My father, Glenn P. Stewart, instilled in me an interest in steam engines. He frequently talked about his early experiences (about 1930) working in a sawmill powered by a steam engine.
A thought went through my mind. Here I am a graduate mechanical engineer and I don’t even know how a steam engine works. So I went to several steam engine shows in the area and got more interested in them while learning how they operate. My wife and son Mike bought me a steam launch kit with a boiler and engine kit which I enjoyed building and operating with radio controls. Continue reading →
In early 2007 Impossible Pictures of London, U.K. approached me to participate in a boat demonstration using a Flettner rotor powered trimaran. They were filming a demonstration for the Discovery Channel’s Project Earth series. Our program would be called Brighter World. Two atmospheric scientists, John Latham and Stephen Salter, had devised the Albedo effect, a way of changing the reflectivity of clouds to deflect some of the sun’s heat, cooling the oceans. It required a flotilla of vessels to seed clouds with small saltwater particles. Our trimaran would be a prototype for this type of vessel. Continue reading →
There are those who believe sailing fast means advanced composites with high-tech fibers, exotic cores and plenty of cash. Very few think of wood when they think of fast, but before carbon fiber, before Kevlar™…there was wood.
I’m not talking about those great big lumbering tall ships or schooners. I’m talking about the pioneers of boatbuilding and fast sailboat racing. Men of vision who saw wood not just as planks and large hunks of trees to be bolted together, but as an engineering fiber. Men like Walter Greene, Jim Brown, Continue reading →
The Arundel 27, designed to the highest standards by Steve Dalzell, is a handsome day-tripper. Her traditional appearance is the result of cold-molded construction with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Laminated layers of marine plywood and Western Red Cedar form the hull, and the transom is built with mahogany. This construction makes the hull stiffer than fiberglass boats but just as easily maintained. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Carl Puehl’s FIFTY PLUS, a modification of the Ted Brewer design, Quite Times.
A 37′ powerboat is a bit of a luxury for a self-employed handyman and jack-of-all trades like Carl Puehl. But he’d always wanted to build a boat, and he decided to fill the gap between what he wanted and what he could afford. Continue reading →
The Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan is partnering with nationally known Van Dam Custom Boats of Boyne City, Michigan to develop the school’s second-year advanced boat building course. The nine month full-time career program will run concurrently with the boat school’s Basic Boat Building Course at their 12,000 square-foot facility in northern Michigan. As the project boat for the course, Steve Van Dam gave the school his plans for the Cederville 26.5, a re-designed version of Van Dam’s custom 30′ day cruiser. Students will build the composite wood hull, and design and construct the boat’s interior including its twin berth cuddy cabin. They’ll also install the engine, electrical and water systems. Continue reading →
Russell Brown designed and built this single outrigger motorboat for his friend Josh Sutherland. Although not completely finished when the photo was taken, it was “pretty well tested and didn’t seem to have any really bad habits,” says Brown. It is 24′ long and built fairly ruggedly. It uses a 20 hp Yamaha four-stroke and goes about 18 knots with three people on board. Russell, the son of legendary boat designer Jim Brown, designs and builds foils, boats, and other composite projects in Port Townsend, Washington. Visit www.ptwatercraft.com.
Growing up in Wesley Hills, New York, Michael Fitzpatrick was influenced by his grandfather, a furniture maker and housewright. He set up his own studio in Boston a few years ago and makes exceptional, handcrafted furniture to order, like the lounge chair (above). He uses WEST SYSTEM Epoxy for most of his projects, especially the bent laminated pieces. He also just purchased a COZY license and is considering using epoxy for the experimental airplane. Visit his website for more information about his handcrafted furniture. www.bostonfurnituremaker.com
Cover Photo: Brothers Meade & Jan Gougeon aboard their power catamarans with Dick Newick-designed hulls — GOUGMARAN and MAGIC CARPET.
In 2003, my brother Jan and I began talking about building a motorboat. This would be a first for the brothers, who up to this point have focused all our efforts on sailboats. Just a few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that we would ever take up powerboating. But time and circumstances change one’s views, especially as we enter our senior years. We have always regretted that major parts of our home waters, the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, Michigan, have been too shallow for our sailboats. Some of the most attractive parts of the Bay with the best wildlife have been off-limits to boats that draw more than 18 inches. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Steve Gembrowski spent 10 years building the Ken Basset designed RASCAL, a mahogany runabout.
Fifteen years! Not that it took 15 years to build; it was more like a year and a half. I first saw a photograph of RASCAL and decided right then, if I ever build a boat, this is the one. RASCAL was a new design by Ken Basset for a modified V-bottom 14’10” runabout with a beam of 5’4″ and hull weight of 420 pounds. For the next 15 years, RASCAL became one of those projects sitting on the back burner, waiting until I had enough time and money to comfortably build her without having to compromise on engine, equipment or material. I’m sure plenty of builders out there can relate. My first step was to set the standard to which the boat would be built. Continue reading →