Category Archives: Canoe & Kayak Construction

Improve Wooden Paddles with G/flex

By Tom Pawlak — Retired GBI Technical Advisor

Wooden paddles and boat oars are known for getting dented in service. While G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden canoe paddles and boat oars to deflect impact and prevent cracking the wood beneath.

G/flex epoxies weren’t developed with coating in mind, but early on in applications testing, we discovered they were excellent at dealing with impact. This became evident when we used G/flex 650 (the unthickened version) as a coating and when we used G/flex 655 (the thickened version) as a protective buildup. Continue reading

THERAPY is a kayak

THERAPY

A Baidarka-Style Kayak in Detail

By Bill Curtis

I built my kayak THERAPY after I fell in love with the North Star baidarka-style kayaks developed by Rob Macks of Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks in Maine. But when I tried one out, the cockpit was too roomy for me. So, I bought plans for the smaller Fire Star. When I realized it was going to be smaller than I wanted, I put the Fire Star plans into my CAD program and blew it up proportionately to be halfway between the two models. Continue reading

Application of G/Flex 655. A thin coat was squeegeed onto one surface and a thicker coat was applied with notched trowel to the other mating surface in constructing the voyaging canoe.

Building Iakos

For a Polynesian Voyaging Canoe

By Joe Parker

The John Williams Boat Co. (JWC) on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, recently a set of iakos for the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hôkûle’a, built and maintained for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We sailors sometimes think of ourselves as adventurers and explorers, self-sufficient and capable of handling the vagaries of wind and weather. But our view of voyaging includes refrigeration to keep the food and drink cold, sail handling and navigation systems to make sailing easy and safe, and a good dry, comfortable boat so we remain content while sailing to the ends of our own personal world. When we compare that to the skills and equipment of early voyagers, it can be almost embarrassing. Continue reading

Meade Gougeon aboard Yello Thing in the 2010 Everglades Challenge

The Everglades Challenge

A True Aquatic Adventure

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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Replica deer antler rack by Scott Oldanie

Readers’ Projects, Issue 32

Deer antler racks and more

Scott Oldanie has found many unique uses for WEST SYSTEM Epoxy around his Lemont, Illinois, home. These are just a few. He built two whitetail deer antler replica racks, bonded and carved; a wooden bear head attached to the end of a beam; and repaired damaged moose antlers and rotted log ends of his log home.

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At the end of the three-day Family Build Weekend, the nine family teams pose with their assembled Sassafras 16 canoes. After some additional sanding, coating and finishing these handsome lapstrake canoes will be ready for the water.

Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry
Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June for the Family Build Weekend to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

gunning dory

Norwegian Gunning Dory

By Paul Butler

This plywood/epoxy Norwegian Gunning Dory is drawn with inspiration from the classic lines of Scandinavian watercraft. The ply/epoxy hull is much simplified from traditional plank-on-frame versions. The lightweight version can weigh less than 60 lb (27 kg), making it an easy car-topper. Instead of the traditional V bottom, there is a flat panel on the hull bottom to simplify construction and provide extra stability. Continue reading

Bufflehead with her gunter rig on an oyster bar off the Shell Mound, Cedar Key, FL

From Serendipity to Bufflehead

Sailing Canoes

By Hugh Horton

The cover of Epoxyworks 16 shows Serendipity, the sailing canoe I built for Meade Gougeon on a Bell “Starfire” hull after he had seen me sailing my Starfire-based Puffin in the summer of 1998. The Starfire hull was designed by Dave Yost. Continue reading

Close up of a soft eye pad mounted to the deck of a Bufflehead. The pad eyes Hugh Horton used on the Bufflehead deck were made wtih Twaron™ an aramid fiber. The soft pad eyes are strong yet not as likely as rigid pad eyes to catch a knuckle or a knee cap.

Make Your Own Soft Eye Pads

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small eye pads  (also called pad eyes) in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes this lightweight carbon fiber or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line eye pads for his sailing canoes.

He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The eye pads are easy to make and amazingly strong. Continue reading

Marquetry Made Easy

By Al Witham

There is a simple way for those of us who may be “artistically challenged” to produce easy marquetry inlaid furniture, jewelry boxes, canoe decks, trays, etc. with a modest investment in equipment and materials, in a reasonable period of time, and with eye-pleasing results. I have no formal training in making marquetry inlays but have found a method that works for me. I showed this method to a friend who is a shop teacher; he now has students as young as ten incorporating it into their school projects with excellent results. My method is adaptable, user-friendly within limits, and forgiving of minor cutting errors. Even novices can produce great-looking marquetry. Continue reading