Category Archives: Boat Construction

The Three Lives of Cosmic Muffin

By Jennifer Jones

Cosmic Muffin, a unique houseboat owned by Dave Drimmer, has quite an interesting history. She started out as a Boeing 307 Stratoliner, which was acquired by Howard Hughes in 1939 when he bought TWA. The Model 307 was the world’s first high-altitude commercial transport and the first four-engine airliner in scheduled domestic service.  In 1948, Hughes had her interior redesigned, named her Flying Penthouse, and she became one of the first commercial airliners converted into a plush executive transport. Continue reading

wooden runabout

Readers’ Project, Issue 21

Wooden Runabout

Mark Bronkalla of Waukesha, Wisconsin, built this Glen-L Riviera wooden runabout using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. The Riviera is a 20′ double cockpit traditionally styled wooden runabout. It was built with cold molded construction techniques (epoxy and wood laminations). Top speed as measured by a GPS is 53 mph! For construction photos and building information, visit www.bronkalla.com.

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Installing a Teak Deck on ZATARA

by Ken Newell

Epoxyworks 20

Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.

The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading

Building Alligator

BY BOB WALTERS

About ten years ago my wife, Ching, and I decided we wanted a comfortable, easy-to-handle, cruising boat suitable for exploring the shallow coastal areas that we missed when we lived aboard our deep draft sailboat twenty-one years ago. We looked at a lot of boats and decided that we would try a powerboat this time. We liked the features found on Biloxi Luggers, also known as “Chandeleur Boats,” a type indigenous to the upper Gulf Coast; however, we didn’t want to own a 30-50 year old wooden boat. Luggers aren’t available as production boats and we couldn’t afford to commission a custom design, so we decided to build Alligator ourselves. Continue reading

Old Lady Survives 70 MPH Blast

By Meade Gougeon

The 35′ trimaran Adagio, designed and built by Meade and Jan Gougeon in 1969, survived the harrowing conditions at the finish of the 2002 Chicago to Mackinac race this past year.

The old lady
Adagio, the first large wood/epoxy structure ever built without the use of fasteners, was one of the oldest, and lightest boats in the race. She has now become a test bed as to how long wood/epoxy structures can last. Over the years, the Gougeon Brothers’ test lab has Continue reading

Pacific Class sailboats

Readers’ Projects, Issue 20

Restoration of Pacific Class sailboats

These 31-10 Pacific Class sailboats appeared in Epoxyworks in 18, Fall 2001. They were being rescued and restored by a dedicated group in San Diego, California. John Sutphen, who was involved in the project, sent the photo (below) of one of the restored Pacific Class boats under sail: the reward of hard work and dedication.

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Testing large fasteners

Testing Large Bonded-In Fasteners

by Brian Knight

Epoxyworks 19

Cover Photo: The 154’7″ Bruce King-designed Scheherazade resting on her massive keel at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine.

Scheherazade is a 154′ 7″ Bruce King designed ketch under construction at Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay, Maine. Scheherazade is 60% larger than Antonisa, the last Bruce King/Hodgdon Yacht collaboration, and is the largest sailboat under construction in the United States. We first looked at Scheherazade in EPOXYWORKS 17, Spring 2001, before she was rolled and set on her 153,000 lb ballast keel. On a March, 2002 visit, Scheherazade was resting on her massive keel (cover), while far above, surrounded by multiple levels of staging, work continued on her interior and deck (below). Continue reading

Guillimot Kayak

Readers’ Projects, Issue 19

Ed Van Kirk’s Guillemot Kayak

This Guillemot kayak (left) is the work of Ed Van Kirk of Constantine, Michigan. Ed built both of these kayaks of redwood and sugar pine, using Nick Shade’s book The Strip-Built Sea Kayak as a reference. The double seater is a Guillemot kayak, 20′ long with a 30″ beam and weighs 73 lb. The single seater is a Little Auk kayak, 10′ long with a 29″ beam and weighs 43 lb. Ed has also built a 14′ Wee Lassie Two. Continue reading

Building Prams

For a Community Sailing Program

by Bruce Niederer

EW-18 cover

Cover Photo: A new fleet of optimist prams were built to serve the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association

The Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) was founded in 1995 by a group of local sailboat racers who shared a vision of a grass roots organization to provide area youngsters and adults a low cost introduction to sailing. We began that first season with three Transfusion 547’s purchased for the association by Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (GBI) and a half dozen used Optimist prams donated by the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association. Continue reading

laminated canoe

Laminated Canoe Construction Gives Lasting Value

John McKibbin sent pictures of his refinished 18′ laminated canoe. He built it back in 1976 using cold-molded, that is, laminated composite construction, with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Laminating a hull is similar to making your own plywood on a three-dimensional mold. While it may take more time and effort to make a laminated hull, the results are well worth it. Continue reading