Cover Photo: Brothers Meade & Jan Gougeon aboard their power catamarans with Dick Newick-designed hulls — GOUGMARAN and MAGIC CARPET.
In 2003, my brother Jan and I began talking about building a motorboat. This would be a first for the brothers, who up to this point have focused all our efforts on sailboats. Just a few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that we would ever take up power boating. But time and circumstances change one’s views, especially as we enter our senior years. We have always regretted that major parts of our home waters, the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, Michigan, have been too shallow for our sailboats. Some of the most attractive parts of the Bay with the best wildlife have been off limits to boats that draw more than 18 inches. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Steve Gembrowski spent 10 years building the Ken Basset designed RASCAL, a mahogany runabout.
Fifteen years! Not that it took 15 years to build; it was more like a year and a half. I first saw a photograph of RASCAL and decided right then, if I ever build a boat, this is the one. RASCAL was a new design by Ken Basset for a modified V-bottom 14’10” runabout with a beam of 5’4″ and hull weight of 420 pounds. For the next 15 years, RASCAL became one of those projects sitting on the back burner, waiting until I had enough time and money to comfortably build her without having to compromise on engine, equipment or material. I’m sure plenty of builders out there can relate. My first step was to set the standard to which the boat would be built. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Scheherazade, a 155′ Ted Fontaine-designed ketch. Image by Onne van der Wal.
Hodgdon Yachts of East Boothbay, Maine launched of the 155′ ketch, Scheherazade. Sheis a beautiful union of wood/epoxy technology, elegant design and superior craftsmanship.
You may recall from Epoxyworks 17 and 19 that Scheherazade was to be one of the largest cold molded wood/epoxy vessels ever built in the United States. Her 3½” thick hull is made of inner and outer layers of 7/8″ Douglas fir planking running fore and aft and separated by
four diagonal layers of 7/16″ western red cedar bonded with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction, updated and revised in 2005.
The 5th edition of The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction comprises a thorough review of best practices, 20% new and updated material, and a revised layout for easier navigation. Each chapter was reconsidered in terms of evolving technology, new techniques, and the successes and failures of over thirty-five years of experience. We believe that the updates and improvements will enhance the value of this reference text for amateur and experienced professional alike. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: After two years of work, Bruce Hutchinson launched BABYFACE NELSON at Gull Lake in western Michigan.
What was I thinking? That phrase kept running through my mind during the 2000 hours over two years it took to build Babyface Nelson. Now that it’s complete and I’ve logged 50 hours on the water, I can say it was a worthwhile venture. It’s too much fun! People have commented that it must have taken a lot of patience to complete the project. Patience had nothing to do with it: it was perseverance. I ran out of patience about the second layer of cedar planking! Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The SWIFT SOLO is a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally. Stiff, durable hulls are crucial to skiff speed.
One of the little known or understood characteristics of modern fiber- reinforced plastic composites is the loss of some initial stiffness capability after repeated cyclic loading. Loss of stiffness can be significant enough to cause a noticeable effect on performance, depending upon laminate makeup and degree of cyclic loading.
Loss of initial stiffness after repeated cyclic loading was first noticed in several highly competitive racing dinghy classes where older boats that had been sailed hard for Continue reading →
Swift Solo, a single handed skiff built by Bram Dally.
When Meade Gougeon asked me if I’d write a piece about what I’m up to for Epoxyworks, I was honored. He had read the January 2002 article on my single-handed skiff in Sailing World and offered the assistance of GBI (Gougeon Brothers, Inc.) to do some extensive testing for us on several composite samples. The findings will be made public and should be educational. The cedar-cored samples particularly interest me because we’ve had good success using cedar cores and there seems to be a pervasive lack of understanding regarding this composite in high-tech applications. While many high-quality ski and snowboard manufacturers have tried other exotic Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.
The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The 154’7″ Bruce King-designed Scheherazade resting on her massive keel at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine.
Scheherazade is a 154′ 7″ Bruce King designed ketch under construction at Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay, Maine. Scheherazade is 60% larger than Antonisa, the last Bruce King/Hodgdon Yacht collaboration, and is the largest sailboat under construction in the United States. We first looked at Scheherazade in EPOXYWORKS 17, Spring 2001, before she was rolled and set on her 153,000 lb ballast keel. On a March, 2002 visit, Scheherazade was resting on her massive keel (cover), while far above, surrounded by multiple levels of staging, work continued on her interior and deck (below). Continue reading →
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 →