializes in restoration and refinishing of classic wooden boat. I met Gary Lowell at Sailcraft Service last month and am itching to get over to Greensboro and see his shop. In addition to his main business, Gary also surveys boats and teaches classes at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. Check out his website for more information.

News Archives -- For older items, click here

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