Category Archives: Boat Construction

The Michigan School

By Dave Lesh

Editor’s note: The Michigan School is no longer in operation.—November 18, 2014.

Located in the Petoskey area of northern Michigan, The Michigan School’s nine month vocational program will teach students contemporary boat building and marine industry skills. Composite manufacturing technology is used extensively in a number of industries such as aerospace, recreation, transportation and alternative energy. The skills learned at TMS will be widely transferable. 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

Grand Laker Canoe

Readers’ Projects, Issue 33

Grand Laker Canoe

This shortened version of a Grand Laker canoe is very popular on the big lakes in Maine. It was built by architect Victor Trodella of Yarmouth. It is 16′ 6″ long, 42″ at the beam, and is equipped with a 2 hp Honda outboard, oars and oarlocks, and of course, paddles. Trodella says, “WEST SYSTEM gave me fabulous results… again. Thanks for your advice.” Continue reading

Ted Moores' Hybrid Electric Launch SPARKS

Ted’s Jewel Box

The Hybrid Electric Launch SPARKS

by Mike Barker
Cover Photo: Ted Moores ties up the Hybrid Electric Launch SPARKS at the blue line at Kilmarnock Lock n the Rideau Canal.

Cover Photo: Ted Moores ties up the Hybrid Electric Launch SPARKS at the blue line at Kilmarnock Lock n the Rideau Canal.

After three years of painstaking work and many interruptions, Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats completed the Bear Mountain 30 Hybrid Electric Launch Sparks on June 22, 2010. The boat is unlike any he had built before.

Sparks is designed for low-speed cruising while using the least amount of fossil fuel possible. It normally runs on batteries charged by solar panels and shore power. When necessary, a diesel generator powers its electric motor and charges its batteries. Continue reading

Sparks is a great example of good sealing and priming.

Strip Planking SPARKS

Lesson 1 in our series on Strip Planking

by Ted Moores

In this strip planking series, we will take a look at how we have used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to utilize less than ideal wood and look at ways of building boats with wood that will be low maintenance and age gracefully. Since working safely with epoxy has allowed me to have a long career using it, you will hear a lot about safety. Continue reading

The finished strip plank dinghy on display.

Building My First Strip-Planked Dinghy

By Sean Schippers

I was inspired to build my first strip-planked dinghy while working for a talented woodworker in a quaint little wood shop in Nashville, Tennessee. He showed me a strip-built canoe, something I’d never seen before. The wheels in my head started turning. I was completely captivated. 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.

Continue reading

The i550 sportboat HOT CANARY under sail

Building the i550 Sportboat HOT CANARY

by Ben Gougeon

An autopilot steering failure on his sailing scow Yello Thing forced Meade to withdraw from the 2010 Everglades Challenge. When he reached the shore, he was already thinking about building another boat for the next race.
Continue reading

A completed lapstrake dory at The Apprenticeshop

The Apprenticeshop

By Grace Ombry

The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, teaches students decision-making skills, care, patience, forethought, and responsibility through traditional boatbuilding. Instructors guide each apprentice through building two to four boats during a two-year apprenticeship.

The philosophy behind The Apprenticeshop is that learning is best accomplished through direct experience. Apprentices in this program learn craftsmanship and problem solving through each step of wooden boat construction from lofting, molds, framing, planking, and decking to finish work and rigging. Continue reading