Tag Archives: Bruce Niederer

Building Prams

For a Community Sailing Program

by Bruce Niederer

EW-18 cover

Cover Photo: A new fleet of optimist prams were built to serve the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association

The Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) was founded in 1995 by a group of local sailboat racers who shared a vision of a grass roots organization to provide area youngsters and adults a low cost introduction to sailing. We began that first season with three Transfusion 547’s purchased for the association by Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (GBI) and a half dozen used Optimist prams donated by the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association. Continue reading

Estimating Epoxy Amounts

Estimating Epoxy Amounts

By Bruce Niederer

This formula will help you estimate the amount of mixed epoxy needed to wet out fiberglass cloth (assuming a resin-to-fiber ratio of 50:50) and apply three rolled epoxy coats to fill the weave of the cloth, i.e. “fill coats.”

The formula includes a waste factor of approximately 15%; however, more (or less) may be needed depending on the job and personal application technique. The epoxy is applied at standard room temperature, approximately 72° F. Continue reading

Research Chemist Bruce Niederer

“If You Were Just More Flexible”

“…you’d see things my way!”

Are flexible epoxies better than stiff epoxies? How stiff is too stiff? How flexible is too flexible?

By Bruce Niederer

Read the title of this article again. Could a statement be more confrontational? I sure didn’t think so when my ex-wife laid it on me! The issue of “flexible” vs. “stiff” epoxies seems to have become a battleground in a continuing debate among adhesive manufacturers, wooden boat builders, restorers and repair yards. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Is it even a “right or wrong” argument? Continue reading

Garbage Disposal Repair with Epoxy

By Bruce Niederer

If your kids are like mine, they manage to break stuff you didn’t even think could be broken—constantly. As parents, we can either get inventive at repairing things we know little or nothing about, or we can get second jobs and pay someone else to fix everything. I like the first option better. Continue reading

Mahogany Masters II – Morin Boat Works

By Bruce Niederer

The beauty of a wooden boat is undeniable. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sail or power. When I see one, my response is both cerebral and primal, and I know I’m not alone. I began racing sailboats in the late 1970’s and, without exception, it has always been aboard FRP production boats. In 1980, I was invited to crew on my first long distance race, hosted by the Buffalo Yacht Club near the northern end of Lake Erie. Continue reading

Plywood Boat Construction

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

When Things Were Rotten

By Bruce Niederer

Bruce’s law: The amount of time and effort required to complete an unexpected boat repair is exponentially proportional to how soon you planned on launching.

I am sure I am not alone in this observation. Such was the case this spring as my father and I prepared Triple Threat, our 30′ Pearson Flyer, for another season of racing. I knew the bow floor boards, made of marine plywood and falling apart, would need to go. I had started to build replacements over the winter using foam core, fiberglass and epoxy. But when I climbed aboard and removed the old ones, Bruce’s law kicked in big time. Continue reading

How I Repaired a Wood-Cored Diving Board

And made it better than new!

By Bruce Niederer

Backyard pools can be a joy. They can also be an expensive, time consuming headache. While I don’t have any ideas about how you might escape the cleaning and chlorination chores, I do have an idea that might save you the cost of replacing that old, weather beaten blue diving board that has faithfully stood a stoic guard over the deep end all these years. Continue reading

Climbing Drum Peel Test for Adhesives

By Bruce Niederer

No matter how you use WEST SYSTEM epoxies, you expect us to back up the products and methods we recommend with solid data based on tests that simulate “real life” applications. To this end we began conducting the ASTM 1781-93 test method known as the Climbing Drum Peel for Adhesives. As expected, the results from this test method compliment the data we’ve already compiled using the PATTI (Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Testing Instrument) meter. Continue reading