Cover photo: The Farrier folding trimaran Nelda Ray under sail following Don Gutzmer’s aluminum mast step repair.
I received a call from a friend of mine who owns a 2004 Farrier F33RX folding trimaran, the 33′ Nelda Ray. This sailboat is a frequent competitor in regattas on the Great Lakes. The aluminum mast step was compressing the deck and causing laminate failure. I told my friend I’d figure out what went wrong and then fix it so it would never happen again. I’ll outline the process I used to make this successful repair. Continue reading →
Cover photo: THE ANIMAL alongside one of Jon Staudacher’s other projects, an acrobatic airplane. Photo by Avram Golden.
My good friend and previous employer, Jon Staudacher, always surprises me with how he designs and builds his projects. Jon creates everything from hydroplanes to airplanes using materials and methods that are logical and practical. He would say he treats most of the things he builds like a science project, experimenting with new concepts in design and materials, and continually learning new things. I will explain some of Jon’s unique approaches to a few of his recent projects. Continue reading →
On June 20, 1979, while sailing in a qualifying race for the OSTAR (Original Single-Handed Transatlantic Race), Jan Gougeon’s self-designed and built 31′ trimaran FLICKA was capsized by heavy seas in the North Atlantic. Jan survived on the overturned plywood/epoxy multihull for four days before he was rescued by a passing freighter. The following is the second half of a transcript of a phone call between Jan, his brothers Meade and Joel, as well as fellow multihull designer/sailor Mike Zuteck. Their discussion takes place on June 26, 1979, just hours after the freighter that rescued Jan delivered him to dry land. Part 1 of this conversation can be found here.Continue reading →
On Wednesday, June 20, 1979, while sailing in a qualifying race for the OSTAR (Observer Single-Handed Transatlantic Race, originally named after its first sponsor, the British Observer newspaper1), Jan Gougeon’s self-designed and built 31’ trimaran FLICKA was capsized by heavy seas in the North Atlantic. Jan survived on the overturned plywood/epoxy multihull for four days before he was rescued by a passing freighter. The following is the transcript of a phone call between Jan, his brothers Meade and Joel, as well as fellow multihull designer/sailor Mike Zuteck. Their discussion takes place on June 26, 1979, just hours after the freighter that rescued Jan from FLICKA and delivered him to dry land. Continue reading →
A pair of Gougeon-built multihulls made with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy decades ago won important races on the Pacific Ocean and Great Lakes in 2018.
Incognito is a G32 catamaran, vacuum bagged composite construction, by Gougeon Manufacturing in 1990. Russell Brown of PT Watercraft in Port Townsend, Washington raced the 28-year-old vessel singlehandedly in the grueling R2AK (Race to Alaska). In the qualifying leg from Port Townsend, WA to Victoria, BC he finished 40 minutes ahead of the rest of the fleet. He then led the race for three days until fatigue set in, requiring him to put finishing safely first. Still, he was the first solo finisher for the second year in a row and knocked more than 24 hours off his record-breaking 2017 win, also aboard Incognito. Continue reading →
Russell Brown’s G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018
The work of the Gougeon brothers has been like a guiding light to me starting when I was a young teenager. It wasn’t just the methods and skills they developed that inspired me (and led to my career in boatbuilding), it was the “outside the box” thinking about boat design they employed. While Meade Gougeon led the effort to develop and teach epoxy skills and building methods, it was his brother Jan who had the courage to design, build, develop, and race boats that were very unusual and often counter-intuitive, yet very successful. Jan’s G-32 catamaran is an example of his genius. Continue reading →
Adagio, our beloved trimaran, was designed and built by Meade and Jan Gougeon in 1969 and launched in the summer of 1970. After undergoing a minor refit this past winter, she still has what it takes to win. We’re extremely proud that Adagio placed first in the multihull division of 2016 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which spans almost 300 miles of often treacherous Great Lakes. Continue reading →
When Jan Gougeon built Strings in 2010 one of the most interesting features he included, at least from my point of view, was the masthead float. Due to its zeppelin-like shape, this is also called a blimp or a dirigible. The purpose of the float is to make the boat self-rescuing: if the boat tips, the float prevents it from going any farther than lying on its side. The mast and float are then used to right the boat. Jan developed this system when designing the Gougeon-32 back in the late ’80s, so he thought it would work for Strings. Continue reading →
A skiff is a shallow, open boat with a sharp bow and square stern. After building some skiffs of various designs and having the opportunity to observe them over time, I have found details that have worked nicely that might be of value to others. Continue reading →