Some years ago I had the curious idea of cutting a dried black walnut in half on a band saw. That first look at the exposed insides of the nut grabbed me as very unusual, even surreal and not at all what I expected. I decided to seal the cut surfaces in epoxy which made them look even more unusual. I’ve made many since and love to see the reaction from people looking at them for the first time. I’ve been told they look like brain scans, polished geodes, and ink blots. Continue reading →
Winona, Minnesota—Benjamin Wooden of Edina, Minn. was named the first recipient of the Michael A. Barnard Memorial Scholarship at Winona State University (WSU). The scholarship, established by the Gougeon Employees Foundation, is designed to benefit Winona State University students majoring in Composites Materials Engineering. It emphasizes community involvement and leadership rather than grade point average. Continue reading →
There is only one solution that comes from the ache of seeing iceboats ripping around on Mona Lake all your life: give in and buy one. If the thrill doesn’t quite meet expectations, build one that will be faster.
Pat Filius has lived 20 years on a now-flooded celery flat fed by Black Creek, the main tributary of Mona Lake in Norton, Michigan. In 2014 he bought his first iceboat for $400. Sailing it just once was enough to convince him that he wanted a faster boat. Continue reading →
2018 has been a year of growth and change here at Gougeon Brothers. Our Technical Department welcomes three new staff members.
Welcome Victoria Hankins
Laboratory Technician (Photo above)
Victoria has an Associates degrees from Delta College in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, as well as certificates in CNC and CAD. During her schooling she was the lead lab tech at Delta College for the photography and ceramics labs, then later worked at Aptar as an Elastomeric Flow Control Expert Center intern. Continue reading →
My father, rest his soul, and I bought Triple Threat together sometime in the mid-’80s. We raced our ’81 Pearson Flyer hard together for the next 15 or so years, including 12 Port Huron to Mac races. The purchase date is lost to history, but the details surrounding how many times the boat needed a new bottom—meaning a new epoxy barrier coat—are forever etched in my psyche. It’s all the sanding that accompanies repairing gelcoat blisters that has addled my IPA soaked cranium. One just doesn’t forget those seemingly endless hours of self-imposed torture. Continue reading →
We bought our home, a 1904 stucco American Foursquare, in November 1997. The following spring we decided to build a pine and epoxy fence in the backyard. White PVC picket fences were all the rage in the late 1990s, and while we liked the clean, bright, classic style of a traditional looking fence and felt that was in keeping with the style of our home, we observed that PVC fences tended to blow over in high winds. Considering Michigan’s frequently rough weather, we knew we wanted something sturdier. Continue reading →
Over the past few years, I’ve been cultivating an increasingly larger vegetable garden. Last year was my first attempt at growing cucumbers but by mid-summer, they had climbed halfway up the screens on my sun-porch windows. That’s when I decided I needed a trellis. Continue reading →
A pair of Gougeon-built multihulls made with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy decades ago won important races on the Pacific Ocean and Great Lakes in 2018.
Incognito is a G32 catamaran, vacuum bagged composite construction, by Gougeon Manufacturing in 1990. Russell Brown of PT Watercraft in Port Townsend, Washington raced the 28-year-old vessel singlehandedly in the grueling R2AK (Race to Alaska). In the qualifying leg from Port Townsend, WA to Victoria, BC he finished 40 minutes ahead of the rest of the fleet. He then led the race for three days until fatigue set in, requiring him to put finishing safely first. Still, he was the first solo finisher for the second year in a row and knocked more than 24 hours off his record-breaking 2017 win, also aboard Incognito. Continue reading →
Italmas, a one-of-a-kind build underway at Van Dam Custom Boats, in Boyne City, Michigan, is a world-class cruising vessel designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design. She has been shaped and appointed for her owner to easily enjoy daysailing as well as cruising on the Great Lakes. Distinction and grace have been combined in a traditional manner and squarely pay homage to yachts of the ‘40s and ‘50s. The yacht exudes classic. Continue reading →
Online Forums are the Bane of my Existence—
An Epic Rant
My humorous take on the Social Media disasters called Technical Forums
By Bruce Niederer, Senior Technical Advisor/Chemist
I’ve answered a lot of phone calls and e-mails in my 23 years here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. Many of the questions are repetitive—that’s the nature of helping customers both new and old to be successful. Some are interesting—a few are downright fascinating. But I know it’s gonna be one of those calls when the first thing I hear is “I was reading in this forum last night about…”
DOH! (I try not to slap my forehead loud enough to be heard on my headset.) Continue reading →