In late 2018, my son and I were given a unique opportunity by the Michigan-based Water Wonderland Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS) to build an 8′ MiniMax hydroplane based on original plans from the early 1960s. Almost anything from that era seems to be popular again. Maybe it’s nostalgia or maybe the designs of that groundbreaking decade were just ahead of their time. Either way, the MiniMax’s appeal seems as relevant today as it did in 1962. We accepted the challenge without hesitation. Continue reading →
On Wednesday, June 20, 1979, while sailing in a qualifying race for the OSTAR (Observer Single-Handed Transatlantic Race, originally named after its first sponsor, the British Observer newspaper1), Jan Gougeon’s self-designed and built 31’ trimaran FLICKA was capsized by heavy seas in the North Atlantic. Jan survived on the overturned plywood/epoxy multihull for four days before he was rescued by a passing freighter. The following is the transcript of a phone call between Jan, his brothers Meade and Joel, as well as fellow multihull designer/sailor Mike Zuteck. Their discussion takes place on June 26, 1979, just hours after the freighter that rescued Jan from FLICKA and delivered him to dry land. Continue reading →
Small communities benefit when local groups work together to produce results greater than the sum of their individual efforts. Three organizations combined their efforts to create such synergy in a coastal county on Lake Huron. The Iosco County Family Court, local Elks Lodge 2525 and Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing (HCS&R) combined efforts to develop a positive training program for youthful offenders and provide a staunch safety boat for the new not-for-profit sailing school. Continue reading →
In Epoxyworks 47 we featured an article on the construction ofItalmas. Today she’s nearly complete, and true to reputation, Van Dam Custom Boatworks never disappoints. Here are a few photos of the boat showing off some of the craftsmanship Van Dam is famous for. Continue reading →
Over the past three winters, the boatbuilding crew of the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) strip-built a Jericho Bay lobster skiff. They used the plans from WoodenBoat magazine, which master boatbuilder Tom Hill measured from a Joel White-designed boat. More than twenty people have worked on the skiff. Continue reading →
Michigander on Lake Pewaukee, Wisconson for the 2018 Wisconsin SternSteerers Association regatta. Photo by Jay Yaeso.
Michigander is 40-feet long and weighs 1,400 pounds. It’s in a class by itself and is one of the largest ice yachts sailing anywhere in the 21st century.
This “A”-class stern steerer carries 360 square feet of sloop-rigged sail. “That’s a lot of horsepower,” said skipper Eric Sawyer. Michigander also sports a 250-square-foot Kevlar® mainsail for better control in more wind. She’ll sail in excess of 60 mph in a 10 mph wind.
There is only one solution that comes from the ache of seeing iceboats ripping around on Mona Lake all your life: give in and buy one. If the thrill doesn’t quite meet expectations, build one that will be faster. Pat Filius has lived 20 years on a now-flooded celery flat fed by Black Creek, the main tributary of Mona Lake in Norton, Michigan. In 2014 he bought his first iceboat for $400. Sailing it just once was enough to convince him that he wanted a faster boat. Continue reading →
I designed this project by scaling down a Chris Craft runabout from pictures I found online.
Hull and Drive Assembly
I started with five rib frames and a center beam temporarily mounted upside-down on a workbench. I glued and stapled the ¼” x ¾” bead-and-cove pine strips to the ribs. Once all the strips were installed, I removed the staples and sanded the hull smooth for the heat-activated 2″ mahogany strips I’d apply later.
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.
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.