Category Archives: Boat Construction

Improve Wooden Paddles with G/flex

By Tom Pawlak — Retired GBI Technical Advisor

Wooden paddles and boat oars are known for getting dented in service. While G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden canoe paddles and boat oars to deflect impact and prevent cracking the wood beneath.

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. Continue reading

he nearly finished masthead fitting with a duplicate of the foam mold. After the inside was cleaned out, additional fabric was applied to achieve the final exterior shape. The outside was faired and shaped before the topping lift and sheave were installed.

Building a Masthead Fitting

Using the Lost Foam Method

By Captain James R. Watson

Creating a masthead fitting is 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.

Continue reading

River Dory PORTOLA

Historic Wooden Dories in the Grand Canyon

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

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

On March 21, 2012, river runners from five western states, Canada, Japan and Chile launched five homemade wooden dories, 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

Jon and his daughters aboard his homebuilt skiff, MISS HAN-LEY.

Building My First Skiff

By John Wojciechowski

I could envision my two young daughters rowing a skiff 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. 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. Continue reading

Stray Cat Strut

Restoring a Gougeon Tornado Catamaran

By Andy Davidson

I have just about finished restoring a Gougeon Tornado catamaran. 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

SPARKS by Ted Moores

Skeg Construction for SPARKS

Lesson 3 in our series on Strip Planking

by Ted Moores

Designing and constructing 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.

Continue reading

STRINGS Launch on the Saginaw River

Jan Gougeon Launches STRINGS

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.

Jan Gougeon’s monumental launch of STRINGS 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

In Epoxyworks 17, we published a photo 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. Continue reading

Fiberglassing Strip-Planked Boats

Lesson 2 in our series on Strip Planking

by Ted Moores

At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to fiberglassing strip-planked boats with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. 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. With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat. Continue reading

Ion

A 34′ Power Catamaran

by Captain James R. Watson

I decided on my boat Ion, a 34′ power cat, because I wanted an efficient, modest, contemporary, and quiet running yacht for cruising the Intra coastal waterway, Chesapeake Bay, Bahamas, and the Great Lakes in my retirement. The boat would require the ability to safely cross several hundred miles of open sea at a good cruising speed. Continue reading