Category Archives: Boat Construction

SLIVER Project

by Don Gutzmer

After attending the 2012 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, I visited the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock, Washington. School instructor Bruce Blatchley was excited to show off their one-of-a-kind boat project, Sliver. The 62-foot double-ended daysailer was designed by well-known yacht designer Robert Perry and commissioned by Kim Bottles of Bainbridge Island, Washington. The Northwest School students of the 2011 and 2012 contemporary boatbuilding classes worked on the project. For a school that teaches traditional wooden boat building, learning to build a hybrid of wood/composite construction using epoxy was a unique challenge. Continue reading

Improve Wooden Paddles with G/flex

By Tom Pawlak

G/flex epoxies weren’t developed with coating in mind, but early on in applications testing we discovered they were excellent at dealing with impact. This became evident when we used G/flex 650 (the unthickened version) as a coating and when we used G/flex 655 (the thickened version) as a protective buildup.

G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, but we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden parts that might get dented in service, such as wooden canoe paddles and boat oars. As a coating, G/flex deflects without cracking when the wood beneath it gets dented. Continue reading

Building a Masthead Fitting

Using the Lost Foam Method

By Captain James R. Watson

Here’s another use of the lost foam method to produce a custom part with a molded interior cavity. In this case, the part was a masthead fitting to hold an internal sheave and provide a route for the halyard to pass. This method can be adapted to a variety of other applications, as demonstrated in Fabricating an Air Scoop.

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River Dory PORTOLA

Historic Wooden Dories in the Grand Canyon

By Greg Hatten

Epoxyworks 35

Cover Photo: Greg Hatten battles white water on a trip trough the Grand Canyon in his replica dory, PORTOLA.

On March 21, 2012, river runners from five western states, Canada, Japan and Chile launched five homemade boats, replicas of important historical designs, in an attempt to complete a 24-day self-guided traverse of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. The replica boats represented a snapshot of river running in Grand Canyon during the 1950s and 1960s, just before Glen Canyon Dam took control of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Continue reading

Building My First Skiff

By John Wojciechowski

When I told my brother that I was going to build a boat he asked me, “Why?” I didn’t discover the answer until after the project was completed.

I work in the Operations Department at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. and have been here 12 years making WEST SYSTEM® products: epoxy resin, hardeners, fillers, packaging fiberglass etc. But I’d really never used it on a big project. The company has always been involved in boats and boatbuilding, so I figured a boat project of my own would provide me with some ‘how to’ epoxy experience.

I could envision my two young daughters rowing a boat their dad built, but I had to convince my wife. I like to fish and so do my girls, so a good fishing skiff couldn’t hurt. “Think of all the fish fries,” I told my skeptical wife. Continue reading

Stray Cat Strut

By Andy Davidson

I have just about finished restoring a Gougeon Tornado. I’ve always had and loved catamarans, and this one had been sitting out in the sun at the Oklahoma City Boat Club for years. Bob, a fellow club member, offered some parts. His plans were to “chainsaw the hulls tomorrow” and put the pieces in the club Dumpster. That was the push I needed. In a moment of insanity, I told him there was no way I could let him do that. Continue reading

Skeg Construction for SPARKS

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 3 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

Designing and building a successful skeg for Sparks (our 30′ hybrid electric launch featured in Epoxyworks 32) took some head scratching. But in the end, it was just another combination of wood and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Our skeg needed to be functional and age gracefully, yet be reasonably quick and easy to build and install. This project was an ideal opportunity to explore the limits as well as the advantages of combining wood with epoxy to engineer simple solutions to complex problems. Continue reading

Foam Strip Planking

Foam Strip Plank Boatbuilding

BY JOHN LINDAHL 

A couple of years ago my son Ian asked me about building an A Class catamaran. Having built several of these in the past and knowing what was now on the market, I came up with a build method that would:

  • Allow us to build a competitive design.
  • Be at or under the class minimum weight of 165 lb.
  • Be as strong and stiff as anything on the market.
  • Be competitive in quality and price, but not get trapped in exotic equipment expense. This meant no vacuum bag, no pre-preg, no resin infusion, and no autoclave.

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Jan Gougeon Launches Strings

Jan Gougeon’s monumental launch occurred in July of 2011, over a decade after the birth of the project. Jan passed away on December 18, 2012. We miss him. —ED


by Grace Ombry

Epoxyworks 33
Cover Photo: On July 9, 2011, the 40′ catamaran STRINGS was launched at the Gougeon Brothers boat shop on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.

Ten years ago in Epoxyworks 17, we published the photo below with the following caption: In the recess of the Gougeon boat shop loft, something unusual is taking shape out of plywood, foam, carbon fiber and epoxy. There is a minimum of plans and drawings. It evolves, piece by piece, mostly from its creator’s head. It’s not a trimaran. Not exactly a catamaran. Technical you probably wouldn’t call this a hull. It’s more of a fuselage. (There is an aircraft canopy involved.) For now, let’s call it Project J. We’ll keep an eye on this project in coming issues and see what develops.

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Fiberglassing a Strip-planked Boat

 By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 2 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat.

Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to strip-plank construction with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Continue reading