Cover Photo: Nokomis, the sister ship to LUV N IT. Photo by Michel Berryer.
By Bruce Niederer
In the previous issue of Epoxyworks, we looked at the start up process employed by the craftsmen at Van Dam Custom Boats as they built LUV N IT, affectionately referred to as the Limousine in Van Dam Custom Boats-Part One. We ended our “tour” of this build with the hull stained and pre-coated with WEST SYSTEM® 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener, and the custom-built stainless steel cutwater being fitted for installation.
The current boat I have is in good shape, sails well and has been a lot fun for 17 years. It had grown in the planning stage from 18 to 20, 22 and finally to 36 feet long on deck. But, while it grew much longer and somewhat wider, it didn’t gain much in headroom. The need for a bigger boat with more room, fused with a desire to sail a tall ship with passengers, resulted in a plan for a new boat. I have been captain of several big sailing vessels around the U.S. and the Bahamas, and have built several boats, so the idea of building one to sail close to home seemed natural. Continue reading →
When Jan Gougeon built Strings in 2010 one of the most interesting features he included, at least from my point of view, was the float that goes on top of the mast. Due to its zeppelin-like shape, this is also called a blimp or a dirigible. The purpose of the float is to make the boat self-rescuing: if the boat tips, the float prevents it from going any farther than lying on its side. The mast and float are then used to right the boat. Jan developed this system when designing the Gougeon-32 back in the late ’80s, so he thought it would work for Strings. Continue reading →
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I decided to build my own boat. While not exactly a novice—I have owned a 21′ sailboat and am a tall-ship model builder—I’m not experienced in building sailing vessels. Continue reading →
The US Navy asked Phil Bolger & Friends Inc. (PB&F) to develop a container-transportable power cruiser. This was a rather irresistible opportunity. We had been developing a modest sequence of design concepts to match a variety of unusual requirements for the Navy. This time they wanted us to design this craft, and manage the prototyping of the project from the earliest stages of construction to final testing. While our design office had never built anything bigger than perhaps 16 feet, we understood the basics of how any design would be built. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: First place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.
For the past two years, the Drafting/Pre-Engineering class I teach at Tuscola Technology Center in Caro, Michigan has been invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Summit Racing. Students build a custom pedal car that is displayed and judged at the AutoRAMA show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Summit Racing either supplies participating schools with one of their stock pedal cars which can be modified and customized, or students may build their entry from scratch. We constructed our entry from scratch both years. Our first car was inspired by the Delehaye roadster and built of aluminum in an Art Deco style. Continue reading →
The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
As summer approaches, keeping students interested in learning while wrapping up the school year can be a challenging task. I teach mechanical engineering at Hartland high school in Hartland, Michigan. My students learn the principals of technical design while guiding through a fun, hands-on, year-end design project. Continue reading →
In this issue, I begin a two-part series that will feature a custom boat project being built by Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City, Michigan. We featured a Van Dam-built boat in Epoxyworks 14, the beautiful and unique Alpha Z. We want to give our readers a glimpse into what is currently happening at this world-class boat shop. Continue reading →
I built this 16′ runabout in my garage over the course of a few years. It was the culmination of an idea I long had for a design that would provide a soft ride with its deep-vee hull, but at the same time exhibit excellent fuel economy. It’s best described as a chineless gull wing. The hull shape captures and efficiently redirects otherwise wasted bow wave energy downward to create lift. It also safely captures ram air under the “wings” (noticeable starting about 40 mph) and attains a comfortable top speed close to 50 mph with the 115hp outboard motor. Continue reading →