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...

Pied Piper 28

The early ones were wood and built by various yards, the later ones fiberglass built by Libery Yachts of Leland NC, not to be confused with Liberty Yachts of Riviera Beach, Fl, builders of the Liberty 38. Easily recognized by its external chainplates and Pacific Seacraft style rubrails. Some were built with a long fin keel, others with a keel-centerboard arrangement. To confuse matters, another boat known as the Pied Piper 28 was built with a completely different profile, flush deck and high doghouse, ostensibly by the same yard...more.

Entry by Paul Clayton.

Fantasia 35

It's rare to find a center-cockpit boat in the 35 foot range, but designer Bruce Bingham made it work in this beamy Taiwanese-built cutter. The boat features a big aft cabin, a head on one side of the cockpit and a workbench on the other, with a saloon and v-berth forward. The high bulwarks, canoe stern, full keel and powerful dual spreader rig make this a true blue-water boat. It has good antecedents - Bingham also designed the Flicka...more.

Entry by Paul Clayton.

Cape Dory 28

Yes, Cape Dory made powerboats as well as their familiar sailboats, ranging from 24 feet to 40 feet. The various models of the 28 make up most of them, and they are fairly common on the east coast. They feature typical Cape Dory heavy construction in a semi-displacement hull with rounded bilges. They were built with big Chrysler gas engines or Volvo diesels, but many have been repowered...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.


You can contact this site by emailing


Copyright © 2016 Paul M. Clayton

News and Announcements

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.

CFCC Riverfront Boat Show -- Cape Fear Community College is staging a boat show April 1, 2017 on the riverfront in Wilmington.Click here for more information.

Remember this post from February 2015? -- "Salvage Opportunity Off the NC Coast? -- The Coast Guard air-lifted crew off 55-foot catamaran Rain Maker 200 miles off Cape Hatteras January 29th, 2015. Irene Nolan of Island Free Press reports that the $2.5 million boat suffered a broken mast. All crew were reported safe.." Well, turns out that boat floated around the Atlantic near Bermuda for over a year, and then was salvaged by members of Oracle Team USA who were out on a fishing trip! Here's the story, at Sailing Anarchy.

Buck Buckhannon, Matthews Point Sailor -- has an article in the upcoming January-February 2017 edition of Small Craft Advisor Magazine about trailer-sailing out of Oriental.

Volvo Penta Running, Nobody There -- Friends came back to the marina from dinner one night and found a boat (not theirs) with a running engine. There was no sign of life aboard the boat and no other cars in the parking lot. They boarded the boat and found no key in the ignition, but the engine was running, the starter was grinding along with it. They choked the engine to kill it and left word with the marina staff. The owner was notified, and he immediately contacted a mechanic and told the story. The first words from the mechanic were "is it a Volvo Penta?" Then he stated that this is a known issue with certain Volvo models and is due to a defect in the wiring harness. Fortunately, the engine seems to be ok, even though it was winterized and the raw water intake was closed. The starter and impeller are shot. I googled "Volvo Penta starts by itself" and found numerous mentions of this issue. If I had one of these engines, I would be sure the starter battery was left in the off position any time I was away from the boat. If my friends hadn't noticed the engine was running and taken action, the engine could have been destroyed, worse, a fire could have started, consuming the boat and the whole marina.

Lightning, Thunder and Torrential Rain -- Not what I expected to find at Matthews Point at the end of December, but we take what we get. If there is any truth to the old saw that winter thunderstorms mean snow is coming, Havelock needs to get ready for a blizzard.

Wild Bill -- That's how everybody at Matthews Point knew him. This big-hearted man has passed away back home in Tennessee. His illness kept him away from his boat the last couple of years, but many of us can remember how frequently he made the long trek from home to spend time on Clubfoot Creek, back when he had his health.

Doug's Got a New Book -- My friend and fellow sailor Doug Sanderson has a new book out, nothing to do with sailing this time, but a real treat nevertheless - "Interstate - Confessions of a Rookie Truck Driver." It helped me pass the hours as I sat in my father's hospital room, keeping him company as he passed over into the next life. If you read "Following the Dragon", then you know what a talented writer Doug is. Available in Kindle at Amazon, or pdf at Smashwords.

NOAA Chart 25663 -- "Pasaje de San Juan to Puerto de Humacao and Western Part of lsla de Vieques" - Hi Flite is just off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico, two weeks into her voyage from Matthews Point Marina to the U.S. Virgin Islands. She's making fine time. I've known boats to spend more than two weeks at "Velcro Beach", waiting for a weather window.

Making Up Time -- After a battle to cross the Gulf Stream, Hi Flite is making good progress toward the golden land of the USVI. As of 11/30/16, she is due east of Miami and on a rhumb line between Bermuda and San Juan, PR.

Closed on the Alberg Today -- as of 11/28/16, I am the new owner of Alberg 35 Terry Ann. The previous owner purchased her new in 1964 and did a good job of keeping her in shape, but after 52 years she's in need of a thorough refit. High on the priority list is replacement of the standing rigging and perhaps the chainplates, along with a good hard look at the through-hulls, seacocks and below-water hoses. I will be adding a new section to the website to track the progress of the refit, with lots of pictures.

What's New -- Pied Piper 28, in the Know Your Boats section.

Almost Across the Gulf Stream -- Hi Flite's November 23, 2016 spot puts them almost across the Gulf Stream, about 144 miles ESE of Cape Lookout.

Feather Jim, This One's for You -- Doug McQuilken, who exhibited his 100 year old catboat restoration in process at the Georgetown Show, sent me a link to the website and discussion board of The Catboat Association.

Boat Parts Search Engine -- Boat Used Part Search lets you put in search criteria, queries several used parts websites, and then returns possible matches.

What's New -- Georgetown Wooden Boat Show 2016, in the Articles section.

Try Not to Get It On You -- Neuse Riverkeeper Travis Graves suggests "I am advising folks to not swim or expose open sores or cuts to the water, if possible, and to be cautious of debris when boating." Due to the hog lagoons and such upstream, of course. Town Dock reported on this November 4th.

Still the Same Neuse River Sailors -- the temporarily boatless webmaster had some time on his hands and decided to revamp the front page. All the content is still here. I'm working on a post about the 2016 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show that should be up soon.

Matthews Point Beast Feast -- Boatowners at Matthews Point, don't forget to mark your calender for Saturday, November 12th. If you're not a boatowner at Matthews Point, try to beg or cadge an invitation - this is a really good party.

News Archives -- For older items, click here

To Contact the Webmaster --