Category Archives: Boat Construction

Mary aboard her 12.3 kayak

Turning a Gougeon 12.3 into a Kayak

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Tom’s wife Mary paddles aboard her Gougeon 12.3 kayak on the Rifle River Recreation area in Lupton, Michigan.

I recently modified the deck of my wife Mary’s fiberglass canoe (one of dozens built from the Gougeon 12.3 mold) to make it more seaworthy and to facilitate a spray skirt. More like a kayak. Previously, the decks covered only the ends of the boat, leaving the middle 40% wide open. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out.

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Kayak Lessons Learned

by Captain James R. Watson—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Captain James R. Watson in his kayak. Note how the kayak rides at anchor from the bow.

Kayaks are versatile craft. I’m a lucky guy who has had decades of pleasure cruising, exploring, fishing, and simply relaxing on many different streams and lakes throughout Michigan and Canada in my stripper kayak. Comparing the investment dollar per pleasure derived, my kayak wins hands down over all the other watercraft I’ve owned. In her wake, I’ve been taught many lessons, albeit some the hard way. Here are a few I thought worth sharing. Continue reading

The McKenzie style drift boat is designed for maneuverability and is especially suited to get you down wild rivers...

Drift Boat Building in the Foyer

The McKenzie-style drift boat is designed for maneuverability and is especially suited to get you down wild rivers…

By Greg Hatten

...to not-so-wild rivers (below) where the fish are.

…to not-so-wild rivers (below) where the fish are.

The wet winter months in Oregon are perfect for garage projects like boat building and car restoration. They are less than “ideal,” however, if you want a perfect epoxy finish for your boat and your garage is unheated. Continue reading

James Wharram Designs

by Captain James R. Watson—GBI Technical Advisor

For many decades Gougeon Brothers Inc. has kept in contact with multihull designer James Wharram. Wharram, of Cornwall, UK, has sailed and designed Polynesian-style catamarans for 50 years. Amateurs and professionals have built his boats and sailed them to all corners of the planet. The designs he creates with his engineer and artist partner Hanneke Boon have evolved over the years, but remain unmistakably, Wharram Catamarans. Continue reading

woodville queen steam launch

The Woodville Queen

by Ken Stewart

Above: The completed Woodville Queen with a full head of steam.

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

project brighter future

Project Brighter World

by John R. Marples

Above: Project Brighter World on demonstration day. The boat performed very well, sailing at windspeed even though it was about 30% heavier (due to the heavy batteries) than the normal sailing vessel design weight. The project was considered a tremendous success.

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

Pioneers of Speed

by Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: The proa Slingshot was one of the true pioneers of speed, topping out at 40 knots.

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. Continue reading

Arundal 27 underway

The Landing School Presents the Arundel 27

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

Fifty Plus, a Quiet Times powerboat

Building the Fifty Plus

by Grace Ombry
Epoxyworks 26

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

Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Partners with Van Dam

Advanced Boatbuilding Course

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 boatbuilding course.  Continue reading