I thought a billiard table would be a nice addition to my basement rec room but began to rethink the possibility after talking price with the local pool table dealer. Since I had the necessary skills and tools, I decided to build my own. The result was a high-quality billiard table at a fraction of the price of a new one. Continue reading →
Many materials used in large manufacturing processes and even small do-it-yourself jobs, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air pollutants. Paints and other coatings, adhesives, resins and cleaning solvents are all sources of air pollution. Each product emits different types and varying amounts of air pollutants. Federal, state and local governments have passed legislation (e.g., the federal Clean Air Act) to reduce air pollution and prevent the depletion of the ozone layer by regulating the emission of air pollutants. Continue reading →
SHARP CHEDDAR needed her liner repaired. This San Juan 24 was badly damaged in a storm blew her out of the Saginaw River. The boat bounced on the bottom of her slip for about 18 hours. When SHARP CHEDDAR was removed from the water a couple of days later, the keel actually wiggled back and forth. The keel to keel boss joint looked fine, with absolutely no sign of cracking or damage. There was little indication of the severity of the damage, but when the keel wiggled, the bottom of the boat flexed in and out. My friend John, who has owned the boat for about 15 years, was pretty upset. He was afraid it could not be repaired. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The Whalebone Arch is a historic monument in the Falkland Islands, restored with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.
The problem of how to restore two tons of decaying whalebone daunted John Smith, curator of the Falkland Islands Museum in Stanley. The Falkland Islands Company had built an arch of four enormous blue whale jawbones to commemorate the Centenary Celebrations in 1933. Fifty-eight years later, the logistics of restoring the historic monument added up to a whale of a headache. Continue reading →
It has probably happened to us all once or twice. You’re all dressed up and just before going out the door you swing through your shop to check on the project. Sure enough, a dab of epoxy finds its way onto your best pants. Believe me, it has happened to me plenty of times. My poor mother grieved with all the school clothes I carelessly ruined in my sloppy days as a kid boatbuilder. Continue reading →
TRADER is an Alan Andrews designed 70′ IMS racer/cruiser, built by AKE Ltd. On July 7, 1992, my wife Deb and I traveled to Tallinn, Estonia. We were there to help begin the lamination of TRADER the first boat built with Gougeon Laminating Epoxy [the precursor to PRO-SET Epoxy -ed] in the former Soviet Union. In October 1990, East and West Germany were reunited. In 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved. In July 1992, Gougeon Brothers traveled to the Eastern Block. Yep, history in the making.
When a designer chooses a foil section for a particular design, that section is often not produced to a close tolerance. I sailed on a boat that was noted for its erratic steering: the problem boiled down to an asymmetrical rudder. Optimization of the airfoil section translates into measurable performance and handling benefits. Continue reading →
When the centerboard of my Searunner trimaran broke in the middle of a windy race around the Black Hole, the question I kept asking was “Why now, after working fine all of this time, and when we were leading the race?” Continue reading →
Why do centerboards and rudders need durable edges? When centerboards and flip-up rudders drag across the bottom, the first fiberglass to abrade away is usually the leading edge at the bottom. This exposes the end grain of the wood, allowing water to be absorbed the length of the centerboard or rudder. The wood then expands, cracking the fiberglass along the leading edge and causing more problems. When it is time to repair the tip, it usually takes a long time to dry the wood for an effective repair. Continue reading →
Race boatbuilder Jon Staudacher suggested this mini hydroplane design for my 12-year-old son Paul several years ago. It is an 8′-long hydroplane, powered by a 5 to 15 HP outboard motor and can accommodate a driver up to 150 pounds. Paul and his friend built the boat in three or four days. Continue reading →