A visionary, ingenious, a great innovator who could see beyond boundaries, on of a few people to really have changed the boatbuilding game in his lifelong quest for speed. This is how boatbuilders and designers, sailors and iceboaters recall Jan Gougeon. A natural engineer, Jan became an accomplished boat designer and builder who was always thinking about his next boat. His vibrant boyish enthusiasm lit up the room. Jan was a fierce competitor who shared tips and technology openly, offering astute and encouraging advice to novice and veteran sailors and builders alike. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Paddling the south shore of Ontario’s Lake of Two Rivers and into Pog Lake.
It all began when we went camping in Algonquin Park in 2005. We rented a couple of plastic kayaks and the kids loved it. We came home with the intention of buying a couple of kayaks but while on the internet we saw these stitch and glue make’m yourself boats. I purchased the books “The New Kayak Shop” and “Kayaks You Can Build. ”Both are available at Chapters or Amazon.com. We decided this was something we could do. We also discovered www.clcboats.com which would prove to be a tremendous source of encouragement during the project. We made a day trip to Toronto to purchase plans for a Continue reading →
In midwinter, we purchased a portable barbecue and would, by summer, need some kind of table to support it. The table was to be located in an old English garden setting. We wanted a compact, all-weather structure that could be permanently affixed just off the edge of a patio, blend into the surroundings, complement a nearby picnic table, conceal a 20 lb LP gas container, and outlast a long succession of barbecue grills.
Our table design was completed by early spring. Retired Gougeon technical advisor, Brian Knight, agreed to build it as an example of high-quality, all-weather construction using treated lumber and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading →
Rot is one of the major disadvantages of a wooden fence. Wherever there is a fastener—nail, staple or screw—there is a potential site for rot to begin. Water gets around each fastener and soaks into the wood. When the temperature and the moisture content are right, rot invades these areas. To make a fence that would not rot quickly, I used a rot resistant wood and eliminated fasteners, gluing pieces together instead of nailing. Not only was the process fast—I could assemble 42′ of fence a day—but warps and twists in the fence material were easily dealt with. 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 →
Cover Photos: Our special issue on building features practical and simple techniques.
Building a natural finish wood-strip canoe can be exciting and a bit daunting, particularly if it is your first clear finish canoe. You’ll commit time and money to the project and your expectations may run high. Most people are happy with the results of their first strip composite project, but deep down they wish some aspect of it was a bit better. Continue reading →
We have all looked to the night sky and been taken aback by the view. Telescopes are tools that allow us to get a closer, more detailed view. My dad used to call them “a ladder to the heavens.” There are a number of reasons why you might want to build your own telescope: Custom design, aesthetics and quality come to mind. There is always the element of satisfaction in creating your own. Continue reading →