Category Archives: Boat Construction

Clam Girl, an adult sized pram

The Joy of Six10

For Teak Gunwales on Prototype Clam Girl

by Hugh Horton

Meade Gougeon was excited in 2008. “I’m using Six10 for everything!” he said. He was working on his sailing canoe in Florida. In every phone conversation we had, he seemed to find a new use for Six10, “… even for composite layups because of its ‘shear thinning’,” a phrase new to me.

In May of 2018, a perfect application came along for Six10—the teak gunwales capping the plywood endgrain on my prototype Clam Girl.

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Rachael Geertz, Winona Composites Engineering Grad

Winona State University Composite Materials Engineering Program

By Rachael Geerts

Here is an inside snapshot of how the composites materials world is growing at my alma mater, Winona State University. Located in Winona, Minnesota, this university has the only accredited four-year undergraduate program for composite materials engineering in the US. Through this program, students learn the fundamentals of engineering while investigating different materials. This program challenges students both academically and creatively. Students are encouraged to ask questions and strive for a deeper understanding of why things are done the way they are done. From this, they can explore how things can be improved.

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Incognito is a Gougeon-built 32' catamaran

Aged Epoxy Boats Still Winning Big

By Grace Ombry

A pair of Gougeon-built multihulls made with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy decades ago won important races on the Pacific Ocean and Great Lakes in 2018.

Incognito is a G32 catamaran, vacuum bagged composite construction, by Gougeon Manufacturing in 1990. Russell Brown of PT Watercraft in Port Townsend, Washington raced the 28-year-old vessel singlehandedly in the grueling R2AK (Race to Alaska). In the qualifying leg from Port Townsend, WA to Victoria, BC he finished 40 minutes ahead of the rest of the fleet. He then led the race for three days until fatigue set in, requiring him to put finishing safely first. Still, he was the first solo finisher for the second year in a row and knocked more than 24 hours off his record-breaking 2017 win, also aboard Incognito. Continue reading

Italmas

ITALMAS

By Ben Van Dam

Italmas, a one-of-a-kind build underway at Van Dam Custom Boats, in Boyne City, Michigan, is a world-class cruising vessel designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design. She has been shaped and appointed for her owner to easily enjoy daysailing as well as cruising on the Great Lakes. Distinction and grace have been combined in a traditional manner and squarely pay homage to yachts of the ‘40s and ‘50s. The yacht exudes classic. Continue reading

G-32 catamaran G-WIZ!

G-Wiz!

Russell Brown’s New Toy

By Russell Brown
G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018

Russell Brown’s G-32 catamaran on the cover of Epoxyworks 46, Spring 2018

The work of the Gougeon brothers has been like a guiding light to me starting when I was a young teenager. It wasn’t just the methods and skills they developed that inspired me (and led to my career in boatbuilding), it was the “outside the box” thinking about boat design they employed. While Meade Gougeon led the effort to develop and teach epoxy skills and building methods, it was his brother Jan who had the courage to design, build, develop, and race boats that were very unusual and often counter-intuitive, yet very successful. Jan’s G-32 catamaran is an example of his genius. Continue reading

Tom's canoe hanging in the tech shop

Refinishing a Wood Strip Canoe

By Tom Pawlak

About 30 years ago, I built an 18′ wood strip canoe. At the time, my family was young and I could only work on it intermittently. Over the course of six months, I had faired my mold frames, applied the redwood strips, faired the outside of the hull with a keen eye and applied the fiberglass cloth. Two months later I decided to take it off the mold to fair and fiberglass the inside. To my horror, the exterior hull bottom had a big dimple in the middle when removed from the forms. I immediately knew the cause. The humidity in my garage had skyrocketed since the outside of the hull was finished with fiberglass and epoxy. The unsealed inside of the hull had probably gained 4-5% in moisture content since the outside was fiberglassed. Continue reading

Joining Plywood with epoxy

Joining Plywood

By Don Gutzmer

Many boat parts require plywood lengths greater than the standard 8 feet, so joining together two panels of plywood is an important step. The most common methods of joining plywood are the butt joint with backer block, the scarf joint and a hybrid between the two. Each method offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain applications so it’s important to be aware of each joining method. Continue reading

WOW, a home-built runabout that's still beautiful after 17 years of regular use.

WOW 17 Years Later

A home-built runabout

By Mark Bronkalla

WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.

WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading

GLBBS 2016

The employee-owners of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are proud to congratulate the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Class of 2016. Comprehensive Graduates (1st year)—Justin Bensley, James Biernesser, Daniel Cinal, Lauren Gaunt, Robert Hankenhoff, Sam Hoffrichter, Wayne Marmon, James Nelson, Mark Pugh, and Ariana Strazdins. Career Program Graduates (2nd year)—Mark Bilhorn, Caleb Gulder, Sean Libby, and Danton Thon.