From ice boats to racing multihulls, wind turbine blades, and a thousand other projects — ours and customers — working with epoxies and our customers since 1969 has been interesting. The decades of experience in the shops, labs and libraries have given us a pretty good feeling for epoxy technology. We know its strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly we understand and appreciate its versatility.
To a fanfare of music, lights and fireworks HRH Prince Andrew pressed the button and the 400 invited guests watched anxiously as the largest wooden ship under construction in the world began to move. Continue reading →
Keeping your boat dry for livability and longevity
By Joe Parker
You decide to head down to your boat to take advantage of a beautiful Saturday afternoon in late August. You haven’t had a chance to use your boat in about three or four weeks, and you are really looking forward to catching up with your friends at the harbor. Continue reading →
Epoxyworks reader Jim Cronan of St. Ignace, Michigan completed a Phil Bolger designed Martha Jane that he had worked on for five years. He offed a couple of suggestion the helped him with his project. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: “The last thing I needed to worry about was whether or not my boat would stay intact.
Tiptoeing on the edge of danger, I was crouched down on my knees in the cockpit of my ten-and-a-half foot “sheet of plywood” hydroplane, screaming across the water at speeds reaching 65 mph. Crossing the start line with wide open throttle, I, along with eleven other boats, aimed for the first turn pin. Who will make it there first? With just inches between boats, whitewater from the roostertails engulfed my boat and hammered against my helmet’s visor. These roostertails, which extended thirty feet behind the engine and turn fin, were difficult, almost impossible, to avoid. During this moment of frenzy, I prayed that another hydroplane had not stalled in front of me, or worse . . . flipped.Continue reading →
When I was a kid, my older brother had a slingshot that was fashioned from a tree crotch. The wood fibers neatly followed the desired shape and nicely addressed the forces when operated. Centuries ago, many large ship components — knees, hooks, and floors were selected from forks, crotches and crooks of trees for much the same reasons. One-piece wooden parts were very reliable and the naturally grown beams and frames were key components of ship construction. As the availability of large naturally shaped timber diminished, large curved components were made of stacked and mechanically fastened smaller pieces of wood. Laminated wood structures weren’t possible until the relatively recent development of strong adhesives. Continue reading →
Effects of fiber reinforcement — stiffness vs. weight
By Bruce Niederer
One of the most widely chosen materials for boat building projects is plywood. It is easy to work with, it is relatively inexpensive, and many kits and plans are specifically designed for plywood construction. Often times a fiberglass skin is laminated over the outside of the hull, primarily to provide some abrasion resistance, but also to add a measure of stiffness, because we all know stiffer is faster! And herein lies the downside: Fiberglass and epoxy add weight to the boat. How does one resolve this contradiction of strength versus weight? Continue reading →
Tom Pawlak and I had the opportunity to visit I Hodgdon Yachts Inc. in East Boothbay, Maine to view the progress on the 124′ Bruce King designed yacht, ANTONISA while she was under construction in 1998. Continue reading →
A while back, as I was waiting in the reception lobby of a major American corporation, I had the chance to admire the curved reception desk and other oak furniture in the room. However, when I examined the reception desk more closely, I could see facets in the oak veneer instead of a nice, smooth curve. I immediately realized that the cabinet builders had sawn closely spaced saw kerfs in the back of the panel so they could bend it to shape. I thought there must be a better way.
The following is a description of “the better way” — the methods of building expert Jon Staudacher, to create curved walls and curved face cabinets. Jon’s boat and airplane building background, coupled with the unique properties of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy, have combined to create very elegant solutions to difficult construction problems. Continue reading →
My first experience with hardware bonding occurred shortly after starting work at Gougeon Brothers in 1980. Having just been hired into the wind turbine blade plant, I was excited to be part of this interesting company. Continue reading →