Category Archives: Boat Construction

Building the i550 Hot Canary

BY BEN GOUGEON

Here at the Gougeon Brothers’ Boat Shop, Meade and Jan Gougeon are preparing for another attempt at The Everglades Challenge

An autopilot steering failure on his sailing scow Yello Thing forced Meade to withdraw from the 2010 Everglades Challenge. When he reached the shore, he was already thinking about building another boat for the next race. Continue reading

The Apprenticeshop

By Grace Ombry

The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, teaches students decision-making skills, care, patience, forethought and responsibility through traditional boatbuilding. Instructors guide each apprentice through building two to four boats during a two-year apprenticeship.

The philosophy behind The Apprenticeshop is that learning is best accomplished through direct experience. Apprentices in this program learn craftsmanship and problem solving through each step of wooden boat construction from lofting, molds, framing, planking and decking to finish work and rigging. Continue reading

Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry

Epoxyworks 31

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

Why You Want a Hugh Saint Boat

by Grace Ombry

Hugh Saint is a custom boat builder in Cape Coral, Florida who specializes in fine mahogany runabouts that remind you of those built in the 1930s and ‘40s. His team of skilled artisans combined their backgrounds in engineering with a finely honed understanding of nautical beauty. Continue reading

Norwegian Gunning Dory

By Paul Butler

This plywood/epoxy Norwegian Gunning Dory is drawn with inspiration from the classic lines of Scandinavian watercraft. The ply/epoxy hull is much simplified from traditional plank-on-frame versions. The lightweight version can weigh less than 60 lb (27 kg), making it an easy car-topper. Instead of the traditional V bottom, there is a flat panel on the hull bottom to simplify construction and provide extra stability.  Continue reading

Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright

Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading

Of Applecores and Deadeyes

By Bruce Niederer and Bill Bertelsen

Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IV and Appledore V—since they arrived at their downtown Bay City facilities on the Saginaw River. These steel-hulled, gaff-rigged schooners are typical of the type that sailed the Great Lakes and coastal waters right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the primary means of transporting goods and people over long distances. Continue reading

International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS)

By Cynthia Goss

If you travel to the campus of the International Yacht Restoration School, you might think you are walking into the past. The staff offices are inside a restored 1831 mill building. Students restore wooden boats from the 19th and 20th centuries while learning plank-on-frame construction inside a cavernous building from 1903. And hanging off the IYRS docks are majestic classics from a bygone era. Continue reading

Reflecting on Sailing Days Past

by Captain James R. Watson

Epoxyworks 30

Cover Photo: One of LADY B’s first sails on the Saginaw River near the Gougeon Brothers boat shop.

Lady B is a sailing sharpie I launched on August 20, 2009. On one of the first sails, I asked Jan Gougeon to come along with me to see what he thought of her. That sail brought back many memorable sailing moments that Jan and I have shared over our lifetimes. Jan Gougeon grew up on Donahue Beach and I on nearby Aplin Beach. The two beaches were separated by Wenona Beach, a magnificent amusement park built at the turn of the century. We were in the same kindergarten class. It wasn’t long before we were both in boats we’d built: Jan in his 13′ Dart and I in my 8′ pram, the Pal. Back in those days we built using bedding compound and lots of screws. We carried coffee cans to bail our leaky boats. Around 1955, Continue reading

Project X Fairing Technique

By John M. Thomas

Almost 40 years ago Meade and Jan Gougeon opened their doors to a fastener-less method of boat construction using epoxy and various clamping methods. Jan’s newest boat is in the home stretch to completion, and he is addressing the fine tweaks of coaming and fairing. Continue reading