Tag Archives: Grace Ombry

epoxy fence pool

A Pine and Epoxy Fence, Age 20

By Grace Ombry

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

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

Meade and Jan Gougeon

National Sailing Hall of Fame

By Grace Ombry

Meade and Jan Gougeon were inducted into The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) in October of 2015. Meade and Jan, along with their brother Joel, founded Gougeon Brothers, Inc. in 1969. They were selected because of their pioneering work in the use of epoxies for boat construction, and because each are accomplished sailors. Continue reading

Jan Gougeon Launches Strings

Jan Gougeon’s monumental launch occurred  in July of 2011, over a decade after the birth of the project. Jan passed away December 18, 2012. We miss him. —ED


by Grace Ombry

Epoxyworks 33

Cover Photo: On July 9, 2011, the 40′ catamaran STRINGS was launched at the Gougeon Brothers boat shop on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.

Ten years ago in Epoxyworks 17, we published the photo beloe with the following caption: In the recess of the Gougeon boat shop loft, something unusual is taking shape out of plywood, foam, carbon fiber and epoxy. There is a minimum of plans and drawings. It evolves, piece by piece, mostly from its creator’s head. It’s not a trimaran. Not exactly a catamaran. Technical you probably wouldn’t call this a hull. It’s more of a fuselage. (There is an aircraft canopy involved.) For now, let’s call it Project J. We’ll keep an eye on this project in coming issues and see what develops.

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The Everglades Challenge

BY GRACE OMBRY AND BEN GOUGEON

Here at the Gougeon Brother’s Boat Shop Meade and Jan Gougeon are preparing for another attempt at the Everglades Challenge, a race Meade calls “a true aquatic adventure.”

The expedition-style race covers about 300 nautical miles over a maximum of eight days. It’s a grueling challenge; roughly 40% of starters ever make it to the finish line.

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The Apprenticeshop

By Grace Ombry

The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, teaches students decision-making skills, care, patience, forethought and responsibility through traditional boatbuilding. Instructors guide each apprentice through building two to four boats during a two-year apprenticeship.

The philosophy behind The Apprenticeshop is that learning is best accomplished through direct experience. Apprentices in this program learn craftsmanship and problem solving through each step of wooden boat construction from lofting, molds, framing, planking and decking to finish work and rigging. Continue reading

Wooden Bicycles, Seriously

By Grace Ombry

Renovo Hardwood Bicycles

Meade Gougeon was intrigued by the Renovo Bikes company of Portland, Oregon after spotting their wares on display at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington last fall. Meade has long been a serious cyclist and understands better than most the value of wood as an engineering material. He saw in Renovo an opportunity to combine two of his great loves, wood and bicycles. Continue reading

Why You Want a Hugh Saint Boat

by Grace Ombry

Hugh Saint is a custom boat builder in Cape Coral, Florida who specializes in fine mahogany runabouts that remind you of those built in the 1930s and ‘40s. His team of skilled artisans combined their backgrounds in engineering with a finely honed understanding of nautical beauty. Continue reading

Treading Lightly with Zogo

By Grace Ombry

Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design of Brooklin, Maine, designed Zogo to meet their clients’ concern for treading lightly on their environment. Her owners are longtime summer residents of Stonington, Maine who enjoy low-impact kayaking and rowing around the pristine islands of Merchants Row. They wanted a quiet powerboat with a low carbon footprint to reflect their respect for the waters around Stonington. Continue reading

G/flex Saves the Race

By Grace Ombry

Robert Patenaude had ten miles left to reach the finish line in the Bermuda One-Two offshore race when a 30-ton whale hit Perseverance, his C&C 41, seriously damaging the rudder. Not content to drop out of the competition, he called on his racer friends to help him remove the 160 lb, 9′-long rudder from the boat while it was still in the water. He reasoned that if the contenders in the Puma or Vendee Globe races could make major repairs without dropping out of a race, he could too. Continue reading