Category Archives: Boat Construction

rolling the limosine

Van Dam Custom Boats – Part One

By Bruce Niederer

In this issue I begin a two-part series that will feature a custom boat project being built at Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City, Michigan. We featured a Van Dam boat built in Epoxyworks 14, the beautiful and unique Alpha Z. We want to give our readers a glimpse into what is currently happening at this world-class boat shop. Continue reading

lemniscate hull

The Lemniscate Hull

A Chineless Gull Wing

By Bill Beran

I built this 16′ runabout in my garage over the course of a few years. It was the culmination of an idea I long had for a design that would provide a soft ride with its deep vee hull, but at the same time exhibit excellent fuel economy. It’s best described as a chineless gull wing. The hull shape captures and efficiently redirects otherwise wasted bow wave energy downward to create lift. It also safely captures ram air under the “wings” (noticeable starting about 40 mph) and attains a comfortable top speed close to 50 mph with the 115hp outboard motor. Continue reading

Six10 Adhesive Finds a Home in “Boutique Style” Construction

By Emily Soyka

Epoxyworks 40

Cover photo: Installing some of the assembled FRP louvered panels on the rooftop residence.

Renew Urban Charleston, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina has been using WEST SYSTEM® Six-10 Epoxy Adhesive to glue hundreds of pultruded fiberglass channels and square tubes together to form decorative louvers. When installed on the building, the louver assemblies create an aesthetic detail that draws attention to the unique rooftop residence on King Street in Charleston. Continue reading

The Great Lakes Boat Building School Graduates the Class of 2014

By Bruce Niederer

I traveled to the U.P. (that’s what we Michiganders call the Upper Peninsula) on June 7th to attend the graduation ceremony and participate in the yearly on site PAC (Project Advisory Committee) meeting which I currently sit on. I arrived on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70s, a stark contrast from my last trip to the school in mid-April when I awoke to 4” of new snow and 3°F! For those of you who live in the southwest where the temperature has been hot for some time, by contrast, the great lakes finally became 100% ice free the beginning of June. Continue reading

Profile of an American Craftsman

By Bruce Niederer

I hear it said increasingly often in the last couple years as I meet people during my travels “Who will be the next generation of tradesmen? Who is going to work on our cars, boats and homes?” This is a serious lament posed by today’s tradesmen, potential employers who have a very hard time finding apprentices and workers to learn their trade. The U.S. is in dire need of men and women willing to work with their hands and develop the skills necessary to build and repair all our…stuff. Continue reading

A Rendezvous with History: Les Staudacher & Tempo Alcoa

By Bruce Niederer

In my article Profile of an American Craftsman the photos of the Les Staudacher jet-powered boat provide a photographic history of the first and last run of the Tempo Alcoa. What follows are the details of that historic event.

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Skiff Details

By Captain James R. Watson

A skiff is a shallow, open boat with a sharp bow and square stern. After building some skiffs of various designs and having the opportunity to observe them over time, I have found details that have worked nicely that might be a value to others. Continue reading

Strings under sail

Strings Centerboard Adjustment

By Greg Bull

Strings, as unique as the man who designed it, continues to be a work in progress for us at GBI. In Jan Gougeon’s first year of sailing Strings, he noticed the boat felt sticky at times. He thought it might be the centerboards jibing too much and the solution might be locking them straight. The center boards work as jibing boards by having two high spots on each side of a centerboard head creating the pivot point to get the boards to change angle, or jibe. The actual pressure from the boat going through the water and wanting to slide sideways gets the boards to jibe. Continue reading

Bottom Fairing Adagio

By Greg Bull

Most seasoned sailors would agree that a clean bottom leads to faster sailing. Sometimes it may be necessary to do more than scrub away the algae and zebra mussels, though. In the case of Adagio, 44 years of sailing was starting to ripple the bottom of the boat. Simply put, it was time to fair the bottom. While fairing the bottom of your boat may seem beyond your reach, it is a project that novices and experienced boaters alike can accomplish with a few simple tools and a love of a little manual labor. The first step that I took to fair the bottom of Adagio was to get the main hull tipped up on an angle to make working on it easier. On most Continue reading