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 →
There are those who still question the longevity of an epoxy composite structure. They state that the technology is still too new to know how it will hold up long-term. Some have said that epoxy composites fail in the tropic heat; other critics have warned of the hazards of wood and fresh water. However, I’ve recently visited several boats that are living testimony to the long-term reliability of epoxy composites. Of course, careful construction and good Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The Formula 40 trimaran ADRENALIN is just one of the high-end epoxy composite structures built during Gougeon Brothers first 25 years.
Editors note: Our head chemist Tim Atkinson penned this piece on some of the history of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. on the occasion of our 25th anniversary, back in 1994.
In 1969, Meade Gougeon and his younger brother Jan founded Gougeon Brothers’ Boatworks to build iceboats. These lightweight, sail-powered vessels were built of wood laminated with epoxy. By 1973, the company was the largest builder of iceboats in the country. The company rapidly expanded its business into other boat building efforts. Continue reading →