Category Archives: Boat Construction

The Gougmarans

Birth of the Gougmarans

by Meade Gougeon — GBI Founder

Above: Meade and Jan’s completed Gougmarans, shallow-draft power catamarans on Dick Newick-designed hulls.

Epoxyworks 25

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

The RASCAL Project

by Steve Gembrowski
Epoxyworks 24

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

Figure 1—A completed L-7 at the dock. Multi Marine’s new 23' folding trimaran kit features manufactured hull pans. The builder attaches plywood topsides to the pans.

Developing Multihulls

A folding trimaran for DIY boat builders

by Michael Leneman, Multi Marine

Above: A completed L-37 multihull at the dock. Multi-Marine’s new 23′ folding trimaran kit features manufactured hull pans. The builder attaches plywood topsides to the pans.

What is the simplest way for a home builder to build a good, light hull for a catamaran or trimaran? A few years ago, we set about looking for an inexpensive way to construct a small trimaran that we had developed as a prototype. The answer we came up with was unique: to combine a fiberglass molded “pan” with plywood/glass/epoxy topsides. Continue reading

Scheherazade under sail.

Scheherazade Update

Courtesy of Hodgdon Yachts

Above: Scheherazade is a 155′ Bruce King-designed ketch built by Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay, Maine and launched September 27, 2003. Photo by Onne van der Wal.

Epoxyworks #23, Spring 2006

Cover Photo: Scheherazade, a 155′ Bruce King-designed ketch. Image by Onne van der Wal.

Hodgdon Yachts of East Boothbay, Maine launched the 155′ ketch, Scheherazade. She is a beautiful union of wood/epoxy technology, elegant design, and superior craftsmanship. Continue reading

Seaworthy Kayak

Building a Guillemot Kayak

By Jason Havel

I am a Captain in the Air Force and was stationed in Wichita, Kansas, in October 2002 when I purchased a book about building a strip kayak. After the first chapter, I was sold. I ordered the full-size plans for the Guillemot kayak. While on vacation in Texas, I spent about $300 on the western red cedar, purpleheart, and yellow heart, then discovered I was to deploy to Saudi Arabia. In the evenings prior to the deployment, I machined the cedar into ¼” strips and put the bead and cove on them using a router table. It was during the process of setting up my table saw that I realized how clear D-grade pine can be. I accidentally bought a few long boards of it to build an extra-long table saw fence for ripping the cedar.

The stripping of the Guillemot kayak's hull with Western red cedar is completed.

The stripping of the Guillemot kayak’s hull with Western red cedar is completed.

I was amazed at how little grain was visible. That’s where the idea of the lighter-colored deck came from. I got 6 or 8 strips on the mold before I left for my deployment.  While I was gone, the confrontation with Iraq began. What was supposed to be 3 months turned into 5 months. The air war ended and I came home and was informed I would be moving from Wichita, Kansas, to Altus AFB, Oklahoma. I knew it was only 300 miles, but I wasn’t about to bring a couple of hundred strips of cedar and an unfinished boat along for the trip. I spent every spare moment finishing the boat. I finished stripping in June, laid the fiberglass in July, and moved in August.

The inside of the Guillemot Kayak's hull is glassed with 6 oz fiberglass cloth. Havel used 105/207 to wet out the cloth in temperatures over 100 degrees F.

The inside of the Guillemot Kayak’s hull is glassed with 6 oz fiberglass cloth. Havel used 105/207 to wet out the cloth in temperatures over 100 degrees F.

I used 6 oz cloth with 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener and was very impressed. Since July in Kansas is typically over 100°F, I was a little hesitant pouring epoxy. When I did all the epoxy work, it was 108° to 112°F. I could thoroughly mix the epoxy, lay it down, brush or squeegee it out, and make it look perfect. Ten minutes later, it started to harden. There were no issues with sheeting or running. In fact, I never saw any anime blush and had zero bubbles. Believe me, I looked for amine blush since every piece of the literature mentions it. After an hour or two, I brushed on the next coat to fill the weave and add a nice smooth surface for the varnish. Since the epoxy wasn’t fully cured, I got an excellent chemical bond. I can’t say enough about how great the 207 Hardener worked at over 100°F. I coated everything with epoxy, including the deck fittings, before I fastened them to the deck. I sanded the hull with 150-grit sandpaper on a random orbital sander and finished it off with five coats of Z-Spar™ Captains Varnish. Z-Spar also works great at 100+ degrees.

guillemot kayak detail

Guillemot Kayak detail: Everything is coated with 105/207 and finished with 5 coats of Z-Spar Captain’s Varnish.

Purpleheart provides a nice contrast for the outline of the deck design and deck hardware on the Guillemot Kayak.

Purpleheart provides a nice contrast for the outline of the deck design and deck hardware on the Guillemot Kayak.

I’d do it again in an instant but next time it will be a canoe since my family will soon be a total of four plus our dog. Even though the kids will be small, it’s tough to stuff them and my wife in a single place kayak and expect to get anywhere.

The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction

The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction, 5th Edition

Epoxyworks Special Edition

Cover Photo: The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction, updated and revised in 2005.

The 5th edition of The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction comprises a thorough review of best practices, 20% new and updated material, and a revised layout for easier navigation. Each chapter was reconsidered in terms of evolving technology, new techniques, and the successes and failures of over thirty-five years of experience. We believe that the updates and improvements will enhance the value of this reference text for amateurs and experienced professionals alike. Continue reading