Category Archives: Boat Construction

Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright

Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading

Of Applecores and Deadeyes

By Bruce Niederer and Bill Bertelsen

Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IV and Appledore V—since they arrived at their downtown Bay City facilities on the Saginaw River. These steel-hulled, gaff-rigged schooners are typical of the type that sailed the Great Lakes and coastal waters right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the primary means of transporting goods and people over long distances. Continue reading

International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS)

By Cynthia Goss

If you travel to the campus of the International Yacht Restoration School, you might think you are walking into the past. The staff offices are inside a restored 1831 mill building. Students restore wooden boats from the 19th and 20th centuries while learning plank-on-frame construction inside a cavernous building from 1903. And hanging off the IYRS docks are majestic classics from a bygone era. Continue reading

Reflecting on Sailing Days Past

by Captain James R. Watson

Epoxyworks 30

Cover Photo: One of LADY B’s first sails on the Saginaw River near the Gougeon Brothers boat shop.

Lady B is a sailing sharpie I launched on August 20, 2009. On one of the first sails, I asked Jan Gougeon to come along with me to see what he thought of her. That sail brought back many memorable sailing moments that Jan and I have shared over our lifetimes. Jan Gougeon grew up on Donahue Beach and I on nearby Aplin Beach. The two beaches were separated by Wenona Beach, a magnificent amusement park built at the turn of the century. We were in the same kindergarten class. It wasn’t long before we were both in boats we’d built: Jan in his 13′ Dart and I in my 8′ pram, the Pal. Back in those days we built using bedding compound and lots of screws. We carried coffee cans to bail our leaky boats. Around 1955, Continue reading

Project X Fairing Technique

By John M. Thomas

Almost 40 years ago Meade and Jan Gougeon opened their doors to a fastener-less method of boat construction using epoxy and various clamping methods. Jan’s newest boat is in the home stretch to completion, and he is addressing the fine tweaks of coaming and fairing. Continue reading

From Serendipity to Bufflehead

By Hugh Horton 

The cover of Epoxyworks 16 shows Serendipity, the sailing canoe I built for Meade Gougeon on a Bell “Starfire” hull after he had seen me sailing my Starfire-based Puffin in the summer of 1998. The Starfire hull was designed by Dave Yost.

Sitting at the lunch table in the Gougeon’s boat shop in 2001, Meade said he was thinking of building a few Serendipity sisters and asked me if I’d like one too. I said no because Continue reading

Close up of a soft eye pad mounted to the deck of a Bufflehead. The pad eyes Hugh Horton used on the Bufflehead deck were made wtih Twaron™ an aramid fiber. The soft pad eyes are strong yet not as likely as rigid pad eyes to catch a knuckle or a knee cap.

Make Your Own Soft Eye Pads

By Tom Pawlak

If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small eye pads  (also called pad eyes) in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes this lightweight carbon fiber or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line eye pads for his sailing canoes.

He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The eye pads are easy to make and amazingly strong. Continue reading

Treading Lightly with Zogo

By Grace Ombry

Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design of Brooklin, Maine, designed Zogo to meet their clients’ concern for treading lightly on their environment. Her owners are longtime summer residents of Stonington, Maine who enjoy low-impact kayaking and rowing around the pristine islands of Merchants Row. They wanted a quiet powerboat with a low carbon footprint to reflect their respect for the waters around Stonington. Continue reading

Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building

Students of the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, Washington, recently built the Caledonia Yawl, an Ian Oughtred design. The boat was commissioned by the Four Winds Camp on Orcas Island in Puget Sound and is the second one the school has built for them. Instructor Bruce Batchely believes this is the best built boat to come out of the shop so far. They modified the boat to suit the camp’s need for buoyancy and storage, and made the spars hollow to keep the rig light. Continue reading