Category Archives: Boat Repair

wooden dory makeover

Obsessing About Obsession

A Wooden Dory Makeover

By Greg Hatten

In the past few years my river dory, Obsession, has traveled a thousand rocky river miles in all kinds of weather, dodged a million rocks (and hit more than a few) while running rivers in Yellowstone, Tetons, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Rainier and a dozen other National Parks.

This dory has run backward through a rapid on the Rogue River, run sideways through a rapid on the McKenzie River, and slammed into a wall at Mule Creek Canyon on the Rogue River so hard that it split a rib, shattered an oarlock, and was put out of commission for a month. Continue reading

large wooden vessel repair

Large Wooden Vessel Repair

By Tom Pawlak

In the spring of 2016, several US Coast Guard vessel inspection officers from the east coast attended our 2-day Professional Fiberglass Boat Repair Workshop. Afterward, they asked if we would consider creating a document that they could hand out to commercial boat owners, captains and vessel reps that would provide guidelines for proper use of WEST SYSTEM products for repairing and maintaining larger wooden vessels subject to Coast Guard inspections. They were having an increasingly difficult time because a number of commercial boat operators were repairing their own vessels using techniques that caused concern. The reasons given for using these questionable procedures vary from trying to save some money to the short supply of qualified wooden vessel shipwrights who could complete work in a reasonable amount of time. To make their case that their repairs were appropriate, some operators handed the Coast Guard Inspection Officers the WEST SYSTEM Wooden Boat Restoration & Repair manual. Unfortunately, some were cherry picking information and techniques intended for repairing smaller recreational wooden craft, and not following all of the recommended procedures for avoiding problems. Continue reading

Vivacious

Hot Canary Becomes Vivacious

By Alex Boelkins

For readers of Epoxyworks, the name Hot Canary should ring a bell. Constructed in 2011 by an employee team at Gougeon Brothers, Inc., she was built as a winning platform for the Everglades Challenge. Having completed several of these self-supported, expedition races, and with the sad passing of Jan Gougeon, the highly customized i550 Hot Canary was listed for sale, ready for new adventures. Continue reading

rudder and dagger board

Sunfish Wood Restoration

By Don Gutzmer

During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden dagger board and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany dagger board and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading

WOW 17 Years Later

WOW 17 Years Later

By Mark Bronkalla

WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.

WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading

Tunnel Hull numbers

Tunnel Hull

By Ed Stubbs

I’m rebuilding and restoring this vintage tunnel hull race boat for Steve Roberge. It was his late father’s boat and he wanted to restore it. We took it to my house to do as a home project.

I love using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy because there is very little odor or product waste, especially when compared to working with polyester resins in less than ideal temperatures. Continue reading

My First Cadillac

Restoring a 1954 Cadillac Runabout

By Bruce Niederer

One never really knows when the Fickle Finger of Fate will be pointing in your direction, but it sure did one day early last fall in 2015 at my brother’s shop—Nelson Niederer Woodworking in Bay City’s south end.

One day out of the blue a young man walks into the shop and relates a story about an old boat he found in his grandpa’s barn. He knew he wouldn’t really have the money nor the time and expertise to restore the boat. Nonetheless, he would hate to see it forgotten and disintegrating. Nelson told him to bring it by and he’d take a look. What he brought back was an extremely rare 1954 Cadillac 14′ Runabout—in great condition! Cold molded, no frames. Mahogany veneer hull construction with a mahogany planked deck. The seat cushions and bimini top in good shape. No rot in the hull— only a little on the ends of the splash rails. Continue reading

Hog Tide Deck Repair

By Greg Bull

Last summer Gougeon Brothers, Inc. partnered with Sail Magazine to produce a series of short videos showing how to repair a 1983 J22 sailboat that was brought into the Tech shop. The boat, named Hog Tide, needed the types of repairs we wanted to cover. The videos can be found at both westsystem.com and sailmagazine.com. Continue reading

Cockpit Sole Repair

by Don Gutzmer

As a technical advisor, part of my job is to guide our customers to the correct product selection and discuss proper repair procedures. Sometimes it’s a fun challenge to take on my own projects to stay busy, and it helps me learn what my customers are up against when they do similar projects. This project was repairing the cockpit sole (floor) of a 1994 Four Winns 190 Horizon. The pictures will help tell the story. Continue reading

Sea Ray 400 Seat Repairs

By Sam Magruder

I have a 1996 Sea Ray 400 Express Cruiser that I purchased in April 2014. The vinyl is in excellent condition in the cockpit. However, when someone sat in the front passenger seat (45″ wide) the back looked like it wasn’t attached. I went to the Sea Ray Owners Club website to explore the repairs and a fix for the seat. I learned that if I waited until the seat back broke, the vinyl would be damaged, and it would be costly to replace. Continue reading