Author Archives: ewadmin

The Phoenix Racing Team Steams On

by Patrick Ropp

Epoxyworks 13

Cover Photo: “The last thing I needed to worry about was whether or not my boat would stay intact.

Tiptoeing on the edge of danger, I was crouched down on my knees in the cockpit of my ten-and-a-half foot “sheet of plywood” hydroplane, screaming across the water at speeds reaching 65 mph. Crossing the start line with wide open throttle, I, along with eleven other boats, aimed for the first turn pin. Who will make it there first? With just inches between boats, whitewater from the roostertails engulfed my boat and hammered against my helmet’s visor. These roostertails, which extended thirty feet behind the engine and turn fin, were difficult, almost impossible, to avoid. During this moment of frenzy, I prayed that another hydroplane had not stalled in front of me, or worse . . . flipped. Continue reading

More on Laminating Wooden Beams

By Captain James R. Watson

When I was a kid, my older brother had a slingshot that was fashioned from a tree crotch. The wood fibers neatly followed the desired shape and nicely addressed the forces when operated. Centuries ago, many large ship components — knees, hooks, and floors were selected from forks, crotches and crooks of trees for much the same reasons. One-piece wooden parts were very reliable and the naturally grown beams and frames were key components of ship construction. As the availability of large naturally shaped timber diminished, large curved components were made of stacked and mechanically fastened smaller pieces of wood. Laminated wood structures weren’t possible until the relatively recent development of strong adhesives. Continue reading

Plywood Boat Construction

Effects of fiber reinforcement — stiffness vs. weight

By Bruce Niederer

One of the most widely chosen materials for boat building projects is plywood. It is easy to work with, it is relatively inexpensive, and many kits and plans are specifically designed for plywood construction. Often times a fiberglass skin is laminated over the outside of the hull, primarily to provide some abrasion resistance, but also to add a measure of stiffness, because we all know stiffer is faster! And herein lies the downside: Fiberglass and epoxy add weight to the boat. How does one resolve this contradiction of strength versus weight? Continue reading

fastener load path

More on Hardware Bonding

General considerations for epoxy bonded fasteners in wood

By Robert Monroe

With epoxy bonded fasteners, the idea is to balance the three parts, (fastener, epoxy and wood/hole) to obtain optimum performance. The key information needed is the tensile strength of the fastener, the shear strength of the epoxy and the withdrawal resistance of the wood or backing block. Continue reading

Mistral gets rolled over

Rolling the 64′ Schooner MISTRAL

Courtesy of Legendary Yachts, Inc.

Washougal, Washington — George H. McEvoy, of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, watched with keen interest as Legendary Yachts, Inc. slowly rotated his Mistral to an upright position. She was designed by L. Francis Herrshoff in 1937 and is being faithfully recreated by our team of craftsmen for a fall 1999 delivery. Mistral measures 63′-6″ x 15′ x 6′-3″ and will carry a baldheaded gaff main and foresail rig of approximately 2,000 sq. ft. Continue reading

Sandpaper Tricks for Random Orbital Sanders

By Tom Pawlak

I recently ran out of sandpaper for my 5″ diameter random orbital sander, and needed only a few more sanding disks to finish the project. While my sander is equipped for the hook-and-loop style sanding disks, I had only PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) style sanding disks. These did not stick well to the pad on the sander, and within a minute or two they would fly off, leaving me frustrated. I finished my project by gluing the PSA disks to worn out hook-and-loop disks with contact cement. This actually worked quite well. Continue reading

TITANIC, the Model

by Richard Barrie

Epoxyworks #12, Fall 1998

Cover Photo: A familiar view of the TITANIC. A member of the film crew on the right gives the model scale.

Many models of the RMS TITANIC were built for the 1997 blockbuster movie. Two of them were built by Western Boatworks of Reseda, California using WEST SYSTEM® products exclusively. Continue reading

A Laminated Boat Shelter

By Captain James R. Watson

Steve Taylor of Steve Taylor-Builder, Inc. contacted us before undertaking a rather interesting project. He was about to build a boat shelter on an island in the St. Lawrence River. The design called for a row of curved laminated wooden struts, or columns supporting curved laminated tapered beams that would cantilever over the boat. The 25′ tall, 60′ wide structure would support a weatherproof fabric that would shelter both the dock and the boat. Continue reading