Category Archives: Wooden Boat Construction

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

John and his daughters aboard the skiff MISS HAN-LEY

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

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

Fiberglassing a Strip-planked Boat

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 2 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat.

Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to strip-plank construction with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Continue reading

SPARKS by Ted Moores

Ted’s Jewel Box

by Michael Barker

Epoxyworks 32

Cover Photo: Ted Moores ties up SPARKS at the blue line at Kilmarnock Lock n the Rideau Canal.

After three years of painstaking work and many interruptions, Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats completed the Bear Mountain 30 Hybrid Electric Launch Sparks on June 22, 2010. The boat is unlike any he had built before.

 The Bear Mountain 30 Hybrid Electric Launch is designed for low-speed cruising while using the least amount of fossil fuel possible. It normally runs on batteries charged by solar panels and shore power. When necessary, a diesel generator powers its electric motor and charges its batteries. Continue reading

Strip Planking SPARKS

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 1 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

Sparks is a science project. A professional builder working for a client has the responsibility of delivering the boat on time and budget with no surprises so we generally stick to what worked last time. But as a science project, questioning the way things are usually done, pushing the limits of the materials and then taking the responsibility becomes the objective. Because failure is anticipated with any experiment, testing is an important part of the project and has been a whole lot of fun with few surprises, mostly pleasant.

Continue reading

Building My First Strip-Planked Boat

By Sean Schippers

Early last spring I was working for a talented woodworker in a quaint little wood shop in Nashville, Tennessee. He showed me a strip built canoe, something I’d never seen before. The wheels in my head started turning. I was completely captivated.

Rushing home and searching the internet, I could not believe the information and pictures that took hold of my imagination. I was in utter amazement one minute, jealous the next. In my former experience as a musician, I’d had no idea this kind of craftsmanship, experience and talent existed in today’s world of “fast and now.” Continue reading

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

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

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