Category Archives: Boat Construction

Building a Wood/Epoxy Sharpie – Phase II

Designing & Building the Rudder and Motor Bracket

By J.R. Watson

Building the rudder

The sharpie’s main reason for existence for over a hundred years is its fine operation in shallow water. However, the conventional sharpie rudder is notorious for causing squirrelly steering, often becoming totally ineffective when the craft heels more than 20°. Most sharpie sailors simply accept the handling aggravations of the conventional rudder in trade for its wonderful steering ability in the shallows. I decided to resolve the traditional faults in steering by installing a special rudder and steering system that has evolved and is used on some contemporary boats. This system will yield maximum control over a wide range of wind and sea conditions while retaining the sharpie’s shallow water virtues. Continue reading

Maxi Mac

Paul Butler’s New “Maxi-Mac”

BY PAUL BUTLER

As our summer training program grew, SBCSA needed more prams to accommodate all the
kids interested in taking lessons. During the last two winters, Gougeon Brothers has provided space in their boatshop for a Monday night boat building class. The classes were open to any member, including youngsters (with their parents), with no experience necessary. Class met 3-4 hours per night, twice a month, for three months. During the two winter classes, the students and instructors built five new plywood/epoxy Optimist prams to replace older boats and repaired or rebuilt the remainder of the fleet.

No building base, temporary frames or traditional ribs are necessary as the hull is reinforced with interior compartments held in place and made watertight with epoxy fillets. The large front and rear compartments provide seating, dry storage and bracing while standing, plus the safety factor of sealed emergency flotation.

The sheer is stiffened with a laminated gunnel structure, which absorbs the stresses of hard rowing, and multiple oarlock pin locations can be installed as needed. Drifting downstream, the boat can be rowed facing forward or aft for conventional rowing by simply turning around on the console seat.

Epoxy glued butt-blocks reinforce seams and effectively strengthen the hull in critical areas. The bottom is coated with a slippery epoxy/graphite coating allowing the lightweight hull to be dragged over gravel and launch ramps.

The full-length center “console” provides adjustable seating and rowing stations and structural hull bracing, plus an ideal location for an outboard motor well. It locates the motor efficiently in the center of the hull and also prevents “hobby-horsing” in rough water, and the motor can pivot so the prop may be lifted clear of the bottom while drifting through shallows. Even the smallest gas or electric motors will move the boat briskly, and remaining console compartments can isolate fuel tanks, organize gear or may be insulated with foam to function as ice chests.

Detailed, illustrated, step-by-step building plans that discuss options and material sources are available for $33. Pre-cut kits are also available.

Paul Butler Projects
PO Box 1917
Port Angels, WA 98362
paul@butlerprojects.com

Paul Butler is a renowned boatbuilder, designer, and author, familiar to readers of Small Boat Journal, WoodenBoat, Sail, Outdoor Life and other publications.

So the SBCSA started its 2001 season with 10 new and rebuilt prams all freshly painted and fitted with new aluminum rigs and sails. Although these prams are purposely somewhat overbuilt to withstand the rigors of training 40-60 kids each season, they are surprisingly lightweight and fast. The students and volunteers had a good time building them and learned a few things along the way. All of us involved with the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association owe a sincere debt of gratitude to Meade, Jan, and Joel Gougeon, and GBI employees, for their support over the years in helping us foster and train the next generation of homegrown sailors.

Epoxyworks 18 / Fall 2001

Tenacious, a Look Back

by Kay Harley

Epoxyworks 17

Cover Photo: After four years of construction, TENACIOUS began sea trials in June of 2000. 

Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s (JST) new wood/epoxy, three-masted barque, underwent sea trials that began June 2000. It offered a full schedule of tall ship voyages to Spain and the Canary Islands over the winter, with spring and summer trips to Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland. JST is a British charitable organization formed in 1978 with the aim of promoting the integration of able-bodied and physically disabled people through tall ship sailing. Tenacious now joins their other tall ship, Lord Nelson, which was built in 1986 and has
carried over 6,500 disabled sailors, including 2,687 wheelchair users. Continue reading

SCHEHERAZADE

By Tom Pawlak

On a break from the Maine Boatbuilders Show in March, we visited Hodgdon Yachts, Inc. and found significant progress on their latest build, a 155′ Bruce King designed wood/epoxy ketch, named Scheherazade. This is Hodgdon Yachts’ largest wood/epoxy vessel to date. The project is roughly 60% larger than Antonisa, the 124′ sailing yacht they launched last year.

Scheherazade is being built in Hodgdon’s new 20,000 square foot facility located at the water’s edge in East Boothbay, Maine. A project this size would not have been possible in Continue reading

Golden Dazy 1975

Wood/Epoxy Longevity

By J.R. Watson

There are those who still question the longevity of an epoxy composite structure. They state that the technology is still too new to know how it will hold up long-term. Some have said that epoxy composites fail in the tropic heat; other critics have warned of the hazards of wood and fresh water. However, I’ve recently visited several boats that are living testimony to the long-term reliability of epoxy composites. Of course, careful construction and good Continue reading

Carrying Place Canoe & Boat Works

Designers and Builders of Fine Cedar Canoes

Now in their 25th year, Carrying Place, Canoe & Boatworks Limited is still producing high quality canoes, kits, plans and accessories for the discriminating paddle sport enthusiast. All of their plans have been designed or lofted by Joe Ziemba, and each design is enhanced through a special computer program. Continue reading

A Kayak with a Message

Clark Eid, a research investigator for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Connecticut, has a daughter named Amanda who suffers from Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome strikes about one in 10,000 children, and resources for research are limited in the United States. So Clark built a kayak named Double Helix and organized Continue reading

sailing canoe

Discovering the Sailing Canoe

by Meade Gougeon

Epoxyworks 16

Cover Photo: A decked sailing canoe combines seaworthiness and comfort.

As a life long sailor, I have always had some mystical attraction to the canoe. As a young man, I read the exploits of my French Canadian ancestors who plied our beautiful Great Lakes for over two centuries in their birchbark canoes in pursuit of the fur trade. More recently, I followed the adventures of Verlen Kruger as he traveled by kayak from Alaska to South America. Continue reading

Modern Decked Sailing Canoe

Modern Decked Sailing Canoes

By Hugh Horton

Using epoxy with wood and modern high modulus fibers,the homebuilder can create light and strong evolutions of the sailing canoes designed by the Scot, John McGregor,in the 1860’s. Modern decked sailing canoes are simple, efficient, solo craft which are equally proficient under sail or double-bladed paddle. Puffin and Serendipity,for example, are 15′ long with a 34″ beam. Their unrigged weight is 45 lb; fully rigged weight is under 70 lb, including Continue reading

Building Components with Kevlar Braid

By Hugh Horton

Braided Kevlar®, or composites with Kevlar and carbon braid, are used for joints and many components of my sailing canoes. These include the hull/deck joint, cockpit coaming and spray deck rims, the leeboard bracket and retaining pin, the attachment of the mast step to the hull, the gunter’s yard heel fitting, and the Continue reading