Category Archives: Boat Construction

Building a Pair of Chesapeake 16 Kayaks

by Chris Jacobson

Above: A pair of Chesapeake 16 kayaks built by Chris Jacobson.

Epoxyworks 27

Cover Photo: Paddling the south shore of Ontario’s Lake of Two Rivers and into Pog Lake.

It all began when we went camping in Algonquin Park in 2005. We rented a couple of plastic kayaks and the kids loved it. We came home with the intention of buying a couple of kayaks but while on the internet we saw these stitch and glue make’m yourself boats. I purchased the books “The New Kayak Shop” and “Kayaks You Can Build. ”

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A Quick Fix to a Broken Spinnaker Pole

By Meade Gougeon — GBI Founder

Above: Meade fixes his broken spinnaker pole with a blend of WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy and fast curing G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive.

Adagio, our 35′ trimaran, was already off to a bad start in the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Chicago to Mackinaw race with an over-early call by the race committee. Everything went downhill from there when we had to deal with a broken spinnaker pole. Continue reading

Gougeon 12.3 canoes on display.

The Gougeon 12.3 Canoe

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor
Epoxyworks 29

Cover Photo: A small sampling of the Gougeon 12.3 canoe family. Robert Monroe’s cold-molded canoe (foreground) came from a half-mold that eventually resulted in the a 12.3 mold (object directly behind first canoe) which has been used since 1989 to produce dozens of offspring that reflect a wide raged of tastes and technology.

Above: The latest generation of employees and their Gougeon 12.3 canoes.Building a Gougeon 12.3 has become a rite of passage for new employees. 

The Gougeon 12.3 canoe represents several decades of experimentation by employees of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. Dozens have been built but no two are exactly alike. The evolution of the Gougeon 12.3 parallels our love of boating, passion for innovation and desire to build better boats—all of which contribute to the products we produce today.

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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