Author Archives: ewadmin

Old Lady Survives 70 MPH Blast

By Meade Gougeon

The 35′ trimaran Adagio, designed and built by Meade and Jan Gougeon in 1969, survived the harrowing conditions at the finish of the 2002 Chicago to Mackinac race this past year.

The old lady
Adagio, the first large wood/epoxy structure ever built without the use of fasteners, was one of the oldest, and lightest boats in the race. She has now become a test bed as to how long wood/epoxy structures can last. Over the years, the Gougeon Brothers’ test lab has Continue reading

Repairing an Historic Statue

By Mike Barker

For over fifty years, “Sparty” has been a familiar figure on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartan statue was built in 1945 and, at 11′ tall and 3000 lb, it is believed to be the world’s largest freestanding ceramic sculpture. Sparty has survived many an attack by vandals, but it is no match for Michigan winters. Continue reading

Pacific Class sailboats

Readers’ Projects, Issue 20

Restoration of Pacific Class sailboats

These 31-10 Pacific Class sailboats appeared in Epoxyworks in 18, Fall 2001. They were being rescued and restored by a dedicated group in San Diego, California. John Sutphen, who was involved in the project, sent the photo (below) of one of the restored Pacific Class boats under sail: the reward of hard work and dedication.

Continue reading

Testing large fasteners

Testing Large Bonded-In Fasteners

by Brian Knight

Epoxyworks 19

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

Replacing Damaged Balsa Core

By Bruce Niederer

I love my boat. I love to spend time with it-sailing it, working on it, improving it.

I think I need my head examined.

Seriously, there’s got to be something wrong with me! I actually expected that applying a new non-skid deck to TRIPLE THREAT, our 1981 Pearson Flyer, would be a fairly straightforward project. I always think like that before I get started. One would think I might know better by now, but that type of learning apparently requires some protein sequence that’s missing from my DNA. Continue reading

Protective skin creams-do they affect adhesion to the surfaces we touch?

By Tom Pawlak

We recently completed adhesion testing for a boatbuilder who was concerned about surfaces being contaminated by workers who use protective skin creams. The builder wanted to be sure that residue from the protective creams did not contaminate objects touched by workers throughout the day. We tested five products: Derma Shield™, Gloves in a Bottle™, Unique Skin™, SBS 46 Protective Cream™ and SBS 40 Medicated Skin Cream™. Continue reading

Scraper

Scrapers—Versatile Tools for Working with Epoxy

By Tom Pawlak

My first experience with cabinet scrapers occurred shortly after hiring into Gougeon Brothers. Bill Slaby, a wood/epoxy technician who specialized in mold building, routinely used cabinet scrapers to remove irregularities on cured epoxy coatings. I was intrigued with how quickly he could smooth up the epoxy with his scraper and particularly how he could get the epoxy to come off the surface in a continuous thin ribbon similar to wood shavings from a sharp wood plane. Bill was passionate about the benefits of scrapers and felt they were seriously underrated tools. He liked the absolute control you have in removing epoxy Continue reading

Damian McLaughlin Rebuilds ARION

By Kay Harley

Damian McLaughlin, custom boatbuilder from North Falmouth, Massachusetts, has been designing, repairing and building boats for more than thirty years. Recently, he finished the reconstruction of Arion, heralded at its launch in 1951 as “the first auxiliary sailboat built in fiberglass” and “the largest one piece hull of reinforced plastic in the world.” In 1950, Sidney Herreshoff, son of the famous Nathaniel, designed the 42′ Arion to be built using what was then an innovative new material: plastic resin reinforced with glass fibers, otherwise known as fiberglass. Continue reading

Building an Efficient Icebox

Building an Efficient Icebox

By J.R. Watson

For maximum enjoyment when cruising on small craft, you need to carry food and beverages and keep them cold for the duration of the trip. While you can purchase good icebox/coolers in many shapes and sizes, these may not quite fit where you want or keep food cold long enough on extended cruises. Building a custom icebox with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is neither difficult nor expensive.  You can make it exactly the right size and build it in place or make it portable. You can also make it more efficient than a store bought icebox. I’ll show you how I built one to suit my needs, but these construction techniques are easily adaptable to your own requirements. Continue reading

Repairing Chairs with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Brian Knight

My cousin, Gary, brought me the broken chair shown in the picture below. The spindle and arm assembly was broken off where it attached to the seat of chair. Although the chair was not a priceless antique, it had sentimental value and he wondered if I could repair it. While I was not concerned about the structural aspects of the repair, the cosmetics could be difficult. Fortunately, the spindles were not badly splintered so it was reasonably easy to make the repaired area look good. Continue reading