Category Archives: Boat Construction

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

From Serendipity to Bufflehead

By Hugh Horton 

The cover of Epoxyworks 16 shows Serendipity, the sailing canoe I built for Meade Gougeon on a Bell “Starfire” hull after he had seen me sailing my Starfire-based Puffin in the summer of 1998. The Starfire hull was designed by Dave Yost.

Sitting at the lunch table in the Gougeon’s boat shop in 2001, Meade said he was thinking of building a few Serendipity sisters and asked me if I’d like one too. I said no because Continue reading

Make Your Own Soft Eye Pads

By Tom Pawlak

If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small pad eyes in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes these lightweight carbon or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line pad eyes for his sailing canoes.

He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The pad eyes are easy to make and are amazingly strong. Continue reading

Treading Lightly with Zogo

By Grace Ombry

Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design of Brooklin, Maine, designed Zogo to meet their clients’ concern for treading lightly on their environment. Her owners are longtime summer residents of Stonington, Maine who enjoy low-impact kayaking and rowing around the pristine islands of Merchants Row. They wanted a quiet powerboat with a low carbon footprint to reflect their respect for the waters around Stonington. Continue reading

Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building

Students of the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, Washington, recently built the Caledonia Yawl, an Ian Oughtred design. The boat was commissioned by the Four Winds Camp on Orcas Island in Puget Sound and is the second one the school has built for them. Instructor Bruce Batchely believes this is the best built boat to come out of the shop so far. They modified the boat to suit the camp’s need for buoyancy and storage, and made the spars hollow to keep the rig light. Continue reading

Looking Back

How WEST SYSTEM® Products Got Their Start

by Meade Gougeon

Epoxyworks 28

Cover Photo: Top image – First GBI crew building HOT FLASH in the early ’70s. Bottom image – The Gougeon Brothers, Inc. team in 2008.

 

2009 was the 40th Anniversary of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. 1969 marked a point in the Gougeon brothers’ careers when they applied all they had learned about wooden structures and epoxy technology to manufacture, for the first time, a product utilizing wood/epoxy composite construction. The full story of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. begins long before that date and is sure to continue well into the next 40 years.

Continue reading

Building the Arch Davis Sand Dollar

By Nelson Niederer

We’ve had various types of boats in my family since the ’60s, beginning with a painted canvas and flat-bottom wooden canoe my father built which we used for bow fishing. My grandfather bought a 1959 Lonestar fiberglass ski boat with a 35 hp Evinrude outboard for his kids and grand kids, among the first seen on Sand Lake in northern Michigan. Grandpa never Continue reading

Marquetry Made Easy

By Al Witham

There is a simple way for those of us who may be “artistically challenged” to produce inlaid furniture, jewelry boxes, canoe decks, trays, etc. with a modest investment in equipment and materials, in a reasonable period of time, and with eye-pleasing results. I have no formal training in making inlays, but have found a method which works for me. I showed this method to a friend who is a shop teacher; he now has students as young as ten incorporating it into their school projects with excellent results. My method is adaptable, user-friendly within limits and forgiving of minor cutting errors. Even novices can produce great looking marquetry. Continue reading