Category Archives: Boat Construction

Improve Wooden Paddles with G/flex

By Tom Pawlak

G/flex epoxies weren’t developed with coating in mind, but early on in applications testing we discovered they were excellent at dealing with impact. This became evident when we used G/flex 650 (the unthickened version) as a coating and when we used G/flex 655 (the thickened version) as a protective buildup.

G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, but we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden parts that might get dented in service, such as wooden canoe paddles and boat oars. As a coating, G/flex deflects without cracking when the wood beneath it gets dented. Continue reading

The Building Issue

For this issue we’ve dug through our Epoxyworks archive to put together a selection of all building articles. There are two reasons for doing this. For the last couple of months, we have been redesigning the PRO-SET Epoxy product line. This has taken an incredible amount of work by most everyone at Gougeon Brothers. especially those who write and produce Epoxyworks. In addition, since the beginning of the year, the chemists, lab technicians, and technical staff, who are the main writers of our articles, have been moving into their brand new quarters. Continue reading

Jan C. Gougeon in the boat shop

Jan C. Gougeon

August 7, 1945 – December 18, 2012

A visionary, ingenious, a great innovator who could see beyond boundaries, on of a few people to really have changed the boatbuilding game in his lifelong quest for speed. This is how boatbuilders and designers, sailors and iceboaters recall Jan Gougeon. A natural engineer, Jan became an accomplished boat designer and builder who was always thinking about his next boat. His vibrant boyish enthusiasm lit up the room. Jan was a fierce competitor who shared tips and technology openly, offering astute and encouraging advice to novice and veteran sailors and builders alike. Continue reading

Building a Masthead Fitting

Using the Lost Foam Method

By Captain James R. Watson

Here’s another use of the lost foam method to produce a custom part with a molded interior cavity. In this case, the part was a masthead fitting to hold an internal sheave and provide a route for the halyard to pass. This method can be adapted to a variety of other applications, as demonstrated in Fabricating an Air Scoop.

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River Dory PORTOLA

Historic Wooden Dories in the Grand Canyon

By Greg Hatten

Epoxyworks 35

Cover Photo: Greg Hatten battles white water on a trip trough the Grand Canyon in his replica dory, PORTOLA.

On March 21, 2012, river runners from five western states, Canada, Japan and Chile launched five homemade boats, replicas of important historical designs, in an attempt to complete a 24-day self-guided traverse of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. The replica boats represented a snapshot of river running in Grand Canyon during the 1950s and 1960s, just before Glen Canyon Dam took control of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Continue reading

Building My First Skiff

By John Wojciechowski

When I told my brother that I was going to build a boat he asked me, “Why?” I didn’t discover the answer until after the project was completed.

I work in the Operations Department at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. and have been here 12 years making WEST SYSTEM® products: epoxy resin, hardeners, fillers, packaging fiberglass etc. But I’d really never used it on a big project. The company has always been involved in boats and boatbuilding, so I figured a boat project of my own would provide me with some ‘how to’ epoxy experience.

I could envision my two young daughters rowing a boat their dad built, but I had to convince my wife. I like to fish and so do my girls, so a good fishing skiff couldn’t hurt. “Think of all the fish fries,” I told my skeptical wife. Continue reading

Stray Cat Strut

By Andy Davidson

I have just about finished restoring a Gougeon Tornado. I’ve always had and loved catamarans, and this one had been sitting out in the sun at the Oklahoma City Boat Club for years. Bob, a fellow club member, offered some parts. His plans were to “chainsaw the hulls tomorrow” and put the pieces in the club Dumpster. That was the push I needed. In a moment of insanity, I told him there was no way I could let him do that. Continue reading

Skeg Construction for SPARKS

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 3 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

Designing and building a successful skeg for Sparks (our 30′ hybrid electric launch featured in Epoxyworks 32) took some head scratching. But in the end, it was just another combination of wood and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Our skeg needed to be functional and age gracefully, yet be reasonably quick and easy to build and install. This project was an ideal opportunity to explore the limits as well as the advantages of combining wood with epoxy to engineer simple solutions to complex problems. Continue reading

Foam Strip Planking

Foam Strip Plank Boatbuilding

BY JOHN LINDAHL 

A couple of years ago my son Ian asked me about building an A Class catamaran. Having built several of these in the past and knowing what was now on the market, I came up with a build method that would:

  • Allow us to build a competitive design.
  • Be at or under the class minimum weight of 165 lb.
  • Be as strong and stiff as anything on the market.
  • Be competitive in quality and price, but not get trapped in exotic equipment expense. This meant no vacuum bag, no pre-preg, no resin infusion, and no autoclave.

Continue reading