January 2013 was a big month for the Gougeon Brothers, Inc. Technical Department. This department is responsible for our technical customer service, product development and quality control. In January this department moved into a completely new building that adjoins our current facility. Continue reading →
We spend a good amount of time doing everything we can to inform our customers how best to make WEST SYSTEM® epoxy stick to wood, metal, and even plastic, or underwater with the introduction of G/flex 650 and 655. Still, there are many instances when you don’t want the epoxy to stick to one surface or another.
The following photos detail some recent repairs made by the owner and crew of Jester, a 2005 C&C 99. Jester is well equipped and has been meticulously maintained by her skipper and only owner, Greg Horvath. Jesterhas only sailed in fresh water and is stored indoors during the winter. She is also the boat I’ve raced aboard here in Saginaw Bay as well as around the Great Lakes including the Port Huron to Mackinaw Race and the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs. Continue reading →
We consider ourselves students as well as tech advisors and so are always open to learning something from others. Our readers are generally pretty savvy people, and when they take the time to write us a thoughtful letter, we feel compelled to share what we learn from them with the rest of our readers.
My article, White Oak Redux (Epoxyworks 34) generated two responses we wanted to share. The letters, along with my replies, follow.Continue reading →
Building stuff, especially boats, with wood is much like a religious calling; once you hear the call, there’s no turning back. Those who’ve heard the call will not suffer fools willingly, so when I decided to conduct some white oak adhesion and shear testing and report the results in Epoxyworks 31, skeptics and believers alike took to the internet wooden boat forums-and had no problem speaking their minds! Having healed from the pummeling I took in some quarters, I’m back again to report the promised follow-up test results.Continue reading →
I helped by brother Nelson with a different, smaller bar he built for a customer who comes from a long line of dairy men. His family has been in the business for decades. He has a little bar area in his garage where he and his buddies hang out and work on cars or watch their hunting blind videos while they have a couple beers.
The bar is on heavy duty wheels so it can be easily moved when necessary. He collected Continue reading →
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 →
People have been building boats using white oak for centuries, sacrificing blood, sweat and tears to engineer wonderful and enduring vessels of all shapes and sizes.
Oak was often used because of its desirable properties and behavior. It is dense, strong, rot resistant, holds fasteners well and can be steam bent. In the days before glues and adhesives, oak planking was used because it would swell considerably which resulted in tight and sound hulls, meaning little leaking and dry interiors. Of course, time marches inexorably forward and eventually builders began using adhesives to augment or, in some cases, replace mechanical fasteners.
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IVand 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 →
There are those who believe sailing fast means advanced composites with high-tech fibers, exotic cores and plenty of cash. Very few think of wood when they think of fast, but before carbon fiber, before Kevlar™…there was wood.
I’m not talking about those great big lumbering tall ships or schooners. I’m talking about the pioneers of boatbuilding and fast sailboat racing. Men of vision who saw wood not just as planks and large hunks of trees to be bolted together, but as an engineering fiber. Men like Walter Greene, Jim Brown, Continue reading →