Featured image (above): A typical vacuum bagging setup.
What is vacuum bagging?
Vacuum bagging is when a composite that is laid up and wet out by hand is then put under vacuum to compact the laminate and force out excess epoxy. Vacuum bagging has been a choice method of manufacturing and repairing composites for a long time. Continue reading →
This is the Packard wagon I am redoing the wood on. Some of the original wood will be reused. I bleached all the wood before I varnished it so it will match. On the panels, I used 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener to epoxy the mahogany veneers to the steel door panels. I clamped them by vacuum bagging them. —Jeff Hobgood
Michigander on Lake Pewaukee, Wisconson for the 2018 Wisconsin SternSteerers Association regatta. Photo by Jay Yaeso.
Michigander is 40-feet long and weighs 1,400 pounds. It’s in a class by itself and is one of the largest ice yachts sailing anywhere in the 21st century.
This “A”-class stern steerer carries 360 square feet of sloop-rigged sail. “That’s a lot of horsepower,” said skipper Eric Sawyer. Michigander also sports a 250-square-foot Kevlar® mainsail for better control in more wind. She’ll sail in excess of 60 mph in a 10 mph wind.
Here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in business. We’ve grown from a modest boat shop that began experimenting with epoxy in the late 1960s to a trusted manufacturer and supplier of epoxies worldwide. We serve the high-end composite, boatbuilding, boat repair, and board-sports industries. Our products are manufactured under rigorous ISO 9001:2015 standards to ensure consistent high quality and performance. Marine and composites educators, designers and manufacturers consider GBI epoxies—WEST SYSTEM®, PRO-SET®, and bio-based Entropy Resins®—the gold standard in their respective markets. 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 →
I wanted to purchase a personal watercraft so I’d be able to join my friends at the local lake for some fun in the sin this summer. Like most people on a budget, I searched Craigslist for the best deal. I needed something low maintenance, so a WaveRunner™ felt like a good fit. After a week of looking, I found a 2004 Yamaha GP1300r that appeared to be in decent shape; however, a strangely placed sticker on the top port side turned out to be covering a painful past. Continue reading →
I made a difficult rear-hatch repair on my 2007 aluminum SeaArk 1872 MVJT (modified V-jet tunnel) center console using WEST SYSTEM G/flex Epoxy.
The year before I bought it, my SeaArk center console had undergone a complete rebuild. The entire inside of the boat was sprayed with Line-X® Protective Coating, which makes clean-up super easy but prohibits any additional welding to the aluminum.
I started working regularly at Pine Ridge Cemetery, an abandoned, historic cemetery in Bay City, Michigan in 2009. For several years, I concentrated on mowing and clearing out scrub growth (clusters of hawthorn with up to 1 ½” thorns). I reached a point where things looked better with the grass and trees. That’s when I began working on monuments that needed to be raised, straightened, or stood up.
I thought a lot about my career here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. as my time for retirement drew near. I’ve been working every day, more or less, from the time I was 16 years old. I’ve had a lot of different jobs. But for the last 22 years and change I’ve been with GBI and—without sounding too hyperbolic—it has been life-changing. Soon it will all be over and I can reap the rewards I’ve earned in retirement.
I couldn’t be more excited… I couldn’t be more apprehensive.
I designed this project by scaling down a Chris Craft runabout from pictures I found online.
Hull and Drive Assembly
I started with five rib frames and a center beam temporarily mounted upside-down on a workbench. I glued and stapled the ¼” x ¾” bead-and-cove pine strips to the ribs. Once all the strips were installed, I removed the staples and sanded the hull smooth for the heat-activated 2″ mahogany strips I’d apply later.