Category Archives: Boat Construction

Babyface Nelson runabout

Babyface Nelson

A Classic Mahogany Runabout

by Bruce Hutchinson

Above: Babyface Nelson is a replica of Baby Bootlegger, a Gold Cup racer designed by George Crouch and built by Nivens in 1924.

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Cover Photo: After two years of work, Bruce Hutchinson launched BABYFACE NELSON at Gull Lake in western Michigan.

What was I thinking? That phrase kept running through my mind during the 2000 hours over two years it took to build Babyface Nelson.  Now that it’s complete and I’ve logged 50 hours on the water, I can say it was a worthwhile venture. It’s too much fun! People have commented that it must have taken a lot of patience to complete the project. Patience had nothing to do with it: it was perseverance. I ran out of patience about the second layer of cedar planking! Continue reading

loss of stiffness swift solo

Loss of Stiffness in Small Boat Performance

by Meade Gougeon — GBI Founder

Above: The singlehanded sailing skiff SWIFT SOLO by Bram Dally was part of his design quest to prevent loss of stiffness in small boats.

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Cover Photo: The SWIFT SOLO is a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally. Stiff, durable hulls are crucial to skiff speed.

One of the little-known or understood characteristics of modern fiber-reinforced plastic composites is the loss of some initial stiffness capability after repeated cyclic loading. Loss of stiffness can be significant enough to cause a noticeable effect on performance, depending upon laminate makeup and degree of cyclic loading. Continue reading

Swift Solo

Swift Solo

Building for Long-Term Competitive Performance

by Bram Dally

Above: The Swift Solo in action. The complicated rig is designed to be managed by one person while they hang from the side of the boat.

Swift Solo, a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally.

When Meade Gougeon asked me if I’d write a piece about what I’m up to for Epoxyworks, I was honored. He had read the January 2002 article on my single-handed skiff in Sailing World and offered the assistance of GBI (Gougeon Brothers, Inc.) to do some extensive testing for us on several composite samples. Continue reading