Category Archives: Boat Construction

Incognito is a Gougeon-built 32' catamaran

Aged Epoxy Boats Still Winning Big

By Grace Ombry

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

ITALMAS

By Ben Van Dam

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

G-32 catamaran G-WIZ!

G-Wiz!

Russell Brown’s New Toy

By Russell Brown
G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018

Russell Brown’s G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018

The work of the Gougeon brothers has been like a guiding light to me starting when I was a young teenager. It wasn’t just the methods and skills they developed that inspired me (and led to my career in boatbuilding), it was the “outside the box” thinking about boat design they employed. While Meade Gougeon led the effort to develop and teach epoxy skills and building methods, it was his brother Jan who had the courage to design, build, develop, and race boats that were very unusual and often counter-intuitive, yet very successful. Jan’s G-32 catamaran is an example of his genius. Continue reading

Tom's canoe hanging in the tech shop

Refinishing a Wood Strip Canoe

By Tom Pawlak

About 30 years ago, I built an 18′ wood strip canoe. At the time, my family was young and I could only work on it intermittently. Over the course of six months, I had faired my mold frames, applied the redwood strips, faired the outside of the hull with a keen eye and applied the fiberglass cloth. Two months later I decided to take it off the mold to fair and fiberglass the inside. To my horror, the exterior hull bottom had a big dimple in the middle when removed from the forms. I immediately knew the cause. The humidity in my garage had skyrocketed since the outside of the hull was finished with fiberglass and epoxy. The unsealed inside of the hull had probably gained 4-5% in moisture content since the outside was fiberglassed. Continue reading

Joining Plywood with epoxy

Joining Plywood

By Don Gutzmer

Many boat parts require plywood lengths greater than the standard 8 feet, so joining together two panels of plywood is an important step. The most common methods of joining plywood are the butt joint with backer block, the scarf joint and a hybrid between the two. Each method offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain applications so it’s important to be aware of each joining method. Continue reading

WOW 17 Years Later

WOW 17 Years Later

By Mark Bronkalla

WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.

WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading

GLBBS 2016

The employee-owners of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are proud to congratulate the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Class of 2016. Comprehensive Graduates (1st year)—Justin Bensley, James Biernesser, Daniel Cinal, Lauren Gaunt, Robert Hankenhoff, Sam Hoffrichter, Wayne Marmon, James Nelson, Mark Pugh, and Ariana Strazdins. Career Program Graduates (2nd year)—Mark Bilhorn, Caleb Gulder, Sean Libby, and Danton Thon.

 

Readers’ Project, Issue 44

ROCKET Ice Yacht restored with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

We came across the historic ROCKET ice yacht at the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic, Conn. The ROCKET is 50′ long has a 900 sq. ft. sail and was built in 1888. After many decades of deteriorating in storage and some stop and start restoration attempts, the surviving parts (cockpit, plank, and rudder) were sold to a foundation that formed to restore the historic vessel. In 2003, the Rocket Ice Yacht Foundation of New Jersey purchased what remained of ROCKET for one dollar from the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club. The project was led by boat builder Bob Pulsh, a retired plumber from Port Monmouth N.J. Bob and his team of volunteers used WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to restore and reconstruct the ice yacht’s parts. The project was completed in 2014.

Continue reading

WOW

By Mike Barnard

Epoxyworks 43 Cover Large

Cover Photo: WOW, a 20′ Glen-L Rivieria built by Mark Bronkalla

In June of 2000, Mark Bronkalla launched his nearly complete but unnamed boat. The boat turned heads wherever Mark took it and the reaction from bystanders was a universal “WOW.” This is how the beautiful home built 20 foot Glen-L Riviera got its name.

Mark had never built a boat before, and found lackluster information from first-time boat builders like himself. Websites or blogs with good information tended to end once the structure was built. Mark used his background in woodworking, marketing and computer science to share his first-time boat building experience to encourage and help other first-time boat builders. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of this build where WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was used. Anyone considering a build similar to this should consult Mark’s website, bronkalla.com, for more detailed descriptions of each step. Continue reading

Adagio

Still Formidable after 46 Years

By Ben Gougeon

Adagio, our beloved trimaran, was designed and built by Meade and Jan Gougeon in 1969 and launched in the summer of 1970. After undergoing a minor refit this past winter, she still has what it takes to win. Were extremely proud that Adagio placed first in the multihull division of 2016 Bells Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which spans almost 300 miles of often treacherous Great Lakes. Continue reading